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Books to Movies - Pros and Cons


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#61 TVismyfriend

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 01:02 PM

Books put a mental picture in your mind that no special effects team can recreate and the actors never look the way you picture the character in your mind.

 

I don't like Twilight, but I feel bad for all the Twilight readers who kept reading about Bella being pretty and the vampires being gorgeous and then they had to look at Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson. They must have felt cheated.

 

Movies based on books are usually disappointing because the casting, locations etc. never live up to what you see in your mind when you read the books.


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#62 Phoenix360

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 06:33 AM

Yeah that's true. It's hard to recreate the image books offer to people's imagination. But it's also for that reason that I still commend directors and producers for trying anyway. While the movies might derail from the original story, may or may not capture the essence of the story and characters and might not incorporate every little detail from the books, you still have film adaptations like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner which both turned out to be fantastic nonetheless.
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#63 Gabe

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 06:15 AM

If the author is involved in the movie that really helps as they can guide the vision of the characters and maybe add in things that they couldn't visually in the novel.

 

When novels are interpreted from a Director's point of view then it can ruin a novel, if they try to make a classic film contemporary or otherwise.

 

There are limitation in movies with special effects and costs and chunks of the novel has to be streamlined to keep the plot and story going. I tried to watch Pride and Prejudice instead of reading the book for school and ended up more confused as the movie skips so much of the book!


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#64 TVismyfriend

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 10:55 AM

Another problem with books made into movies is that you have to guess what the character is thinking. In books, you usually have an omnicient view of the characters and you can read what everyone is thinking and saying. Movies skip over that part so sometimes their actions don't make sense ,unless you have a voice over narrating.


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#65 Phoenix360

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 01:50 PM

Yeah that's another valid point as well. The description in the books provide a more engaging character-study experience than if you were to watch the book play out in a film. But I think that as long as you pay close attention to the occurrences and try to piece together logically why characters are acting a certain way on-screen, it can be helpful. 


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#66 tabee

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 01:23 PM

Books, with all the descriptions - from a character's standpoint to its setting - do indeed provide a more engaging character-study experience. Primarily because everything is put on print. So, as readers we have access to that. Unlike in movies, what we have are the actors' interpretation of what's happening in the story. As movie viewers, we do notice that there are elements left out. I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I believe what we find missing in movies are generally those that were found wanting during story conference. That is, screenwriters and directors discuss the book and just pick those that they essentially think will appeal most to the general audience.


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#67 legendia

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 10:06 PM

I agree that most of the time adapting a book into a movie doesn't always turn out so great.  Honeslty though, I don't read a whole lot of books.  There are tons of books I would have never heard of, had it not been for the movies.  It does suck when you read the book, love it, and want a good movie made out of it.  But when you go into the movie with no expectations, there's really no harm in having a movie based on a book.  If it turns out the movie isn't that great, well now you are aware there is a book and you can read that.  Maybe without the movie, you would have never even heard of the book.

 

My favorite genre of book are those books about dystopian futures.  Books like Animal Farm, Brave New World, and 1984 are some of my favorites.  These books, for sure, could not been into movies.  There is just way too much about the characters and the world itself that needs to be fleshed out, that a book is the best medium.  I suppose a TV series could work, but your standard 2 hour movie just won't cut it.  Movies generally tend to just focus on the stories of a handful of characters, whereas these books that I read focus more on a soceity as a whole.  Specifically, the corrupt leaders that control and dictate what their 'sheep' citizens do with their lives.  I suppose this could somewhat work.  I'd say Hunger Games falls under this category, but, again, the movies don't really spend too much time talking about the world they live in.  It's more focused on Katnisses story.  I'm not sure what the books are like, so I can't really say if that's what it's supposed to be like or not.


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#68 TvPerson

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 01:55 AM

Books generally have the time to put out more than a movie for the this simple fact:

 

You can stop reading at anytime. 

 

If you're in a movie theater, you can't just pause and pick it back up after you wake up. You either sit down and get tormented or sleep through the rest of the snooze-fest. Either way, books trumps movie. (Also, sometimes the movie characters don't live up to the exceptions of the character when you thought of them.) 


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#69 AllBuffedUp

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 03:17 PM

Another problem with books made into movies is that you have to guess what the character is thinking. In books, you usually have an omnicient view of the characters and you can read what everyone is thinking and saying. Movies skip over that part so sometimes their actions don't make sense ,unless you have a voice over narrating.

 

I think that can be an advantage of movie, if it's well made: you cannot just TELL your viewers what is going on, like you can tell your readers. You have to find a way to show them, which can be very interesting and visually appearling. But then again, for this, you need good directors and good, attentive viewers. Also, in books, you many time expect that the descriptions are there just to fill up the universe and to make it possible for you to imagine it. In a good movie, the background should carry hints and symbols, according to me.

