Okay if you are a reader, you already know the answer to this one. Why is it that when they turn a book into a movie, the book is almost always (there are a couple of exceptions) better? Here are my ten reasons:
- In books it is easier to see what is going on in the characters heads. This actually makes character action and motivation make more sense. Instead of just running through the dark and then for some reason veering toward the deserted and creepy building we can sometimes hear their thoughts and the character can explain and justify their logic.
- There are no shiny, beautiful people on the screen distracting you from how the characters should look. Even ugly characters, when transferred to the screen, are usually played by some beautiful person who has had a bit of dirt scrubbed on their face to make them look dowdy. It doesn’t really work and it takes away from the character.
- Plots make more sense in book form because the point of the book is to tell a story, not be visually spectacular. I will Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as an example here. This book had quite a lot of action in it already and yet when the movie was released huge chunks of the story were removed and replaced with even more action. The entire dragon chase sequence around the school, ending with Harry crashing into the roof did not exist in the book. It didn’t add a single thing to the story and because of this lengthy sequence the movie dragged on and still didn’t make any sense because key pieces of information were never revealed.
- Books are completely portable. I know people keep trying to tell us they aren’t and that we need to read on computers and all manner of other things, but compared to carting a television around, books are extremely portable. And yes, we can watch movies on laptops and phones and portable DVD players but when the picture is that small, I have to wonder what the point is.
- Books don’t need batteries or a power source to run. You open them, you read them.
- Reading books takes longer than watching a movie. Some people would argue that it isn’t an advantage to be time consuming but in terms of the cost to enjoyment ratio I would very much like my enjoyment to go for more than an hour or two.
- There are never bad special effects in books because you create the images in your own head and they come out flawlessly.
- The characters are never destroyed by bad acting (though bad writing is another story).
- The soundtrack is whatever you want it to be and you aren’t being constantly forewarned of any actual tension by a spike in the music so you can genuinely be surprised by the next plot twist.
- Curl up on the couch with a DVD case in your hand and see how relaxed it makes you feel.
Yes, you may now all proceed to tell me how incredible movies are and how much better this or that movie was than the book.
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