Thursday, November 4, 2010

Movies and Books

I admit, I pretty much always think the book is better than the movie. It's hardly a fair comparison, really. A book gets 300 to 800 pages (more, if it's Gone with the Wind) to set your imagination on fire, describe characters, get inside their heads, and take you to strange and beautiful places. It's hardly fair to ask a 2 to 3 hour movie to accomplish the same thing (although there is some beautiful cinematography out there).
That said, recently I have seen a few movies that I think compare favorably to, or even beat, the books on which they were based. Take Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Swedish movie did a fantastic job of paring down a 600 page book, losing no important plot threads, and getting to the heart of the mystery faster than the book did. Frankly, part of what I tell customers with this book is that you need to get through about 100 pages of backstory before the book really takes off. Which it does! But the movie makes that 100 pages unnecessary.
So, I've got a link to a reader survey that comes up with seven movies that are better than the book. What do you think? Did they miss any? Was the book better than the movie after all?

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