This Week's Topic:
What movie have you seen that actually (gasp!) improved on the book?
I loved the film Stardust. It was comical and whimsical with a fantastic choice of actors. I adored Robert De Niro's drag queen/butch pirate and Michelle Pfeiffer's haggard then glamorous witch. It was a brilliant story with character and relationship development, the right amount of drama, comedy, and tension.
I wanted to read the book because I wanted to discover more of Neil Gaiman's writing and I'm always interested when I find out a film is an adaptation of a book. I like to read the book as well. But when I read Stardust I was thoroughly disappointed in it. Definitely not what I was expecting. The full review of the book is here but these are a couple of things that I didn't like in the book and that the film did well in.
1) The thing I really didn't like in the book was how anti-climatic it was. I didn't feel there was a satisfied ending or resolution with the main antagonist. In the film, there's a resolution. Tristran and Yvaine face the main antagonist instead of just wandering off on their journey.
2) The film knows its focus. It has a journey for Tristan and he follows it. The book did add more adventures for them but they were either very brief or just mentioned in the narration without being able to read about. I thought Gaiman should have either cut it out and stuck to Tristran's (name is slightly different in the book) journey or built on it more.
Overall the film was best at telling a comic yet fantastical fairy tale, better than the book did. So I'd honestly recommend the film more if you're interested in Stardust. It differs greatly from the book which may or may not be why I wasn't so keen reading it but I think this is how the tale should have been told.