1. Afion
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    Afion Senior Member

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    Is it just me?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Afion, Mar 9, 2012.

    I find it really hard to watch films based on books. Does anyone else have this problem?
     
  2. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say it depends for me.

    I prefer to read the book in question first, and only then watch any film adaptation.

    I've been pleasantly surprised at times, but unfortunately not all of the time...
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Do you mean based on books you have already read? Or even books you haven't read?
     
  4. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    You may have never read and then seen Howl's Moving Castle. Holy crap, that film convinced me that Miyazaki is a genius. Such a good movie, faithful (to a degree) to the books, and generally well put together. Very well done.

    And I may be the only person I know within a 100 mile radius that enjoys both the Harry Potter books and the movies. Everyone I meet, it's either one or the other. They both have their own merits and are great examples of how to write in their own medium and genre, why can't we just get along?

    Though I do tend to agree. Most movies based off of books aren't that great, which is why I'm not too impressed with Hollywood. 19/20 movies they produce are based off of books now! Or inspired by them which, it seems to Hollywood, is the next best thing.
     
  5. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I hardly ever watch films based on books I've read, Austen adaptations are the only exceptions I can think of off the top of my head. I'm just not that interested in a director's interpretation when I already have my own, so it seems like a waste of my time. I'd be more likely to see a film if I hadn't seen the book, but sometimes (like with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) the film publicity just makes me want to read the book :)

    I also agree with Newfable- I'd love to see more original stuff from Hllywood, the remakes and adaptations are getting ridiculous.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Some of them are really good, if not actually better than the book. I think the LOTR movies are far better than the books, for instance. Some, though, butchered the book and are embarrassingly bad (like "The Golden Compass" - awesome book, lame movie that didn't even get sequels made). It really depends.
     
  7. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Movies have tendency to go over great with non-fans and horrible with fans. Exception: The Harry Potter movies worked because they were well done. Of course there are many like Eragon: bad book; worse movie.
     
  8. LTC
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    LTC Member

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    Well.. it's important to acknowledge and accept the book and its film adaptation for what they are, which are separate interpretations of the same story expressed by different people through different forms of media. Neither is right or wrong, and it doesn't matter who came first. You can't fairly compare their "loyalty" to the original series because it is a separate thing. That's my philosophy, anyway.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on the movie/book. I managed to get through the LOTR films which was more than I did the book. My favourite movie is the 1939 adaptation of James Hilton's Goodbye Mr Chips and I actually think it is much better than the book.


    The recent Woman in Black was fantastic, but it is a long time since I read the book, I've seen the play since.

    I loved both Howls Moving Castle the book and Howls Moving Castle the movie.

    I was another who enjoyed both Harry Potter movies and books, I loved the images as they were the way I imagined them. My only quibble with the movies was I missed the humour that had been present in the books and was sadly not reflected as well in the movies. Also for me it was one of the few occasions were they were designed to 'fit' together, the books enriched the movies and the movies enriched the books.
     
  10. Skykitty
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    Skykitty New Member

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    I'm with LTC, it's best to look at them at separate entities. If a film took 100% of a book and put it all on screen it would be a terrible film, too long to sit through and probably with a huge amount of narration/exposition which would bore a film audience.

    Apollo 13 for example which is one of my favourite films, was adapted from a book, but the book is quite dry and scientific and the screen-writers and director did a fantastic job of changing it up to make it more suitable to watch as a film. If the film was faithful to the book, it would have been a very boring documentary.

    I have neither read Howl's Moving Castle nor seen the film (yet) I have both on the to watch and to read piles. I think I'll watch the film first then read the book. I prefer it that way round but so often it isn't possible because I've already read the book by the time the film is made.

    On the subject of the Golden Compass, I enjoyed all three books and also the film. I would imagine that actually the reason the rest of the trilogy will not be made into films is because the religious right in the US will never stand for it. The main characters basically KILL GOD in the last book. A direct quote from one character, a witch no less,
    "That's what the church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling."
     
  11. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    It depends. Sometimes i despise them depending on how accurate it is. Most of the time they aren't that good.
     
  12. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Eh, I rarely pay attention, in all honesty. Usually, I just disconnect them. The movie is the movie and the book is the book. Only if I'm watching it to see the differences or for a specific interpretation, do I ever bother to go past the "Oh hey," phase. Example, I want to see The Hunger Games to see how they depict the city citizens. Or LoTR, I watched through all of that longness to see Gollum (sp?) Yes, I figured I might as well watch the whole trilogy for a few moments of happiness.
     
  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually see a movie, find out it's based on a book, and if I like the movie, I'll get the book. Nine times out of ten, I'll love the book. But I'm also learning to watch out for movies I don't like. I've picked up a couple books because I thought they would be better than the crappy movie (based on the author) - they weren't.

    But if I've read a book first, I don't usually have any interest in the movie version, mainly because I know it'll have been rewritten and edited for time and format etc. so it's really not going to be the same as the book I liked.
     
  14. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    If I've read the book first it's hard not to notice the difference or short comings. On rare occasions the movie will stand on its own even though it may not have all the insight the book did. I do enjoy seeing a very good movie then reading the book it's based on. Reading the the book after seems to add to the enjoyment of the movie as you get deeper into the story through the book.
     
  15. BlizzardHarlequin
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    BlizzardHarlequin Senior Member

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    It depends on how well the movie is made. Of course you can't show EVERY little detail in a movie about a book, but some of them out there are pretty good.
     
  16. lorilee
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    lorilee Member

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    The only movie based on a book that I thought did justice to the original and didn't leave me disappointed was the LOTR trilogy. I remember deliberately NOT reading Jurassic Park until after I'd seen the movie and when I read the book, I was still disappointed.
     
