THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB discussion

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message 1: by Diana (new)

Diana I've been working on the theory that someone who sees the movie adaption of a book before reading it would be a little more accepting of the changes than someone who reads the book first.

Anybody agree or disagree?


message 2: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) I agree.


message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 163 comments Diana wrote: "I've been working on the theory that someone who sees the movie adaption of a book before reading it would be a little more accepting of the changes than someone who reads the book first.

Anybo..."


I would say that it depends on the changes, to be honest. I intensely disliked the book version of P.S. I Love You, and only went to the film because my favorite actor was in it. My expectations were low, obviously. However, the changes that the screenwriters made significantly improved the story, IMO (honestly, I believe that if Celia Ahern were not the photogenic daughter of the Irish PM, she would never have been published ... but your mileage may vary).

Now, on the flip side of this ... I tried desperately to read and enjoy the "Lord of The Rings" books for *years* and gave up on them -- until after I saw the films. I blame the interminable elf songs.


message 4: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Jaffe | 18 comments If both are available to me, I always try to see the movie first. That way, I have the best chance of enjoying both movie and book (usually the book is better). If I go the other way around, the movie almost always fails to meet up to the book.


message 5: by Jewel (new)

Jewel (jewela) | 24 comments I felt the same way about P.S. I Love You. Loved the movie, but hated the book. One of the most disappointing movies that completely bummed me out was Eragon. I had totally high hopes because I'm such a fan of the series. I think if the movie had been half an hour longer it would have been a little better and not so choppy. Not to mention they forgot to give Arya the elf pointy ears, among other inconsistencies. Big disappointment.


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenofthebookworm) I agree. I always read the book first and if it is something that I have loved I have to think very carefully about going to see a film adaptation, not just because I'm going to notice the parts they have either changed or missed out but also because I am going to be sitting there thinking no that actor is all wrong for that part.

I haven't seen or read P.S.I Love You so I have no idea if the movie is an improvement on the book but I did read an article the other day in which someone who has never read A Game of Thrones complained about a major character being killed in the tv series, he seemed to think that keeping this character alive despite them actually being killed in the book was an okay change to make. I haven't read the book yet so I haven't watched the series yet but if I had and it got to the point when this character was supposed to die and they kept them alive that is the point at which I would stop watching.


message 7: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 163 comments Karen wrote: "but also because I am going to be sitting there thinking no that actor is all wrong for that part. "

I completely understand *that.* It is my opinion (yours may vary, of course) that Tom Hanks is all kinds of wrong for the role of Roger Logan in "DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons." Yet, because he's a box office draw (for reasons I fail to comprehend) he gets these high ticket dramatic parts. :-/


message 8: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 163 comments Karen wrote: "but also because I am going to be sitting there thinking no that actor is all wrong for that part. "

I completely understand *that.* It is my opinion (yours may vary, of course) that Tom Hanks is all kinds of wrong for the role of Roger Logan in "DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons." Yet, because he's a box office draw (for reasons I fail to comprehend) he gets these high ticket dramatic parts. :-/


message 9: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenofthebookworm) I completely agree. Tom Hanks is all wrong and not just for that part, like you I can't understand why he is such a big draw afterall the only part he ever plays is himself.

The casting of Hanks is a good exaxmple of producers not paying any attention to the source material, in the book Robert Langdon is described as being a Harrison Ford lookalike and other than them both being white men Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks don't look much alike.


message 10: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) I usually read the book first, but there are expections. If I haven't read the book, I'm very unsure about seeing the movie. There are exceptions. For instance, I saw The Boy in Striped Pajamas, and still haven't read the book.

I don't mind changes if they make sense. For instance, I wasn't upset about many of the changes in LOTR movies. I could see the reason for many of them, even the leaving out of Tom. I'm not so forgiving about what I'm hearing about the Hobbit, however. And I HATED how they destoryed Scarlett Letter in film.

Strangely, changes to 3 Musketeers never seem to bother me.


message 11: by Gini (new)

Gini | 106 comments Chris wrote: "Strangely, changes to 3 Musketeers never seem to bother me. "

Have you seen the trailer for the newest adaptation? I had to laugh and laugh, because it is so over-the-top that "the top" is almost invisible from those dizzying heights. It's kind of Ninjas in a steampunk world.

And yet? It looks like it's going to be a hoot. And something about Dumas makes me think that, were he looking down from the heavens, he would be rubbing his hands together in delighted anticipation. (Except that Richelieu, M'Lady and Buckingham are in cahoots. That part I think he'd dislike.)

