Books vs. Movies

Discussion related to the topic Books vs. Movies

Forum : General Discussion : Books vs. Movies
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Douglas
Posted at: Feb 28, 2008 at 4:58 AM 
Normally (about 99.9% of the time) I say that books are far better than the movies that are based on them. Once in awhile, though, I feel the opposite way.

I just got done reading "Stardust", by Neil Gaiman. I did enjoy the book, certainly, but I thought it wandered too much and didn't explain itself enough to be a really GREAT book. On the other hand, the movie "Stardust" was one of my favorite movies of last year.

Anyone else have opinions about any book/movie pairs that you've read/seen?

Josiah T.
Posted at: Feb 28, 2008 at 5:37 AM 
haha. The book Eragon was pretty good, and then the movie was AWFUL!!! On the other hand, (I thought) the Lord of the Rings movies were almost, almost as good as the books. :-)

Hannah
Posted at: Feb 28, 2008 at 10:07 AM 
I agree, the Eragon movies were terrible. The worst book made to movie was, by far, the Musketeer, based on the book the Three Musketeers. The movie was corny and terribly acted. The old To Kill a Mockingbird movie was good, but it barely came close to the incredible book. Saving Sarah Cain, based on the book, the Redemption of Sarah Cain, was a good family movie, but not really good for watching on your own or for anything else other than watching with your family. Though, the book wasn't so great either.

Some of the good ones are the Work and the Glory's, A Little Princess, Chronicles of Narnia, The Bourne trilogy, Man on Fire, Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightly and the one with Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale), and Man in the Iron Mask.

Yeah, I like movies and books. :)

Douglas
Posted at: Feb 28, 2008 at 10:16 AM 
I've never read the Bourne books, but I've heard some people say that the movies were, in this case, better than the books.

Dumas is interesting, because the stuff he wrote is really not well suited to turning into movies...which you can tell by reading his books (Three Musketeers, Man In The Iron Mask, Count Of Monte Cristo) and then watching the movies.

Aside from the fact that they have a few characters with the same names, the plotlines of the movies and the plotlines of the books are not even remotely similar.

Hannah
Posted at: Feb 28, 2008 at 10:26 AM 
Yeah, the Musketeer was a terrible movie, though I liked Man in the Iron Mask, just on it's own. No, it didn't have anything to do with the books.

And yes, the Bourne books rock, but the movies were, by far, tons better. It helped that Matt Damon was in it. :)

Hannah
Posted at: Feb 28, 2008 at 10:32 AM 
Does anyone know if the Patriot, with Mel Gibson, was a book? I just watched it and for some reason I think it was.

It wasn't ever a book, but I have to say something about it. If you want to watch a great religious movie, it's called New York Doll. It's about a punk-rock band in the seventies that were way before their time and broke up only two years after they got together. They were a huge influence on a lot of bands to follow, though. The movie is about a member of the band and how, when the band broke up, he joined a church and repented and then it's thirty years later and the band gets back together for a reunion and a lot of people remember them. It's a pretty mature movie, but I loved it!

Hope it's okay that I wrote about it. :) I just watched it last night, and I was bawling my eyes out. :)

Sylavash
Posted at: Feb 28, 2008 at 10:34 AM 
I tend to not watch movies of the books I read and vise-versa, especially Disney movies. I like Disney all well and good, but a lot of books are not suited to be used for them.

One movie I can never watch again is the Fox and the Hound.

Yet I must say although Disney left out so key, scary sad and deep moments in the movie, they did the Bambi book good justice, even to the point of including some hidden references to the deeper meanings from the book

Katie
Posted at: Mar 1, 2008 at 7:44 AM 
Quote

...Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightly and the one with Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale)...

Oh man! If you're gonna go with Pride and Prejudice, you gotta go with the A&E 5 hour version with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. They did an awesome job of sticking to the book! My friend, (who had never read the book) told me he liked it and that I should watch it, and when I did I was blown away that they did such a good job! :-)

Hannah
Posted at: Mar 2, 2008 at 1:06 AM 
I've had a couple of people tell me that, but I've never gotten around to watching it. I think the fact that it's five hours long helps :)

Sylvan Sylph
Posted at: Mar 13, 2008 at 11:31 PM 
I find that if I read a book then watch a movie I generally end up annoyed with the movie. As much as I like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I still find myself wanting to throw things at the screen when I watch what they did to Faramir's character and they portray Elrond and Arwen's relationship. There are probably some other places too which I've forgotten. That's just an example.

Strangely, if I watch a movie first I often enjoy reading the book afterward. For example, I read I, Robot after watching the movie and thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the book even though they are nothing alike. The book would have made a horrible movie, and the movie turned out well for having been based on the concepts in the book. I read The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy after the movie. I liked the book better, but wasn't really annoyed by the movie (though I probably won't watch it again anytime soon.) I intend to read the Bourne series at some point, when I can find them all and have the time.

