Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Favorite Adaptations – 7/01/2014

Adam, Will, and Norm take answer a listener’s question, the only way they know how. By talking about their favorite film adaptations. Enjoy!

Comments (47)

47 thoughts on “Favorite Adaptations – 7/01/2014

  1. Perhaps not quite the right demographic for Tested, but the book and movies of The English Patient are amazing compliments to one another. I think neither is complete without the other.

  2. So, follow up question…

    What adaptations would you like to see? Would you hate to see?

    I am VERY much looking forward to the (is it HBO?) adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”… It’s only one of the best stories ever told….

    I live in fear that one day, someone is going to actually try to make a movie of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” … That ship has sailed…

    Cheers!

  3. What’s the toy that Adam keeps picking up and playing with?

    I have no idea. But now that you bring it up, I really want to know..

  4. I can never get enough of “Still Untitled”, I tend to listen to them all while at work to drown out Rush Limbaugh from the other room. Then once I have finished the most recent podcast, I go back through them all again 🙂

  5. What was the name of the Alien/Dune connection documentary that you were about to mention at the 7 minute mark?

    I live in fear that one day, someone is going to actually try to make a movie of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” … That ship has sailed…

    I have lived that fear myself ever since I read Neuromancer way back in 1985 and that fear was totally validated 10 years later when Keanu Reeves came out with “Johnny Mnemonic”!

    I could not agree with you more about the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth of Pride and Prejudice – it is the definitive version of that work! Jennifer Ehle was also fantastic in “Zero Dark Thirty” as the CIA agent who gets killed by a suicide bomber.

    One of my favorite book and film pairings is Stella Gibbons “Cold Comfort Farm” featuring Kate Beckinsale as the main character and Ian McKellen in my absolutely favorite role of his!

  6. “Frank Miller should be allowed to do whatever he wants, because it’s great for the world.”

    …yikes.

    Exhibit A: The latter half of the Sin City novels.

    Exhibit B: The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

    Exhibit C: All Star Batman and Robin.

    Potential other exhibits: RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

    … no. Frank Miller went insane somewhere during Sin City. He hasn’t done anything worthwhile in 2 or 3 decades (depending on if you liked 300 as a comic), and he should not be let out of his house without a handler. (Or at least a PR agent). His early work on Daredevil, Electra, and The Dark Knight Returns is fantastic. But that was more than* 3 decades ago, and the man has cracked.

    EDIT: *Well, roughly. DKR and E:A were both in, what, ’86, ’87? So nearly 3 decades ago.

  7. I figure when the author of the source material is involved with the screenplay (Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, as one example), I can easily forgive any deviation(s) they wanted to put in the movie. Movies and novels speak different languages and so it should follow that certain aspects need to be adapted from medium to medium… and then there are people out there who can’t watch the X-Men movies because Hugh Jackman is too tall.

  8. My dream adaptation would be a big budget Terry Pratchett movie, maybe from the Vimes storyline.

    However I understand why this is virtually impossible.

  9. I can remember the first book that I read that was turned into a movie was Jurassic Park and how disappointed I was with it. Granted, at the time and with the technology we got the best movie we could get (and it was a pretty good one, yes), but still there was disappointment. Dune was one where I’d read the book, saw the movie and wondered wtf they were smoking, imbibing or shoot that had them go from ‘A’ to… THAT… instead of ‘B’.

  10. Aww… I thought you guys were going to talk about Game of Thrones in greater length.

    By the way, does Adam have a favorite prop from the GOT TV series he wants to replicate?

  11. Well there we go. 🙂 (my only save is that I posted that killed part an hour before the revival news broke)

  12. Guys how could ye have left out Dredd. It manages two different big screen adaptations from the same source material. One was very good and one very bad. The Stallone one was visually excellent but appalling in almost every other way. The karl urban film was possibly up there with the Nolan batman movies amongst my all time favourites.

