Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Thoughts on Books and Movies

I few of my favorite books have been or will be turned into movies. I'm an avid reader and take my books very seriously. I'm the person who gets mad when they get the small things wrong in the movies but I have learned to let some of the small things go. Sometimes it's impossible to get the tone or feel of a particular scene into a movie and have it be good.

Harry Potter is a big example of books that got turned into movies. Harry Potter was already a pretty big deal when it first got turned into the movie but then it exploded. I think they did a wonderful job casting for the roles. Everyone is perfect or pretty close to perfect. I still have a problem with some of Michael Gambon's portrayals as Dumbledore in the movies. Dumbledore was never one to explode or roughly grab Harry by the collar and demand if he put his name into the Goblet of Fire. It was so not Dumbledore.This picture is perfect:

It's sad that Richard Harris died because he was the perfect Dumbledore for the first few books. I don't know if he could have physically done the acting for the later books when we see more action from Dumbledore, particulary in Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince.

So not Jace for me.
Recently Beautiful Creatures and The Host came out as movies. I enjoyed The Host despite it's extremely slow start. I also really like the Beautiful Creatures series. I have a problem with some of the cast. The same is true for the City of Bones cast. The movie hasn't come out yet but the cast has been known for awhile. I love this series and I hate the cast. Jamie Campbell Bower just is not Jace Wayland. I am actually unsure as to whether I want to see this movie. I see people who love Jamie as Jace but I just am having a hard time with the entire cast.

Seriously what is Clary doing here?
This is not in the book.
I'm one of those people who wants them to take everything from the book and make it into the movie. I will watch a 5 hour movie if they would make it go in order and/or not cut things out. Prisoner of Azkaban (yes I keep referencing Harry Potter. I'm a Potterhead. I can't help it) is a huge example of epically not following the book's timeline. Harry didn't know who sent him the Firebolt and he definitely didn't get it at the end of the year. Hello! McGonagall took it away from him on Christmas. The opening scene is the worst. Harry is performing magic under his sheets. Harry is under age and therefore cannot do magic AT ALL outside of school. He got a Ministry letter in Chamber of Secrets because Dobby performed magic near him. There were no heads that blocked Hermione and Ron from entering the Three Broomsticks. There wasn't a head talking on the Knight Bus. I liked how J.K. made the houses and streetlamps jump out of the way when as the bus was driving and they didn't even do that.

I can continue on about the 3rd movie for ages. It was my favorite book at the time and they ruined it. They also ruined the ending of Deathly Hallows Part 2 by having Harry break the Elder Wand instead of fixing his Phoenix wand. Honestly, what were they thinking?

Then you have movies like Eragon. Eragon is a great series and it could have turned into a great movie series. It's almost like a young adult version on LOTR. But the movie was awful for those who read the book.

But you also get movies that are great and/or better than the books. I read the Fellowship of the Ring. I was bored the entire time. I was bored out of my mind. I just could not get into the book. But I watched the movies and I liked them. I actually managed to enjoy the Hobbit but haven't seen the movie yet. Perks of being a Wallflower was also a really good movie though it does help that the author was also the director so I won't count that one.

I was nervous about the Hunger Games and then I saw it and was in love. Jennifer Lawrence did a fantastic job. Certain things had to be explicit in the movie that was simply a thought in Katniss's mind but I was okay with that because they had to. Also, Peeta lost his leg in the book and his wound in the movie was like a scratch but that's just me being picky. I can handle it. The movie was brilliant and I can't wait for Catching Fire.

I like movies, I like books. I just wish that directors could find a way of making them pair up more equally for some movies. I'll probably see City of Bones and eventually see Beautiful Creatures. I can only hope the image of the characters in my mind for the characters don't get replaced by the actors.


  1. I agree with you about books not being represented well in movies. I first discovered this about myself years ago when "Willow" was released. I loved that book, and the movie just didn't do it justice I was so disappointed. More recently, the Harry Potter movies. I'm to the point that if I know a movie is being made based on a book I want to read, I'll try to watch the movie first, I find myself much less disappointed in them that way! I did the Lord of the Rings series that way, and really was able to enjoy the books and movies! And since I like thousands of others, love Harry Potter, I've learned to live with the flaws in the movies, I thought Goblet of Fire was the worst represented of them all, but that doesn't stop me and my son from an occasional "Harry Potter Marathon Weekend"

  2. Ah you're the first person to comment. I am eternally grateful. I would rather read the book first. I want my own impressions on the characters. I don't want their faces to be influenced by the actors. I do love the Harry Potter movies because I think they did a mostly good job. I just wish they stuck closer to it. LOR did a good job because that's what the director wanted to do.

  3. I'm torn with the whole image thing... there are certain "fits" that work well I never mind seeing Channing Tatum "Dear John" in my minds eye. And I will always see Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, but some just don't fit well at all and I appreciate my imagination better ;) I guess that the imagination is so much more fluid than the reality of putting it on film so they do the best they can, but some fine details that are simple to observe seem to be ignored in the films. Sometimes it drives me nuts, but other times, I can enjoy both.

    1. I know what you mean. The Harry Potter cast was picked so well. I honestly could never have imagined them any other way. Except Dudley would have blonde hair. I think J.K. Rowling had a say in some things as well. I can enjoy The Hunger Games because I think they chose well. I find that the characters in my head are much better than anyone could possibly be in real life. I know they can't be perfect but they sure could try!