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Thread: Books vs movies or tv

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Books vs movies or tv

    Why do so many people have the firmly held conviction that reading a story is somehow always a superior experience to viewing the same story? When was the last time, for instance, you heard someone say "the book was lame, but wow, the movie was great!"

    I suppose that because a movie or television show is much more constrained by the element of time, it necessarily involves more concision in story lines than books, but is concision, or loss of extraneous detail always a bad thing?

    Can you think of instances where a film or a tv show was better than the book dealing with the same subject?

    If 'smart' people like to read books does it necessarily stand to reason they don't generally like watching movies? (or at least enjoy as much)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Can you think of instances where a film or a tv show was better than the book dealing with the same subject?
    Off the top of my head: Jaws the movie was better than Jaws the book, in part because an unnecessary (IMO) subplot about an affair between Chief Brody's wife and Hooper was not included in the storyline.

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I have never found a book to be better than a movie. That could be due to the fact that I don't like reading books enough to get "entranced" by them. Movies visually will always win for me. I have an imagination, but books don't bring it out in me.

    TV drives me nuts because it isn't realistic in its dynamics or character progression. A cop that doesn't curse. A skank that doesn't get naked? Our TV experience is based on so many Bleeps, censors, and safety standards that it isn't very real to me. I like movies because we have yet to make them completely unrealistic in their world. Although the no smoking in movies is somewhat starting down that road.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Can you think of instances where a film or a tv show was better than the book dealing with the same subject?
    Gettysburg. Based on "The Killer Angels". Not a bad read, but I liked the movie much much more. I'm a sucker for that movie. How can you planners from Virginia not cry when Armistead makes his speech..."Tell them all of Virginia was here today"...I cry and I'm not from Virginia! Sorry, way off-topic.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 17 Sep 2010 at 11:59 AM. Reason: fixed quote tag
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I'll almost always take the book over a movie based on it. It's possible to make a good movie from a bad book but unlikely. The reason I prefer books is that I have complete freedom to stop and start easily and to skip over/speed read the parts that don't appeal to me. I'd rather create the visuals in my mind than have someone else's vision forced on me.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  6. #6

    for me

    For me this is easy, movies have to shorten books so they aren't 4 hours long. The easiest example could be angels and demons and the davinci code. I say easiest because a lot of people have read these and seen the movies. In both movies they cut out small pieces of the plot, that i felt added to the momentum of the story. In the books, they reach the conclusion with a greater struggle to get there. In the movie, there is less struggle = less effort = less adventure = less climax = less likable.

    In some instances, characters are cut off of stories to make a more compact movie.

    Imagine a book, based on a movie, that cut out pieces of the movie... quite disappointing.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I don't want to see the movie entitled "multivariate statistics and binomials made easy"!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I don't want to see the movie entitled "multivariate statistics and binomials made easy"!
    Hell, I wouldn't particularly want to see the book either for that matter!

    Off-topic:
    BTW that's a great band name!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    Gettysburg. Based on "The Killer Angels". Not a bad read, but I liked the movie much much more. I'm a sucker for that movie. How can you planners from Virginia not cry when Armistead makes his speech..."Tell them all of Virginia was here today"...I cry and I'm not from Virginia! Sorry, way off-topic.
    I agree with you 100% on this one. Great example.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Ideally they look the same subject matter from different angles. A book would bring the threatre of the mind approach to the subject matter. A movie would take a different angle on it and add a visual element that the threatre of the mind could not bring out. Televsion can tell the story over time, not in 2-3 hours that a movie would. Two book/movies that complemented each other were The World According to Garp and The Hunt for Red October.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Bear's Opinion

    Here are a few opinions.....

    Doctor Zhivago - Great movie, couldn't finish the book.
    Cider House Rules - The movie was really good but the book was dynamite.
    Hotel New Hampshire - Movie sucked.....the book was fun (and strangely erotic, and I don't have a sister! )
    Fail Safe - Loved the book and the movie.
    Carrie - Thumbs up for both the movie and the book.
    Sometimes A Great Notion - Good movie. Had trouble getting in to the book.
    The Stand - Superb book. Have read it multiple times. The made-for-TV thing stunk.
    Debbie Does Dallas - What book?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Here is a list worth looking at:
    Based on the Book: http://www.mymcpl.org/books-movies-music/based-book

    'Based on the Book' is a compilation of over 1,250 books, novels, short stories, and plays that have been made into motion pictures. Utilizing the Internet Movie Database as the authority, all movies in this collection have been released as feature-length films in the United States, in English, since 1980.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    IMHO

    A River Runs Through It
    The Natural
    Dr Stranglove
    Lord of The Flies
    Master and Commander
    The Godfather
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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