The battle between books and movies

Pro (Beth Dahlstrom)

The only thing better than a movie is a movie based on a book, and there are plenty of advantages to transforming a book into a triumph of the cinema.

Every reader can experience something a little larger than pages and ink, while moviegoers can find the satisfaction of experiencing a taste of literary culture.

With the help of big-screen funding, there is a movie out there for everyone.

For those who like classics, for instance, there are adaptations like “Pride and Prejudice.”

While the language of the novel can be hard to understand, the movie makes the story more accessible.

Furthermore, different adaptations of “Pride and Prejudice,” such as the 1940s black-and-white version, the BBC mini-series with Colin Firth, or the now-famous Keira Knightley version, bring different perspectives to viewers who would have otherwise been lost in the big words and tiny print.

For action and adventure lovers, “The Bourne Trilogy” provides adventure and adrenaline. The mystery and action-packed thrill leaves moviegoers begging for more.

Whether book-readers or movie-watchers, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy can unite. Though some events have been altered from book to screen, movies like these can be universal conversation starters. How a movie compares to the book can be a great way to smooth out awkward conversations or even start new ones.

Sometimes, the movie can be even better than the book.

Movies and the debates that stem from them often bring people together that might not have otherwise met. You can almost never go wrong in a conversation when asking people what their views are on a movie.

There are so many good reasons to make books into movies.  Not only do the movies create conversation connections, but they also promote the books. Books should definitely be turned into movies.

Con (Andrew Milbourne)

Hollywood needs to get its slimy hands off of our books. Movie theaters nowadays are filled with adaptations of best-selling novels, from “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” to “Dear John” and the new “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”

Sadly, most of these adaptations are not very good films, or at least they are not very faithful to their source material.

It is understandable why Hollywood wants to turn bestselling books into films. If the books are popular the movie should be too, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that. Most books don’t translate well into movies.

First, while books can go on for hundreds or even thousands of pages, movies can only last, at most, for about two-and-a-half hours until the audience gets bored. Filmmakers are forced to cut out large sections of the book in order to condense the film into a tolerable length. Take a look at the “Harry Potter” films: The first movie was over two-and-a-half hours long, but over half the material from the book was cut out in order to squeeze it into that time frame. 

Also, films almost always lack the emotional depth of books. In a book, the reader can discover exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling at any moment through the story. With movies, the audience can only guess at, or imply, what the characters are thinking based on their actions or facial expressions.

Comic book adaptations are especially prone to this shortcoming: There are no little thought bubbles in movies, so most of the emotional turmoil that for example, Spider-Man, goes through in the comics is all but lost up on the big screen.

Movie adaptations also have  a tendency to stray pretty far from their source material. Take “The Bourne Trilogy.” The plot of “The Bourne Identity” had little to do with the Robert Ludlum novel on which the film was based. It had the same characters and the same general concept, but the story depicted by the film was completely different from that of the novel.

It is true that there are some good adaptations out there. However, great adaptations are few and far between.

By and large, Hollywood needs to stay away from the bookstores when looking for inspiration and should try to come up with something original for a change.

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