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Virginia

The Fantasy Book and the Movie

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Do you think the book to movie has subtracted our love of the epic fantasy like Lord of the Rings, Earthsea, The Hobbit, etc? I'm just wondering if people have gotten so use to the movies that they forgot that the movie actually came from a book and I'm also wondering if we have gotten away from re-visiting these books because of the movies? Maybe what I'm trying to ask is this, does one subtract from or add to the other? Has watching the movie put you off the books if you've never read them? I find that I walk the line. I love the books but it is so much easier to slip in the dvd, even though I know that many things have been "artistically" altered to fit the director's perception. Knowing this, I still find myself enthralled with the cinematic version of my favorite classics. What about you?

Edited by Virginia

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Well I don't think that anyone has really made a great Fantasy movie yet besides LOTR and the Hobbit, so all I have are the books...

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I do love the Narnia books, they seem to follow the books more closely than any and the special effects, music and storyline always seem to have me running back for the books.

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Hmm I rather found the Narnia movies to be rather a let down even though they did follow the books. I remember watching the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and thinking that they lost something in the scene when Aslan gets killed, it was so much more scary and dark in the book, I get the feeling that they toned down the monsters a wee bit to much... :)

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I started reading the Harry Potter books after watching the first movie, so I think sometimes they can encourage people to read the books if the films are done well. I wonder if the popularity of the LOTR films has led to more people discovering the books.

 

I would never have laid my hands on the Hunger Game series if it weren't for the films either. I think by having more adaptations of a series, you can create larger fanbases, and almost build a sort of community around the series. The number of fan clubs and forums for the Harry a Potter series is incredible, it has become a brand in itself.

 

Although I do feel that when adapting epic fantasy series, a TV show (such as Game of Thrones) is a better choice than a film. Otherwise you end up losing out on a lot of detail, which can be important when you're dealing with a whole different reality. Fantasy series tend to comprise of a large number of bulky books, with the author having put a lot of detail into their new world. It can be difficult to condense such epics into two hour movies. There are a number of adaptations out there which don't do the books justice.

 

I guess the LOTR films managed to get away with their adaptation of the books, but a lot of money was spent on the films and the movies are pretty long themselves.

Edited by Angury

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I'm with Angury on this one.  I would rather hope that the movies or tv shows would encourage people - who perhaps otherwise wouldn't have - to go and check out the books, and then hopefully move on from those books to others in the genre that haven't been made into films or tv shows :smile:

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I ended up reading all of the Potter books though again because of watching the movies.

 

I think the last four Potter films (and especially The Order of the Phoenix) were better than the books they are based on.  Those films were a lot tighter than the books and although I appreciate the detail Rowling put into the novels, the films trimmed out a lot of flab. 

 

Having said that though, The Goblet of Fire has to be one of the worst adaptations I've seen and The Prisoner of Azkaban one of the most disappointing.

Edited by Raven

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I found that I was able to actually separate myself from the HP book and the HP movie after the second viewings. After going through a wth? moment when I saw how far off they got from the movies, I learned to just enjoy the movies almost as a stand alone, kwim? I guess I learned to love each medium for what it was but I will still revisit the books yearly.

 

As for the Narnia books, I guess it depends on what version of the movie your talking about. I know there are BBC versions from the 80's I believe (but to hold me to it). I thoroughly enjoyed them but I did find they tended to be a bit darker then the present day versions. They are both very good adaptations in my opinion.

 

Earthsea is another movie that has attempted to do too much in such a condensed amount of time. I don't know if I would have found the book had it not been for the movie but I would rather re-read the book than watch the movie again.

 

Another favorite of mine is The Mists of Avalon. I loved the movie almost as much as I loved the book but I definitely got a "fuller" feeling from reading the novel. There were just so many things that could not be put into the movie but I keep going back because I'm always finding that I missed a morsel on a previous read. I would not have known about the book had it not been for the movie.

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Ah well I was talking about the new versions of Narnia, I didn't even know about any other versions :) .

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For me seeing a film based on a book usually makes me want to read the book (if I liked the film). Reading is much less input for me than watching+hearing, and the books often contain much more details on the world. The LOTR movies made me want to read LOTR (on my TBR, read the Hobbit though), the Harry Potter movies made me want to re-read the Harry Potter books, the new Narnia films made me want to re-read Narnia (on my wishlist) and I already read The Earthsea Quartet and liked the film though not as much as I loved the books. The Game of Thrones TV series made me want to read the books.

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I'm quite fickle and easily influenced when it comes to reading fantasy so a lot of films/tv has encouraged me to read more... or at least add it to my TBR pile  :giggle2:

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I mostly see film versions of books as separate from the books, like another interpretation of the stories.  I have been been persuaded to read the book of film sometimes and yes I'm one of those who had heard of LOTR but never read it until I saw the first movie.

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I would tend to read the book if I see the film first, even if I haven't enjoyed the film that much. I don't mind if the film differs from book as long as they don't change it too much. I enjoyed the LOTR films as stand alone films, but I thought that they got the tone of the books wrong, which are much lighter.  I think if the film encourages you to read the book, that's not a bad thing.

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I've recently been in a dilemma about whether I should read the book before watching the film. I find if I read the novel afterwards, I have the actors faces stuck in my head for each character, and I'm not able to use my imagination as much as I'd like, because I've already seen someone else's version of the story.

 

Yet if I read the books first then I spend a lot of time sitting in the cinema thinking, "he looks nothing like I expected" or "the left that out?"

 

I guess there's no true answer. Perhaps it's best to try and view them as two separate entities.

Edited by Angury

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I watched Eragon first then read the books as I like books with dragons but I wouldn't saw I got the books because of the movie, in fact I was hopping that the books would be totally different from the movie but was disappointed as although they were different they were different in the way I wanted them to be. But if I read a book first I decently want to see the movie version of it IF it looks good and sometimes I will watch anyway just to see how badly the movies makers messed up :P .

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