Books vs. Movies

Plinky- Is the book always better than the movie? Are there any exceptions?


I always groan inwardly if I watch a movie based on a book. I always sigh when I read a book that later becomes a movie.

The problem is that I’m always torn between liking the book or the movie. Either I saw the movie before reading the book, or read the book before the movie was made. It tampers with my future opinion, and I become increasingly dissatisfied with both. It’s like they ruin each other.

Sometimes I give up entirely and say that each were ‘great in their own way’. Which is closer to a lie than an opinion.

I just saw the last Harry Potter movie; Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows (part 2). I sat in the theater, and almost fell asleep. I knew what was going to happen the whole time. I’d already read the book, and I felt like I was only interested in watching the white CGI dragon fly across the screen (which lasted….5 minutes?). The problem was that I came to the movies wanting to really LIKE it. After I walked out of the theater, I wanted to reverse time and waste my money on Cowboys & Aliens because at least then I would have had to pay attention to the storyline.

But the last movie I saw was Priest, based on a Korean comic. I thought the movie was cheezy. I thought the comic had a smoother blend of Priest vs. mutated vampires. But then I realized some of the movie’s action scenes were cool even without watching the 3D version. Then I came to the conclusion that the whole movie was too predictable.

Currently I’m reading the book The Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. It’s now published as The Town, because it became a major motion picture with that name. Honestly I picked it up at the Borders Bookstore sales because I saw it while in line and I loved the movie. But now I can’t decide if I simply like the book because I liked the movie, or the book was better because it inspired the movie. Or I only like the book because the ‘best’ parts (like dialogue, robbery scenes) were put into the movie. Or the movie was better because I like Ben Afleck.


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3 thoughts on “Books vs. Movies

  1. Hahahaha… Oh, what a tangled web we weave… the books versus movies always feels like a war between the mind and the heart. I have often faced the same dilemma, my most horrifying moment was when I watched the Bourne Identity, my most favorite book which was turned into…. well the block buster movie. It didn’t feel… well like MY Jason Bourne… Watched the flick a few days back on TV and have to say I loved it. Perception… that’s the key I think. Loved the post… cya around the blog…

  2. I’ve seen this question brought up many times, and 99% of the time the book is better than the movie. For all the books I read and all the movies I’ve watched I’ve found 2 examples where the movie is clearly better than the book.

    The first example is Thank You For Smoking. The book is funny, but the movie takes the same general story and goes way over the top. For the kind of humor that they’re using, the more extreme you make it the funnier it gets, and the movie is overall a lot better.

    The second is A Clockwork Orange. For this one my reasoning is flipped, the book is just bad. The book uses a heavy dialect that, while consistent throughout the book, is just a pain to read. My version of the book also included an extra chapter that Kubrick didn’t have when he was making the movie, and the 21st chapter really ruins the rest of the book (IMO). The movie contains pretty much the entire story with all of the same themes as the book but it is a lot easier to digest.

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