Thursday, August 16, 2007

Books to Movies

Barbara Vey at Publishers Weekly wrote a blog about her dilemma over whether or not to see the movie STARDUST before or after she read the book. Which got me to thinking.

I read THE DA VINCI CODE before I saw the movie. This meant I noticed a few discrepancies, but I thought the movie didn't stray enough from the book to ruin it for me.

The same with the LORD OF THE RINGS movies. I loved them all! Yes, there were chunks of the books missing, but gee whiz, if they'd filmed every scene and included every detail, the theaters would have been forced to provide an intermission and serve a meal! (And you will notice I used the opportunity to include Viggo in the blog. Shameless, I know, but I didn't think you'd mind.)

I know I'm not the only person on the planet who hasn't yet read the HARRY POTTER books, but I have seen all of the movies. I've tried to avoid discussions on the book vs movie debates because after I see all of the movies, I intend to read the books. My daughter has all the books, and my grandson is just starting the first one (and he thinks it's grand), so I'll have someone to discuss them with later

So now I'm trying to decide what to do about STARDUST I've heard the movie is worth seeing for Robert de Niro's performance alone. And that's good enough for me! (Oh, Shari, you are sooooo shallow!)

What's your experience with books to movies? Have you been so disappointed when a movie doesn't follow the book that you've been tempted to ask for a refund? Do you always read the book first? Never?

Shari Anton
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starryann2000 said...

hi how are you. looks like you have fun with your blog. Lots of interesting things to read and see. Well here goes as far as books to movies some of them are quite good but others veer farther from the book than I would like or do not add enough of what is in the book. I enjoyed all the Harry Potter movies until this last one, I felt it was ended to soon and one felt like there should have been more to it. I found out later that the director admitted he had shortened it, not wisest idea in my book. Well you guys have fun.

Edie said...

I agree with Starry Ann about the last movie. It was okay, but nowhere near as good as the book. Shari, you should really read the books. This last one is pure genius. I'm in awe of the way she brought all the threads together.

This wasn't a book, but I loved Hair Spray. What a fun movie!

Barbara Elness said...

I like reading a book before seeing the movie. I think it gives me more background and insight into the characters, etc. I don't mind if the movie veers away and doesn't stick exactly to the book, I can still enjoy it for what it is.

catslady said...

I always try to read the book first. The few times I've seen the movie first I've never gone back to read the book because I know too much, especially the ending. I think the book is usually better since there's more to it and although I wish it all could be in the movie, I know it can't be. I'd rather have the background of the book since the movie makes better sense then.

Shari Anton said...

Starry Ann & Edie --You've kind of confirmed how I feel about seeing the movie After I've read the book. I'm always afraid the book will prove out So Much Better that I think I've wasted my money. But then, if I don't read the book first, then I have no expectations of the movie and can take it for what it's worth.

Barbara, you're a very open minded woman! I wish I could separate the book/movie as well as you do.

Shari Anton said...

Catslady -- True. But then there's the director who decides to change the ending :). Grrr. Except it worked wonderfully in Jurassic Park. The T-rex wasn't in the ending in the book!

Kathleen said...

I did not read the book to "Stardust" but I did see the movie. The scenes with Robert de Niro were hilarious and worth sitting through the rest of the movie.

In regards to other movies with books, I usually read the book first and then see the movie. And I am usually disappointed on how many scenes and characters are not added to the movie. But, it is fun to see books come to life :)

Kelley St. John said...

Oh Shari, get those Harry Potter books read pronto :) The movies are very well done, but obviously you can't get all of those pages in a movie, and every page is outstanding! Loved the whole series :)

Another good book to movie was A Time to Kill. Amazing how well it followed the book.

Great topic!

Shari Anton said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Kathleen! I may have to just skip the book and go see the movie.

Ok, Kelley, I'll make it a goal to get caught up on the HP books before the next movie comes out!

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

I like to read the book(s) first. I've been reading Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and just watched the DVD of the first couple of TV episodes. I was kinda disappointed. Not that I'll stop watching the show--the actor playing Dresden is QUITE lovely--but I prefer the books.

Diana Holquist said...

There was a book to Stardust?



Marie said...

The Left Behind books vs movies- I loved the books, read each one and waited anxiously for the next to come out. When the movies came out I was so excited until I actually watched them. They were awful! They were nothing like the books other than the character names. I was so disappointed.

I think, though, that those have been the only books vs movies that I've really had a problem with.

Shari Anton said...

I didn't know about the Left Behind books. I haven't seen the movies because, from the trailers, I thought they'd be best enjoyed by a Much Younger audience. :) I may have to look up the books, however, because those I might enjoy. The grandsons might enjoy them, too!