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Books: The Low Point of Hollywood?

1 emerald6 replies254 views
created 01/29/2014 10:36 pm by CalPal_
last reply 01/30/2014 10:17 pm
Do great books make great movies? Many of the nerds—er—people here, seem to think otherwise. Because the fans of such series as “The Chronicles of Narnia” are completely devoted to the books, they judge the movies quite harshly. This is understandable, as they don’t want something they love to be altered. However, judged as movies in themselves, are they any good? Most screaming fangirls and angry fanboys consider a movie that strays from a book as garbage. You can imagine their outrage when Susan kissed Caspian at the end of “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.”

Producers seem to cut out scenes with all good books, alas. What was Saruman doing in “The Hobbit”? Outrageous! (unless of course, that was in one of the appendices, which I am not nerdy enough to read) But have the extremely selfish, short-sighted, ugly, narcissistic… Sorry. What I mean to say is: Have the fans considered that the movie is still good in its own right? In defense of Hollywood, and to clear the names of directors, I was going to present to you my argument, with all 13,647 points. As I do not like editing that much fine material, here are three reasons that bibliophiles hate Hollywood, and why they’re wrong.

#1 – Directors cut so much out.
To the shock and horror of all “The Hunger Games” fans, they left out part of the story in which Katniss recognizes a maimed waiter, who’s tongue has been removed, as a girl from her district. Infuriated that there was no scene in the movie about this, I wrote to Suzanne Collins and demanded to know why it was left out. I also included a picture of me brandishing a baseball bat, just to let her know I meant business, and also that I understood the rules of baseball. She still hasn’t replied. But I would assume the reply would look something like this:

“Dear Mr. Tobias,
This movie already lasts way too long. How do you suggest we add some dialog with some mute people. We can’t communicate thoughts.
I can’t believe I actually had to tell you that,
Suzanne Collins.”

Yes, movies can take too long sometimes, and that will keep the general public out. Sometimes unimportant things must be cut. And to those people who notice that a certain minor character is supposed to be left-handed, but in one scene he fights right-handed, or that a sword’s elvish writings are incorrectly translated, get some friends? They’re quite fun.

#2 – The production company doesn’t care about its fans.
This seems to be a common complaint about all major companies. They take away something the fans love, and for no perfectly good reason! Do they even care about their fans? The answer to that is no, and why should they? Because you whine and gripe about how their movies err from the book, and you act like their sole purpose in life is to serve your fandom needs? See my point? Shocking as it may seem, Hollywood doesn’t care about you, nor does the government, or even that one guy who spins signs by the highway.

This is because it is a business, and a business’s purpose is not to make everyone happy at any cost. Shockingly, it is to make money, with as little cost as possible. Would it be awesome if each ticket sold to Harry Potter was personally handed out by Harry himself? A fan would think that was totally awesome and stalk him the rest of the night, but an outsider like me couldn’t care less. And that’s the point. They already have all the fans coming to see the movie, regardless of whether the reviews were good or not. The whole goal is to get outsiders, like me, to come see it and get my every last penny. If pleasing the fans means cutting profits, the fans will have to miss out.

#3 – When the plot is altered, the movie is terrible.
Fact: The author is not infallible. The book isn’t perfect, and still has room to be improved upon, which is why I find it odd that our culture likes to go ballistic when a movie strays from its source. It’s almost as if the act of making something better offends people. A great example of this is “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.” Yes, the acting can be a bit cheesy at some points, and it doesn’t follow the original all the way, but is it really a bad movie? In some not-very-social circles, liking Percy Jackson is treason. I, however, think it’s a fun, brilliant movie. It didn’t follow the book, but judged on its own merits, I would watch it again. Not every movie can be The Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition, but who wants to watch an hour more of just talking and walking? Not me, not my neighbor, and not that guy spinning signs by the highway. Just you and your nerd friends. Imagine if “27 Hours” hadn’t cut any plot. Get the picture?

