It’s not Bill’s fault. Stottlemeyer does a great job, and they gave his character some memorable lines. If he had been the only psycho he’d have been more than adequate. But Hopkins just forces everyone else off the screen.
Yeah, poor guy.
@OhBollox, yeah, it is sort of the ur-teen-slasher flick, although just about everything about it compares poorly to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which also beat it to the screen by four years!
Agreed. The story isn’t really about Buffalo Bill, so him being less interesting than Clarice and Hannibal does not bother me. Plus, “it puts the lotion on its skin…” is such a creepy line, all is forgiven.
As a complete aside, I read Red Dragon and was severely disappointed in the quality (or lack thereof) of he writing. Hannibal is Hopkins. Not even Thomas Harris deserves credit for him at this point.
I read a couple of Harris’s books and didn’t like them at all. Silence of the Lambs is the only movie I’ve seen that’s better than the book it’s based on.
I’d add Princess Bride to that pile, although Goldman also wrote the screenplay. Probably Hunt for Red October, too. xD
Good points. Never read the Princess Bride, so I can’t speak to that one, but Hunt for Red October definitely qualifies. I used to be a Clancy fan and enjoyed that book when I read it. I’ve since lost my taste for reading military encyclopedias.
I am a Goldman fan but would still agree to this. Marathon Man was a better book than movie, but not Princess Bride. It trimmed some of the novel’s fat.
Tell No One is another. Mediocre book by Harlan Coben, brilliant French film.
Also, Rififi. A deserved classic, the centrepiece is a robbery which takes up a quarter of the film, in near silence, and it’s something any film would struggle to do today. The casting of the gang is mostly good, Servais is thoroughly convincing as a ragged but skilled professional, Mohner is as solid as his build, and Manuel is lively and gleeful; the only odd one is Dassin, the director and writer, also playing the part of the safecracking expert, who just doesn’t fit in. It’s a good-looking film, visually muted and drab but coherent, and the mood is well-expressed.
I think the ultimate book to movie improvement is Forrest Gump. Sure, the movie leans a bit on the treacly side. But the novel is just downright bleak, boring and pointless.
I haven’t read American Psycho, but from what I hear the movie, which is brilliant, is superior.
I would agree. The novel is one of those books that everyone describes as interesting but not a lot of people would actually call great. It’s worth a read, but the movie distills everything into a much more pure and potent fashion. Writing, cinematography, acting, it’s just the ideal version of the story. Let us all hope they never try to remake it, because it would pretty much have to be worse.
I think if you look at some of the best-selling “thrillers” with oft-mediocre writing you may find that many of them translate well to slightly-less-mediocre movie thrillers.
Also, Shawshank Redemption. But I hate King’s writing, so I’m a little biased, there.
And no, I am not saying Boo-urns.
I love King’s stuff (his weird, awkward post-crash period with Dreamcatcher and Buick 8 aside). Made me want to become a writer.
I’ve been a King fan for years. I think he became a dramatically better writer over time–reading through the entire Dark Tower series gives you a good sense of that evolution.
I do love the Shawshank movie, though. The novella’s good, but the movie’s one of my all time favorites. And, while I respect King’s decision to end the story with a bit of a cliffhanger, seeing Andy and Red reunite at the end of the movie is a much more satisfying finish, in my opinion.
Keep in mind I’m referring to his writing, not his ideas. He’s got some great stories; I just can’t stand something about his writing style.
I’ve tried to get into a few of his novels. Most recently I got through about 100 pages of Revival in very short order, only to crash and burn up against the narrator’s exhaustingly documented high school experiences that, after the dramatic introduction, seemed like they were going nowhere, and Lord, I just did. Not. Give. A shit. Starting over with the short stories, because I’ve read a couple in the past and they were very good (although in general I think I still prefer Thomas Ligotti), though about halfway through Night Shift I have to say none of them have ended very well so far (except Jerusalem’s Lot, which I had read before). I did make it all the way through Salem’s Lot a couple of years ago, and it was fine, although not scary, and I don’t see myself reading it again. It was better than Straub’s Ghost Story, which is often mentioned along with it, and which I read at the same time. Ghost Story did actually have some scary and/or creepy moments, but ultimately it was kind of a hot mess.
Agree 100% with Gost Stories.
Sorry for completely detailing this thread. I’ll save the rest of my book talk for the book thread.
Dragged my wife to the theater last night to see London Fields, which is breaking all sorts of the wrong records for opening weekends. As you might surmise from my handle, any story where darts plays a significant role is going to be on target for me. (Still waiting for the film adaptation of Balling The Jack, dammit.) Martin Amis’ novel is both desperate and difficult in every sense, and filled with both unforgettable and unlikeable characters. The movie adaptation, faithful to the book, is just as bleak. I’d put this on the list only if you’re a fan of the book or Amber Heard. Audiences will cringe when the movie makes a big point of Keith’s dramatic, agonizing miss of the board on an out; dartists will complain that Keith didn’t have an out anyway, and Chick shot the wrong third dart to leave 171. Terrible movie, even worse darts.
Blackkklansman. A rather comedic take on an undercover police effort in the KKK, spearheaded by a black police officer. The film works, but on reflection afterward I found the light-hearted tone and the congratulatory ending to be at odds with the substance of the film. This does ensure the epilogue is even more effective, though I don’t believe a two-hour-plus film has been created solely to sucker you into getting hit hard at the end. Compare and contrast with something like Sorry To Bother You, which is just as concerned with race, but doesn’t believe there are any solutions in existing institutions.