Anyway, link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=...


message 12: by Gini (new)

Gini | 106 comments Chris wrote: "I don't mind changes if they make sense. For instance, I wasn't upset about many of the changes in LOTR movies. I could see the reason for many of them, even the leaving out of Tom. I'm not so forgiving about what I'm hearing about the Hobbit, however. And I HATED how they destoryed Scarlett Letter in film...."

Agreed. I tend to be forgiving of changes, provided they are comprehensible and serve the story. But I will resent for years a change that makes no sense and diminishes the impact of an event. (Best contrasting examples are Harry Potter ones: I hated the way the movie handled Harry and Ginny's first kiss, but really liked the way the newest one handles Hermione and Ron's first kiss.)


message 13: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 163 comments Karen wrote: "I completely agree. Tom Hanks is all wrong and not just for that part, like you I can't understand why he is such a big draw afterall the only part he ever plays is himself.

The casting of Hanks..."


Robert Langdon. Argh. Mea culpa on the wrong name (how embarrassed am I?). But yes, I'm right with you; Hanks is a one-trick pony.


message 14: by Diana (new)

Diana Gini wrote: "Have you seen the trailer for the newest adaptation? I had to laugh and laugh, because it is so over-the-top that "the t..."

Whoa I don't know how to feel about that trailer. I wasn't that big a fan of the book, I read it because I am a fan of that type of genre, or really anything involving a sword fight. Which is probably why I'll go see the movie, half way through I'll most likely realize that it's not as great but I'll enjoy it anyway.


message 15: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) The new Three Musketeers looks wonderfully stupid, if you know what I mean. I totally plan on seeing it.


message 16: by Gini (new)

Gini | 106 comments Diane and Chris, I feel the same way. It's probably going to be dreadful for the values of "good movie," but it promises amusement and entertainment by its sheer over-the-top-ness.

The only thing I expect will be truly irritating is the casting of D'Artagnan. That kid cannot act, and the flat and nasally American accent is jarring just in the trailer.


message 17: by Werner (new)

Werner Re Tom Hanks, I haven't seen the movie version of The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons (nor read the books). And certainly (like some other actors --John Wayne quickly comes to mind) he may tend to primarily play the part of characters who are much like his own real-life persona. But I'd argue that, as Forrest Gump, he was playing a character very dissimilar to himself --and played it quite well. (The real Tom Hanks is obviously nowhere near as cognitively impaired as Forrest is, but I felt he came across completely believably as the character.)


message 18: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) He did well with Davinci Code, but I really just wouldn't have picked him for that role.


message 19: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 37 comments No Tom Hansk wouldnt have been my choice for Robert Langford either - but he was perfectin Forrest Gump - and also brilliant in Philadelphia, -I can think of much worse actors the worst being the overrated Tom Cruise! Just awful.


message 20: by ~Geektastic~ (new)

 ~Geektastic~ (atroskity) Diana wrote: "I've been working on the theory that someone who sees the movie adaption of a book before reading it would be a little more accepting of the changes than someone who reads the book first.

Anybo..."


I would rather risk disliking the movie than see it before reading the book. I don't want the visuals of the film interfering with my imagination when creating visuals for the book.


message 21: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 660 comments Amber wrote: "Diana wrote: "I've been working on the theory that someone who sees the movie adaption of a book before reading it would be a little more accepting of the changes than someone who reads the book first."

If I am keen on reading a book which I know will soon be adapted for the screen, I make a point of reading it before the movie version comes out.

Two cases in point are "THE DA VINCI CODE" and "ONE DAY" (the David Nicholls novel that I finished reading last week --- ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!).


"The Da Vinci Code" was suspenseful and one of those novels that I liked while I was reading it. But it isn't a novel that I would read again. The movie version was OK, but I didn't think that Tom Hanks was the right actor for the leading role. (Harrison Ford would've been better.)

As for "ONE DAY", I'm curious to see what the movie version will be like when it comes out next month. All I will say on that count is that Anne Hathaway (while I like her as an actress) doesn't fit my image of Emma Morley.



message 22: by Diana (new)

Diana Amber wrote: "I would rather risk disliking the movie than see it before reading the book. I don't want the visuals of the film interfering with my imagination when creating visuals for the book. "

I feel the same way, it's never the way I imagine it.


message 23: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 37 comments I love books - I love films. I would rather read the book first - if I watch the movie first I'll probably put off reading the book (and more than likely never read it).


message 24: by Hock (new)

Hock Tjoa (hockgtjoa) | 27 comments Diana wrote: "I've been working on the theory that someone who sees the movie adaption of a book before reading it would be a little more accepting of the changes than someone who reads the book first.

