Book or movie first?

Book or movie first?

Which do you prefer to do first, watch the movie or read the book?

I've found watching the movie first is always best. You have seen the environment, the characters, etc. Also the movie is 99.999% of the time inferior to the book because of how much they have to remove. Then when you come to the book, ah, everything makes sense now! All the little details the movie missed comes to life.

The only exception to this I can think of is The Running Man. The movie was far better than the book.
 

aman

Assassin Moderator
Unless the movie is not based on the book.

imo Reading the book first is best
 

Bortaz

Banned
I hate watching movies that are derived from books. I picture the characters in the books a certain way, and the actors in the movies never live up to my expectations.
 

kobold

Banned
I hate watching movies that are derived from books. I picture the characters in the books a certain way, and the actors in the movies never live up to my expectations.
What he said.

One of the best examples I can think of is Stephen King's Misery. Poor film rendition.



 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
All depends. Usually if you read the book first the movie will not seem as good, but is this really a good or a bad thing? If you see the movie first it will also spoil the ending of the book. I usually prefer to read the book first if I'm going to watch the movie.

Not all book to movie adaptations are bad, but they are a difficult thing to do because they are radically different media. Not to mention how much the average movie sucks these days anyway, and all the Hollywood crap you have to endure.

And some movies are better than the book (although saying so may get me booed by fans of the book). The Wizard of Oz and the Never-Ending Story for instance.

IMO, the best book ---> movie transition was Dune.
Which version?



 

Merick

Diabloii.Net Member
I read lots of books and see few movies. I haven't seen any movies based on books I'd read that didn't just depress the hell out of me.
I, Robot, which I never saw, but heard a lot about, is a travesty to Asimov's writing.
 

kobold

Banned
And some movies are better than the book (although saying so may get me booed by fans of the book). The Wizard of Oz and the Never-Ending Story for instance.
Ok, I'll admit: any of the Debbie Does xxxx series loses something when translated to print. :jig:



 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
I, Robot, which I never saw, but heard a lot about, is a travesty to Asimov's writing.
Maybe you should see it first. I think it did it more justice than any other movie I've ever seen. The only thing that was weird about it was the fact that they were doing such an antiquated sci-fi concept now. Once I accepted that I thought it was really good, I don't know why everyone hates it.

Well, except for that product placement thing, that was shocking.

Ok, I'll admit: any of the Debbie Does xxxx series loses something when translated to print. :jig:
I've never seen a movie that's even a tenth as erotic as some of the things I've seen in print.



 

Sokar Rostau

Diabloii.Net Member
You live in a strange, confused, world Dondrei. The Never-Ending Story was a brilliant book, but the movie was good, and no more. And the sequels sucked.

When I used to read fiction Stephen King was my favourite author. I read every one of his books until that double one about cowboys or whatever (The Renegades?). While some book to film translations were decent, Stand by Me and Carrie come to mind, 99% were terrible. Had I seen the movies first, however, they would have been much better. The biggest travesty of all was It. I loathed It with a passion. The first thing that pissed me off was changing the setting from 1958-9/84-85 to 1968-9/94-5, that just ruined so much of the story. Another reason being because some of the lines were retained from the book but they made no sense in the movie (the main character was bald in the book so when Richie comes into the Chinese restaurant in 1994 (instead of 1984 grrr) saying "Who got bald, who got fat, who got kids?" and Bill had a pony tail it really pissed me off). I recognise that had I seen It before I read the book I would have liked it a lot more... by the same token the ridiculous time change would have been confusing when reading the book. It also took me quite a few years to get the, terrible, actors out of my head when reading It after seeing it and for my original conceptions of them to return. The moral of the story is never watch a made for TV "movie of the week" version of a book you have already read.

I have the version of Dune with Kyle Maclachlan in it. While I know it is supposedly a "notoriously unfilmable" book, that was just three hours of unutterable boredom. It had some interesting concepts I will admit, but it in no way inspired me to read the book, which I know is regarded as one of the best sci-fi's of all time. Hmmm, the DVD says it was directed by Alan Smithee, isn't that the name you use when you don't want to be identified?

The general rule, I think, is watch the movie first if you can, watch it second if you dare... and be prepared to not read the book again for a few years in order to wash out those awfully done scenes and actors from memory.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Speaking of movie versions, the Harry Potter movies are just awful. Despite the fact they've tried very hard to be faithful and 90% of the cast is fantastic (some choices I disagree with but most were great), everything is lost in the translation. Harry Potter is medium-specific.