Books can still be made into terrible movies.
Perhaps I wasn’t listening to myself for the past three rambling arguments, but I still think that it’s possible that books can be made into terrible movies. I don’t, however, judge them on how well they keep to the story’s path, but how good the acting, cinematography, costumes, and score are. For instance, take the movie version of “Eragon.” I thought it was terrible before I had even read the book. This film, if I may be so bold as to call it that, was a complete disgrace to human achievement and deserves to go to that part of history we all forget. Do what I did. I will only say it involves flushing. At least no movie ever made out of a book will ever reach that low point of film again, right?


...

OK, this was not written by me. It was written by a good friend of mine, and I have his permission to post it here.
I thought it would just be a good... catalyst of fun. xP
Discuss.
Posted by avatar
CalPal_
Level 36 : Artisan Cake
318

6 replies

1
01/30/2014 10:17 pm
Level 15 : Journeyman Pirate
Bleyd
avatar
As someone who read a lot of books that were adapted into movies, I have to say that people give screenwriters and producers a lot more flack than they really deserve. While there are plenty of cases in which they change way too many things and ruin the story (Eragon), most of them seem to be fine. What people fail to realize are the striking differences between books and movies that require a different approach. It's incredibly difficult to write a screenplay based on a book, and I can't really think of a good example of a movie adaptation that followed the book exactly and did very well.

For example people complain a lot about Legolas being in the Hobbit movie when he was never mentioned in the book. Anyone who read the books knows that the movie is based on a prequel and his character was most definitely present for those events despite not being specifically mentioned. Whether they give him his own story and things to do parallel to the main plot is up to them in order to flesh things out more and give different perspectives.

Another example is Smaug's depiction as a wyvern. While I don't remember if dragons in the Silmarillion had four legs or two, it shouldn't really matter when you present it in movie format. When something is on the big screen, even in a fantasy setting, there's still some suspension of disbelief that goes on, and making a more biologically believable dragon is somewhat necessary. Add the fact that the voice actor was using motion capture for CGI, and it makes a lot more sense that they would present him in this way. As a diehard fan of the books in their entirety, I choose only to be aware of what choices the artists in question have to make when adapting the source to a scale that big, and not let them get in the way of enjoying the story for what it is.
1
01/30/2014 9:53 pm
Level 36 : Artisan Cake
CalPal_
avatar
I must say, I personally also love reading. I have the same experiences as you, as if a movie is almost going in my head. I've never been a super fan of book-movies personally. In fact, the only I can think of off the top of my head is the original LOTR trilogy.
1
01/30/2014 7:35 pm
Level 41 : Master Princess
Buttsauce
avatar
This sounds like something written by a person who enjoys book movies and is upset that other people think said book movies are crap. <- Edit: For the record: I actually really enjoyed reading it. Post moar?

I confess! I dislike most of those I've seen. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Now, before I put my cilice on and watch Avengers 2 ten times in a row to atone for my sins against Hollywood blockbusters, I've got yet another confession to make, which will-hopefully-erase my sins in the eyes of... of whoever wrote the original thing.

I generally don't like books based on movies either. Or movies based on games. Or games based on movies. Or games based on books. Or books based on games. Or anime based on anything. Actually, just to add salt to the injury, I'm not particularly fond of any incarnation of thing-was-a-hit-let's-make-another-thing-out-of-it-and-hope-it's-a-hit-too. Hell, let's just bring out the big guns and say that I refuse to watch American blockbusters unless some really, really impressive bribery is involved.

But, let's not dwell on the fact that Murikan brainbusters are not my thing. Back to books.

I like reading. Books, fanfiction, compressor user manuals, you name it. Reading is awesome. Give me a book with 500 000 words and you have effectively given me a week of really happy evenings. When I read a book it's like I watch a movie in my own head. I read and I know how the characters and their surroundings look like, how they interact, everything. I can see it all just perfectly. And the best thing? My head-movie is unique in the way my brain lovingly tailored just for me. If the book says, “He was a tall, muscular man, he had piercing blue eyes and a mane of dark hair” I will initially see the character as a rugged barbarian, while my friend's first impression of the very same man will be a pristine Calvin Klein model, and both versions are equally real. How is this not magic?