  17. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    "The Last Airbender" (A movie adaptation of the TV show, Avatar: The Last Airbender) had a similar problem. There was just too much in one season of the show to cram into under two hours.

    I think a good adaptation does not capture all the key moments of the book, but rather captures the essence of the book, and portrays it in a new medium. I think the Harry Potter films are actually pretty good at this. Even though a lot of the side plots are missing, the feel of the books comes through quite clearly. "The Last Airbender" was an attempt to fit in all the key moments, but failed to capture the essence of the TV show.
     
  18. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    I agree. When I was talking to my girlfriend the other night, who hates the Harry Potter movies, she mentioned that the films felt rushed. When I asked her to explain, she compared them to the LotR films: those films weren't rushed, they took their time, and even though they were incredibly long, a great deal of talent was poured into it. There was also a sameness to it all; even if the movies had different feels to them, the majority of the staff for the films remained the same, so the production value remained nice and level throughout.

    I can certainly agree to that as well, since the Harry Potter films seemed to be everywhere at once. Directors were frequently switched out, and some cast members dropped out, thereby meaning that those characters would make less appearances, even if they were heavily present in the books.

    I really like the Harry Potter films and the way they were adapted, but I have to say that my girlfriend made a good point. If they had waited on the films, planned it out a little better, worked on casting and writing and adapting it for the screen, and made each film even 30 minutes longer, the film series would've been absolutely stunning.
     
  19. AlphaOmega
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    AlphaOmega New Member

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    Most of the movies based off of books that I've had the misfortune of reading - are 99% horrible cheap ripoffs. "Age of Dragons" is a perfect example; cheap, horrific, without a script, without any real acting, and the director / writer was too lazy to change some of the names.... this piece of junk was based off of the classic Mody Dick but changing a white whale for a white "dragon". Get real.

    But then that's mainly because of the fact that the movie has a budget that they have to keep to and a timeframe - then you got to take into consideration pissy actors that can't act. While the book author can write / rewrite, edit, etc to their literal heart's content to get what they were hoping to achieve - and it's up to the readers to imagine the scenes / characters.

    As for "Avator" the original work was said to belong to a Japanese man whom web published his work [on his website]; this has long since ceased to be documented probably due to payouts, etc. The work itself was slightly altered and then published as an Americanized verison. I don't even both considering that work as stealing.

    LOTR films were short and rushed. The books are something you got to sit down with with a coffee or tea and read, even reread, to make sure you are following everything correctly. The films were better than most book turned movies that have been pushed out of Hollywood but still cheap. The same with the Dune films [if anyone ever watched these] horrific verisons of the books.
     
  20. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    If you're talking about "Avatar: The Last Airbender," it was actually conceptualized, written, and directed by Michael DiMartino and Byran Konietsko - two white guys. "Avatar," the movie with blue people, was conceptualized, written, and directed by James Cameron, another white guy. No Japanese people were potentially ripped off in the making of these projects.

    And LOTR is far from short and rushed. The extended editions are about 4 hours each, making a total of nearly 12 hours. That's definitely something you gotta "sit down" and watch. Also, they took meticulous care to make the movie as honest to the original as possible, arguably more than any book-to-movie project in history.
     
  21. AlphaOmega
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    AlphaOmega New Member

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    You know this is the only time I have actually fell off my chair laughing. I always thought that was nothing more than a mere saying...

    Gods - wipes tears from the eyes. What a side splitter.


    If I had meant Avatar: The last airbender - a movie based off a child's comic - I would have said that. There's a reason why I put my "Avatar" in quotes.... by this I am talking of the 2009 alien movie [not some rip off to Chinese cinema - which is all the other one is].

    And I must ask have you ever read the LOTR books? Like right through. Or did you just copy and paste that comment from some movie review?

    Cause if you actually read the books you'd be able to know that the movies were far from accurate.

    First off the majority of parts [particularly when saving Frodo] aren't given to Arwen in the books. They go to Glorfindel, a very interesting character in his own right but which was totally ignored in the movie production.

    Secondly, they misplayed Elrond's character so thoroughly it was pathetic. They make him out to be some sort of tyrannt entirely against Arwen's choice in marrying Aragorn and was rather cold against men. In the book Elrond was by nature very generous to men - he himself having once been "half" - and the only condition he gave to the marriage between his daughter & Aragorn was that Aragorn was king first.... reasonably seeing as she is the daughter of what could be considered an elfin king.

    Do you want me to continue cause I could go on all day.

    Snickers.
     
  22. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll agree the LOTR movies were far more rushed than the books which is why I liked them ;) The book wasn't rushed enough.
     
  23. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    But for me, that's what made me like the movies better than the books. Maybe I just prefer high-paced action, but with the books, I felt like the narration was WAY too drawn out. The movies had a much better flow, at least for me.

    And I've never heard about "Age of Dragons," but wow. That sounds hilariously bad. Drinking game bad.
     
  24. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I had mentioned The Last Airbender in a previous post, so I wondered if your post was in response to that. It is a reasonable inquisition.

    As far as LOTR goes, did you read my comment? All I said was it was the most meticulous book-to-film adaptation in history. If you watch them with commentary they explain all the steps they took to make it as honest to the book as possible. OBVIOUSLY the books have a great more detail, but how do you convert it effectively to the movie format? Well, you're going to need to ADAPT it. I agree with you that they leave a lot of things out, but that is simply how film adapting works; there's no way around it.

    And yes, I have read the books through twice.
     
  25. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I find it funny how you're already hating on something that is extremely high quality compared to it's other competition in the Animation industry. Oh and despite it's inaccuracies, LOTR is the the only movie adaptation that is close to perfection and as acclaimed as it is. There will always be changes- it's called Hollywood. I don't know what you expect out of it.
     

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