Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weekly Poll 10/28/09

Poll question:

Which of the following best represents your opinion on books that are made into movies?

  1. Authors are selling out if they let their books be made into movies.
  2. The theory behind making books into movies is good, but books don't always translate well onto the big screen.
  3. Books should get made into movies so that the book's message can reach a wider audience.

The results are in. 100% of voters agree that the theory behind making books into movies is good, but books don't always translate well onto the big screen.

If you've read my previous posting on books and the movies based on them, you can probably figure out pretty easily that I also fall into that same category.  I understand the urge to make good books into movies because the second I finish a good book, my thoughts wander to things like, "I wonder who would play that character in a movie," or "I wonder what that set would look like."  I really want good books to be turned into good movies, but the majority of the time, it just doesn't happen that way for me.  And yet... I keep hoping.  Hoping that my 'joie de lire' I experienced with a good book will translate well onto the big screen and leave me feeling visually fulfilled.  I get disappointed, I brush myself off, and I come back for more.  As I was reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, I watched the movie version play out in my head (the movie version, by the way, would be about 8 hours long if it stuck to the script in my head).  Right now, I'm reading Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki, and I can't keep myself from wondering how the book could be turned into a movie script.  Maybe it goes back to our aural roots, where literary works were meant to be performed and enjoyed by communities rather than read silently and enjoyed by single readers.  Whatever the reason, I'm addicted to the movie versions of books.  Are there any books you're currently reading that you want to see turned into a movie (even if you have a sneaky suspicion it could be disastrous)?

I wish I could report that these findings are based on a solid 10-person voting pool; sadly, I cannot.  I got more votes than last week, though, so I will focus on the positive and continue striving for my 10-vote goal.  The new poll question for this week is up in the left sidebar, so be sure to vote by next Wednesday.

Happy reading, and happy voting on the new poll question!


Angie said...

I'm wondering if anyone has seen Shutter Island? (Or is that even out yet?). I loved the book and am very curious how the movie turned out. I really enjoyed the other Dennis Lehane books-into-movies: Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River. Loved the books and also loved the movies.

I recently re-read Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone." I'd like to see that book made into a movie.

Jessie Sams said...

Shutter Island comes out in Feb. 2010, and I am really excited to see how they turn that book into a movie. It's such a complex plot to work with, yet they have some really good actors lined up for the parts.

I haven't read She's Come Undone yet--it's sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to read it. Do you have any actors/actresses in mind for the parts? I find it interesting how multiple can read the same book and come up with entirely different visions for a visual reproduction of the book. (For example, I never would have imagined Leo DiCaprio as Teddy, but now that I know he plays the part, I'm okay with it.)

Billy Longino said...

I didn't know this was a book... crap, now I have to decide to read it or watch it. Crap.

Jessie Sams said...

Billy, if you're talking about Shutter Island, I highly suggest reading it first. It has some complicated bits to the plot that I'm not sure will translate well onto the big screen. In saying that, though, I will definitely watch the movie because Angie is right--the other Dennis Lehane books-turned-movies have been really good. In fact, I liked the movie Gone Baby Gone better than I liked the book (one of the very rare cases where that happens). Let me know when you finish reading Shutter Island--I'd like to hear what you think of it. And if you haven't already, I also highly recommend reading Mystic River.

Angie said...

Speaking of movies that were better than the book counterparts .. that's how I felt about The General's Daughter (Nelson DeMille). I enjoyed the book, but thought the movie was so much better. The movie took some creative license with the plot that led to a better story line (in my opinion).

I'm very excited about Shutter Island - I think I might re-read the book to job my memory. It's been several years since I read it. Billy, I totally agree with Jessie. Read the book first - it's terrific!

Jessie, agree with you. Gone Baby Gone was better as a movie. I'm a big fan of Dennis Lehane, but unfortunately, not so much a fan of the Angie/Patrick books. His writing style seems different (i.e., different than the non-Angie/Patrick books). Anyone else notice that?

Angie said...

oops, just noticed typo! I want to job my memory. Not "job" it.

Jessie Sams said...

Those "b" and "g" keys are way too close for comfort... "Jogging" the memory could be related to "jobbing" it, I'm sure. :)

I thought I was a fan of Dennis Lehane until I picked up the Angie/Patrick books, and I found out I'm only a Lehane fan of non-Angie/Patrick books. The plots are interesting, but there's something about the style and character development that feel really off. I can't put my finger on it (was it the dialogue? the setting? the forced sexual tension?)--I can just say that I finish reading the books but have no emotional attachment to them or excitement about picking up another one like them. MYSTIC RIVER and SHUTTER ISLAND, on the other hand, I devoured and relished. Did any other readers out there get the same feeling?

It's really interesting that you liked the movie of GENERAL'S DAUGHTER better than the book--I was upset about some of the content that was cut out for the movie, yet the movie was still good. It's just that the movie and book are on completely different playing fields in my mind, so I can't compare the two. It's like SECRET LIFE OF BEES--I thought the movie was excellent, but I can't compare it to the book because, in my mind, they are entirely separate entities.

Angie said...

Interesting point re: separate entities. I can see that. You're right, General's Daughter the movie is very different from General's Daughter the Book. I only saw the first part of the Secret Life of Bees movie. I just couldn't get into it for some reason. The book, though, was amazing for me.

Here's another one I just thought of - the John Grisham books-into-movies. I thoroughly enjoy all of Grisham's books (especially the early books) and tend to enjoy the movies as well. I find the books much more rewarding, but (with the exception of The Chamber) I have also thoroughly enjoyed the movies.

Jessie Sams said...

But did you enjoy the book THE CHAMBER? That was one of the few early Grisham books that I just couldn't get into. I, too, enjoy most of the Grisham-based movies, but I've noticed that more often than not, the movies really stray from the book plot. It just so happens that I like how they stray (similar to the straying of IN HER SHOES--the movie strays from the book's plot but in such a way that I end up enjoying it). That might indicate that I am less emotionally involved with the book because I've noticed that the more attached I am to a book, the more upset I get if the movie doesn't stick to the vision I have in my head of how the book should look visually. Which is why I've been afraid of watching REBECCA the movie--I'm so in love with the book that the movie might just anger me (even though I know it's a classic)... Has anyone seen the movie?

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

I've voted in this week's poll, but it was definitely a hard one. And, no, I haven't watched Rebecca, but you're getting me thinking that I should...
And, I have to say that I feel most books lose something when they get translated onto the big screen. I'm also afraid of watching many movies because I loved the book so much, and I'm afraid the movie will ruin it for me. Great questions! :)

Jessie Sams said...

Thanks for voting, Jenn--you have helped me beat previous voter turnouts. :)

If you do watch REBECCA, please let me know what you think of it (assuming you've read and love the book as I do). It's funny that watching a bad movie based on a book I like has the opposite effect on me--it makes me love the book more while increasing my distrust of Hollywood.

3m.michelle said...

I would have voted the same!

Jessie Sams said...

Michelle, I'm glad to know my small sample represented a larger population! That just speaks to the high quality of voters I've got. :)

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