Movies and Books!

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Okay, so the title gave it away. I am not as big of a fan of movies as I am of books. The Lord of the Rings movies not withstanding, most movies based on books wind up blowing. Percy Jackson is a grand example of how to make a pile of shit out of an epic book series (at least in my opinion). I was quite disappointed in the final four movies or so of the Harry Potter series (they left out too much and then tried to shoehorn it into the last movie). Anyhow, movies tend not to capture the feel of books nearly as well. They have to cut out key scenes and throw out major players in the book (looking at Peter Jackson and Tom Bombadil [yes, I know he wasn’t a “major” player]). Here are my three major reasons to love books more than movies:

1. Movies tend to cut short the story, and do a poor job explaining things that are important. Example: Harry Potter could have done with a shit-ton more explanation on the whole Harry/Neville thing.

The books are able to expound on things that would otherwise be lost on the audience via the medium of video. They had to change a lot of Aragorn’s mentality in the LotR movies because in the books he was dead set on taking back his throne. It was easier to show him as conflicted by his nature.

2. Books tend to have better, more fleshed out characters. This is a really big thing for me. You often can’t comment on the characters personality or internal conflict in a movie. The Hunger Games was guilty of this in the first two movies. Katniss is highly conflicted about having to kill others to save herself. She progresses to a point where it becomes a need and no longer a want. Characters are often deeper and more detailed in text than they can ever be via a video camera. Think about it, do people find out more about you from watching home videos or reading your post on Facebook?

3. Movies are time-constrained. Books are never constrained, except by the time you are willing to pour into them. It is the reason that Song of Ice and Fire is a really popular book series (as well as TV show). Martin doesn’t have to worry about shoe-horning his whole plot into 2-2.5 hours. He can expound on anything he wants.

So tell me, do you prefer film or books? Why one or the other? As always, don’t be a dick!

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2 thoughts on “Movies and Books!

  1. Books are ALWAYS different from the books since people don’t want to sit around for 4 hour movies. That’s why alot of the old school movies had intermissions built into them, but people nowadays wouldn’t go for something like that; ‘we’ want everything closed up so to speak in a half hour or hour..it’s like you stated in #3 books are never ‘fast’:)

  2. Different medium. Most books based on movies also don’t work. The trick is this; don’t expect that the same story in different media will be told the same way. The remake for different media, start with the points and tension that is key to the “story” and then rethink — from square one — how to tell it.
    otherwise the book ends up being only an illustration of the film or vice-versa.
    IMO the best example of a perfect book made into a perfect movie, but as scuh bearing little resemblance to one another, if Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club.

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