Thursday, December 4, 2008

Book vs. Movie - Original vs. Re-make

Katie just finished watching The Polar Express, and now she's watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the new version. And it got me thinking. . . dangerous territory, I know.

The Polar Express is a wonderful children's Christmas book. Very wholesome and brought a tear to my eye the first time I read it to Cassidy. (And maybe a few other times, too.) So I couldn't wait for the movie to come out. Even though Tom Hanks was involved and I consider him one of the greatest actors of our time (Castaway) the conversion of this book into a movie was horrible. They added characters and made it a little creepy. They bum on top of the train. He scared me! I watched it once and don't plan to ever watch it again.

The Shining by Steven King - Great movie and even better book. If you thought the movie was scary, read the book. I remember reading it in High School and being creeped out because I was reading it in a room alone. Scary, weird, fantastic book!

The Lord of the Rings - You knew this was coming. Phenomenal movie, and I can't put into words how great the book is. They did a great job making the movie and although some characters were missing (Tom Bombadil) and they added some things I wasn't happy about (Frodo sending Sam away before they meet Shelob the giant spider), I don't think anyone could have done a better adaptation. As for the characters that were missing, there's no way you could get them all into a movie. When I was reading the book, I had to buy another book so that I could keep all the characters straight!

Harry Potter - These were actually pretty good, both the books and the movies. I think since JK Rowling had such a big role in the films, it made a big difference.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - You just can't top Gene Wilder. I love Johnny Depp, but the original is way better. As for the book, I haven't read it, so I can't say.

The Batman Series - OK, I'm no comic book reader, so I can't say. But who is your favorite Batman since the 80's? Being a child of the 80's I have to say that Michael Keaton tops my list. All of them since have sucked, until Christian Bale.

Planet of the Apes - Charleton Heston Rules!! Right, Angie?

So, which do you prefer? The shortened version in a movie theater, or reading the book? The original, or updated remake? Bob, you better not let me down here. You're the resident movie expert.


Kerri said...

I must admit that right now I prefer movies.. There just doesn't seem to be time to sit down and read without the phone ringing or someone in my house trying to talk to me..
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first book I remember being able to visualize as I read..
Scott had never heard of the Chronicles of Narnia.. So I sent him to go rent it.. He grabbed the wrong one.. It was filmed by the BBC in 1988 and was the creepiest Pee Wee Herman type movie ever.. We turned it off and got the newer version on Tuesday..
I could watch it over and over.. They did a great job with 2005 version. I was like a kid.. clapping my hands.. hitting Scott in the arm saying "oohh.. here comes Aslan. The White Witch Bitch better watch out".. He thought I was nuts.
And I can't wait to rent Prince Caspian..

Also a big LOTR fan.. I didn't think I would be.. Kris forced me to watch the Two Towers with him.. Then I HAD to go rent the first one and wait around for the third one.. Yes I watch them out of order.. But I had read the books, so I knew what was going on..

Bob said...

Jurassic Park the Book was significantly better than movie. They changed quite a bit for the movie.

Originals are generally better than remakes - exceptions: Thomas Crown Affair, The Italian Job, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Definitely agree on that one).

Stephen King's books are extremely creepy, he even admits that while writing pet semetary he had to take a break because he couldn't handle it.

Sequals can be mixed - I liked the original Pirates of the Caribean but didn't like the sequals nearly as much. The sequals which come to mind as being better than the original are Alien, Terminator and the new Batman series with Christian Bale.

Janice and I watched Hancock over Thanksgiving break - It was okay, nothing special...

Amy said...

Kerri, you're a LOTR geek, too? I never would have guessed. Do you also have the soundtracks in your car? I do. Is that really geeky?

Bob, I've been meaning to ask you about Hancock. I guess I won't bother. Dana and I saw a re-make recently and it was better than the origina, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was! It will come to me.

Kerri said...

You win!!!!
I do NOT have the soundtracks.. But damn you, now I'm going to have to check them out..

LOL.. there are probably several things about me that would shock most people.. LOTR is just the beginning..

I disagree with Bob.. I watched Hancock last weekend and liked it.. Was even a little excited that they left it open at the end for a possible sequal.
I wouldn't say it's GREAT.. but I'd watch it again.

Amy said...

Kerri, Does TORN mean anything to you?

Janice said...

Hancock was okay in my book. I guess I have seen Wil Smith pick better movies...He did great, it was just okay to me.
Now...Iron man....that was a surprise for me. Not being a comic reader like Amy, I did not know what to expect. Bob is opening a new world and explaining they are not about these colorful characters drawn on paper..there is a backgroud story to them.

Kerri said...

No, TORN didn't mean anything to me.. I went and checked it out though..
You're a way bigger fan than me.. LOL..
I'm picturing you at a LOTR convention.. You know like the Trekky conventions..