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 Should Movies Closely Follow Books? 
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The Wonderful LPer

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Post Should Movies Closely Follow Books?
So last week, my sister saw Catching Fire and she loved it for only one reason: it followed the book exactly. That was the only reason why she enjoyed the film. While I've never read the Hunger Games books and imagine that they are really great, this made me question, should movies follow books this closely?

On one hand, it is showing exactly what the readers remember on a different medium that they want to see. However, I feel as though it shouldn't be followed this closely because then it would be a little boring since you know everything that'll happen.

On the other hand, I haven't seen the movie, but I heard Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining was praised by almost everyone, except for Stephen King himself because parts of the book were left out. He made his own TV mini-series that almost perfectly mirrors the book, but apparently had elements that work well in books but not in film.(too much dialogue over visuals)

So with that being said, what do you have to say about movies based on books?

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Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:18 pm
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Post Re: Should Movies Closely Follow Books?
From the movies I've seen and books I've read, To Kill a Mockingbird is the best example of a film adaptation. It does leave a few things out, changes a couple things around, but never to the point of betrayal. In addition, the acting in the movie is extremely great, especially in the courtroom scene.

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Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:24 pm
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Post Re: Should Movies Closely Follow Books?
Few changes are fine, just to keep things interesting, but straying too far from the structure of the book or whatever it is the movie is based on does risk making contradictions. Which is usually why movie adaptations get a fair amount of hate from their fanbase over little details that would seem insignificant to anyone else.

It also depends on who is making the movies. Certain people are very creative when it comes to implementing differences, and those little improvisations can even surprise people familiar with the books. A decent example of this is those A Series of Unfortunate Events books. I didn't get into them like my sister did, but I read a few of the books (in no particular order)... But I do know that the way they combined the first three books to collectively lead into a modified ending of the first book was...pretty unique. There was a plot twist in the ending that disallowed Violet to make the first book's ending happen, which shouldn't be considered "canon", but it surprised the viewers who read the books, nonetheless. Having a sense of knowing what's going to happen the entire time and then be proven wrong...that's always a good time (not really). But there will always be people angered by it. Another example...I hear the director of the last several Harry Potter movies never actually read the books, so he was taking a huge risk.

I personally am bothered by changes that put too much inconsistency in the picture. But I like seeing the directors be a little creative, as long as there isn't much or any conflict. The little changes also aid in calling out people who "cheat" and watch the movie before reading the book. So, like, when they go back to read the book later, they'll catch things and be all like... woah...

And, I know this isn't a movie based on a book, but wanted to toss it out here... as an example when movie adaptations can go horribly wrong... The Last Airbender (I never actually saw it, but...wow).

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Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Should Movies Closely Follow Books?
Vanadium wrote:
And, I know this isn't a movie based on a book, but wanted to toss it out here... as an example when movie adaptations can go horribly wrong... The Last Airbender (I never actually saw it, but...wow).

It doesn't take a genius to know that you can't make an hour and a half movie based off of twenty ~24 minute episodes. F*cking Shyamalan... O.o

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Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:36 pm
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Post Re: Should Movies Closely Follow Books?
This is a great question, and good job asking it.
It also depends on what the author of the work that is being adapted wants. If the author wants the movie to be accurate to the original story then it's not very nice to mess with her/his idea.
For me personally though, when things are different from a book I like in the movie, it frustrates me, almost as much as people messing up pronoun or semicolon usage sometimes. If I can see a practical reason for it, it's justifiable, but if I can't see any good reason I'd rather it just follow the book because It's just something I'm that way about. Sometimes even things that are accurate but different from how I imagined it annoy me as well, like the actor for Peeta in the Hunger Games movie. He just wasn't what I envisioned, even though he reasonably fit the book's description, and I still can't let it go.

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Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:38 am
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