Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Since it’s Friday, here’s a fun movie quiz:
1) What book was the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” based on?
2) What words do the letters in WALL-E’s name stand for?
3) What musical group provided the musical inspiration for the film/stageplay “Mamma Mia!”?
4) Who plays Benjamin Button in the film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”?
5) Haley Joel Osment plays 13-year-old Walter in “Secondhand Lions.” What was his first film?
Answers at the bottom!
Okay, back to business. Let’s talk about books that are made into movies. We all know that most of the time the book is WAY better than the film, but exceptions do exist. I know that everyone has a different opinion, but let’s talk about which ones worked and why.
I did a little research online because I didn’t want my opinion to be the one we use. Here’s a list of films that people “out there” thought were better than the book:
“Gone with the Wind”
“The Wizard of Oz”
Why did the audience connect more with the onscreen version? Here’s my opinion:
“Bladerunner” was based on the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. His books, in general, throw a lot of strange but interesting ideas at the reader without putting much attention on the story. “Bladerunner” was plot-driven and had Harrison Ford in it. It’s pretty easy to see why this would be the preference (especially for women).
The Wizard of Oz, Jurassic Park, and even Ben-Hur were all books with strong visuals that involved the reader’s imagination. The viewers who preferred the movies to the books probably liked being able to see these scenes on the big screen: the worlds–the dinosaur island in “Jurassic Park,” the wonderful land of Oz, ancient Rome in “Ben-Hur”–and the nail-biting chariot race between Masala and Judah in “Ben-Hur.” These aren’t things we experience in life, (when was the last time you saw a chariot race?) so it’s fun to “experience” them in movie-form.
The film “Gone with the Wind,” I suppose, is preferred because of the length of the book. The movie was long, but the book was even longer. The book was fantastic, but the movie successfully keep the spirit of the book alive and felt authentic. The movie is true to the story and doesn’t require as much of a time investment.
“The Godfather,” “Jaws,” and “The Wizard of Oz” movies all have strong musical elements that the books obviously don’t have. The theme songs for “The Godfather” and “Jaws” are so memorable, and they help to create the movie experience. “The Wizard of Oz” music is catchy and fun. I bet the musical scores for these three films strongly influenced the audience’s decisions that these movies were better than the books.
Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear from you!
1) Q & A by Vikas Swarup
2) Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth class
4) Brad Pitt
5) “Forrest Gump.” (He played Forrest’s son.)
I hope you got them all right!