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Thread: not as good as the book

  1. #1
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    People often say that when they see a film "it's not as good as the book". Sometimes i think this is true especially if the film strays too far off the original.

    But why?

    Is it because our own imaginations tend to be more artisic to personal taste than having it presented to our eyes?

    is it because we know the story having read the book so the film loses it's "edge" and does seeing the film first have an affect on the enjoyment of the book?

    My all time favourite movie is "JAWS". I prefer the movie to the book, perhaps it is because of the suspense type of movie it is.

    One of my favourite books (although it was many many years since i read a copy) was Papillon...the book is so much better than the movie.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    To me this is similar to actually seeing the people we know on this forum and what goes on in their lives.

    It is not that they are "failures" or "ugly" or whatever, it is just that they don't look like, don't act like what our minds have created them to be through their words on this forum.

    If Jpol turned out to be Rick Astley, I would be disappointed. Not because Rick is a failure or bad, he just does not embody the essense of our online "Jpol", in my opinion.



    When we read books we get develop an image of how the character should look and act and the people who cast the movie version can't do so to suit all of our expectations.

    "The Shining" was really not given much credit at the time of release (perhaps the reviewers had read the book), but I thought it was once of the best horror films ever. I remember reading the novel later and thinking how silly the "hedge animals" were and how much more appropriate the "hedge maze". How could any book version be better than Nicholson?
    Last edited by hobbes; 03-03-2005 at 01:39 AM.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    100%'s Avatar ╚════╩═╬════╝
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    It will take you longer to read a book - hence you will be more influenced by it
    every word counts
    so yess as a totollagy - the "book" will be better
    but i have no interest in reading "movie scripts2
    these words even apply to the likes of the overly obvious "harry potter" which is "literal". in every scence.

    but why terry pratchett was never filmaticized i do wonder
    as for shakespeare it will never end

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    lynx's Avatar .
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    I think your reference to shakespeare is exactly the essence of what happens.

    Many people think that "shakespeare" is boring, yet most have never seen anything but the rigid "official" way of presenting this art form, and usually only short excerpts. In most cases they are correct, this way of presenting shakespeare IS boring, but there are many smaller companies who present the works much more as they would have been presented originally, and these are often very entertaining. There are lots of small nuances which are often lost in official productions.

    Relating this back to the issue of book and film, very often the film is "not as good as the book" simply because the screenwriters have followed the official line of what the story is about, and consequently ignored the subplots. Often this is put down to time constraints, but in fact these subplots add very little in terms of actual run time. However, I can understand that they can be very difficult to translate "nuances" into actual footage.

    That is probably what makes the difference between a good film and a great film. How do you describe that feeling on the back of your neck? Occasionally a film will manage to find that little extra which was hiding in a book but wasn't sufficiently strong enough. On those occasions you find people saying that the film was better than the book, but the sentiment is usually the other way round.

    I can think of many instances where one has been good, and the other excellent, usually in favour of the book, but IMO there has been only one where both have been truly outstanding - The Green Mile. How Frank Darabont failed to win an Oscar for the screenplay amazes me, but then most of the Academy Awards seem a little wacky.
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  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Busyman's Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!!!
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    This is easy and very simple....

    The book usually comes first and paints the picture in your mind.

    If the movie doesn't have the exact same picture then it disappoints.

    Books describe surroundings in detail down to sound of the crinkling leaves the protagonist is walking on. There is a focus on EVERYTHING.

    Movies can easily miss that.

    Movies tend to change the story a bit as well. Even comic book aficonados like myself pick apart the movie for authenticity and comic books don't involve much imagination from the reader because it's painted for us (besides sound).

    Conclusion:

    It's usually not as good because it's simply different from the original that you already liked.
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  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman
    Conclusion:

    It's usually not as good because it's simply different from the original that you already liked.
    I agree mostly this is true, but i made the point of asking if the book is tainted by seeing the movie first.

    Quote Originally Posted by vidcc
    is it because we know the story having read the book so the film loses it's "edge" and does seeing the film first have an affect on the enjoyment of the book?
    .

    i have seen films then read the book and enjoyed the book more.

    Perhaps there is a kind of "snobbery" going on where it is cultured to say the book was better, I say this because one seldom hears that someone enjoyed the movie more.

    i do think that with my example (jaws) the clever cinematography and simple sound was probably why the movie held so much more "suspense and shock"

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    The movie is a 'Cat Sat On The Mat' version of the book. You cannot expect the ignorant masses to understand a good writers nuances. Remember it is the ignorant masses that make moviemakers rich.

    P.S. I do not consider Shakespeare a good writer. If they are continually told someone is a great writer, most people start believing it. Snobbery at its best.
    Something akin to the music industry hype. IMO The Beatles produced 90% crap. That should liven up the thread.
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  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
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    I often read a book, and then eventually go see the movie. I think it is more a curiousity to see what they did with the story. I think what Busyman says about often being dissapointed in the resulting movie holds true. Sometimes, though, another view of the book is interesting.

    I have very seldom seen a movie then searched for the book. I have done it, but not often.

    I do think, Vidcc, that the musical score, such as the one in jaws, adds a whole new dimension to the book, too.
    Last edited by Everose; 03-03-2005 at 02:11 PM.

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    DarthInsinuate's Avatar Died in battle
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    books and movies are very different mediums. Film is limited to a palatable 2 hours (Lord of the Rings isn't palatable to me), whereas a book can be much longer in terms of content (although i'm not sure if publishers will try give writers constraints to keep printing costs within budget).

    Also when reading a book you have to use your imagination, there are some things that can't really be translated to an image, and conversely some images show such brilliant imagination they don't translate into words.
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  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    HeavyMetalParkingLot's Avatar Poster
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    I try to keep in mind that the movie is basically the Cliff's Notes version of the book. There is just no way that they can pack in the characterization et al. that the author can do.

    But some times the movie is just to far off to even be this. For example, I recently read Friday Night Lights (excellent book), then I saw the movie. The only thing I could think of was WTF?!?!.

    Now I appreciate some differences that a movie can provide in order to enhance the movie and make up for a few problems the filmmaker just can not overcome with what he has to work with. For example the afore mentioned "The Shining".
    In the book, the hotel is not "haunted" but in fact the demons and ghosts are just byproducts of Jack's worsening alcoholism. While in the movie it is the hotel that is "haunted". This produces a "fresh" feel while keeping with the original.

    These little differences can thoroughly make a difference.

    I read a lot of film forums and have heard an immense amount of whining about the new Hitchhikers Guide movie. In the new film, Ford is black. This has seemed to cause people to not even want to give it a chance dispite the screenplay being written by Douglas himself. What they seem to forget, in every version of the story, whether book, radio, tv, or movie, Douglas has written them to be different from earlier works.

    Pointless meandering over, I feel people should view a movie on a seperate level from the book as they both have to differ out of necessity.

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