One movie that I watched that was based on a book, that I'm having trouble working up the nerve to read, is 2001 Space Odyssey. My dear darling brother-in-law subjected my sister and I to that hideous thing. He lost all movie choosing privileges for a few years. I accidentally found out it was originally a book and swore I'd never read it. Then I saw it for sale at a used book sale for a dollar and my curiosity got the better of me. I now own it, but I haven't convinced myself to actually read it yet.

Douglas
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 3:43 AM 
Quote
My dear darling brother-in-law subjected my sister and I to that hideous thing.

*snickers at the silly brother-in-law*

2001 was made (along with the first Star Trek movie) at a time when movie makers were far too impressed with themselves over their ability to do special effects. Consequently, 2001 was about 3 times as long as it should have been.

Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clark made the thing out of a desire to create "the quintessential science fiction movie"...I thought it was quintessentially bad

However, if you can get past your loathing of the movie, the book is quite an interesting read. In fact, I also enjoyed 2010 and 2061. But I'd stop there - 3001 was just plain awful (I'd subject myself to the movie 2001 again before I read 3001 again) :D

Josiah T.
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 4:19 AM 
Quote
I find that if I read a book then watch a movie I generally end up annoyed with the movie. As much as I like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I still find myself wanting to throw things at the screen when I watch what they did to Faramir's character and they portray Elrond and Arwen's relationship. There are probably some other places too which I've forgotten.

Haha, yes. Those were some of the few points that I disliked about the movie. When they had Faramir take Frodo to Osgiliath, I guess they're excuse was that they were trying to expand his character.

And I thought they made Elrond and Galadriel significantly darker characters then they needed too.

Josiah T.
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 4:21 AM 
Quote
2001 was made (along with the first Star Trek movie) at a time when movie makers were far too impressed with themselves over their ability to do special effects. Consequently, 2001 was about 3 times as long as it should have been.

Haha, the first Star Trek was definitely the longest and boringest one. :S I liked The Wrath of Kahn better, and I didn't particularly care for that one. The Undiscovered Country was really good, though...

Mathax
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 4:41 AM 
Insurrection and Nemesis were good to. :P

Douglas
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 4:56 AM 
I always try to be somewhat forgiving of movie makers messing with storylines a bit, because movies and books are such different media, and have (in many cases) such different audiences.

Any time a book takes a few pages to explain something, movie makers have to either leave the explanation out, have a voice over narrator doing the explanation, write dialogue between characters which does the exposition, or invent an action scene which explains what's happening (or some combination).

I'm a fairly unusual moviegoer in that I like scenes with actors sitting around talking to each other (provided they're good actors). But the general movie-going public gets turned off by those sorts of scenes. Therefore, movie makers often use the last option: inventing an action scene.

I always assumed that was what happened with the Osgiliath scene - they felt the need to bring one of their main characters to Osgiliath in order to show what was happening there instead of just telling.

I didn't like it, but in the end Faramir made the same decision he made in the book, so I sort of forgave them for it.

Douglas
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 2:05 PM 
And while we're on the subject of books and movies, it seems that the decision has been officially made to split Harry Potter 7 into two movies, so we have 3 more HP movies to go.

Josiah T.
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 3:13 PM 
Haha, nice...(I think :-P)

Sylvan Sylph
Posted at: Mar 14, 2008 at 5:39 PM 
Quote
2001 was made ... at a time when movie makers were far too impressed with themselves over their ability to do special effects.

I really thought you were going to say, "2001 was made ... at a time when movie makers were far too impressed with themselves." I was going to ask when that changed. :)

If you found 3001 worse than the movie then I will be avoiding that as if it carried the plague. I'm sure my mind would implode upon itself if I were to subject it to that.

Quote
When they had Faramir take Frodo to Osgiliath, I guess they're excuse was that they were trying to expand his character.

That's what really irritated me. The whole point was that his character was able to resist the temptation of the ring from the very beginning. He knew what was right and followed it. Making him do otherwise in the movie made him out to be a weak man who only did what was right when he couldn't see a way to do what he actually wanted to do without a negative outcome.

Faramir was one of my favorite characters from the book, because he did what was right when no one was watching and when it would be of no benefit to himself. The movie makers destroyed that and I think it did a lot of damage to some of the lessons to be learned from the story. I'm still peeved about the character assassination.

They did something similar with Peter in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. He was far more cowardly in the movie than he ever was in the book. It bothers me that they feel the need to create character flaws that the characters don't actually have. As if people aren't flawed enough as it is.

I don't mind so much when they change scenes a bit. I understand the difficulty of trying to fit a 500 page book into an hour and a half to two hour movie. Just don't mess with the characters.
~Edited by Sylvan Sylph, Mar 14, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Mathax
Posted at: Mar 17, 2008 at 4:58 PM 
I don't think that anyone has mentioned The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe...

I think that both the book and the movie were good.

Josiah T.
Posted at: Mar 17, 2008 at 6:39 PM 
Well, I enjoyed the movie (I would have enjoyed it a lot more if they had made it for a PG-13 rating. I can't stand watching a battle and then seeing the character's swords completely clean afterward :-P), but they changed it a lot from the book. So, yeah. My unprofessional analysis.
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Forum : General Discussion : Books vs. Movies

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