Sunday, September 18, 2005

Warren Ellis on film adaptations...

Apathy Jack writes:

When you talk about movies, there’s always that which bookstores live by; the book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore’s best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It’s hard to describe just how much better the book is. It’s like, “If the movie was an episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is ‘Citizen Kane’ with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end.” That’s how much better it is.


BDugan said...


phats said...

Heather graham hasn't been cool since 1992.

Johny Depp on Opium was nice, but couldn't save 'From Hell'. Watch Dead Man instead.

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that Tolkien is complete shit (ie below even Robert Jordan, check out Gene Wolfe if you want quality) and Peter Jackson has provided a counterexample to defeat the "book is always better" maxim.

Apathy Jack said...

Tolkien was a good writer; which is to say that he wrote a god-awful travelogue of Wales which was over a thousand pages too long, and was mostly in Welsh, however, it was still better than it had any right to be.

However, yes, in that case, the movies were better than the books. Primarily for two reasons:

1) Focusing on the good stuff. In the books, the battle of Isenguard (I may be misreferencing here - I mean the one with the Ents beating hell out of Christoper Lee) entaled ten pages of people looking at grass on their way to the battle, then arriving to be told that they've just missed a big battle, then spending several pages looking at grass on their way home. In the movie, you see an exciting action sequence.

2) Even weighing in at a punishing twelve-odd hours, were you to watch all extended versions in a row, the movie isn't as tiresomely long. I may slap the next person who complains that the movie missed out the battle for Hobbiton at the end - when I got up top that part in the book, I sighed audibly, and said (on a crowded bus) "When is this going to actually be over?"

Josh said...

High Fidelity: an American film that was better than the British book - that's just fucked up.