Tag Archive | movies

Reading vs. Watching: What Exactly Are We Comparing?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greeting Fellow BookNerds,

I often see people get themselves all worked up with excitement when they learn that one of their all time favourite books is going to be made into a movie – myself included, of course –  and just as often, I watch as those same people who went into the theatre with such high expectations, came out looking not unlike a cartoon character with a thundering cloud hanging over their heads, as the image of the story they had in their heads didn’t come out quite the way they hoped it would on the big screen.

It’s in our nature to compare things. After all, how else can we determine what is good, what is bad, what is better, what is worse. We do it to figure out what food we would rather eat, what clothes we would prefer to wear, and my personal favourite, what books are more worth our time reading than others. Just like anything else, however, making comparisons has its ups and its downs, based primarily on the context in which they are being made.

Harry Potter Books

When I first got into reading the harry potter books back in grade school, it felt as though my brain was giving birth to my imagination for the first time. I developed a deep attachment to the series, and when I found out that they were being made into films, I just knew I had to see every single one of them. Why, you ask? Well, the only thing better than reading a book for the first time is getting to experience it all over again, but in a very different way. Unlike books, movies cater to all of the senses; synchronizing music and moods to tug on our heartstrings, playing with colours and special effects to keep our eyes glued to the screen, creating masterful scripts that tell us so much, while at the same time saying so little, and fitting actors into the roles they were seemingly born to play. Such is the beauty of films, which differs greatly from the beauty many of us find in books.

Authors struggle tirelessly to create stories using their native language, which the readers can then create images from that are unique to their own interpretation of the words. No two people will perceive a story the exact same way, which is what makes reading such a personal, internalized experience. What’s more, most books are created by a single individual, making them solely responsible for creating the characters, the dialogue, the setting… basically, everything, unlike in movies where you have hundreds of people working to bring the story to life.

Another striking dissimilarity between the reading and movie viewing experience is that books are not designed to be enjoyed in a single sitting, whereas movies are. Unless you’re a ridiculously fast reader capable of zipping through seven hundred pages in less than an hour as if it was nothing, then it’s going to take you a few days to get to the end. This is especially true for those readers out there who, like me, need time to visualize what they have just read before they can continue… perhaps that’s just me 😛

Group of boring people watching movie in cinema

Movies, on the other hand, are typically a two to three hour experience, and you can choose to enjoy them alone or with 200 other people crammed inside a dark room which smells of popcorn and is occasionally lit by a smart phone that someone just couldn’t bother to turn off for the sake of everyone who is sitting behind them. If movies were to be made any longer, the audience would get bored, feeling as though the story is being drawn out longer than necessary, not to mention the increasing soreness in our backside from sitting for such a long period of time. When you’re reading books, you can stop and start whenever you want, but with movies, we tend to want to sit down and watch it to the end before diverting our attention to anything else.

Now, we come to the unique scenario of book to movie adaptations. The thing with movies that are based on books is that they always seem to miss the mark. In other words, they fail to meet the expectations of everyone who see’s it, because as mentioned before, we all have a tendency to interpret the same book in very different ways, meaning we will all be going into the movie theatre with very different expectations. There is also the added pressure on directors and the crew to make the movie as true to the book as possible, but this isn’t always feasible, especially when dealing with a book which has managed to throw the laws of physics entirely out the window. But they do their best, and some of them have turned out rather brilliantly.

The Fault In Our Stars

My favourite book to movie adaption to date has been The Fault In Our Stars, a beautiful story about a girl with lung cancer finding love in the unlikeliest of places, and discovering that “some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. In my eyes, the movie was a brilliant interpretation of what I am certain will someday become a classic novel, but I am certain there are others out there who found it to be unbearable. Why? Well, I’m sure there are many reasons, but every time I hear someone start to rant about every little thing they changed in the movie, or how the actors they chose weren’t good enough, or how they could have done this or that to make it more believable, I just feel like telling them one thing: why are you comparing two things that weren’t meant to be compared?

The story might be the same, but the purpose and the means by which they are executed are just so different. It would be like comparing music videos to musicals. Just because they both have a music component to them, that doesn’t make them any more comparable. Now that I’ve had my say on the matter, I would love to hear what you guys think. Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

I’m Back… Well, Sort Of

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Its been one of those weeks where everyday, I think about posting something on my blog, but then by the time I get back home from work, I’m either too exhausted or have too many errands to run to even think about sitting down with my computer for more than a few minutes. Still, my typing fingers are kept busy, which makes me happy no matter how busy and stressful things get. I managed to get an internship with a newspaper for the Summer, which up until April I was starting to feel was a fruitless endeavor. They’re not kidding when they say it’s hard to get a job nowadays when you get out of university. Even though I got this job, I still have to worry about finding somewhere to work once Summer is over. It’s a never ending cycle. 