Anybo..."


I read the Graduate before the movie was made and thought it was a mediocre book. The movie was sensational. I read and hated Memoirs of a Geisha and have refused to see the movie. (Just my two cents.)


message 25: by Kath (new)

Kath | 45 comments If I see the movie first, I usually don't like the book. Three that come immediately to mind are "Silence of the Lambs," "The Exorcist," and "The Godfather." If I read the book first, I usually don't like the movie; examples, "The Shining," "Hannibal," "Red Dragon," and all film adaptations of "Dracula."


message 26: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacymiller40) | 4 comments Maggie wrote: "No Tom Hansk wouldnt have been my choice for Robert Langford either - but he was perfectin Forrest Gump - and also brilliant in Philadelphia, -I can think of much worse actors the worst being the o..."

The way I look at a particular actor in any given role is to think if I can imagine any other actor in that same role. I really can not imagine any other actor as Forest Gump or any other actor as Indiana Jones. Could another actor have played Robert Langdon, you betcha! I do not know if you could say the same thing about Forest Gump though.


message 27: by Rohan (new)

Rohan | 7 comments For me it boils down to whether the form of the story is suited to novel, novella, short story, film, or tv series. Some works are transferable between mediums, but others are so perfectly suited to their medium it is pointless to bother adapting them, as you will only be able to create and inferior version.

This is the case for me with the recent adaptation of George R. R. Martin's books, as well as with something like If on a Winter's Night a Traveller...

Whereas a good adaptation might be something like Terry Zwigoff's Ghost World and a book I'd like to see adapted is Julian Barnes 'Arthur & George'.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree. I hate it when they change things immensely if I've read the book first, but if I've seen the movie, then I tend to be okay with the changes. I think this is because, when the book is actually made into a movie, there's no changing it -- unless they re-do it, which happens, but not usually for books. Where, with just a book, there is no visual yet.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
I really feel that the films that truly capture the feel of the source book are rare...Stand By Me and A River Runs Through It come to mind (I know Stand By Me is based on a King short story-The Body..but a great film!)


message 30: by Yaritza (new)

Yaritza (fabulousreader4ever) I totally Agree. For Davinci Code and Angels and Demons, I read the books first and them saw the movie and I was expecting what would happened next and they either cut it or changed it. Was not happy about the changes. In the other hand if I saw a movie first before reading the book, I won't be so upset. I would have accepted the changes.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Yaritza wrote: "I totally Agree. For Davinci Code and Angels and Demons, I read the books first and them saw the movie and I was expecting what would happened next and they either cut it or changed it. Was not hap..."

very true- great point


message 32: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 660 comments As far as The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons are concerned, I read the former and saw the movie version of the latter novel.

I also saw the movie version of "The Da Vinci Code" in May 2006, which fell flat in comparison to the novel. Tom Hanks seemed ill-equipped to "fill out" the role of Robert Langdon. (Rumor had it that the Harrison Ford had been considered for the role. Frankly, after seeing the movie, I think Harrison Ford would have been perfect in the role of Langdon.)

On the other hand, Tom Hanks was very good in the movie version of "Angels and Demons".

+++++++++++++++++++
Several years ago, I saw the movie version of
The Day of the Jackal, which I LOVED.

Later, I read the Frederick Forsyth novel, and I have to tell ya that the movie version was faithful to the novel. This is the only instance in which I loved BOTH the novel and its movie version.

Is there anybody else in Goodreads who has read both The Day of the Jackal and seen its 1973 movie version? Would like to know what you thought of both of them.

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth


message 33: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Carrington | 8 comments Sometimes, I've found that certain books are better than the movie adaptation when you've read the book first, and that details are missing or non-existent in the movie which seemed really important in the book. Other times, you watch the movie first, and believe that it has taken the best parts of the book after reading it, and has greatly magnified them. It's just one of these things, I figure.


message 34: by P.I. (last edited Mar 11, 2012 01:11PM) (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) I definitely agree. It's easier to accept since you do not have the images of characters and setting that you've already imagined. You don't have the pre-set images. Though I did see Carrie in a sneak preview and the adaptation just blew me away. One of the best ever.Diana wrote: "I've been working on the theory that someone who sees the movie adaption of a book before reading it would be a little more accepting of the changes than someone who reads the book first.