1984ish version.
That movie is one of those "seriously WTF?" cinema experiences. Apart from the extreme level of weirdness (which is iconic, I suppose), the one thing that really ruined it for me is that it seems to be trying to do a ten hour script in two hours. It went past blindingly fast and I couldn't keep track of it at all, it just became gibberish.

I later read the book and didn't really care for it though.

You live in a strange, confused, world Dondrei. The Never-Ending Story was a brilliant book, but the movie was good, and no more. And the sequels sucked.
I thought the book was lousy. It was okay until about the halfway mark (which is where the first movie ends - I liked the movie version better though), after that it was intolerable. The second movie (which I don't remember so well, I've been meaning to re-watch and re-assess) couldn't have been as bad as the second half of the book, I would remember that.

But I can't even believe they made sequels beyond that, they look dire beyond imagining.

While some book to film translations were decent, Stand by Me and Carrie come to mind, 99% were terrible.
My opinion of Stephen King is a matter of public record, but I do agree that Carrie is one of his better ones. Although maybe I should reserve judgement, I just started reading the book yesterday.

I have the version of Dune with Kyle Maclachlan in it. While I know it is supposedly a "notoriously unfilmable" book, that was just three hours of unutterable boredom. It had some interesting concepts I will admit, but it in no way inspired me to read the book, which I know is regarded as one of the best sci-fi's of all time. Hmmm, the DVD says it was directed by Alan Smithee, isn't that the name you use when you don't want to be identified?
I haven't seen the new one, I meant to. I thought the book was uninspiring, and in fact I felt like the original movie had more to it, for all its flaws.



 

Quietus

Diabloii.Net Member
I've never seen a movie that's even a tenth as erotic as some of the things I've seen in print.
I'll second this. I'd rather read good erotica than watch porn. Porn these days is all the same thing, enhanced by the fact that plastic surgery makes everyone look the same. It's terrible. Erotica, on the other hand, you can describe anything you like, the reader percieves it how they will, and not only do you have the visual stimulation, a story also adds an intellectual level to it. Of course, that could just have something to do with the fact that I write damned good erotica.

A great many people I know say that movies are better because you can see exactly what characters look like - that's one of the things I like about books, though. The characters, surroundings, etc are much more personal. They are exactly what YOU picture them as, no more, no less. I'm an avid reader of the Sword of Truth series, and I know for a fact that my mental version of Kahlan is very different than some of my friends' version - but it's no less valid. It's just how I see the situations in my mind.

I have yet to find a movie that outdoes it's written counterpart.



 

bladesyz

Diabloii.Net Member
It really doesn't matter for me. If the book was good, then I'd like to see the movie. If the movie was good, I might be tempted to read the book (but only if it was an original work, and not a book adaptation of the movie!).

As for movies vs books, I enjoyed the LOTR movies more than the books. The books were fun at times, but also dreadfully boring at other times. Great for literature classes, but awful for just enjoyment, at times. Unless you like that sort of thing, of course.

"Interview with the Vampire" was great, both book and movie. The movie was really faithful to the book and essentially portrayed what the book was all about. The only jarring piece was how Armand, supposedly a 15-year-old-looking vampire, got cast to Antonio Banderas.

Dracula the book and Coppola's movie version of it were also both great, though in different ways. I have to say I liked Coppola's version better, but only because it casted Dracula in a more sympathetic light.

I can't think of any other examples of where I both read the book and saw the movie. Maybe I'll think of some more later.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
AFAIK the Kyle Maclachlan version is the original, "1984ish" one.
Bah, just say "the one with Sting in it"... I don't know the lead actor's name, I assumed it was the new one because you said it was three hours, but now that I think about it it was more like six. I thought the original was two or maybe two and a half but I guess that's just because it flew by so fast.



 

Sokar Rostau

Diabloii.Net Member
Bah, just say "the one with Sting in it"... I don't know the lead actor's name, I assumed it was the new one because you said it was three hours, but now that I think about it it was more like six. I thought the original was two or maybe two and a half but I guess that's just because it flew by so fast.
I bought the extended version because it said on the cover that it was a much better movie that made much more sense. It wasn't and it didn't.



 
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