Monday, 14 May 2012

Books vs Movies

Quite recently, my husband watched me as I sighed in frustration after watching yet another bad movie, wasting 2 hours of my life. “I’m never watching another movie that wasn’t a book first,” I said. Because recently, most movies based on books have been quite good, even if not following the story of the book exactly. And most other films have been a complete disappointment. Of course, there are exceptions to both statements, but I’ve been finding myself liking films based on books, even if initially I didn’t know they were. And when I find out there’s a book somewhere that inspired the film, something inside my head clicks with big, lit-up letters “Ahhh”.
So I decided to list the book-movies that I enjoyed a lot, and get feedback from others on what they liked/disliked in the film industry recently, and why.


Book: I’m not a fan of Nicholas Sparks. I have read just one of his books, and even though I liked it, I never bought another. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. I just didn’t. Imagine my surprise when the only book of his I have ever read became a big screen movie-wonder. More on that later. The book was nice. That’s how I’d describe it. Maybe that’s the reason why I didn’t get another – it was simply nice. A good story (although nothing we’ve never read before); likeable characters; strong male lead who’s solely created to make women day-dream; enough love and action scenes to keep us turning the pages. Did I fall in love with this book? No. But it was nice. If it was a man I’d never call him again, though.
Movie: The film stole my heart in a way the book couldn’t. For some reason, besides the obvious, it was visualized better. And do I have to even point out that it was the movie that made Zac Efron officially legal to fancy?
Book vs Movie: Ignore what I’ve just said because what I’m going to say contradicts it entirely. I preferred the book. The story in it was much more complicated, much more captivating and engaging. What was left from it in the film was the title and the characters’ names. And Nicholas Sparks’ name. The movie was stripped down from everything that I liked about the book, and to avoid spoilers I’m not going to say what exactly, but I was kind of disappointed. Not by the film itself, like I said I loved it, but by the fact that it was a completely different story. With Zac Efron in it *sigh*.
Book 1 Movie 1

                                       TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE
Book: The book was amazing! It took me a while to get used to it in a sense that it skips between view points, future, past and present every few pages but once I got the hang of it, it drew me in. I loved it! It was emotional, it was romantic, it kept me awake so many nights and made me miss so many bus stops…
Movie: For some reason I didn’t like the film. It wasn’t the story so much (they kept nearly every bit), it wasn’t the actors (I love Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana a lot), it wasn’t the visualization… I don’t know what went wrong but it couldn’t connect with me the way the book did.
Book vs Movie: Definitely the book. Reading it, you truly transport to another time and place, just like the time-traveling character. With the movie you are stuck in your chair looking at your watch.
Book 1 Movie 0


Book: The whole series is so good, it makes me not want to be a writer anymore because I don’t feel I can ever produce something this good. I don’t remember the last time I was so engaged in a story. Katniss is an incredible character who can easily carry the weight of 3 books on her shoulders. Both of her supporting male characters are strong too, although for me Peeta has more charisma and charm than Gale. Suzanne Collins has truly created an amazing world in her books which I’m sure will stay in the heart of everybody who’s read it forever and in history as an all time young adult classic.
Movie: So far we’ve seen the first part of the trilogy but I think that’s enough to have an opinion on what’s to come. The film was awesome! It followed the book to the letter. I was so afraid the they’d change it, make it more wider-audience-friendly. But they didn’t and I think they made the right choice. Does this have anything to do with the fact that Suzanne Collins executive produced it? I don’t know. The only think that I felt a bit odd about was Peeta. For some reason he didn’t fit with what I’d imagined. I can’t put my finger on it, but the Peeta in my imagination was very different. Let’s hope he’ll evolve in the next installment. You’d say that the characters portrayed on the big screen usually don’t match the ones we’ve imagined while reading, but I’d say that Katniss was exactly as I imagined her. Big applause for the film makers.
Book vs Movie: Honestly, I couldn’t chose. And luckily I don’t have to! Now that we have both and they are fantastic, we can easily enjoy them both while waiting for the second film.
Book 1 Movie 1


Book: I read all 4 books right after the big craze started and after I’d seen the first film which took quite a bit away from me. I already had the characters shaped up for me, at least in appearance. I don’t know if I’d read the books before I’d seen the movie I’d have imagined Edward differently. Probably. But I do know that Robert Pattinson makes a great Edward. Nobody can stare lovingly in Bella’s eyes longer than he does; nobody can have that torn, pained expression on all the time and still look sexy; nobody can wear lipstick and still make girls scream his name. OK, settle down, I’m kidding. I think he does a good job as Edward. Having said that, Edward is not a very strong character. If you take Bella away from him, he wouldn’t be able to stand on his own two feet. He wouldn’t be able to carry the whole series himself. As for Bella, I find her quite annoying. That is not such a bad thing because at least she IS something. So many characters out there don’t have anything going for them – the reader forgets them the moment they close the book. I must admit, I found the books engaging but I still can’t pinpoint what is it exactly that makes them so popular…
Movie: I loved the first movie. It was beautifully shot with every detail in consideration. It was exactly as the book, which I think was the wise thing to do since if it wasn’t, there would have been teen riots and global chaos. The next movies weren’t so good. Let’s face it – they just weren’t! They were following the books to the letter, that’s true, but sometimes that’s not enough. I hated New Moon, tolerated Eclipse and managed to stay awake during Breaking Dawn Part 1 (which is quite an achievement – I’m known for falling asleep at the movies! And at the Formula 1 circuit. But that’s another story). Let’s hope that Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be a good film and finish the series with a full circle.
Book vs Movie: I’ll have to chose the books. Although I loved the first film, the rest of them were not good enough. The books have an atmosphere that wasn’t caught in the last 3 films. The first one caught it perfectly and I think the biggest mistake the producers made was fire Catherine Hardwicke who is a brilliant director and truly understood what the books were about and why so many people loved them.
Book 4 Movie 1


Books: I love all the Shopaholic books! They are so funny and so sweet! I felt very uplifted after I’d read them and have always thought they would make a great movie. Becky is such a lovingly irritating character that I thought she’d be perfect for keeping the action going in a film. How wrong was I…
Movie: It turned out – very! How is this possible? How can you take a wonderful book, an amazing female lead, fully developed over several books, and turn it into such a disaster? I don’t even remember what was so horrible about that film, but I vividly remember cringing on more than one occasion. No wonder nobody ordered a sequel…
Book vs Movie: The books, hands down.
Book 6 Movie 0


Book: Or 12. I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels when  season 3 was on TV. Again, I was robbed of imagining what the characters would look like but when you’ve got Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer in your head all the time, who’s complaining? The books are very good – action packed to the brim. I managed to read all 11 in a week or so, I literally couldn’t put them down.
Movie: True Blood must be one of my all time favourite TV shows. I love everything about it. Even the fact that it doesn’t have anything to do with the books! And I mean nothing. I know a lot of Sookie Stackhouse books fans have been complaining about it, but the way I see it everybody wins. You can read the books and watch the show and still enjoy both without any spoilers! Should I remind you of Skarsgard and Moyer again? Naked? No? Thought so.
Book vs Movie: I can never choose. They are both good in their own right. Seriously, read the books if you like the show and the vice versa. They have very little in common but are equally good.
Book 1 Movie 1

To sum up, the books have definitely won according to the score. But, as much as I like reading and often prefer it to watching TV, I think our lives are enriched by having films as well as books even if they tell the same story, and sometimes because of it. So, which are your favourite books turned into movies?

1 comment:

  1. My favorite book-turned-into-a-movie is John Grisham's bestseller "The Client"!!! The movie is exactly what I had in mind when I read the book.