Anybo..."



message 35: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) Or course, being old school, books are always the better bet for entertainment and satisfaction


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

I usually read the book first but I wish I wouldn't have with The Woman In Black. I would have loved the movie if I would have read it after. I actually recommended friends to watch it first and that is unlike me.


message 37: by Franky (new)

Franky | 25 comments Shay (Shannon) wrote: "I usually read the book first but I wish I wouldn't have with The Woman In Black. I would have loved the movie if I would have read it after. I actually recommended friends to watch it first and t..."

I feel that same way. I read the book first, then watched the 2011 version of The Woman in Black and thought the movie really missed the boat and was so obvious. It seems like 90-95% of the time the book is better, but if you see the film first you can forgive a little more.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "Shay (Shannon) wrote: "I usually read the book first but I wish I wouldn't have with The Woman In Black. I would have loved the movie if I would have read it after. I actually recommended friends ..."

Shay (Shannon) wrote: "I usually read the book first but I wish I wouldn't have with The Woman In Black. I would have loved the movie if I would have read it after. I actually recommended friends to watch it first and t..."

very good points- I agree- so rare for a film to truly capture a book- even GREAT films like To Kill A Mockingbird and Mary Poppins- brilliant films!! yet both left out many characters and events from the actual books


message 39: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) I completely agree. Films cannot exactly reproduce the book due to time and other constraints though it's hard to accept especially when you've loved the book. If you haven't immersed yourself in the reading, you'll overlook details the reader may not. Seeing the film first gives you the big overall story.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I think the main area where most movies fail is the significance of character relationships. My husband and I both felt with The Hunger Games that people who didn't read the books would just not get the full depth of important relationships.


message 41: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Strand | 26 comments I've come to enjoy the benefits and accept the short-comings of movies and books. Movies give us visual scenes and action. I agree that -- unless you have phenomenal actors -- they short-change character relationships. Movies also simplify situations that books take the time to develop. Also, books give you the opportunity to visualize yourself. With that in mind, I always prefer reading a book before seeing a movie. If the movie is good, having read the book improves my enjoyment.


message 42: by Anne (new)

Anne (spartandax) | 104 comments Films are great for entertainment, but for the most enjoyment, I immerse myself in a book. No film can follow a book exactly, which means something is always missing.


message 43: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 4303 comments Mod
I like "The Lord of the Rings" movies much better than the books which I basically can't get through. The books have too much description and too many characters...my mind wanders. I did like "The Hobbit" book.


message 44: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) I had to explain this to my nephew when the first Harry Potter film came out and he was upset about it. I told him that films HAD to cut out as much as they could or each film would be fifty hours long!
I hope it helped him,lol!

Anne wrote: "Films are great for entertainment, but for the most enjoyment, I immerse myself in a book. No film can follow a book exactly, which means something is always missing."


message 45: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin (authorgeraldggriffin) | 13 comments I find this discussion quite stimulating! I know the feelings from both ends. My novel Of Good And Evil is being made into a movie, and some of the changes in the screenplay compared to the book are rather significant in order to meet the needs of film.

For the full impact of the novel's story, I definitely recommend reading the book first before seeing the movie.


message 46: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) Plus, films are VISUAL. They don't need to focus on the billion details of a book to get the point across. They cut instantly from one shot or POV to another without any prose at all unless it's a VO or flashback...


message 47: by Geoff (last edited Aug 21, 2012 08:32PM) (new)

Geoff Woodland | 41 comments I agree with Komet's comments re The Day of the Jackal - great book and film.

A great disappointment to me was the film of Tai-Pan the guy who did the casting should be shot. :-o)
I did enjoy the Gregory Peck film Captain Hornblower and I also loved the books - and I thought the TV series was a good 'take' on many of the stories.

GWTW - loved the book and the film. The actors fitted right in with my imagination of the various characters


message 48: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) Yeah, Geoff, I agree with your GWTW casting. Back then I think they really knew how to cast a character with an actor who could carry and personify them.

Geoff (Scouse) wrote: "I agree with Komet's comments re The Day of the Jackal - great book and film.

A great disappointment to me was the film of Tai-Pan the guy who did the casting should be shot. :-o)
I did enjoy the ..."



message 49: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) I think people should definitely read the book prior to seeing the film too, Gerald. I think it helps to see how well or badly the director has adapted the work.

Gerald wrote: "I find this discussion quite stimulating! I know the feelings from both ends. My novel Of Good And Evil is being made into a movie, and some of the changes in the screenplay compared to the book ar..."


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