Yesterday night, I watched a movie; Eragon. I spent the entire movie glaring at the screen. Why? They made such ATROCIOUS changes to the plot, the characters looked all wrong, the-... Well, you get my point.
I'm going to use Eragon as an example, but this will be just an example for all movies and books. Of course, each movie/book pair has differences, but I hope this gives you the general idea.
Anyway, I'll try to stay even-handed in this post, but please note that I am extremely opposed to the view that the movies could even be better than the books.
~Eragon Movie VS Eragon Book~
The Pros and the Cons of Books;
-Sometimes, the writing is worth more than a thousand pictures. Or movies. Christopher Paolini's vivid writing and description make the book come alive. And that, in my opinion, is better than a movie.
-In books, one literally knows the character's thoughts, completely. This is another pro that I think trumps the movie again. Although the person watching 'Eragon' can hear Eragon's thoughts when he talks to Saphira, you really don't get inside his head.
-The story is much longer in the book; 500 pages of action. And they just can't get 500 pages to fit into an hour and a half of film.
-Much better character development. In the movie, I didn't care a whole lot about Eragon. I actually cared a lot more about his dragon, Saphira. But some of the other minor good guy (or gal) characters came across terribly. Murtagh, Brom, Arya, etc; I didn't care one bit if they fell of a cliff and drowned. And in the book, Brom isn't half as rude as he comes across in the movie. In fact, Eragon and Brom were very good friends in the book (even more, as I later find out in Brisingr, the third book of the series).
-Books are very rereadable (I've reread Eragon 17 times!).
-In a book, you can't see the story. In your mind's eye, of course, but physically, no.
-For many people, books simply can't hold their attention long enough.
-There are many small details that plenty of people call 'fluff'; stuffing to make the book longer.
Pros and Cons of Movies;
-You can actually see movies. It is made from real, actual people, and so some people may argue that the characters are much easier to relate to.
-They are much easier to watch than it is to read. Even I sometimes put down a book to watch a movie.
-They are short. This may be a pro, or it may be a con, depending on your point of view. If it's short, it'll be much easier to convince your parents to let you watch it quick, right? But if it's short, it might leave out some of the principal plot details. Your call.
-With today's precise technology, the movie itself is extremely vivid and realistic.
-Much of the action is simply amazing. I found myself holding my breath once during the movie.
Much of the things that were pros for the book are cons for the movie;
-Lack of character development
-Except for brief instances, you cannot hear Eragon's thoughts.
-I, for one, am not a fan of watching movies over and over. Once I've seen a movie, I might not see it again for a year or more.
And some original thoughts;
-The characters are not how I pictured them. Eragon and Arya were the only ones that looked as I thought they might, but even they had flaws. For two examples, Arya doesn't even have pointed ears (she's an elf), and Eragon, in the movie, claims he's seventeen. In the book, he turns sixteen halfway through. Brom, the Urgals, the dwarves, and Tronjheim, the mountain city, were a letdown. The Urgals were supposed be seven feet tall, and to have long, long horns, but they looked like dressed up men.
-Some of the parts of the movie were just embarrassing and lame. Not only was one quote not even in the book ("One part brave, three parts fool"), it was said three or four times. It became rather boring.
[Note; this next part will be hard to understand unless you have read the book]
-The inconsistancy with the book was outrageous and disappointing. The movie makers even made three, no four huge plot points go completely wrong; (spoilers) The killing of the Raz'ac, which doesn't happen in the book; Ajihad, the leader of the Varden, is supposed to be killed after the Battle of Farthen Dur; Roran joining the army. This did not happen in the book, and later, Roran's presence in Carvahall is essential for the plot; and finally, the most atrocious; the leaving of Arya to Ellesmera (Eragon is supposed to go with her and meet Oromis, an old Dragon Rider in hiding). You have no idea what a huge plot strand this is unless you have read the book. Eragon shouldn't be called Eragon unless this was corrected. Eragon becomes a real Rider because of Oromis.
And now my rant is over. As you can see, I clearly think that the movie is terrible, especially compared to the book. Terrible. :)
But it's your call, ultimately. What's your opinion on it? Not only this movie, but book adaptions in general (Lord of the Rings, etc.)?
I'd love to hear your opinion.