Movie Study: Adaptations

Today, I’m starting a new section for this blog and it’s simply called Movie Study! It’s all about my long observance or experience anything about movies. Whether it’s watching or reading articles of movies. My views or rants about movies..


I just thought of this out of nowhere so let’s start!
For the past years, the movie industry became really let’s say explosive when it comes to adapting materials. Whether it’s a remake, sequels, or comic book, animations, and reboots. But this post, I want to focus on adaptations. Adapting a material and turning it into screen.
Adaptations is not a new thing. I mean the oldest adaptation I know that became a movie was Ten Commandments. It came from the bible right? Then films as decades went by, kept on adapting novels, comic books then japanese anime and sort of.. Then for the past 5 years, almost all the blockbusters or even releases focused on adaptations from comic books, young adult novels or even unprecendented adaptations from anime and now video games! Even board games.. Oh gosh..
I had mixed emotions about these adaptations. First, I don’t know what’s their purpose. Second, I can’t imagine, like hundred pages of raw material, that you will transform into like 2-3 hour movie spectacle. It’s fun for these adaptations to happen but deep inside me, it’s a big risk to watch these adaptations.
Ok, I won’t really discuss each movie that came from adaptations.. Let’s just pick 2 films that I hate. Angels and demons and Batman Vs. Superman. I read the book, Angels and Demons and I own one. Wow, it’s truth bending, addictive and yeah, I got hooked!
2 hours later, after watching the film.. I can’t believe that it was crap. They took out the important elements plus the controversial plots or subjects then you have a film about race against time for the antimatter. Very dissappointing and annoying. I don’t know if a film goer who did not read the book will read the book because of this mess..
Batman versus Superman. Well, it was an adaptation from a series in DC comics about these 2 iconic heroes fighting each other. I haven’t read the comic books, especially if I don’t have the time and money to collect those comics. Add my movie preference so I don’t have effort to really compare.
Almost 3 hours later.. What the hell happened? Will I bother to look for that specific comic book that they got the inspiration to? To check the source material? After that magnificent mess? I’ll pass. Geez…
Those only 2 examples out of many movies that I can say shouldn’t been made into film. But other films were classics and I was surprised that it was an adaptation. Classic films like The Shining, and Shawnshank Redemption. I was shocked that they were books. Clockwork Orange as well, or how about the Elephant Man. Silence of the Lambs, and even Civil War of Marvel. Civil War I thought will be dissappointing but I was shocked that it turned out way better than BvS.
Anyway, as I watched these kind of films, I found out another 2 points. Number one, these films really wants you to buy or check the source material. I mean, whether it’s bad or worse, you’ll be curious to check the source material. One great example was The Shining. After watching the flick, I want to check what the hell Kubrick changed from the book source. How about Dune? It has the bad film and the great documentary, despite the publicity, I’ll check the book itself. See? These films, whether the writer doesn’t recognize or give this credit, it’s still reviving the material. Great publicity tool to check the original adaptation and see for yourselves. Yeah you can say it’s for money but other than that, curiousity counts!
Number two! Well I can say money but no. I can say, it’s more about pride. I mean film makers have that pride that I can create a film about this and that and even coming from a book. Even the book itself was unfilmable. But due to technology and great techniques, it seems that the boundaries of adapting were gone. Almost gone. But still some materials cannot be translated for simple viewing. Anyhow, let’s go back to my point that this drive of creating and have pride that its better in film than in the book rises. It’s the goal and nobody can stop it unless no one will produce the film.
I think point number 2 was kind of bad effect in the industry. Sometimes, they just don’t listen. They create this films just for the sake of money and raking profits out from the brand. One great example, Fantastic Four!! After watching some scenes and the ending, I knew, it was very bad. Fox banking on this brand to earn better than the previous 2 films. They have pride on it and wants to earn more than before. But due to conflicts, yes pride and bad planning. That’s what you get, Fantastic 4. Wow, a great bad comic book film.
Those 2 points won’t go away for sometime and what we have to do as viewers or audience is just accept these.. Motivations.
Accept that movies are like one time big time in a short period of time. I mean comics or books take time to earn for you. Movies? If you have the rights sold and gave the a big deal for adaptating it, why not? It’s faster to create money and if the movies are successful, you’ll earn more by sequels. Accept that movies are only intrepretations of the source material. Now, I understand how it’s hard to write a screenplay using the source material and present it in a big screen. That’s a hell of a skill right?
Lastly, the motivation getting this material shown in a more understanding audience. I mean, not all of us has the patience to read a book.. But with watching movies, it will be more easier to other people watching movies. It’s easier to become rich and rewards are great. However, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve. It’s hard to achieve and I like those authors who really check or even do the screenplay of the film.
I have no qualms about studios making adaptations. But it doesn’t mean studios can just rush it and show it. I hope they’ll always respect the material and never comprise the main theme of the adaptation. Others seems to forget this important point, especially in the shooting the film.
These adaptations will stay here for a long time. But I hope they’ll improve not only the action adaptations.. I hope writers will do an article that is close to your heart. Whatever the title they read before as long it’s good for the audience..
Adaptations should be treated with respect and more importantly, don’t missed out the main point of the material. Adaptations are better written coming from the writer and the film writer. Together they can think which parts can be removed, edited or added. That will be easier especially when shooting starts.
Adaptations should be chosen properly. Ask yourself these questions, is it presentable, acceptable and most importantly, can be filmed easily without any major alterations in the play.
That’s why I love the films that was made due to the coordination of the film crew and author. That’s the right way. Or better yet, be the director and writer!
That was my long movie study for today. What’s your favorite adapted screenplay movie?
Your answers are well appreciated..

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