And then a movie is relased. I go see it, but I've already seen it. I've seen it the way it's supposed to be, and this thing I see on a screen? Man, it's nothing like I imagined. Wait, what the crap is Jason Momoa doing there? What am I watching, Stargate Atlantis? This movie tastes like a reheated pork chop. Character B was supposed to be naïve, curious and serene, and the actress looks like she suffers from chronic constipation. I can't believe I let you guys talk me into it. Even if from a technical standpoint the movie is flawless I can't force myself to enjoy it because the soul is gone.

To pretend I'm not going offtopic here, let me comment on some of your points, except #3 because this I already mangled above.

#1 Directors cut so much out. Yep. They do. That's not something that can be avoided, unless you want a movie to be, like, a week long, so, as you pointed out, they cut unimportant things out. But what if these unimportant things they remove are actually what I enjoy? I'm pretty damn fond of world building. Those mannierisms of background sorceresses in The Witcher? They were fantastic and they made me really love Marti Sodergren. Every single minor detail in the Discworld has me grinning like a fool, but such minor details and background characters are what is always cut first, because they are not important. Some people might not care. For me, it's like having this uncomfortable feeling that something is missing.

#2 The production company doesn't care about its fans. This is true. You can either have something really awesome and think, “Hey, this thing is really awesome, I bet people would like to buy it!”, or you can really want more money and think, “I want more money but all I have is this piece of trash, how can I convince people they really need this trash so they can give me my money?”
One produces quality content that is a pleasure to use. One produces Hollywood blockbusters and junk food. Nothing you can do about it... except vote with your wallet.

...Holy udders, I swear I didn't mean to make this post long. It just, uh, happened all on its own?
1
01/30/2014 10:39 am
Level 40 : Master Pixel Painter
telamonianajax
avatar
Yeah. I hated all the 3D gimmicks though. Remember the water part? It looked like it was shot with a GoPro.
And overall, the camera's were crap.
Peter Jackson has betrayed us :'(
1
01/30/2014 9:16 am
Level 36 : Artisan Cake
CalPal_
avatar
Probably not. Though I GENERALLY enjoyed that movie, that part was just horrid.
1
01/29/2014 11:26 pm
Level 40 : Master Pixel Painter
telamonianajax
avatar
I read through all this, and I know exactly how you feel.

Do great books make great movies? Many of the nerds—er—people here, seem to think otherwise. Because the fans of such series as “The Chronicles of Narnia” are completely devoted to the books, they judge the movies quite harshly. This is understandable, as they don’t want something they love to be altered. However, judged as movies in themselves, are they any good? Most screaming fangirls and angry fanboys consider a movie that strays from a book as garbage. You can imagine their outrage when Susan kissed Caspian at the end of “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.”

The Narnia movies were good, but a little overdramatic. It would be a pretty good movie, but as a book movie, still bad.

Producers seem to cut out scenes with all good books, alas. What was Saruman doing in “The Hobbit”? Outrageous! (unless of course, that was in one of the appendices, which I am not nerdy enough to read) But have the extremely selfish, short-sighted, ugly, narcissistic… Sorry. What I mean to say is: Have the fans considered that the movie is still good in its own right? In defense of Hollywood, and to clear the names of directors, I was going to present to you my argument, with all 13,647 points. As I do not like editing that much fine material, here are three reasons that bibliophiles hate Hollywood, and why they’re wrong.

I am very unhappy with The Hobbit.
The extended edition only has like 30 minutes extra!
now my Hobbit Marathons are gonna be like 3 hours shorter than my LOTR Marathon!
WTF!
wheres the fun?!?!

#1 – Directors cut so much out.
To the shock and horror of all “The Hunger Games” fans, they left out part of the story in which Katniss recognizes a maimed waiter, who’s tongue has been removed, as a girl from her district. Infuriated that there was no scene in the movie about this, I wrote to Suzanne Collins and demanded to know why it was left out. I also included a picture of me brandishing a baseball bat, just to let her know I meant business, and also that I understood the rules of baseball. She still hasn’t replied. But I would assume the reply would look something like this:

“Dear Mr. Tobias,
This movie already lasts way too long. How do you suggest we add some dialog with some mute people. We can’t communicate thoughts.
I can’t believe I actually had to tell you that,
Suzanne Collins.”