On a less anxiety ridden note, there is less than a month until the release of The Fault in Our Stars movie! I am both nervous and excited; nervous because I have no idea if it will live up to the expectations I have for it after having read the book, and excited because… well just because! I’ve only been reading John Green’s books for the past few years, but I’ve been in love with his writing ever since I finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His master of the English language combined with his innate nerdiness produces literature that is fresh and interesting, something that I feel has never really been done before. He is one of a kind, and I hope he continues to write books for a very long time. If you have never even heard of the TFIOS movie, then I implore you to take a moment and visit the official movie website: www.thefaultinourstarsmovie.com. You can also watch the movie trailer below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

I haven’t had a chance to do much reading these days, not since the first book of the Mistborn trilogy which I still haven’t reached the very end of yet. I’m hoping that the weather this weekend will have bring less rain and more sun so I can take it down to the beach and read to my hearts content. The one thing I love bout this job is that you work from 9 to 5 for five days a week, and then the weekends are yours to enjoy as you wish. I’m sure there will be a time or two when I have to bring work home with me, but as an intern, I’m doubtful that that will happen too often. I’m hopeful that by the end of this summer, I will have finished reading the first book, and gotten through the second installment, which I am really looking forward to.

In closing, I apologize for my blogging silence, and I do hope I will be able to remain more on top of things in the future. If you have any books you would like to recommend, or any suggestions about what you would like to see appear on my blog, feel free to write a blurb in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Making a Movie for Everyone: Is It Possible?

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Today’s post is going to be a little different, mostly because I will be making a rather odd request. As most of you are aware, I am currently enrolled in the communications program at the University of Ottawa, studying in the hopes of one day becoming an accomplished journalist. In the meantime, however, I’m simply trying to get through all of my courses more or less unscathed, and to do that I am going to require a little bit of assistance.

One of the courses I am taking is called Audience Research, which is exactly what it sounds like. Myself, along with a group of my classmates, have been given the task of constructing a movie that will please all audience demographics, a seemingly impossible task but one which we are determined to accomplish. In order to do this, we have put together a 10 question survey which touches on all aspects of a film, the data from which will allow us to determine what the majority of the audience looks for in a movie, and apply that to our research. This is where all of you lovely booknerds come in. Below, I will provide a link to the survey, and all you have to do is take no more than 10 minutes out of your reading time to go through it and answer the questions as best you can.

Here is the link so you can get started:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SZCRF5C

 

As much as I would love to provide an award or some other kind of incentive, all I can give you guys is my eternal gratitude in assisting me with what will hopefully be an A+ report. Hopefully the joy which comes with committing a good deed will be enough to satisfy all of you as well. As I said, it won’t take you very long to fill it out, and I will be indebted to you all. Should you like to make any requests regarding potential blog topics, or need assistance with assignments of a similar nature, just leave a note in the comments and I will do my best to oblige.

Also, in the spirit of Halloween, I will be posting tomorrow as well. I will be sharing a snippet of a horror story I had begun to write many years ago, which I found to be so terrifying that I could not continue writing it. It’s probably not as scary as I remember it, but I would love to share it anyway, along with a quick history lesson on why it is throngs of children and adults alike will be disguising themselves as zombies, vampires and sexy nurses tomorrow night. Until then, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book-To-Movie-Adaptations: Stephen King’s “Nightmares & Dreamscapes”

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

There are some authors who can take up to five or six years before their next book is out, and it’s usually time well spent to. When I first gave novel writing a try, I could go over the same few pages about fifty times before I felt satisfied, and even then I might decide to go back and make changes to them all over again. Then you have authors like Stephen King, whose hands you would swear move as quickly as his thoughts based on the shear volume of books he has published. You would think that he would run out of ideas eventually, and yet every tale of horror and mystery is completely unique from one book to the next.

The other day, I purchased a collection of his work which had been adapted into several short movies, partly because they were on sale at a decent price, and party because I find his work to be fascinating. After all, not every author has the ability to take a seemingly normal situation and turn it into a mind-bending, fear provoking, psychological horror story. The movies were based on the short stories in the Stephen King novel “Nightmares and Dreamscapes”.

