Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Book was Better

We've all said it--I think it's because reader-types have strong imaginations. Most of the time, we reduced our expectations and enjoy the movie if it can get over that lowered bar. Sometimes we avoid seeing the movies because the experience might diminish the impact the book had in our lives (which is why I haven't seen THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE). And WHY do some screenwriters and/or directors insist on changing the ending on us?

So, what's your favorite (or LEAST favorite) book-to-movie?

15 comments:

Disgruntled Bear said...

PRACTICAL MAGIC was actually a better movie than a book, IMO. And the miniseries of FALLEN was better than the series.

A few years ago, when Mel Gibson's PASSION OF THE CHRIST was out, a strongly religious person I know urged me to go see it.

I shook my head and tsked. "The book was better."

She didn't get it. *sigh*

aspiring_x said...

how did she not get it! that's HILARIOUS!!!
umm... inkheart- the villains in the movie were a joke (as much as i love andy serkhis sp?) the book was SO UNBELIEVABLY amazing! (although i must say that paul bettany as dustfinger was perfection... but paul bettany is always perfection *swoons*) :)

Vicki Rocho said...

The author of the Time Traveler's Wife was just in Iowa for a book fair last weekend...unfortunately I missed it because I was in Chicago. Sigh.

I need to think about this movie-better-than-the-book concept. I can think of plenty where the book was better, but the reverse? hmmmm.

HH said...

I can't really think of what my least favorite was. I mean, of all time. But in recent times - I was SUPER pissed about the Percy Jackson movie.

Disgruntled Bear said...

Aspiring X: yeah, I still shake my head over it.

I didn't see the Inkheart movie because that was EXACTLY what I didn't want messing with my memory of the book.

Vicki: I've heard mixed reviews about Audrey Niffenegger's FEARFUL SYMMETRY. Have you read it? If so, what did you think?

My brother is a screenwriter, and we keep talking about how to write MINDER as a movie. I've got to say, I'd be furious if they changed the ending.

Matthias said...

Movie better than the book: This is probably a minority view, but I firmly believe the Lord of the Rings movies (while not perfect) most improved on the books, especially towards the end where the original gets increasingly unreadable.

And I was dead set against the movies at first. The moment that sold me on it was the fight with the Balrog. It was more effective than any version of the scene I imagined in my head. That really impressed me.

Book better than the movie: Have to think about "worst," but I'll never forget the execrable "Secret of NIMH," my youthful introduction to the idea that the movie version is likely to be (a) different from the book in really stupid ways and (b) awful.

Matthias said...

I think the trick to making your own book into a good movie has two parts: (1) write the screenplay yourself; (2) be a good screenwriter too. Cf. William Goldman or (I hear) John Irving.

Disgruntled Bear said...

Hi Matthias! I agree with you--the LOTR movies are more entertaining than the books, which I felt dwelt too much on the genetic awesomeness of hereditary nobility and had a lot of overwritten sections. That's about my only criticism of an amazing and original series, though.

Matthias said...

Yes, exactly! I don't mean to denigrate the LotR books, which are amazing. It's just that I didn't think a halfway decent movie adaptation was even possible, let alone one that in some ways surpassed the original.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I always get really annoyed when movies don't match the books. I haven't seen Inkheart either, because I loved the books. The same with The Time Traveller's Wife.

Disgruntled Bear said...

Lindsay--don't see them. I haven't heard good things. They changed the ending of Time Traveler's Wife. The ending MADE the story the poignant piece that it was!

Disgruntled Bear said...

HH, yeah, Percy Jackson on screen didn't live up to the books at all.

Weirdly, your comment didn't show up until a minute ago--what's up with that? Did you anger the Olympians with your comment?

Nithin R S said...

Well.. i havent seen any books that i read being filmised into movies, unfortunately.

Jolene said...

I Know What You're Thinking!

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