Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bad movies can ruin books!

This is something I realized when I saw Eragon with my little brother. My best friend absolutely loved the book, and I'd read an article about the author years before, so Eragon was high on my list of books that I wanted to read. But then I saw the movie. Due to the length of the book, the film obviously had to cut several things out, but the screenwriters and director, in my opinion, made some bad choices in that department. As a result, I took my little brother to see a movie filled with plot holes, poor characterization, and overly contrived circumstances intended to move the story forward. I was so disappointed that it turned me off to the book.

I think it's great when a book can get made into a movie that inspires fans to read more. Harry Potter did a GREAT job with that, but the biggest advantage Rowling had with those movies is that every change to the story had to be approved by her. As a result, the core of the story remained in tact, and anything unimportant could be cut to preserve the spirit of the books.

Not every author has that option, but it seems like so many writers want their books turned into movies that they're willing to sell the film rights to anyone who's willing to put it on the silver screen. Regardless of how good or bad the movie might be.

I don't know how many people decided not to read a book based on how bad the movie was, but I do know that a great movie will inspire me to pick up anything the author might have written.

What are your thoughts? Do you read books that were made into movies?


  1. I honestly couldn't think of a movie I enjoyed as much as I did the book. I guess most writers are too anxious to get a deal that they are not too worried about how the movie will turn out.

  2. I personally think that the best thing to do when you're basing something off a book is to take it and recreate it for the film.
    I just caught this series called Haven that is loosely based on a Stephen King novelette called the colorado kid.
    The best part of it is that the series retains the small new england town feel, a couple of minor characters, and one mystery that is massively changed.
    The book is great (Reminds me of lovecraft, but mystery instead of horror) and the series is decent thus far, however they are totally different things and I enjoy them for totally different reasons.
    Anyway my point is that it's better when they acknowledge that it can't be the same thing and merely try to make a good film instead of a good adaptation.

  3. Dexter was like that too.

  4. I admit, I saw a bit of Eragon on TV and didn't like it. It made me not want to read it too.
    I did read Princess Bride after seeing the movie, and was heartily pleased that the book was great.Both were enjoyable, yet the flavor of the humor was a little different.
    Great post!

  5. I made the mistake of watching White Oleander after reading the book. All the people involved in the making of that film should be punished. It was a huge disservice to the story, to say the least.

    What a charlie-foxtrot it turned out to be. Quite sad.

    And while I haven't read the story that The Last Airbender is based on, it has GOT to be better than the white-washed, crap-actor disaster that made it into theatres.

  6. The Last Airbender is a tv show on Neckelodian (sp?). I don't know if it's a book, too. That would be cool!