May 25, 2012

Books vs movies, and pride

I watched the first three Twilight movies last night. Ick. I'm not going to say much,  just because if I got going, it wouldn't be over quickly. Kind of like the movies... Argh! I was in so much pain! It took me several hours to finish the first one, and then I sped up the playback on the next two, just enough that I could still hear the dialog. Horrible, awful, stupid movies! Having just read the books, I can say with certainty that only about 10 percent, total, was from the books. That means a handful of lines, the names, and some of the appearances of the characters. It can't be easy to mess up that badly, honestly. What's worse is that the writing and directing are so bad that it makes stunningly talented actresses like Dakota Fanning and Bryce Dallas Howard (one of my all-time faves) look stupid, stiff, and unconvincing. Can you tell that I'm just a little annoyed about this? And keep in mind, I'm not even a huge fan of the books, so that's really messed up! Sigh... So, let's just sum this up so I can be done with it:
  • Acting = awful
  • Music = awful
  • Plot accuracy = middling
  • Timeline accuracy = awful
  • Special effects = awful
  • Overall appearance = awful
  • Flow = awful
That's all I've got. The actual story contained in the books, the basis for all the films, was barely even there. A movie based on my intended re-write of the books would be unrecognizable if compared it to these. And the part that burns the most, and probably colors my other opinions just a little? Emmett. My favorite character, the only one I was actually excited to see in the movies, was ruined. Absolutely ruined. If you looked for him in a crowd based on his description in the book, you'd never find him. Sad, sad day. I have to talk about something else now...
Gah. So wrong.
How about those Hunger Games, eh? I just finished the first book, started it last night after those catastrophes, and I have to say I was impressed. The first-person perspective trend is getting really old for me, but the present tense is definitely something I don't think I've read before. I really didn't expect to enjoy it quite so much as I did, though. Ah, my poor pride... I really need to just give it up, but it's a little hard :) Hunger Games is easily better than Twilight; though that's not saying much, it's still true. Again, I'm not a huge fan, but I'm genuinely interested in the movies now, and I can actually understand a little of the craze about Katniss: that's something I could never say about Jacob and Edward. The issues I have are these: first, the first-person perspective makes it really hard to feel any kind of fear for the main character. Kind of the same as knowing that there's two more books, but they could be about different people. 

My second issue is that I felt slightly manipulated into cheering for Katniss. She's... too likable, for lack of a better word. Not saying that she's perfect, but most of the things we know about her (trying to avoid spoilers here) make you either feel sorry for her or admire her. There's not likely to be a lot of people who actually understand how she feels or what she's going through, so it feels like the alternative is to through a bunch of unfamiliar stuff at her to make the reader go "omg she's so brave, I could never do that, she's my hero, blahblahblah..." I don't know if anybody has picked up on it yet, but I'm certainly seeing a trend on what I do and don't like in a character. I find it impossible not to see them as role models, so I want them as realistic as possible, but at the same time, they need to be good, too. I guess that's a hard thing to balance.
Either way, I stifle my pride as I say, I'm looking forward to blazing through the next couple books, cuz I'm a Hunger Games fan :) I have to work on being more careful about voicing strong opinions before I know what I'm talking about... Something I should be doing anyways, I guess!


  1. Just wondering if you've ever liked a movie better than the book from which it was made?

  2. I really don't think I have... although I'm not sure what all I've seen that was made from books. I don't always know that something was a book first, so I haven't gotten a chance to compare them all. Stuff like "Wives and Daughters." It's on my to-read list, but I know I love the movie. We'll see how long it takes me to get around to reading it!

    1. How about The Time Traveler's Wife? I read (and really liked) the book, and we have the movie at school, but no one ever says much about it when they return it, so I'm afraid it will be a disappointment.

    2. Nope, never read or seen that one!