Friday, September 18, 2015

Books or movies?

Make a list of books you’ve read that have also been made into movies you’ve seen, such as Charlotte’s Web or The Hobbit. Next to each title, note whether you preferred the book or the film version

Lord of the Rings – Movie

J.R.R. Tolkein’s bibliography is a game changer to the literary world, but the guy’s prose moves at the pace of grass growing.  The movies not only attached faces to our heroes that perfectly fit, but shocked the world with an impressive score, handled a lot of the character dynamics better, and made certain things clear to the viewers that casual readers couldn’t decipher.

The Hobbit – Book

The same cannot be said for the next adaptation of Tolkein’s works.  I’m not against the idea of expanding the adaptation into multiple movies and I felt the love triangle gave Kili’s death a lot more weight than in the book, but three movies just made it feel too flabby.  What we were left with was a lot of stuff that went nowhere and some really bizarre pacing.

Coraline – Movie

Neil Gaiman’s writing is always amazing and whimsical, but when you combine it with the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the visual brilliance of Laika, you have an amazing work of art.  Take something great and make it even better.  That’s the sign of a great adaptation.

Harry Potter – Book

What makes the Harry Potter series so great is the nuance and attention to detail within the world and the characters.  Both of those elements are lost in the series’ translation to screen.  While the movies aren’t bad by any means, they feel very hollow and insubstantial compared to their literary counterparts.  It would have been a lot better as a television series, where less essential elements would have been cut and the world would have been more fleshed out.

The Hunger Games – Movie

The Hunger Games has a lot of interesting ideas, but its worst enemy is its own prose, which is in the first-person present-tense and can be very hard to follow.  The movies don’t have that problem, but also added some things that greatly improved the tension and the stakes.  The amazing acting doesn’t hurt either.

The Princess Bride – Book

This one was a really tough call and there’s no disputing the genius of the movie.  However, I have to give this one to the book for the sole purpose that it has the Zoo of Death and Buttercup’s final badass proclamation at the end.  Both are good, but the other just has some of my favorite parts.

Twilight – Neither

Movie?  Book?  Does it matter either way?  We lose as a species by the mere fact of its existence.

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