Sunday, July 23, 2006



Hey, here are two questions about about movies. (I'm hoping this will distract you -- especially Neel Mr. Movies Mehta -- from the fact that I broke my promise to post word verifictionary results last week.)

The first question arises from a discussion about whether to see Clerks II. I liked Clerks well enough, but in my view Kevin Smith has not gotten better since then, and many of his movies are not as good. Add that to the natural downward trajectory of sequels, and Clerks II is not promising. In my view, Clerks wasn't good enough to leave room for a good sequel.

Anyway, the question is:

Can you name a movie -- other than a horror / slasher movie -- in which the sequel was as good as or better than the original?

I defy you! I can't think of a single one.

Nex question:

Name one or more movies that you thought were better than the book.

My answers:
1. The Wonder Boys. This was a terrific adaptation that supplied some much needed editing to Chabon's novel.

2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being.* The novel just didn't do much for me, and I couldn't even get through it. The movie was compelling.
.. and with some trepidation, since the Jane Austen fans will rip me for this:
3. Sense and Sensibility

*Tonya came up with this one first, but I agree.

Forrest Gump the movie is better than the book.

I doubt I'd agree with the Unbearable Lightness of Being but I'll Netflix it and see.
But the critics are raving about the Clerks sequel. I can't wait to see it.

I liked all of the Matrix movies equally. And LOTR.

Movie better than the book...
Brigit Jones and her diary (the original not the remake).
Shrek II was even better than Shrek, and that's saying someting, cuz the original Shrek was damned fine.

On books to movies -- I am reading The Remains of the Day, and tho the book is excellent, so far I still prefer the Anthony Hopkins/Emma Thompson movie.


oeczzst -- a zesty, effervescent wine

(p.s. just back from a weekend in the wine country north of san francisco -- i am not an oenophile but even so, can you spell "heaven"?)
Responding to your first question, I thought the second Harry Potter movie was better than the first. Although naturally none of the movies have bested the books.

Of course my first thought was that Aliens was far superior to Alien, however I imagine that qualifies as a "horror/slasher" film. I tend to think of it as an introspective coming of age flick, but then that's just me...
There are TONS of sequels better than originals. Off the top of my head:

Godfather II > Godfather
Road Warrior > Mad Max
Spiderman 2 > Spiderman
Babe: Pig in the City > Babe
Empire Strikes Back > Star Wars

And each Police Academy movie kept getting better and better.

Movies better than books:
Princess Bride, Blade Runner, Bridges of Madison County...

I also think The Ten Commandments is waaaay better than the book it's based on. Charlton Heston really brings a third-dimension to a poorly realized literary Moses.

A future topic for you: How about remakes that are better than originals? Wait; I should use that on my blog.
Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom (second in trilogy)

Schindler's List, better movie than book
Looks like you don't need me. There are lots of good suggestions here.

I strongly disliked Forrest Gump the movie, but the book was even worse.

The Princess Bride was an ordinary book made into an extraordinary movie.

As for sequels, I'm on board with Spider-Man 2 and The Empire Strikes Back. I'd also add Terminator 2 to that short list.

I have a feeling I won't like Clerks 2 because it's completely unnecessary. The book on the View Askewverse was closed, literally. I'm sure I'd find some of it funny, but when Kevin Smith gets too outrageous, he loses me.
Good answers, guys! I had a hunch I'd come away looking bad on question #1.

Warren, what a funny coincidence: one of my brunch companions today is reading Howard's End (which I like to refer to as "Howard's Bum"), which I always confuse with "Remains of the Day" and whose movie also may be better than the book.

The subtext to Majorsteel's message is that he is miffed that I dubbed someone other than him "Mr. Movies." Okay, you can be "Mr. Movies" too. Or, perhaps more fittingly, "Mr. Movies II."
"The Shining" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" are better than the book, so I'm just going to assume any book made into a Jack Nicholson movie gets better. Right?
No, I don't agree. Jack Nicholson was in John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick and the book was better than the movie.
Liked the movie version of "The Witches of Eastwick," and got a kick of Nicholson's version of Daryl Van Horne, but I think anything Updike writes is damned good, if not better.
I thought the movie "Out of Africa" was better than Dinesen's book.
Seems to me that very long, wordy novels sometimes profit by being made into movies. Cuts 'em to the chase a bit.
I thought "Aliens" was better than "Alien"... (the former being the sequel) Didn't it win best picture too?
For superior sequals:
1) I'd agree that the LOTR movies got better as they went.

2)I liked Young Guns 2 better than the first one.

3)Evil Dead 2 is better than Evil Dead.

For Movies based on books I would say:
1)Figth club. And I'm a huge Chuck P fan. But he actually agreed that the movie was better than his book.

2)Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil and Stand by Me were all better than their counterparts in Different Seasons.

3)Last of the Mohicans

How interesting that many of the superior sequals listed are based on great series of books. (Godfathers, Harry Potters, LOTRs, Spidermans?).
Indiana Jones, Empire Strikes Back, Hot Shots Part Deux, Spiderman 2.

Interestingly, it only seems to work for movies aimed at 8-year-olds.
I totally don't agree about Empire being better than Star Wars. And I also think that you have to take the trilogy as a whole, nowadays, although "Star Wars" does stand alone quite well. LOTR does not. The reason the second film is "better" than the first is because Lord of the Rings is really one huge film broken up into 3 installments, similar to the Salkind brothers "3 Musketeers" and "4 Musketeers" (which was shot all at once, but they couldn't boil it down into one film and decided to release it as 2 films).

"Alien" and "Aliens" were 2 different types of films, and while I enjoyed the sequel better than the original, the original was excellent by itself.(and scared the crap out of me, too).

Of all the sequels that I've seen, "Toy Story 2" is better than "Toy Story" (and Oscar, I am surprised you forgot about that one). I don't agree about Shrek II > Shrek. Or Babe.

I don't know about movies better than the book - I haven't read a lot of the "literature" that got turned into film, so I can't judge.


sfgllx - SF "gellex" - special effects gel, used extensively in science fiction films and television.
Cube 2 is on a par with cube.
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]