Monday, August 17, 2009

Musing Monday

This week's Musing Monday prompt:
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'm one of those people who think a movie can never be as good as the book - however, there are exceptions to the rule.

Everyone loves the movie The Wizard of Oz - it is a timeless classic. The problem is, most of the children today - and many of their parents - have never read the original book by L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I think it's funny that most people don't know there were NO ruby slippers in the book - the shoes were silver. Or that Glinda was the name of the Good Witch of the South, not the North. Most people think Dorothy dreamed her visit to Oz, when in fact, she actually did go to the Land of Oz. I think it's a shame most people have not read any of the 16 original books by Baum about the Land of Oz.

I loved the book The Horse Whisper, but I hated the movie - they totally changed the ending of the movie so it was unrecognizable from the book. I also had problems with the movie DUNE - as a stand alone movie, it was okay, but it strayed too far from the book for my taste. I enjoyed the book Sahara, but detested the movie. I also love the children's book The Polar Express, but thought the movie was boring. The Golden Compass, based on the book Northern Lights, should have been the beginning of a great series for kids, but the movie was lacking so much over the book.

There are some movies I think are faithful to the books, even if some detail is left out or changed. I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy and so far have enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, even though many things have been left out of both because of the length of the books. To Kill a Mockingbird was true to the book, as was The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Kite Runner, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the Tim Burton version), The Green Mile, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

There are very few movies I enjoy better than the books, but I do have one or two favorites. Secret Garden is based on the short story Secret Garden, Secret Window and although I enjoy the story, I think the movie is wonderful and it is in my top 25 movies. Cold Mountain is a great book, but the imagery and visuals in the movie are outstanding. I really didn't like the book BLOW, but I loved the movie - maybe it was Johnny Depp, I don't know.

I love the saying:
Books - Read the Movie
I think this is what everyone should do because there is something powerful about the written word. However, I realize there are many non-readers in the world who enjoy seeing movies, I just wish they wouldn't take the movie as the whole story. So many times, the movie just doesn't compare to the enjoyment of reading the words and having the pictures form in your imagination.


Anonymous said...

I haven't even seen the Wizard of Oz book. Really? Silver slippers? Thanks for that info..

Susan B. Evans said...

I can usually enjoy the movie seperate from its book. Although, I do try to read the book first if I can :) Here's my musing...