  13. i agree on american gods. i love the book to pieces and i love love love neil in general. this better be good. in related news, bryan fuller of hannibal fame is going to work on it: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/starz-bryan-fuller-board-neil-716142 (cc: )

    as for adaptations i’d love to see: any one of the polity novels by neal asher. preferably brass man or the skinner. what adam said about why elmore leonard adapts well – good character and good dialogue – neal asher is kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum. he also has great characters and cool dialogue, but what really makes his books is how cinematic they read. they are sci-fi action of the kind that needs tons of excellent physical effects and cgi. it’s over the top and capital letters from beginning to end. things get blown up, eaten up, entire endangered species get wiped out by the supercavitation of a pseudo-vietnam-vet-crazy war drone speeding by underwater, space ships get so large they are not allowed to orbit planets (tides!), and every place he writes has wonderful, frightening, over the top but believable flora and fauna. and once we get to the fauna, things (usually people) get eaten up again.

    the tone of the world he writes would make an amazing, relentless action film. if done right.

    EDIT: i totally agree to on lord of the rings and leaving out tom bombadil. i see the logic behind why jackson adapted it like he did, but i don’t agree with it.

  14. One of the worst adaptations was “Beast Master.” This is supposedly based on Andre Norton’s book of the same title. I’d never have recognized it. The only thing that survived from the book was the relationship between Our Hero and his animals. But no aliens, no spaceships, and no destruction of the Earth.

    I haven’t watched “I, Robot,” or “Starship Troopers;” I love the books too much to risk it!

    “Dune” had 2 interpretations– the SciFi Channel mini-series was MUCH better than the movie featuring Sting! One of the movie’s worst flaws (other than the imperial battle being controlled by people riding a merry-go-round) was that Paul’s “wierding way” relied on a physical device!

    I did enjoy the Laura Croft movies– lots of action, and a fairly decent plot. I never played the games, so I can’t compare.

    And, finally, J K Rowling was (from what I’ve read) heavily involved with the Harry Potter movies– mostly to make sure they didn’t, for example, cut out something in Movie 1 that was critical foreshadowing for Movie 3!

    –Paul E Musselman

  15. Didn’t think you guys would field my question so soon. Thanks, I think you did a great job covering it, given the source material… 😉

    As you guys mentioned some books are just very difficult to adapt to other formats. I agree with that the SciFi mini-series for Dune was far better than the one movie that did make it to theaters. There was one (two?) other movies that were started if I remember correctly, but from what I know neither progressed very far in filming. Then once you factor in all the rest of the books in the Dune series, doing film adaptations that make sense would be very difficult.

    Though, I’d be interested in seeing what could be done with some of Frank Herbert’s other books like Man of Two Worlds, The Green Brain, and The Godmakers. Some might do well, others may not, but I think some of his shorter novels would be easier to adapt than Dune and it’s sequels (and the prequels by his son Brian).

    If we’re diving into lesser known Science Fiction that we’d be interested in seeing film adaptations, I’d also be interested in seeing what a good director & screen writer could do with the Lensman series by E.E. Doc Smith.

  16. The short diversion about age, and the wonder at Morgan Freeman’s success at 60, brought to mind these videos about creativity and success Video1 Video2 from Delve Deeper. (The same person who did your recently linked video, “The man who turned paper into pixels.”)

  17. My wife has a postcard on our mantelpiece from the town that Pride and Prejudice is set at. It seems like an old portrait but it is actually Colin Firth in his costume for the series. It was huge over here!

    She eats that stuff up!

  18. And if you would have read the thread, you’d notice that I posted the link an hour before news broke of them trying with Starz.

  19. What the heck, man? Gone in 60 seconds is a great remake! I really don’t get the hate for it.

    Sure it’s very different from the original, but it’s still an entertaining film on its own merit.

  20. I saw in an article “they” meaning the someone is producing a new Stargate Trilogy. Anyone else screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! in their heads like me?

