6 Mar
We’ve all heard it, we’ve all said it, “The book was better.” I used to think this was a valid movie criticism, and just accepted that since I had never read the book, that person was better and smarter than me. Now, I have heard it so many times it sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher speaking “I didn’t like it. The book wonk wahwan wahwan wonk wahwan.” An early recognition in the fallacy of criticizing a movie based on its differentiations from the book occurred after seeing the first Harry Potter movie. The instant the credits rolled the person I saw it with said “The book was much more detailed.”
It was a three-hour kids movie! How much more God Damn detail do you want!?
The problem has gotten worse, since Hollywood has run so low on ideas they’ll make any crappy comic book into a crappy comic book movie. Now people who liked the comic say the movie sucked because it didn’t follow the comic. Television shows are now stemming from comic books and novels so people can play source material vs. television too. (Going off on a tangent, coining the term Graphic Novel to try to make comics seem like acceptable literature for an adult to read isn’t fooling me. You can’t call something a novel if it has a ratio of one drawing for every four words. It is a COMIC book, it differs from a REAL book in that I might respect someone for reading a real book.)
comic book
NERD ALERT: I love Lord of the Rings! After seeing the The Fellowship of the Ring, I was hooked and needed to know the ending. I had an epiphany… I can read the books!  I got The Hobbit and LOTR on paperback and for the first time read a book before seeing the movie. There were parts that I loved and parts that were, eh, alright. When the other sequels came out I didn’t miss any of the stuff that was cut or changed from the text. To this day I consider LOTR the best movie trilogy ever. Most people who read the books don’t criticize the film versions based solely on their differences from the text. Which is not what to expect from the cult like obsession Tolkien fans are known for. This makes LOTR an anomaly and a testimony to how great the films are .
With Game of Thrones starting again at the end of the month I’m already hearing the complaints. The best example being that a friend of mine watched the show when it started and convinced me and a few others to check it out. We all were on the King’s Road band wagon pretty quick, so naturally, we read all the books too. Then season two varied even more from the books than season one. By the third episode my friend was so upset with the changes he stopped watching the show altogether. I find it funny, because of the show he read the books and because of the books now he’s missing some good tv. Spoiler Alert: season three is going to be different too, get over it.
A few years ago I decided to start reading a lot more. One of the reasons is I wanted to understand why people always cited the differences in the book as their only reason to not like a movie. I’ve come to believe it is because of 2 major factors; First it is easier and more fun to knock something down than to build it up. And if I’ve read the book and you haven’t, I know more and can form a better argument as to why it sucked than you can as to why it was good. Second is that most people don’t recognize how very different the printed medium is from a screen medium. They utilize completely different standards to tell a good story. I’m not going into how, just trust me, print and screen are so different that you can’t expect a movie to be successful based on the storytelling abilities of a book. It would be like expecting someone who’d baked the best made-from-scratch bread ever also being able to use the same grains and yeast to brew a great beer.
Judge tv shows and movies as compared against other tv and movies. Because if you want to see the story with all the details told in the exact same way and nothing cut out, stay home and reread the book.


  1. Jeyna Grace March 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Season 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire was really close to the book.

    • ccharlesconfidential March 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Yeah, and that’s what was conveyed in the story about GoT in this piece.

      @Carl Well, I think that you should read and watch John Dies at the End. There both really fun.

      • Carl Wells March 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

        I have John Dies at the End is on my list. Game of Thrones book and show were very close and great because of it. But even with the changes in season 2 it is still better than 98% of tv shows on right now.

  2. Kim March 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    A movie is always going to be different from the book. Sometimes GoT does better as a flick, other times as a book. Dany’s first episode is … really kinda disturbing as a movie. For one thing, she’s not consenting…

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