Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reading for the Movie

I'm the kind of person where, if a movie is being made out of a young adult book (I don't really do this with adult books, simply because there are so many movies made out of them that I want to see that I don't have the time or the money), then I have to read the book before I see the movie.

Ironically, because of this, there are more movies that I dislike in terms of the book than movies I like. There are some movies that I think complement the book well (Hunger Games, for instance) and some movies that I have problems with but still love (Harry Potter) and some movies that are so different from the book I just barely consider them connected (The Lightning Thief). And then there are the movies I can't stand to watch because it's like they took a wood chipper to the book and then tried to fill it with sawdust.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I read a book before going to see the movie if I know that it could potentially ruin the movie for me?

Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, there's the simple thing that I prefer books to movies. I love reading. I read the book so I can fall in love with the characters and the story, before I see someone else's version of them. And also because, if I don't fall in love with the story or the characters, then I know I probably shouldn't go see the movie.

I'm currently rereading The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters in preparation to go see the new movie next weekend. It's been so long since I've read the series that I've forgotten a lot of the details, and I want a refresher of how things actually happened. Partly so I can try to figure out how they're going to fix all the mistakes they made in the first movie.

Part of my drive to do this comes from tradition. Not too many years ago I was a stickler for the book when it came to movies. If the details weren't exactly right, I didn't like the movie. Now I accept that movies and books are different ballgames and that not everything can be the same. But I still read and reread the books because I like to see how they compare.

What do you think? Do you read the book before you go see the movie?


Susan Francino said...

I *try* to always read the book first. For the simple reason that that is where the story came from originally--the author. And even though movies are a different format and some adjustments are understandable, I like to be able to hold it to the standard of the original. I mean, novels and movies are both just ways of telling stories. And I think they should strive to tell the same story in the same spirit if they put the same title on it.