February 18, 2013

Bait & Switch: ROW80 Update

As I mentioned in Friday's post, I went with my daughter to see Beautiful Creatures. I really enjoyed the book, so I was looking forward to seeing the movie.

It was a good movie, but it was the classic bait and switch... something I see all too often happen with good books.

The movie had the same characters, although often with different purposes and traits, and even the same major plot points, but it was NOT the book I read. And it's a darn shame.

Was it a bad movie? No. But it's hard for me to be overly enthusiastic about it when it was such a deviation from the book. If I hadn't read the book, I think I would have liked it more. The biggest travesty: the main male character, Ethan, was a much stronger character in the book. The movie made him seem dorky and weak. Such a shame.

I have yet to see the authors' take on the movie, but I can see why they wouldn't want to speak out too publicly about any disappointment. Do you remember Anne Rice speaking out about Interview with a Vampire and her disappointment in Tom Cruise as Lestat? It didn't help the movie. Nor, I'm sure, did it help those who enjoyed the movie want to read her book. Catch 22.

But then again, I must admit to having the following problem...

Can you judge a movie without considering the book it was based on?


Mondays are my A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Updates. So here goes...

My goal: Spend an hour a day writing/planning the Depression Cookies follow-up. 
My progress: Bit of a fail, since I still need to write another chapter. Will finish Wednesday.

My goal: Deep edits and "filling holes" work on Chasing Memories (my NaNo project). 

My progress: Prologue & Chapter One have been sent. Why is the first reader always the scariest?

My goal: Post here on Monday, Wednesday & Friday and write some A to Z posts so April is not so overwhelming.

My progress: Posted MWF last week. Plan to do the same this week. Hope to write two A to Z posts this week. *fingers crossed*

My goal: Read two books per week. 
My progress: Finished Beautiful Creatures just in time for the movie, and will have the review of it up on Mom in Love with Fiction. Read one book already this week and one more to go.


bookworm said...

I'm not sure this answers your question. I do not like movies based on books which depend on the viewer having read the book in order to understand the movie. For example, I believe the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy could be enjoyed without having read the books - I had, but 40 years before seeing the movies. On the other hand - I tried to watch the first two Harry Potter movies with only having read 100 or so pages of the first book and that's it. I was so lost I never watched the subsequent movies.

Jaleh D said...

I find it hard with some movies and easier for others. Some movies are done very well, and I can agree with changes and tweaks done to the plot to fit into a movie format. The characters are true to their essence. For instance, Howl's Moving Castle. Some of the plot is rather convoluted and would not have carried well into movie form, but Miyazaki kept the heart of the characters and the point of the story and turned it into a beautiful charming story that still felt right. (Plus I loved the choices for voice actors in the English dub.)

Other movies are so drastically different from the books that they should have been renamed. Ella Enchanted is the first to come to mind. It is merely based on the book and has taken huge liberties with the plot. I preferred Prince Charmont from the book, thank you very much. And there was no evil uncle, amusing though he was as Cary Elwes played him.

Nice work on your goals. :D I haven't set any writing ones for myself right now. Need to get on that but crocheting has a rather strong hold on me now. I'm going to work on some book reviews though.

Julie Glover said...

Good week overall, Tia!

I think you can enjoy a movie even if it's different from the book. However, you probably need some distance. I do much better seeing a book-adapted film if it's been a while since I read the novel. I don't remember all of the particulars in that case. But if they changed the main character so much, that's hard. I did not like Lord of the Rings for that very reason. I hated the casting decision for Frodo. I just didn't see Frodo like that at all, so it was hard for me to enjoy the movie. I didn't even bother seeing the next two and don't regret missing them.

My favorite adaptation? Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen's novel by Emma Thompson.

Mel Kinnel (@TizMellyMel) said...

Wow, thanks for the feedback. I have read books that were made into movies and I always have to do a double-take because of all the differences. I must admit, if I see the movie first, I usually don't go back to read the book because I know it will only confuse me.

You're right, I think a movie that is adapted from a book has to be at least 19-hours long to get every detail right.

Mel Kinnel (@TizMellyMel) said...

I always feel the books made into movies lack the details. I think you're right on point when you say they have to be at least 19-hours long to get it right.

Jo Michaels said...

I LOVED the Twilight series. My biggest problem with the first movie was they stuck too closely to the book. Books don't make good screenplays. The author turned down two movie deals offered because they wanted to make the vampires scary and that wasn't her vision. Props to her for sticking to her guns and being true to her books. She also hand-picked the actors for Edward and Bella and was on set every day to be sure they didn't buggar it up.

Apparently, Ms. Meyer also has had a huge hand in filming The Host. I've read that book and I'm very much looking forward to the movie.

So, I say, it depends. If they go a little off the storyline, okay. It's expected and required. If they change the book completely, not so much.

Great post! Glad to see you keeping with your goals! WRITE ON!