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Apr. 28th, 2005 @ 11:22 am (no subject)
Does anyone else ever get tired of hearing the statement, "The book was better than the movie?" I, for one, get really irritated by that "opinion." Personally, I'm a book lover at heart and believe that absolutely every story is better as a book than a movie, but let's put that bias aside for a moment. I enjoy seeing film adaptations of books I like, and I'm a huge movie fan, but it's absolutely asinine and shallow to say that "the book was better than the movie." The book will always "be better" for several reasons. Primarily, if you read the book first, it's the medium through which you became attached to the story, so it has a sentimental value. Furthermore, the written word allows the reader to have more imagination; you connect with the author on a personal level and are permitted to imagine for yourself how characters look and sound, and how scenes should be visualized. A movie is someone else's interpretation of the book, and so it will never be as personal. To say that the book is "better" merely because you don't identify with a filmmaker's vision as much as you identify with the author's is rediculous, because in a movie theater you have the luxury of leaving your brain on the seat next to you.

I don't intend to knock movies by saying any of this. Rather, I feel like they ought to get more credit, because despite the lack of mobility they give to the imagination, they can be equally as moving as books. I just get so tired of hearing that they're not as good as the books they're based on.
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Date:April 28th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
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i would have to agree with you on all of that. i am also a book lover. but also a very BIG movie lover as well. but i also think that the book "always seems better than the movie" is because for time constrants alot of the book is left out when a movie is written into a screen play and made. i personally like to read the book and watch the movie. and i uaually enjoy both.
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Date:April 28th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
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I would agree also.

There is an exception for me, but it is not coming to my mind (old age). But the key for me is right or left brained, at times reading text descriptions of something, don't sync in my brain with an actual mental picture.

While not the same, I have been able to see some movie of a book (good or bad) and now that i have visuals of casts and settings, reading the book is better, as the things that slowed me down before, I can now generate mental pictures easier.

This make any sense?
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Date:April 28th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
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I confess, I am one of those irritating dumbasses. . . . ;-)

I understand where you ar coming from. Movies are movies and books are books and they should be appreciated as such. I can agree with that. But when you adapt a book to a movie, it is expectation that it be as close to the book as possible, otheriwise it's just not the same story and shouldn't be called so. I can understand, cutting seens or even whole subplots or characters for time's sake. What irritiates me are the details that could have easily remained in-tacked.

Example. I am a huge HUGE harry potter fan. I have many many qualms with the movies (actually mostly just the third). Things that I lets slide and things I don't:

  • I can accept that they cut the character Peeves completely out, or that Lupin was not at all what envisioned in my head. I may dissagree but I can appreciate the director's interpretation.
  • I cannot accept that in the openning scene of the third film, Harry is reading his books by wandlight when in the book, kids who have not completed their schooling cannot do magic outside of their classes, ESPECIALLY when that is a huge plotpoint in two of the books in the series so far. There is no excuse for Harry not using a flashlight. Just to give an example of the things that bother me.

does that make sense? I'm not looking to change your mind or anything, just wanted to show you the other point of view.

Date:April 28th, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC)
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No, I totally understand - I'm also a big HP fan, and it's sometimes difficult for me not to be critical of the movies for little things like that, but there's simply no way that much detail can be adapted to the screen (ditto for LOTR and such). That is another good point, however -- that fans of books sometimes have difficulty taking to film adaptations because pet scenes of theirs have been left out, or because of certain inconsistencies (like the lack of flashlight). I feel it's an area where filmmakers have the right to ask fans to cut them some slack, since movies like Harry Potter are such huge undertakings.

And I'm not looking to change anyone's mind either, any more than I plan on having mine changed; this little rant of mine is just an idea I kick around every now and then that I thought would be fun to discuss on this community, and you raise some good points :)
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Date:April 28th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Another good point -- there are as many inconsistencies in the Harry Potter books as there are in the movies, and JK definitely micromanages those films, so even if they feel inadequate, it's not really Cuaron's fault because it's all been approved.
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Date:April 29th, 2005 03:39 am (UTC)
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not to be asenine, but how about:

"I enjoyed the book more than I did the movie."

I say that a lot, and most of the time, I see the movie first.

I do get your point, though.