Monday, August 17, 2009

Take One..Lights, Camera....ACTION! On Musing Monday ..

Another work week begins..the good new is, it's time for another Musing Monday...from Just One More Page,

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about movies …

How do you react to movies made of your favourite books (or even not-so-favourite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?

I can't say that I anxiously await the film version of a favorite book. No, I don't. Quite often, if I liked the book, I will not bother to see the movie. Let's be honest. The movie can rarely be as good as the book. At best, it can only capture a small part of the plot of the book, just because of the time factor. And very often, the cast does not fit my mental picture of the characters.

And then there is the whole issue of changes. They take a book, and buy the movie rights because, supposedly they like it. But once they start writing a screenplay and doing the casting and and filming it, often...not always but often...they make drastic changes. Sometimes so drastic that you wonder why they bought the movie rights to the book to start with rather than just start from scratch. To attract people that loved the book? I am not sure that is true because there just are not that many book lovers out there in most cases. So, really, I am not sure what there thinking is there.

On the other hand, if you see a movie based on a book and have not read the book yet but read it after seeing the movie, that, I think, can be a good experience. If you like the movie, in the vast number of cases, the book will be a deeper, more comprehensive, richer experience. But also an experience that can be enhanced by some of the visual images from the movie. Maybe I don't have a great imagination, but I often find it helpful.

As an aside, I HATE when they reissue the book when the movie comes out and do one of those tie-in book covers, with pictures of the stars all over it. I just think it is so cheesy. But I guess if it works and sells books, and if it takes that to get people to read, well, that is a very good thing. And if it didn't work, they wouldn't keep doing it.


  1. I'm generally a read the book skip the movie kind of person but one movie I did look forward to seeing after reading the book was Memoirs of a Geisha simply for the cinematography. The movie itself did not do justice to the book contents except that the scenery was stunning. As you mentioned with time constraints, it is hard to do justice.

  2. Have you read Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause - or seen the movie of the same title? The only thing they kept from the book were the character's names! I enjoyed them both, but entirely seperately from each other.

    Here's my musing...

  3. You are right, it is tough for the movie to measure up. Even the Harry Potter movies, which are wonderful, don't even come close. The one exception that comes to mind is The Shining. That movie is brilliant. I make every effort to read a book first, but my good intentions don't always hold true. Then I could just kick myself. How many times has bad casting completely ruined a good read?

  4. I like what you said about the movie being a visual accompaniment to the book.

    And I'm in complete agreement with you on the movie tie-in covers, my biggest book peeve

  5. Kaye, I did not see the Memoirs of a Geisha movie but I loved the book and could certainsee how thw visuals might be great...but I think there is so much in the book they could never capture.

    Susan, that is a pretty extreme You have to wonder why they bothered.

    Sandy, I never read the Shining...but the movie was WAY creepy.

    Rebecca, I always think those covers are intented to 'trap' non readers

  6. I agree with you on the cheesy movie tie-in covers. Although I guess it must work or else they wouldn't do it.
    There are very few movie adaptaions that are done well. It ry to have an open mind, but sometimes....I get too disappointed. Won't stop me though :)

  7. I'm with you 100% on this one.

    I HATE those movie tie-ins on books. Blech.

    And a movie that I see first might cause me to seek out the book, but I almost never like a movie based on a book I've read. They are just two different entities and a book just gives you so much more.

    All that said, I'm really interested to see "The Time Traveler's Wife" as I LOVED that book ... but I'm fully prepared to be disappointed!

  8. We all seem to agree on the rotten tie-un covers!

    Jenners, I have not read The Time Traveler's Wife yet, but everyone seemed to like it..the movie, on the other hand, has gotten pretty mixed to poor reviews from what I have I will stick with reading the

  9. I was so glad to read that is annoys you when the book is re-issued with a cover with the stars of the movie. Tha drives me nuts! I won't buy the books with those covers. I want the original cover.

    I don't like it when they change the movie quite a bit and don't say the movie is based on the book but act as if the movie and the book are one and the same. But I also don't like it when a movie is made that is so obviously completely and totally influenced by the book, yet the books i never mentioned anywhere. The movies that come to mind regarding these 2 points - "The Constant Gardener" and "Owen Meany". I really hate when a book is very good and the movie associated with it is crap (sorry if that word offends anyone) as in "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "Shopaholic"
    Oh well, whaddya gonna do?!

  10. I wonder...has there ever been a rotten book that was made into a good/great movie?

    I can't think of one off hand.

  11. We're in the same league for anti-movie tie-in covers. While I'm curious about the motion picture of a favorite book, I'm crazy about it. But if I have enjoyed a movie of a book that I haven't read, you bet I'll rush to the bookstore and seek out the original. :)


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