Twin Moment

Writers. Twins. Biologically unrelated. Laughing at
ourselves (and each other), listening to amazing
music, and living life epically. We present, our blog.
Prepare to be astounded.

Books to Movies

This is a fairly hot topic right now, I'm sure, considering the fact that one of the biggest sensations since Twilight just hit the movie theaters this past weekend. Yes, I'm talking about Hunger Games again.

Interestingly enough, having just finished reading Mansfield Park (and watching this movie rendition of it), coupled with seeing Hunger Games right on the 23rd, the topic of books-to-movies is on my mind, and I have lots to say about it.

I'll begin with this bit of information about me: I love movies.

I'd like to modify that and say I love good movies, and only some genres of good movies, but just in general, from a creative standpoint, a well-done, beautifully photographed movie never fails to captivate me. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if I didn't want to dance, write, or be a mommy, I'd direct movies happily for the rest of my life.

That being said, you can imagine how I anticipate/dread/feel about books-to-movies.

First off, I think there's not enough knowledge among people about what it takes to make a good movie. The pacing, the acting, the music, the photography-- all of it, so important! In the case of taking a (well known, or not) novel, and putting it on the screen, many people expect to see it done with perfect faithfulness to the book. And it isn't. Once they've been disappointed, they will not have it happen again. After all, movies should match the book perfectly. Every detail should be immaculate. IT SHOULD WATCH LIKE IT READS.



Fact is, it just doesn't work like that. Hunger Games, as a novel, reads a specific way. It's gripping, it's fast, it's in-your-face... all that jazz. If you tried to take that and put it on the screen exactly as its written, dialogue, descriptions and all, you'd have a long, poorly paced, fairly boring movie. Just think about it. Read a couple pages out loud to yourself, and imagine you see a movie panning out.

At the end of the day, it'd be nothing like your favorite, well-done movies.

This is the point I see so many people missing.

Sure, Peeta's eyes are blue, not brown. (I do confess to bellyaching about that. I mean, in this day and age of technology, couldn't someone have fixed that!?) Prim doesn't have anything to do with Katniss's Mockingjay pin. The muttations are supposed to have dead-tribute-colored eyes. The Avox girl has a role... in the book. But pacing-wise? Importance-wise? These things are details. In a movie, they would slow and clutter. And as we all know, we're an entertainment-obsessed culture, and if it's not fast enough or gripping enough or attention-grabbing enough, we lose interest.

Books are one thing, movies are another.

Movie-makers supply what's in demand.

Anyway, all that to say, before you complain about all the flaws of a director's vision for a book-inspired movie, step back, and view it from their more experienced eyes. Try to look at them as two separate works of art: the book, and the movie. I'm not saying there's an excuse for the sheer awfulness of the Eragon movie, nor am I defending actor-Harry Potter's blue eyes, or the fact that this version of Mansfield Park is so unlike the novel, it shouldn't even have the same title. (In its defense, it only says it's inspired by the book. And it IS fabulous, all this-isn't-true-to-Jane-Austen issues aside.)

All I'm saying is that we need some more perspective. An awareness that novels and movies are two very different things. They're each paced differently, created differently, and often made for a different market and audience. If we can keep these things in mind, we won't be so disappointed when we leave the theater. (Or the TV room, if you're a Netflix junkie, like me.)

That's about all I've got for today. Have a marvelous Saturday!

Best Part of Today: Knocking off ALL my chem homework, thus freeing myself for SPRING BREAK WEEK!
Currently Craving: French Vanilla ice cream.
Music Pick: "Mozart Symphony 29 (2nd movement)" by Mozart (duh!)
I'm Reading: Haven't decided... just finished "Divergent" by Veronica Roth
WIP: Blink re-writes (?? words) ON HOLD!

6 epic comments:

I just saw The Hunger Games today! =D I LOVED it…except for Gale. He's still ugly. =/ But that's okay, because Movie Peeta vs. Movie Gale has me rooting for Movie Peeta, so I'm not without a cause. =P Though I'm still Team Book Gale. ^_^

I agreed with all the cuts and condensing-s of the movie. The Hunger Games book is a good book, and The Hunger Games movie is a good movie. =)


I thought the Hunger Games movie had a strange pacing. Did you feel that way? Like parts of it were slow in comparison to how they read in the book.

As far as the changes, I understand a lot of them. Such as the Caesar Flickerman commentary and such. The Mockingjay pin they can get away with because Madge has such a minor role. But I felt like the Avox girl was important and they didn't show it.

And Peeta's eyes. I agree. They had a pretty large budget to work with. You think he could have worn contacts. Then again, Daniel Radcliffe didn't have green eyes in HP. That was upsetting.


I loved The Hunger Games! It really kept the spirit of the book, and the acting was great. I agree with Amanda on Gale, though, and Peeta made me root for him, so I'm definitely Team Movie Peeta. ^_^ It is odd they didn't give him contacts, but I didn't remember his eyes were supposed to be blue, so it didn't bother me. Heh. =D Harry Potter's eyes, though…inexcusable. =P

One thing I didn't like was the cinematography at times—way too much shakey-cam. It was dizzying and overdone, especially in the beginning when it wasn't even intense yet. Other than that…it was well done. Despite fighting it, I cried when Rue died. I approve. ^_^

@Amanda Foody — Hmm…I did get that feeling about the pacing, that it was a little weird. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was off, though. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


It's been too long since I've read the book, so I can't really comment on the differences between the book and movie, but I do agree with you that the book and the movie are two separate works of art. I think we all need to remember that the movie is BASED on the book, so it doesn't have to follow everything perfectly.

As for movie-Harry's blue eyes, contact lenses irritated Daniel Radcliffe's eyes so he didn't wear them. There is one scene as the end of Philosopher's Stone where he has them in. #clearlyaHarryPotternerd Yay for trivia!


@Amanda Hahah. I guess so? I don't think he's *ugly* but he's DEFINITELY not what I pictured Gale being. ^^ OOOH. What made you switch??

@Amanda Foody I totally agree-- the Avox girl was a kind of a big deal. I mean, I think I understand why they dropped it, but it bothered me. And I agree with Renee... I didn't really notice the pacing being off in the movie.

Yes! Definitely upsetting.

@Renee Isn't it awesome? Yes. He's supposed to have blue eyes. It's one of my favorite features of his, and Josh H's eyes are so very BROWN. O_o

I agree! It was crazy-shaky, and especially on a big screen, kinda overwhelming. It's like you didn't know where to look. But I know why they did it...

I cried when Rue died, too. :(

@Matthew Totally! And REALLY? I didn't know that. I feel *slightly* better. Now I want to know which scene he has them in for.


@Maggie—Yeah, he's really only ugly in the context of being Gale. His brand of handsome DOES NOT FIT. And he's not even a great actor, so…no redemption. I couldn't feel sorry for him, because I didn't believe him. And Josh Hutcherson is a great actor, so I believed him. Which won me over for Movie Peeta. =)


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