Friday, 11 March 2011

Movies better than their Books.

How many times have you heard the saying, "the book is always better than the movie?" I myself have admittedly used this quote time and time again. However, I've also been known to contradict myself with a handful of exceptions to this rule. Although I prefer reading a book and using my own imagination to picture the characters, some movies have been far more enjoyable than their original book versions. So here it is, my list of movies I liked better than their books:

1. Bridge to Terabithia:  I am not by any means dismissing the power of this novel. Katherine Paterson won the Newbery Medal in 1978 for this piece of work, which tells us it was a great book. Perhaps the reason I liked the movie so much more was because I was completely drawn by Josh Hutcherson's believable acting skills. It was almost as if I felt everything Jesse Aarons was going through. Not to mention, the writing style in the book was far too primary and "old fashioned" for me, which is understandable since it's a children's book and it was written in the 70s. One little Easter egg I found fascinating about Bridge to Terabithia was that the story was inspired by real events from the life of Katherine Paterson's son, David L. Paterson. (Wait, there's more...) Nearly twenty years later, David went on to direct the movie version of the book. (See, sometimes it pays off to watch the Special Features on the DVD!)

2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: New York Times Bestselling author Rick Riordon created the wonderful world of Percy Jackson. Amongst other things, Percy's world consists of Greek mythology, friendship, betrayal, and courage. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a five part series which is light, funny and a very easy read. That for me was its downfall. Although I found the book(s) to be quite the page turners, I also was well aware that I was reading a book aimed for sixth graders (as far as I understand.) Being in my mid-twenties, I enjoyed the story but not so much the writing style. However, one thing I did LOVE about the series was that all of the demi-gods were dyslexic and had ADHD. Doing my research, it turns out Riordon's real life son is dyslexic, which inspired this quality in Percy Jackson. Despite the many mistakes they made in the movie (Such as the main characters being fifteen rather than twelve, Annabeth being a brunette rather than blonde, and the battle at the end), I found it very well done. Good acting on the actors part, great visual affects and not to mention I loved the movie battle much more than the book battle. Still, I am looking forward to finishing the last two books in the series to find out what happens to Percy, Grover and Annabeth.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: I feel like I will be condemned for saying I found the Chronicles of Narnia books somewhat boring. C.S. Lewis' classic stories were wonderful and magical, however his descriptive writing was far too descriptive for my taste. The Disney version of the movie was done beautifully. It was one of those feel-good movies which I have watched (and enjoyed) numerous times. Not to mention, the CGI version of King Aslan was majestic and lovable all at the same time. I can't help but feel a little warm and fuzzy (no pun intended) every time I hear Aslan say, "Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia." On the contrary, I have to hand it to C.S. Lewis for creating a magical world in which readers can escape to, decades before J.K. Rowling introduced us to the mythical world of Harry Potter.

4. Lord of the Rings Trilogy: So this one is a bit of a cheat, as the only one of J.R.R. Tolkien's books I've read is The Hobbit (and it's not exactly qualified as book one from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but rather a prequel.) But I will say this; I found the writing style of the Hobbit to be quite similar to C.S. Lewis' writing (which is not too surprising to me, as both Tolkien and Lewis were colleagues in a writing club called Inklings.) I loved these movies. The fact that Peter Jackson pretty much made a nine hour movie amazes me till this day. The acting, story line, action sequences: everything about the movies were incredible. There is a part of me that has the desire to have a Lord of the Rings marathon and watch all three movies in a row, but I know it will most likely give me a headache to stare at the TV for that long. Though I've never read Lord of the Rings, I do have the trilogy on my "books I want to read" list.

As you can see, my main complaint with books that have better movies is that I found the writing style either boring, or too simple for my taste. Mind you, these are all great books, but they are even better movies.

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