I was reading an article in TIMES that I know we will all enjoy!
I'll let you decide which is better.
Tis the season when Hollywood gets literate. Since the Oscar deadline coincides with New Year's Eve and a bookish pedigree is a sure way to get Academy members' attention, studios turn to acclaimed novels for their holiday fodder. But there's a risk involved. Ask any reader who has seen the movie version of a favorite novel, and the answer will usually be, "The book was better."
That's because readers of a novel have already made their own perfect movie version. They have visualized it, fleshed out the locations and set the pace as they either zipped through the book or scrupulously savored every word. Often they have even cast it. In the late 1930s, by the thousands, readers of Gone With the Wind demanded that Southern rogue Rhett Butler be played by that damn yankee Clark Gable. Readers are a very possessive bunch. So in taking a novel from page to screen, movie adapters must tread carefully, like a new visitor at Lourdes.The time has long passed when popular fiction was almost inevitably filmed by Hollywood and when, as in the 1940s, seven of the 10 Best Picture Oscar winners were based on novels. Today graphic novels inspire as many big-budget crowd pleasers as the old-fashioned unillustrated kind. Which means that somewhere someone is saying, of the Fantastic Four movie or even Sin City, "The comic book was better."
Books don't have to be serious to be adapted, as the many movie versions of Elmore Leonard novels attest. But since they're often how people experience a story first, debates will always rage over the merits of each version. We're here to add kindling to that fire. Three books, three movies. Which ones win? You'll decide.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICECHALLENGES: Hello? It's only, like, one of the most acclaimed pieces of literature ever (although director Joe Wright had never read it). Those who love it love it a lot. To others, it smells a bit like homework. Not to mention that this is the third adaptation, including one of those BBC behemoths.
HOW THE BOOK WAS BETTER: It's hard to match wits with the woman who wrote, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." The movie doesn't try. It opens on a sunrise. The book is much funnier, the dialogue much cleverer, the social satire more nuanced. Oh, and some Austenites are spitting mad because the movie ends with a kiss.
HOW THE MOVIE IS BETTER: There's a lot more of the grit of everyday life in 18th century rural Britain that was commonplace to Austen but is new to us. Animals wander through the house. There's mud everywhere. Also, it ends with a kiss.
CHALLENGES: Right off the bat, the screenwriters had to commit sacrilege by tinkering with a beloved children's classic. They also had to wrestle with a strongly Christian plot that flirts with Sunday-school didacticism and had to keep kids interested despite a noticeable lack of exploding spaceships.
HOW THE BOOK WAS BETTER: Director Andrew Adamson Hollywoodizes Lion with a dreary, rote chase scene and "punches up" C.S. Lewis' dialogue with a pair of tiresome beavers with Cockney accents who engage in sitcom-style banter.
HOW THE MOVIE IS BETTER: Whereas Lewis let World War II stay in the book's background, the movie opens with a stark, scary shot of Luftwaffe bombers pummeling London. It's a daring stroke that brings out the dark strata of loss and violence that lay beneath the story. Lewis also soft-pedaled the book's climactic battle between the forces of good and evil; the movie makes it the kick-ass set piece readers have always wanted. "It'd be a crime not to show a fight between a centaur and a minotaur," says screenwriter Christopher Markus.
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
CHALLENGES: Filmmakers had to consult on changes with author J.K. Rowling (who's usually quite agreeable); appease every kid who has read, memorized and worshipped the book; put Goblet's 734-page bulk on a severe diet that slimmed the plot without starving it; find a strong narrative line that, as director Mike Newell says, you can "hang stuff on like a necklace"; and make a movie that fit into the seven-novel structure but could stand alone as a ripping yarn. "Goblet of Fire was by far the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life," says screenwriter Steve Kloves. "It took two years to make that work--mostly trying to decide what to leave behind."
HOW THE BOOK WAS BETTER: True Potter fans say Goblet luxuriated in fascinating detail (about Hogwarts and Voldemort lore) that the movie was obliged to ignore.
HOW THE MOVIE IS BETTER: It telescopes the book's first 100 pages into a thrilling 20 min. The whole movie zips through the narrative like the Hogwarts Express, transporting viewers from the mundane to the magical in no time flat.
What do you think? Which is better?
portion of article from TIMES