Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Books to Movies

Hey Everybody!

Just wanted to know your thoughts about books going to movies? Now I know Hollywood does not have ideas for movies anymore so they are taking them more from books and I don’t mean just basing them on books, or screenplays. For me personally, I enjoy classic books that become movies like The Great Gatsby, and Heart of Darkness (Apocalypse Now). And not so classical books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Sometimes, however, the movies do not live up to my expectation and don’t do the book justice. What are your thoughts? Do you think movies hinder people from ever reading the book or dissuade them from reading it, worse case scenario, if they don’t like the movie?


  1. I think movies based on books are great. Even if the movie isn't very good, I think it does encourage people to read the book. Most people already know that the book is usually better than the movie, and the fact that there is a movie made from the book will bring attention to that book. And, of course, it isn't always the case that the movie is bad or worse than the book. I don't actually believe that the book is always better than the movie. Sometimes, certain stories just do better on screen. I can't think of an example at the moment, but I do know I have encountered this before.
    I think most people say that the book is better because movies often leave out certain details that are in the books, but I've always thought this was silly. Movies are in a different medium, so of course they aren't going to follow the books exactly, especially when it comes to certain details.

    I guess it does happen occasionally that a movie will dissuade someone from reading the book. I was actually talking to someone about this the other day, and he said he decided not to read The Hunger Games because he saw the movie and didn't like it. I'm not sure what he didn't like about it, but considering that the movie followed the book pretty closely, I didn't insist that he try the book.

    1. I never thought about it that way Anna, that the movie can be better than the book. I can't think of one off the top of my head either, but I agree with you that sometimes I don't like the movie, because the movie is missing details I thought should have been included. My example would be Bless Me Ultima. I love the book and the movie was ok, but I did not like it because I thought it was missing some very important themes and details.

  2. I'm always interested in reading the books that movies are based on, especially if I only find out after the fact that it was based on a book. For example, I didn't realize that "Silver Linings Playbook" was a book until after I saw the movie, but after reading it, I realized that I loved the movie even more for improving on the book with such stellar performances and good re-writing of small parts. Another example of a movie that I think is better than its book is "Fight Club," and that's an opinion that the book's own author, Chuck Palahniuk, actually shares. Sometimes, movies aren't necessarily better or worse than their books, but complement their book very well. For example, I pushed myself to finish reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Les Miserables" before their respective movies came out, and I think the dual experience of reading/watching the stories made me appreciate both versions even more on their own, as fantastic books and fantastic adaptations. Series adaptations like "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games" are another example of complementing the book, mostly in just doing a good job giving the readers a picture of the settings and characters for everyone to agree upon, but given a choice, the books are certainly better than the movies, by virtue of richer detail and unlimited "running time." By and large, most books are far better than their movie counterparts, but I don't think that's necessarily a mark against movie adaptations, as long as the two formats can complement each other and/or get more people interested in reading.

  3. I feel that most books that are put into movie form aren't being done justice. I find that I have to treat the two as entirely different entities before I can properly appreciate the movie. However there is one book and movie pair that I was completely satisfied with the accommodation. I don't know how many of you have read and watched "My Sister's Keeper" but it is an outstanding book and an outstanding movie. However in the movie the ending was completely different. I don't know why this didn't really bother me. I sort of enjoyed having an alternate ending to the book.

    I had a friend who always waited to read the respective book until after she had watched the movie. I thought it was sort of a strange approach but I think I understand her reasoning. She had a hard time separating the two if she read the book first. But since the movie is often inferior to the book she found that if she watched it first she would have an unbiased view as to how it was adapted to screen and such. I can personally easily put the book out of my head as i watch the movie and after I will compare and critique.

    Another movie that I enjoyed just as much as the book was "Bridge to Terabithia" I strongly recommend both the movie and the book as they both made me cry. The same goes for "My Sister's Keeper" they were all outstanding books and movies.

    Probably the biggest issue I have with books being adapted into movies is that they take many things out, and I think a lot of other people feel that this is their biggest issue too. What do you all think?

    1. I agree with you on this. It's kind of sad to watch a movie based on a favorite book just to discover that your favorite part of the story was altered or left out. I understand this from the movie makers' perspective: it's a different medium, certain things don't translate well or aren't received well, so the important thing is to capture the original story's theme. If a studio tries to manifest the book's intent, I'm generally happy. What bothers me is when they don't even try.

      World War Z came out recently. The book's title was simply slapped on to "just another zombie apocalypse movie," without even the least effort to resemble the book. I, Robot is another one--a complex story was reduced to an action flick that nobody who read it would guess is related. The book itself, when I bought it in paperback, had Will Smith on the cover. Ugh.

      Things like this make me think filmmakers have found something out: that movies based on books generally don't inspire people to read the source material. Maybe "movie watchers" and "readers" aren't the same demographic; maybe "readers" are just too small or unprofitable a demographic for movie makers to appeal to. Maybe there are just a few prominent filmmakers who are hacks, and "Hollywood" in general isn't to blame. I haven't seem many old movies, so it's likely that the same thing has been happening for a while now. Regardless, it doesn't seem right that the name of a decent book can be dragged through the mud by a filmmaker who ignores the story completely.


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