Yes, movies can take too long sometimes, and that will keep the general public out. Sometimes unimportant things must be cut. And to those people who notice that a certain minor character is supposed to be left-handed, but in one scene he fights right-handed, or that a sword’s elvish writings are incorrectly translated, get some friends? They’re quite fun.

building upon my earlier point, isn't the reason they make extended editions of LOTR crap to put in this stuff? yet now they are botching hobbit extended edition.

#2 – The production company doesn’t care about its fans.
This seems to be a common complaint about all major companies. They take away something the fans love, and for no perfectly good reason! Do they even care about their fans? The answer to that is no, and why should they? Because you whine and gripe about how their movies err from the book, and you act like their sole purpose in life is to serve your fandom needs? See my point? Shocking as it may seem, Hollywood doesn’t care about you, nor does the government, or even that one guy who spins signs by the highway.

This is because it is a business, and a business’s purpose is not to make everyone happy at any cost. Shockingly, it is to make money, with as little cost as possible. Would it be awesome if each ticket sold to Harry Potter was personally handed out by Harry himself? A fan would think that was totally awesome and stalk him the rest of the night, but an outsider like me couldn’t care less. And that’s the point. They already have all the fans coming to see the movie, regardless of whether the reviews were good or not. The whole goal is to get outsiders, like me, to come see it and get my every last penny. If pleasing the fans means cutting profits, the fans will have to miss out.

so true. most companies don't really care about people.
(on the side, Sony does. at E3, there were these people who couldn't walk, in wheelchairs. but the PS4's and Xbone's were upstairs. Microsoft said "screw you", and Sony said "Have a free PS4 on launch day! We're really sorry!"
PS4 RULES!!!!)

#3 – When the plot is altered, the movie is terrible.
Fact: The author is not infallible. The book isn’t perfect, and still has room to be improved upon, which is why I find it odd that our culture likes to go ballistic when a movie strays from its source. It’s almost as if the act of making something better offends people. A great example of this is “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.” Yes, the acting can be a bit cheesy at some points, and it doesn’t follow the original all the way, but is it really a bad movie? In some not-very-social circles, liking Percy Jackson is treason. I, however, think it’s a fun, brilliant movie. It didn’t follow the book, but judged on its own merits, I would watch it again. Not every movie can be The Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition, but who wants to watch an hour more of just talking and walking? Not me, not my neighbor, and not that guy spinning signs by the highway. Just you and your nerd friends. Imagine if “27 Hours” hadn’t cut any plot. Get the picture?

true. before i read the below part, I was gonna mention Eragon. Still should.
Okay, even though the book is obviously derivative of Star Wars, it is still one of the best written books I have ever read, (I have read over 4000 books, no kidding.)
wait a sec, i'm noticing a trend here. Eragon, Percy Jackson, and one other terrible movie were all made by the same substandard division that makes cheap movies, for one of the major movie companies. thats probably why they were all crap. (idk, Percy was pretty good, the second, not the first, that was terrible)

Books can still be made into terrible movies.
Perhaps I wasn’t listening to myself for the past three rambling arguments, but I still think that it’s possible that books can be made into terrible movies. I don’t, however, judge them on how well they keep to the story’s path, but how good the acting, cinematography, costumes, and score are. For instance, take the movie version of “Eragon.” I thought it was terrible before I had even read the book. This film, if I may be so bold as to call it that, was a complete disgrace to human achievement and deserves to go to that part of history we all forget. Do what I did. I will only say it involves flushing. At least no movie ever made out of a book will ever reach that low point of film again, right?

I was so sad when I watched that movie. That was the pinnacle of failures, almost as bad as those random shots of the Elf Kings hairline in the Hobbit part 2.



...

OK, this was not written by me. It was written by a good friend of mine, and I have his permission to post it here.
I thought it would just be a good... catalyst of fun. xP
Discuss.

Discussed.
and Disgusted.


BTW, do you think there is anything worse in a movie adaption than that stupid girl elf in the insane dwarf elf elf love triangle of the Hobbit part 2?

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