Interesting podcast and interview on the SF Signal. They talk about the problems with converting a book to movie form and how sometimes you get a good movie, but a bad adaptation. Give it a listen. They also talk about the Wild Wild West movie (boo! hiss!) with Will Smith and I, Robot (Yay!) again with Will Smith. (I see a theme here.) They also talked about Ali, The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire and The Pursuit of Happyness (it's a Will Smith extravaganza! Ok...not really).
Personally, I think the matter of good movie/bad adaptation is half just a matter of the audience accepting the movie as separate from the source material. I'm not perfect. I can still be annoyed when deviations happen, but I've done much better in recent years. I swear!
Books and movies are so substantially different in their medium and length that it is a wonder anyone tries to adapt them in the first place. However it doesn't excuse the curious reason why comic book adaptaions were so horrible for so long. They seem to have been doing a better job in recent years. (I don't watch a ton of movies though, so maybe I'm horribly wrong.)
Apparently Wild Wild West was a book adaptation. News to me! With no knowledge of the Wild Wild West movie being an adaptation I can firmly say that it was a terrible movie all by itself. Visually it was superb, with great effects, but otherwise...bleh!
I, Robot as an adaptation was ridiculous, but then the book is a compilation of unrelated short stories, so...I don't think it is a real issue. Anyone trying to compare the two should have realized, from nearly the start, that it has no real relation beyond playing in a universe that Asimov built with the Three Laws of Robotics. If I recall, they were faithful to the laws, but it's been a while. When I watched it, I thought the movie was enjoyable and played out well.
What did you think? Jump on over to SF Signal and join in on the conversation. I'd feel like I was hijacking the podcast comments if I asked for your comments here. Let me know if you post something though, the Signal is unfortunately lacking in any kind of e-mail notification.