Sunday, January 9, 2011

Books VS Movies

I definitely read more than I watch movies. Usually when I read, the movie already plays in my mind (me = director, casting director, photographer/videographer, location scouter and the rest....) I do enjoy watching movies, just that I prefer reading, and usually the book is better anyway (exception - The Lord of the Rings series. Okay I haven't read the book, but I couldn't even finish the first page.)

Anyway, it's interesting to see the difference between the books and the movies. Recently I watched two movies. I hadn't re-read the books since I last read them, so I can only give you general impressions rather than an accurate account of Book Vs Movie.


Shutter Island
  • I really liked the ending of the book, even though I almost gave up this book because I didn't like the voice / writing a lot, but somehow I decided to stick to it
  • Was excited when I hear a movie was being made! However, I couldn't quite picture Leonardo DeCarpio as the main protagonist. Nothing against him, he just wasn't someone I had in mind when I read the book. I don't know who I'd have cast as I hadn't given it much thought
  • After watching the movie, I guess DeCpario did a decent job, but he still wasn't whom I would have chosen.  
  • I have to say the movie seemed a bit long and slow, in fact I fell asleep a little bit...
  • I liked how they played out the big twist in the end. However, while I was browsing online to see reviews of this movie, I read something I never thought of before - the 4 possible scenarios - (1) insane-insane, (2) insane-sane, (3) sane-insane, and (4) sane-sane (see explanations here). I'd always thought it was insane-insane (certainly the impression I got after the book). I initially thought the same for the movie, but after reading the thread posted in the link above, I think for the movie at least, it was more of an insane-sane situation, which added on a second twist. See, if I don't ever read what others think, I never would have thought of all these stuff! It was the same for the book Liar, which I was greatly disappointed in, and didn't quite grasp some of the possibilities until I read others' thoughts.
  • Overall, liked the book a bit better. Movie would've been better if it was shorter, and perhaps had less flashback about the wife. They were just a bit weird

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  • I liked the book okay - not bad, but not quite live up to the hype
  • I liked the movie much better! VERY WELL CAST! In fact, one of he special features was an interview with the actress who played Lisbeth. I wouldn't have guessed it was her - what a transformation! Kudos to the casting director for seeing the potential and trust that she'd be prefect for the role
  • I liked that they cut out the fluff and non-important scenes in the movie. It is much "edited" which was lacking in the book. The story flew much better without the distractions. Now, would I have understood the missing gaps in the movie had I not read the book? I don't know... hard to say
  • There were some graphic scenes in the movie, but I think they were necessary in order to explain the character development / plot. It stayed true to the book from what I remembered anyway
  • Reading subtitles weren't a problem for me - I grew up watching Hollywood movies with Chinese subtitle. So I am used to reading and watching at the same time
  • I will definitely watch Movie 2 and 3! I don't think I'd read the books though
  • Will I watch the Hollywood version? Maybe... since I don't usually re-watch movies much either (just like I don't usually re-read books, though there are some exceptions for both medium). I can see why they cast Daniel Craig, in fact, in fact, he reminded me of the actor who played Mikael in the Swedish version. Not sure if it's a good thing or not... I guess that means I WILL have to watch the Hollywood version then just to compare! 

  • I know Water for Elephants, The Help are being made into movies. Will probably watch those at some point...
  • I tried reading Never Let Me Go and couldn't get into it, but the premise sounds interesting. So will probably watch the movie instead.


  1. I liked the 'Law of Four' scenario. I read Shutter Island on a surface level and didn't dig any deeper than what was presented to me, but hmm... those theories are interesting.

    I also recently watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I thought Noomi Rapace was a great choice for Lisbeth Salander.

    I wasn't a huge fan of Water for Elephants, but I like the actors they've chosen for the movie, so I'll probably check it on video.

    And I'm reading The Help now and enjoying it much more than I had anticipated, so I'll probably watch that movie, too.

    And Never Let Me Go -- the preview alone made me cry! I had mixed feelings about the book, but I thought the movie looked good.

  2. I usually prefer to read the book first, because otherwise I'll feel like I know the plot and I'll never read it! :--)

  3. I actually figured out the climax revealing in Shutter Island, so that book was just ok to me, I slightly enjoyed the movie more after.

    I couldn't get into Larssons series, I will watch the movie.

    I want to read Water for Elephants and the Help.

  4. When I watched the Shutter Island movie, I figured it was the Insane-Sane theory. I felt the book ending was Insane-Insane though. The other two theories barely crossed my mind.

  5. I read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and then saw the mvoie, and I agree that the movie was better, especially since it was only 2 hours and therefore had a lot of extraneous information cut out. In fact, I did not read the 2 sequels, but I did see movies 2 and 3! They're great! Not sure I'll like the American versions.

  6. I didn't know Water for Elephants, The Help are going to be made into movies! It will take up a whole year trying to catch up with reading and watching movies which is based on the novels!

    here's my movie review on the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

    I'm waiting for the next DVD to come through my post. :)