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After watching only the first one, my reaction was as follows …. WHAT DID I JUST WATCH! I mean that in the most literal sense. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to laugh, scream or cry in reaction to what I had just seen; all of the above seemed like appropriate responses to me. The first story was called “Battleground“, and that’s exactly what it was; a guy trapped on the battleground, fighting for his life. The twist? He is a full grown man being attacked by little green plastic soldiers that kids play with. He may be known for his ability to harness the elements of horror, but I was honestly splitting my sides laughing at how ridiculous that scenario was. The next story, “Crouch End“, was a little more what I had been expecting. An American couple travel to London , where they end up becoming terribly lost, wandering into the evil neighborhood of Crouch End. I still found myself in a state of mild confusion, but if anything it was interesting to see how King’s mind works.

Since the original stories were kept short and a little more ‘to the point’, it facilitated the transition from book to movie by allowing more time to cover all of the details. This is how book-to-movie adaptations should be done; you just end up disappointing more people than you please when you neglect certain details or delete minor parts. If there is no time or room for it, then perhaps that book was not meant to be seen on the big screen. This is just my opinion, though. If you have your own thoughts on the matter, feel free to  leave them in the comments below.

That’s all for today. One day, I hope to get my hands on every Stephen King book in existence and grace each and every one of them with my undivided attention. It may take a lifetime, but sometimes it’s worth it if it means experiencing the joy which comes from immersing ourselves in someone elses world. Now that I have imparted my wisdom unto you all, a bid you adieu, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Words of Wisdom: Ray Harryhausen

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Yesterday marked the passing of yet another brilliant mind, whose vision was not limited by the tools and technology available in his time. Ray Harryhausen was first inspired to try his hand at stop-motion animation after seeing the original King Kong. He was captivated by its surrealism, and that captivation eventually lead him to bring creatures to life on screen such as Medusa from Clash of the Titans, and the army of skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts.

Today’s wisdom comes from one of the last words spoken by this man, who took a simple story and made it extraordinary. Hopefully is work and his wisdom will live on through the ages, for he is a pioneer in animation, and we would not have some of today’s greatest films without people who possessed his vision and his passion.

ray harryhausen-medusa

(Ray Harryhausen, 1920 – 2013)

I’m very happy that so many young fans have told me that my films have changed their lives. That’s a great compliment. It means I did more than just make entertaining films. I actually touched people’s lives — and, I hope, changed them for the better.”

I find that this should be the goal of every film; entertainment only lasts but a fleeting moment, but touching someone’s life and inspiring them to achieve greater things can last a lifetime. Harryhausen will be missed, but hopefully his wisdom will live on through the ages, even after we learn how to construct holograms and virtual realities.

That’s all for today. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Mourning the Loss of Harry Potter Actor Richard Griffiths: Gone But Never Forgotten

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Movies have this way of immortalizing people, capturing them in a collage of their lifetime which can be looped over and over again. It is this film immortalization, sadly, which makes it all the more difficult to accept it when one of those people finally meets their mortal end.

According to the BBC newspaper, as well as a multitude of posts on my Facebook home feed, British actor Richard Griffiths passed away today of heart complications.

richard-griffiths-855095l

Richard Griffiths (1947 ~ 2013)

People are most familiar with his work in the Harry Potter series, playing the role of Harry Potter’s uncle, Vernon Dursley. He played the part like no one else could, capturing the very essence of that rich, spoiled, arrogant, wizard prejudiced uncle who wanted nothing more than to squash the magic out of his nephew. When I saw him in the first movie, I was surprised and pleased to see that the man stepping into that characters shoes looked almost identical to what I had imagined. Just goes to show that for every role, there is an actor who was born to play it.

Richard Griffiths lived a fulfilling career, acting in a wide range of roles from King George in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, to Magistrate Phillipse in Sleepy Hollow, and even the voice of Jeltz on Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. On top of his success, he has won various awards, and has the kind of face that anyone would recognize at a glance.

His passing is a great loss, for his talents were unique and unmatched by anyone else. I tip my hat to this man, and offer my condolences to the family and friends he left behind.

Here is a video of him and fellow harry potter actor Daniel Radcliffe on Entertainment Daily News:

Richard played a pretty big role in Daniel’s life, which is evident from what he was quoted having said in The Guardian:

“In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys’, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease […] Seven years later we embarked on Equus together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humour made it a joy. In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.”

Daniel Radcliffe, The Guardian

He was loved by those who knew him, and loved by those who didn’t. That is not only the mark of a truly amazing actor, but also the mark of a great man.

That is all for today. Feel free to leave your thoughts and stories about Mr. Griffiths in the comments, and as always, happy reading.

May he rest in peace.

BookNerd