Sunday, May 30, 2010

Books v. Movies (or Order of the Phoenix movie v. Order of the Phoenix book)

OK, so I know that I haven't posted in a while but there's a reason for that, I swear.  I broke my ankle and had to have surgery. For the first few weeks, I was in a lot of pain and because I am also pregnant, there wasn't a whole lot that I could take for pain management (sorry Tylenol Extra Strength, you just don't cut it for an ankle that's broken in three places). I wasn't reading a whole lot because I was in pain - I couldn't really focus on what I was reading - and then, when the pain became more bearable, I was a tad depressed. Not being able to really leave the house, drive anywhere and to be utterly reliant upon another person to care for you can get depressing. But I'm back on the wagon now and for my comeback post, I wanted to talk about books v. movies generally. The inspiration for this post was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I'm nearly done with reading and which I watched last night as a movie. 

After watching HP and the Order of the Phoenix, I'm a follower of the general rule that books are better than the movies and should be read before going to see their movie version.  There's a satisfaction that I get out of reading a book that I don't often get when I'm watching a movie. When I read a book, I can put it down and think about what I've just read. I can blog about a certain passage or journal about it in a private journal if it's really, really personal.  With a movie, when you're in the moment of the movie, it's often hard, at least for me, to just stop it and think about what I've just seen or a particular scene.  Also, there's something to be said about the act of physically reading a book - I like holding the book and turning the pages.  I find that my adult onset ADHD is satisfied in that way. With movies, I get distracted by other things really easily and sometimes will actually be doing two things at once - watching the movie and doing something else.

But my biggest complaint is that movies constantly seem to sacrifice the details and plot subtleties that make books so wonderful. And sometimes, they even change parts of the storyline to make it more palatable to viewing audiences that may not have read the book or to make the movie move that much more quickly. And that, to me, should be one of the mortal sins that Christianity teaches. It was my biggest complaint with the Order of the Phoenix movie - it left out so much and, because of what was left out now, the future movies were going to be impacted as well (the Half Blood Prince already was!).

What do you guys think?

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