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Are you a fan of movies that are adapted from books?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on May 20, 2006

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Photo of Beverly Falley

“Not normally, because the book is always better than the movie. There’s not enough time to fit everything in. If it’s the same person that writes the book and the screenplay, then it might be OK.”

Photo of Steve Lopes

“No. They’re always disappointing. They are two different media, and they should be appreciated for what they are. One rarely lives up to the expectations of the other.”

Photo of Rob Matthews

“Yeah, I guess so. If somebody gets excited about a book and tries to make a movie that does it justice, it could be good. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

Photo of Lyda Irfan

“Not particularly. I’ll watch them, but from my personal experience the book is always way, way better than the movie turns out to be.”

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bmwjhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

that's gotta mean homeBUILDER, right?

trinity 12 years, 1 month ago

i can't think of a movie that i've seen that's been better than the book, at the moment! seems i always favor the book, hands down. it is a rare occasion when a movie really does the book justice.

hey, lunacy&bmw-this is just an interesting side note, seems ironic to me that in the LJW comment section anybody would even comment on a man homemaker! are y'all over there in lawrence not quite as liberal as i'd always thought??? :) just an observation!

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

Yes. Because there are many books that I either don't want to read or don't have time to read because I have other books to read. Yet, sometimes, due to hype over a book, I want to be at least somewhat familiar with its contents. Movies enable me to experience in an hour and a half what might have taken 8 hours to read. I know that the experiences are not the same and much is left out, but for me I can't read everything, but movies allow me to sample a lot more content than I would be able to otherwise.

I tried to read LOTR's twice and it was so difficult to get through, I never read very far. So, I am very grateful for the movies. I will probably watch the Davinci Code because everyone I have every spoken to said the book is not well written. However, I have enjoyed the Harry Potter movies so much, I have gone back and started reading some of the books to experience all that they could not fit into the movies and it has been great.

Lee Eldridge 12 years, 1 month ago

The secret is to not have the same expectations from a movie and a book. Rarely does a great book translate to a great movie. But the movie still may be enjoyable if you don't sit there and compare it to the book the entire time. Often a good movie will prompt me to want to read the books i.e. Hunt For Red October was a good movie, and I ended up really enjoyng the series from Clancy.

canyon_wren 12 years, 1 month ago

I agree that the movie is very seldom as satisfying as the book. I hope that was true of "The Bridges of Madison County." I never read the book and some folks I considered fairly discriminating thought it was great; I thought the movie was terrible.

As a big Tony Hillerman fan, I couldn't sit through the first 15-20 minutes of Robert Redford's first TV movie version of one of his books (I think it was The Blessing Way, but kind of forget). I thought the actor cast for the part of Joe Leaphorn was so unsatisfactory that I couldn't bear to watch the rest.

On the other hand, I agree with enochville that, due to time constraints, sometimes that is the only way you're going to find out what a book was about. I also agree that very few directors can create the magic of a book in a movie made from it.

Probably it's obvious I don't see many movies, but what does LOTR stand for?

Since I think being a homemaker is one of the more satisfying and creative career choices, I congratulate a man who is "allowed" to be one!

canyon_wren 12 years, 1 month ago

Well, after reading FlakyT's post, I now know what LOTR stands for, so the rest of you don't need to enlighten me!

thunderbuns 12 years, 1 month ago

The Silence of the Lambs. The book was good, but I think the movie was better. Anthony Hopkins was terrific!

extra_mustard 12 years, 1 month ago

I attempted slogging through "The Bible" in both versions.

Kept putting me to sleep. I went out and got a cup of coffee and some No Doze, but that didn't help much.

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

Seriously, how much "original material" is out there these days in Hollywood? The only movies, it seems to me, that turn out to have not been written off of a book are the cartoons and the action movies. And with most of those they're just written off of comic-books instead.

Enochville: How far have you gotten on the books? I love the Harry Potter series, but the movies have not been anywhere near as impressive, except for the third one.

Lunacydetector, bmwjayhawk: I'm going to point at the both of you and laugh for posting anything about Rob at all, but temper it in the fear that you're just trying to get a rise out of Lawrence libbies.

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

extra_mustard: Really? No! Why?


1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 1:3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 1:4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; 1:7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 1:8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; 1:9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 1:10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; 1:11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: 1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; 1:13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 1:14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 1:15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

(Did a Google search on "begat" and typed feeling lucky. . . )

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

I used to be a huge fan of movies in the late 60's and 70's. When movies had great artistic worth, were didactic, were spiritually and morally and socially uplifting and had high entertainment value. I even used to be a fan of movie fans. Now, movies and movie fans, like then, are reflective of our society in general, artificial, shallow, ingenuous, violent for the sake of violence alone, degenerate, decadent, without soul, and existing for the sole purpose of making lots of MONEY. I guess, books have pretty much taken on those characteristics, as well.

beatrice 12 years, 1 month ago

There have been some terrific movies adapted from books. They usually are "different," but that doesn't necessarily make it better or worse. tb is correct (people can't always be wrong) with Silence of the Lambs. Jaws and The Godfather are also terrific, as was LOTR. I haven't read the Harry Potter books, but the movies were somewhat enjoyable.

Being a movie junkie, however, here are some terrific movies I can think of that were adapted from books: Trainspotting (from a book, to a play, to a movie); Jurassic Park; The Right Stuff; Wizard of Oz!!!; High Fidelity; Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the original); Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (either version); Enchanted April (if you haven't seen this movie, ladies, see it! A great escape when you can't afford a vacation.); Apocolypse Now (from Heart of Darkness); Schindler's List (from Schindler's Ark); The English Patient; Catch 22; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Howard's End; Remains of the Day; The Graduate; The Color Purple; Ordinary People; Witches of Eastwick; Dangerous Liasons; Cool Hand Luke; The Last Picture Show; The Year of Living Dangerously; Tess; To Kill a Mockingbird; Jean de Florette; Manon des Sources; Solaris (enjoyed both versions); Goodfellas (from Wiseguy); World According to Garp; Planet of the Apes; Grapes of Wrath; In Cold Blood; A Clockwork Orange; Fight Club;

and the greatest movie ever made from a book -- Battlefield Earth! (okay, just kidding on the last one)

DaREEKKU 12 years, 1 month ago

The Tales of the City Chronicles! Olympia Dukakis......absolutely wonderful.

Fatty_McButterpants 12 years, 1 month ago

The book is always going to be better. The reason behind this is quite simple - nobody is ever going to imagine the book the same way that you do, and you are never going to like someone else's vision better than your own.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

Rob has been a homemaker for years. His wife works. Gee, how scandalous! p.s. He has done a great job of raising his children. You go dad!

Book to Movie thing: Sometimes. It takes a very long movie to get it right, though. More often than not, they leave out major events that explain important character development.

ms_canada 12 years, 1 month ago

canyon wren - I too am a Tony Hillerman fan, have read all his books, but I did really like Wes Studi in the role of Joe Leaphorn. Did you know that Adam Beach who plays Jim Chee is Canadian? Book to movie - this can be very disappointinng. The only movie that I felt followed the book flawlessly was Angela's Ashes, book by Frank McCourt. He must have been pleased

And extra mustard, is it really you? I have missed you sorrowfully and glad you are back with us. How are you?

ms_canada 12 years, 1 month ago

Tales of the City with Olympia Dukakis - agreed, that was quite the interesting series. What was that autors name, starts with M, no? gee that series must have been on TV about 125 years ago.

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