Anybody Watch “The Strain”?

Hey, a non-political post. The Strain, based on the books by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, just made it through the first season, and, if memory serves, the first book of the trilogy. It’s been quite some time since I read the novels. I must say I loved this show.

Was it a bit plodding? Slightly, but it truly captured the essence and flavor of the book. I’m kind of a purist: I like movies/TV shows based on books to be close to the book. I understand that there often have to be changes to make it screen worthy. Some things do not translate as well, though one can be closer for TV than movies. In this case, it translated wonderfully, with few changes to the story arc. It truly seemed like the book, and even the characters were like those in the books. Well done.

If you watched it, what did you think?

Also, are you a purist, or a whatever goes? I read a lot. Seriously. A lot. If there’s a book associated with a movie or series, I’ve probably read it. Though I refused to read Revenge of the Sith prior to seeing the movie.

I can deal with some changed. When it came to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, there were serious substantive changes made,  plus missing scenes that were Important. I still love all three, and have watched them countless times. Especially the first half hour or so of each disk (6 in total) while going to sleep.

But, others, no way. I suffered thru the first season of Under The Dome, and the changes were beyond what I’ll suffer through further. Seriously, a large number of inner city ruffians just happen to be hanging out in this Maine town in the middle of nowhere, and now have some black market and fight club going on? Strains credibility. I did not watch season 2.

I could deal with the changes in the first episode of The Hobbit. I almost walked out of the theater for the 2nd. It was no better on DVD, and I did not purchase. The extra Gandalf stuff, fine. The things with the elves, what happens Dale, leaving dwarves behind, the silly love stuff, and what happens in the Lonely Mountain with Smaug, hell no. It missed the point as to the growth of Bilbo Baggins. The book is about HIM! Too damned much for me to take. I often have good natured arguments with a coworker about book to movie purism.

They did a great job with Stephen King’s The Stand. I loved the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy movie. A lot of people didn’t, thinking it diverged too far from the book. It did, to a degree. Don’t forget, Douglass Adams was involved in writing the screenplay, so he was obviously happy with the end result.

Dune. Hmm. The original movie was very good, but took lots of liberties. I guess it helps that I read the book after seeing it. The SciFi mini-series based on the first couple books were fantastic.

Logan’s Run. Wow. Great movie, but not ever really close to the book. The John Carter Barsoom movie a few years ago? Terrible.

What are your thoughts on book to movie purism? Yes? No? It depends?

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10 Responses to “Anybody Watch “The Strain”?”

  1. Nighthawk says:

    One of my favorite books of all time is Ender’s Game. I would loved to have seen the movie adhere to the book but it wasn’t to be. They did OK up until about half way through and the movie went waaay away from the book.

    I understand that some things need to be changed but to completely butcher a story makes me wonder why they even bother.

    They completely changed the battle school, Bean, Petra, the army structure, had Col. Graff all wrong, screwed up the final battles and the ending. Hell, all through the book the aliens are referred to “Buggers” but in the movie they were called “Formics”. This term wasn’t used until the second book I believe. Why change that of all things?

    I think if a movie is to be made from a book, especially older books, they need to adhere to the story as much as possible. If this can’t be done, then don’t make the movie.

  2. That’s an interesting point. I never read the book (actually have it on my kindle), so I thought it was ok. Rather a downbeat ending.

    I really liked Starship Troopers. It was so far from Heinlein’s book that it was OK. I’m hoping they do the remake, which is rumored to be close to the book. Love to see some other Heinlein books turned into movies.

  3. Nighthawk says:

    Go ahead and read the book. Very good and a much better ending.

    After that, read Ender’s Shadow. It is the same story as Ender’s Game but told from another prominent character’s perspective.

    I never read Starship Troopers so I thought the movie was good. I will have to read the book sometime.

    Another set of books I would love to see made into movies is the Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist. They would probably screw them up too badly though.

  4. Have to read Starship Troopers. One of the best SF books of all time, IMO. His other stuff is awesome, too. Moon is a harsh mistress, Time Enough For Love, Starbeast, The Door Into Summer, etc.

  5. rod grant says:

    Stand – perfect book – close movie
    It – Scary book – movie ++
    Starship T – great B movie – not a fan of book, Got boring/predictable at end.
    Zombie? – read’em all, Love White flag of Death. WWZ – good book Movie ROFLMAO
    Differen genre – Jim Butcher’s
    Codex Fury – could be made into great movie series if done correctly. Dresden files awesome series (TV tried/failed) even though tv wasn’t bad, Or all time fav. ODD Thomas by D Kontz.
    Enjoy your Blog. Keep it up>

  6. Loved the White Flag of the dead series. Have you tried the Dead series by TW Brown? Or Zombie Fallout series? Awesome.

    I’d forgotten about the Dresden Files show. While not bad, it barely resembled the books. Guy didn’t look like Harry. Woman bore no resemblence to Karin Murphy, and also gained a daughter? Where was Mouse and Mister? The Blue Beetle? Harrys basement apartment? All the electricity?

  7. Casey says:

    The further I got into the LOTR movies the less I liked them. By the time they got to Minas Tirith Jackson had pretty much dumped the books in the garbage. I nearly couldn’t recognize some of the characters, although Eowyn came out ok. Denethor went from a man nearly the same stature of Aragorn to a half-senile fool.

    I didn’t like the text sample on Amazon for The Strain -too wordy- and if I have to see that hideous picture/logo for the TV show one more time, I’ll throw up. Never been much of a fan of the “vampyre” genre, glittery or gross. About the only exceptions are the Blade movies.

    It depends on what you mean by “purist.” The HHGTTG movie was fun, especially given Martin Freeman. The movie Starship Troopers was a horrible abortion compared to the book. Rather enjoyed John Carter, but I never read the Barsoom series. Tarzan (as a child), yes.

    If you can find them, Terry Pratchett’s Colour of Magic and Hogfather are excellent adaptations.

    Agreed that The (movie) Hobbit is horrible, although one might enjoy it if they never read the book. Still, it’s an excessively padded story with all sorts of junk stuffed in. CinemaSins (on YouTube) beautifully takes down all three movies, while their treatment of the end…end…end… of The Return of the King is better than the movie. But then I thought the critique in Clerks II of the movies was better. 🙂

    I read Ender’s Game as the original short story, but never got around to reading the novel. Haven’t seen the movie yet. Trailers look good.

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Narnia or Harry Potter yet. Haven’t read the former, but I think that -over all- they did well with the latter movies, even if it meant ripping huge chunks of sub-plots & side-stories out.

  8. The Strain is definitely one of the gross type vampire movies. Shoot me in the head before I watch sparkly.

    Liked the first Hobbit, despite the changes. 2nd, yuck. Martin Freeman was excellent . Like All The movies he’s in.

    Never saw or read Narnia or Harry Potter stuff.

    One I’d love to see made into a movie is Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. That would be a hoot.

    Some other interesting ones that have been optioned are a few by Michael Marshall smith, Only Forward and Clones. If you like really smart sci-fi, read those.

  9. rod grant says:

    Enjoyed this comment section, got some great ideas for new books/series to read.
    Thanks.

  10. Casey says:

    Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse? Oookay. 🙂

    Speaking of zombies & apocalypse, check out the Whiteboard’s Zombie Apocalypse, written for Halloween a few years ago. It’s a great strip.

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