Monday, November 21, 2005

When Bad Movies Happen To Good Books....

Lately, I have been bothered by books that are made into movies. I have pretty much put up with it from adults. I know that we are busy. I know that we don’t have time to read as much as we would like. But most of the time people say to me “Have you seen (insert movie name here)?” and I say “no, but I have read the book.” And people are either like “oh.” Or often times I get “There is a book?!” or the ever favorite “They wrote a book about the movie???” No you freaking moron. They made the movie about the book because people like you were too lazy to read.

I love the harry potter movies. But I ADORE the harry potter books. Now I am slightly angry, because I see all of these GREAT books being made into movies. For those of us who have read the book, I find that exciting. But I also see the potential of so many people, children especially, neglecting to read because now they are all made into movies.

Take Narnia, The lion the Witch and the Wardrobe for instance. Classic. Will kids now refer to the movie and not read the book? Of course there is Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. It makes me (always a dork, always loved to read) very angry, especially when the people who never read are suddenly like all into Lord of the Rings but never touched the books, and likely made fun of the kids who did read the books. Same goes for the Traveling Pants. EXCELLENT books. Not just for teenage girls! Fabulous! But will teenagers read those books now? How about East of Eden? Cider House Rules? Fever Pitch? The DaVinci Code? Midnight in the Garden of good and evil? You could even go as far to say Amityville Horror and American Psycho. What about the Aviator?

What about Walt Disney? Like Pinnochio, Alladin, 101 Dalmations, Alice in Wonderland? I mean it is unbelievable the books made into movies. I have always been the person who, when hearing that a new movie was made out of a book, runs to the bookstore to find the book IN PLACE of the movie. Then If I really liked the book, I will check out the movie. But if I REALLY liked the book I will boycott the movie at the risk of having a “Horse Whisperer” incident, where the ending of the book was completely commercialized and RUINED by someone who wanted to change the whole point of the story to make it into a movie. That is just WRONG.

It’s always been one thing to turn adult books into adult movies. But the increase of children and teen books being made into movies frustrates me. Why not teach your kids that reading is fun, and get them involved in books? Is it really better to make all of these into movies? Granted, we have fabulouse special effects and computer animation, but the best part of a book can be your interpretation of what a character looks like or sounds like, or what their house looks like. But in the case of most movies, they fall terribly short of your own imagination.

Check out this listing of books made into movies. It might amaze you to know what books you are missing! Read this article for other examples and viewpoints on bad movies happening to good books. And this chicklit message board with the same topic.

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PenneArdICS said...

One dissenting reviewer at Amazon had this interesting observation regarding the "Lord of the Rings":

-=- Tolkien would be disgusted with this treatment. As he wrote, "In human art Fantasy is a thing best left to words, to true literature.... With visible presentation...silliness or morbidity are frequent results" (Essays 68). Precisely. -=-

OTOH, our kids have often been inspired to check out the original works after viewing a movie or seeing the previews (though they're not into Harry Potter or LOTR,) and frequently discover that it's a whole 'nother story by comparison -- not to mention much better written than the screenplay. Funny thing is that homeschoolers don't have to be "taught" or bribed to read -- it's their joy and livelihood. Compulsory schooling kills many an imaginative spirit!

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