  21. I personally feel Hollywood does far to many adaptations, as well as sequels, prequels and reboots. I’d love to see more movies just for the screen, I think those tend to be more daring and groundbreaking. Not that I dislike adaptations just some more variety would be fun.

  22. How many times does Adam have to mention Wings of Desire before Will and Norm remember it? Or are they just being polite for good podcasting?

  23. Best and Favorite adaptation: V for Vendetta – I believe it’s better than the comic. The comic feels dated while the movie has amazing dialogue and feels timeless.

    WORST adaptation: Avatar: The Last Airbender. The cartoon is one of the best stories you will find, but the M. Night Shyamalan (or ShyamaCrap as I like to call him) is one of the most boring, exposition-ridden, poorly acted and poorly shot films you will ever find.

  24. I’d be curious how many movies that get trashed as “horrible adaptations” etc would be deemed passable, if not good, if they were viewed without prior knowledge of source material. I suspect I’m a part of the minority who quite likes Dune, I saw it before reading the book and had no trouble following the story (it always baffles me that people say it’s hard to follow), since reading the book I can appreciate there are big differences and the book goes into depth on many important elements… but as was touched on in the pod cast, that’s what you have the freedom to do when there is no real limit on page numbers, whereas movies typically have to conform to a given time frame.

    Also I really like Bicentennial man, I’ve not read the source material but find it to be a lovely tale with quite a nice philosophical concept at it’s heart.

    In the end though it will always be the beauty of the subjectivity of the medium… one viewers masterpiece is anothers steaming pile of excrement. To each their own.

  25. the worst adaptation ever (and im using my super power future sight now) is star wars episode 7, just from the character names its going to be a hash of the legacy of the force era books, and Abrahm’s will ruin what has been in my humble opinion one of the best series of the star wars franchise. Go read the books spoiler…..by the time the solo children are as old as they have been casted chewy’s dead.

  26. ps, off topic , but i think with Adams new stash, a remake of twins could be on the cards with hulk hogan 😀

  27. #Adam, #Will and #Norm I almost feel embarrassed as a nerd that you guys neglected to mention the James Bond movies as a successful adaptation. Ian Flemming must be rolling around in his grave.

  28. Ok… don’t hate now, but I thought Tank Girl was the perfect way to take a “comic book” and make a film. Either did not take themselves too seriously and both turned out very well in my opinion. A great example of an adaptation that I had zero problems with.

  29. Bob Neat idea Bob… but then it woulda needed a troll… an elf… magic…. and there’s NO WAY the world was ready for a movie mash-up like that way back then.

    I’m not sure it’d fly very far now…. But depending who wrote/directed it, I’d probably go see it if they tried.

    Neil Gaiman and Guillermo del Toro… Or David Lynch…. with Neal Stephenson in there somewhere….

  30. “Frank Miller should be allowed to do whatever he wants, because it’s great for the world.”

    …yikes.

    Exhibit A: The latter half of the Sin City novels.

    Exhibit B: The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

    Exhibit C: All Star Batman and Robin.

    Potential other exhibits: RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

    … no. Frank Miller went insane somewhere during Sin City. He hasn’t done anything worthwhile in 2 or 3 decades (depending on if you liked 300 as a comic), and he should not be let out of his house without a handler. (Or at least a PR agent). His early work on Daredevil, Electra, and The Dark Knight Returns is fantastic. But that was more than* 3 decades ago, and the man has cracked.

    EDIT: *Well, roughly. DKR and E:A were both in, what, ’86, ’87? So nearly 3 decades ago.

    You forgot “The Spirit” which is just an exceptionally bad film and is real disservice to Will Eisner.

  31. The 1990 movie version of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was terrible; I personally enjoyed the original 1963 B&W movie, far more!

  32. he is playing with a prototype of the motivator from his Hellboy glove. since the podcast was aired I’m guessing it is now obvious 🙂

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