Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Books vs Movies

So I already watched The Hunger Games movie from start to end. Apart from the gory parts, it was a good and entertaining movie, but it was a pale shadow of the book in my opinion.

Some positives first before I go all nega. I liked the casting for and acting of Stanley Tucci for Caesar Flickerman. Spot on! I also liked how Lady Gaga-ish the Capitol people were made to be (and that was before I found out that she was actually the inspiration for the costumes). I also liked the visual they made for the opening ceremonies, from the chariots to the parade of the tributes as well as the flaming costumes.

That said, give me a few minutes to go nega. I didn't like how they overlooked some of the good parts in the book and how they changed some of the dialogue. I don't like how they removed Haymitch's line when he said "Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?" on the train going towards Capitol, how the movie made it seem that only Katniss had fire and Peeta was a simple-minded pushover. I didn't like how they downplayed the whole Peeta-is-in-love-with-Katniss thing and that they changed most of what had happened in the cave during the Games. I didn't like how they showed the alliance between Katniss and Rue as well as the whole scene between Thresh and Katniss at the feast (Clove didn't even mention the alliance so it was weird that Thresh didn't kill Katniss). I didn't like how the final interview was conducted and how disconnected with each other Katniss and Peeta felt at the end. Basically, what I disliked the most was how different the dynamic between them felt in the movie as compared to the book. In the book, it was a tug-of-war between enemies, friends and lovers. In the movie, it was just two strangers who happened to be from the same district helping each other survive.

When I finished watching the movie, I told Jojo that the book was so much better. He just laughed and said "always naman, diba?" Well, I realize now that I say that often enough. I said that to all 8 Harry Potter movies, to all 5 Twilight films and to a couple more movies here and there. Then he asked me "kailan ba naging mas maganda yung book?", and I had to pause to think about it. Because while films provide good visuals, I often find that they do not really capture a character's personality or essence. Take for instance Dan Brown's Da Vinci's Code. Sophia's character in the book was street smart, intelligent and brave, but in the movie, it seemed as if she was so clueless, everything had to be explained to her.

But you know what, I was able to give Jojo an answer! The movie A Walk to Remember (Mandy Moore, Shane West) was much better than the book. I read the book after I had watched the movie, and I was so surprised and disappointed with the book. Parang ang flat ng book! I mean, if I had read the book first, I would never have thought that they would make it into a movie.

Then there was Legally Blonde (Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair). Very few know that the movie was based on a book by Amanda Brown. Actually, even I didn't. I just happened to have read the book and realized afterward that the story was so similar to the movie. A quick Google search confirmed that the movie was based on the book. The movie was highly entertaining, the book, unfortunately, was not quite as fun. (Side note - I just found out that my favorite Amanda Brown book, School of Fortune, is being optioned for a film. I am so excited! My first thought when I finished reading it for the first time was that the story would make for a great movie. That was over 4 years ago, and now it may soon be a reality! Woohoo!).

Another movie that I liked better than the book was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien (Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler). But this was mainly because I found it hard to imagine the world as told by Tolkien. I am no sci-fi geek, you know. Besides, I only read the book because the second movie The Two Towers was just so bitin.

What about you? Do you like books that are adapted into movies? What is your favorite?

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