Saturday, November 19, 2011

Movies vs. Books

Okay, another false title. There's no such thing. At least, not when you're comparing movies to the books they are based off of.
I've been known to get into pretty big discussions (c'mon now, let's not call them arguments) about books and movies, characters and actresses, line flubs etc. Mostly about big franchises too.
I know, I know, you think I'm going to take this moment to either bash or exalt Twilight since the new movie came out this week.
I'm not.
So if that's what you're looking for, go away. Don't read this.
JUST KIDDING. Please read this.
Even though my "discussions" began heating up around the first Twilight movie (I was fourteen and it went something like: No, they can't cast a British Edward! How dare they, they left out my favorite part! Jacob is ugly!) it actually started farther back with the Harry Potter franchise. While I have read and watched all the Twilight books and movies, I obsessed over Harry Potter. I really did; it was sad. And while I think Twilight and Stephenie Meyer are both ridiculous, I adore Harry and J.K. Rowling. I grew up with Hogwarts; I read the first four books in 2nd grade. My oldest brother offered me his hardcover copies for $60.
And I bought them.
Not to get off-track but it was somewhere along the journey of HP movies that I realized we have to stop judging the movies based on the books. Yes, everyone gets riled up and angry and happy when they realize who has/has not been cast but we can't compare the two. Why, you ask?
One: They are two entirely different mediums.
Two: Here's the thing. Everyone expects movies to come out how they envision a book in their head, or at least some sort of visual world the books is based on. But often that's not what the scriptwriters and directors are going for. They are not there to satisfy every little detail of the movie, to perfect every line down to what pop culture demands it be. They are simply there to bring the big picture to life.
Take the highly anticipated Hunger Games movie. I loved the books. Not so thrilled about the movie although I will say, I pass no judgments one way or another until I've seen it. Why? Because personally, I think it's going to be hard to put the big picture onto the screen. The Hunger Games is about the characters. Their thoughts, feelings, dreams, disappointments, anger. You can't always capture that in a movie. Perhaps that's why Twilight is so successful; there isn't much to go off of in regards to deep and complex character personalities.
The tricky part comes in when you start comparing the latest movies to the previous ones. I do it all the time. I just saw Breaking Dawn and while I promised this wasn't a review, I have to say, I didn't care for it. It comes off the back of Eclipse which was packed with action and adrenaline whereas this one....wasn't. Again, to me, Harry Potter just seemed to get bigger and better every time. Maybe that's the trick. Making each one more interesting than the last.
Well, that's it for this subject. I have plenty more to say (don't I always?) but I fear it would creep up on reviewing movies and my personal opinions on each one and you guys don't really want to read that stuff.
Also, I'm starving.
And there's tacos for dinner.

~ M. T. Rossi

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