Friday, May 10, 2013

Books Vs. Hollywood

Are movies or shows ever better than the book they were based on?
I recently re-read all of the Sookie Stackhouse books by CharlaineHarris in preparation for the final book release on May 7th. During this time, I started seeing trailers for the upcoming season of True Blood. I enjoy the books much better than the show.
I had to force myself to get through the first few seasons of the show, whereas I can’t put the books down once I start reading them. I finally had to tell myself that although HBO uses Charlaine’s characters (most of them anyway), they have created a completely different storyline. Reminding myself of that helps me get through the season with less swearing at the television.
My husband has threatened to put duct tape over my mouth the next time I say, “It didn’t happen like that in the book.” I have the same problem with Game of Thrones but at least they stay in the same ballpark as what George R.R. Martin created, for the most part.
Even on the big screen, I compare the author’s creation to Hollywood’s interpretation of it. The Help movie turned out pretty well but I still enjoyed the book more. I don’t like when they change storylines and sometimes I don’t like the casting choices. For instance, in my mind, Bella in Twilight looked more like Alexis Bledel than Kristin Stewart. I guess it has a lot to do with how the author’s description creates an image in my brain.

There is a musical that I love that is based on a book and I can say it is better than the book because I’m a happily-ever-after kind of girl (and I like musicals). Wicked the Musical gives you the HEA that the book doesn’t.
Have you ever met a movie/show/play that you preferred to the book it was based on?


Ginny Lynn said...

Primarily, I like books better than movies. My only exception is the Vampire Diaries. Now, I'm anxiously waiting for Sherrilyn Kenyon to be on my screen.

Chris Bailey said...

Most of the time, I love the book more. But I can think of two books that I thought the screenwriters improved.

Years ago, I loved Forrest Gump the movie. And then I read the book. By comparison, I liked Hollywood's silly happy visual story better.

The Help in novel form seemed tedious to me. I got stuck around page 50. Then I saw the movie! And I ended up loving the book.

Friends tell me I need to see Life of Pi. Maybe I'd like that movie better than the book, too!

Suzanne Johnson said...

I always like the books more...the one exception for me was the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, which I thought had such great casting and beautiful cinematography. A lot of my LOTR fan-friends griped about sections being left out, but I honestly didn't miss Tom Bombadill-O!

Meda White said...

@Ginny Lynn- a friend of mine introduced me to TVD on CW and told me not to read the books. Since I introduced her to True Blood and I was struggling with the show, I took her advice. I just saw the trailer last night for The Originals. So excited- I love Klaus.

@Chris- I heard the same thing about Forrest Gump so I never read the book. Same thing with Under the Tuscan Sun. I had Life of Pi on my TBR list but the movie previews are so beautiful, I want to watch it instead.

@Suzanne- The first time I tried to watch LOTR-FOTR, it scared me so much I had to sleep with the lights on. When those creatures came to life on the screen, it gave me nightmares. I eventually made it through the all of the movies and enjoyed the adventure.

Louisa Cornell said...

I have loved the Charlaine Harris books from the start, long before anyone even thought of making them into a television series. And I held off watching the series for years. My brother even bought me the first season on DVD because he saw I had an entire shelf of the books. I still waited years to watch it. I have watched the first four seasons on DVD now and I got through it by seeing the books and the series as completely separate entities. Now she has written the last book and there is a horrendous uproar about the ending. Ms. Harris is forgoing a tour for this book because she has received death threats and suicide threats all because Sookie doesn't end up with the person some people wanted. Good grief.

I liked the Forrest Gump film far more than the book. The book depressed me.

I only read The Notebook after I saw the movie and I liked them both. However, the next Nicholas Sparks book I read put me off him forever. I don't read his books or watch the films made from them either. Life is too short to watch depressing movies.

I enjoyed The Lord of the Rings trilogy of films because I knew up front they couldn't include everything. And I adore the books.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is one of my favorite books. And Clint Eastwood's adaptation is one of the best book to film conversions I have ever seen.

Carla Swafford said...

CUJO: Never read the book, but I remember being told that the movie had a happy ending but the book didn't. So glad I only watched the movie.

QUEEN OF THE DAMN: Read the book...boring! Movie was so much better (actually combined two books) and so romantic. The book was so not.

Lexi said...

Books usually win hands down for me. That being said, I thought they did a great job with LOTR, and I love the Harry Potter movies, although I love the books more. I've read one Nicholas Sparks: The Rescue. There's a scene there that still gives me the willies. You couldn't hogtie me and make me read The Notebook, although Thing One has read it six times. All a matter of taste, I reckon.

Meda White said...

@Louisa- I can't believe that about the death threats against Charlaine. I totally loved the last book and thought Sookie ended up with the one who was just right for her. But I might have felt the same if CH put her with someone else. It's all situational. I agree that life is too short for depressing movies or books, so NS is out for me too. I loved MITGOGAE because John Cusack is one of my favorites.

@Carla- Cujo scared me to death. Almost anything I've read or seen by SK scares me. I liked QotD too.

@Lexi- I haven't seen all of the HP movies but most fans love the books and movies as far as I can tell. Again, with NS, I want my happy ending.

Aidee Ladnier said...

I usually like the books better mostly because they can get more detailed and dense, forcing the reader's imagination into play vs. a movie which can only present one particular vision of the text. However, I have a small collection of movies I liked a little better than the book. The first is Murder on the Orient Express with Albert Finney. I've always thought Christie's book was definitely about the Lindbergh baby kinapping, but due to the event happening only a few years before publication she couldn't state that overtly. The Finney version of the movie, however, makes those parallels obvious. And it has a great cast. Another favorite movie is Field of Dreams. w.P. Kinsella's writing style is almost stream of consciousness and I found it hard to read. The movie, however, was magic. Similarly, and at the risk of getting pelted with ice cream, I'll admit I'm fond of the movie Practical Magic which had a much more linear storyline than the book by Alice HOffman.

Great question1


Meda White said...

@Angelia- Thanks for sharing. I haven't seen Murder on the Orient Express but the other two movies, I really like. I'm a fan of Practical Magic also. I particularly like the soundtrack and I can't hear Elvis sing "Always on My Mind" without thinking of that scary Jimmy character. Creepy!