 

For me, it's just a different way of adapting a story. It should become thus a new work of greatness -- if a director would want to pick my book to make it a movie, if he does not have a vision of what it should become and how it will be unique in its new form, I would be resistant. A good adaptation should provide a new experience, not a dumbed-down or chopped experience.


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#70 KimberlyD

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 05:20 PM

I've read some series that were turned into movies; Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, Divergent... several of them actually, but I will just go with these three.

With the Harry Potter series I have to admit they kept as close to the book as they possibly could, but they of course eliminated things also to keep within the production time and budget.  I love how movies bring books to life, but when you read a book you get further into understanding the character then you do with a movie.  With Harry Potter you know his thoughts and feelings about the things he is forced to go through whereas in the movies you only see his reactions to the situations.

The Mortal Instruments.  I was really disappointed in this movie.  It was like they were trying to put 2 books into one story and failed.  The books were much better then the movie and there was so much that was cut in the story.  First off, Valentine did not even appear in the story until the second book if I remember correctly and yet he was in the movie.  They did leave the story open in the movie for a possible sequel so maybe they will get it right the second time around.

Divergent was also a disappointment.  Book was WAY better then the movie.  There were a lot of deviations from the book that made no sense why they changed it.  For instance, there was a message that Triss was given from her mother to her brother when she next saw him to prompt him to understand that the Erudites were up to something bad.  They omitted that from the story and showed her brother completely turning his back on her.  There were a lot of differences from the book that made the movie almost completely separate from the story.  Of course there may be other movies to come out they may stick more to the story and this one just had to be cut in places they they should not have.

Well that is only three of the many.


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#71 AllBuffedUp

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 07:34 PM

I think another point would be -- well, at least for Harry Potter: the children actors, for what they looked like the characters, did not act as good as the adults. The scene in the first movie where Harry falls backwards as Voldemort goes through him? Sooo bad acting.

 

It also makes the adaptation of books like "Lolita" hard. Because it should be a child. But you cannot make a child actress act out the book the way it is, wiith the sex and paedophelia... Have to find a way around it, and when you do, you know  it's not gonna have the full impact, it just can't.


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#72 Beabo

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:59 AM

I think my biggest issue with book-to-movie adaptations is how much of the content they're going to play out. There are instances - like Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, for example - where the movie cannot possibly fit everything that the book did so they have to alter the story, and that's just disappointing to fans of the book. Of course, people can always say, "You can just make multiple movies!" I guess it worked with the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, what with their final movies split into two parts, but you have to take a look at The Hobbit movie series and just shake your head, because sometimes they spread out the books too thin as well. So I guess the important thing about adaptations is to always balance the amount of time you have with the amount of content you want to portray. You don't want to cut the story too short and lose sight of the original source material, but at the same time you can't make your adaptation too long or people might end up getting bored.


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#73 maladjusted

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:22 PM

I have to agree with you, books are hands down my favorite.  They just seem more engaging and creative, and you really get to know the characters better.  There is one exception though, and that is "Practical Magic".  The movie, with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock was so good.  After seeing the movie, I was really looking forward to reading the book, knowing that it would really bring the characters and place to life.  Boy, was I disappointed.  It was really bad - had I not seen the movie, I would have had no idea what was going on.  I guess there's always an exception to the rule!


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#74 Sefarad

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 08:28 AM

Books put a mental picture in your mind that no special effects team can recreate and the actors never look the way you picture the character in your mind.

 

I don't like Twilight, but I feel bad for all the Twilight readers who kept reading about Bella being pretty and the vampires being gorgeous and then they had to look at Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson. They must have felt cheated.

 

Movies based on books are usually disappointing because the casting, locations etc. never live up to what you see in your mind when you read the books.

 

Hahaaha! So true, but what about Nikki Red portraying ''Rosalie''?  She was supposed to be really beautiful, even for a vampire she was considered to be the most gorgeous one in that group or any other given group.  That must have been quite a disappointment, lol!! Nikki Red!  So many beautiful women out there, and they had to pick Nikki for that role?  Oh yeah, that didn't go well at all.  I liked the girl they picked to play Alice tho :)


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#75 KimberlyD

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 10:49 AM

I am a aspiring writer.  I also went to film school with the intent on writing for movies and tv shows.  I am working on some novels right now as we speak.  I think that films and books can work hand in hand if done correctly.

 

A lot of times, there are things that can not be protrayed in a film like it can in a book and vise versa.  Such as the characters inner thoughts can not be protrayed unless they do a narrator in the scenes, which can be extremely annoying.  With a book, sometimes you just can write it well enough for the person to see what you see, the excitement of it.  Such as battle scenes... most intense scenes are difficult to put into words.  So if you write a book and make a film about it, you can fill in the gaps.

 

Or at least that is my opinion.


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