Friday, May 19, 2006

To See or Not to See

Now, I haven’t yet seen the Da Vinci Code movie. After all, it only came out yesterday. Thing is, I am quite reluctant to see it. Amazing, I know, that I, someone who adores movies and enjoys nothing more than being entertained by often mindless twaddle for anywhere from 1-200 minutes should be holding back from seeing a film. Thing is, I have something against books made into films, particularly books that I’ve really enjoyed. Now, I’m not saying that the Da Vinci Code was the best book I’ve ever read. It wasn’t. I am saying though, that I devoured it in two days, and am intrigued by the concepts it raises, and I loved the characters, particularly Sir Leigh Teabing.

I have often been disappointed by blockbuster books that have been turn into supposedly blockbuster movies, or even just average books. See, there is a movie theatre in my mind. I have a particularly vivid imagination, and often, quite to my surprise, find that characters from books have voices, images, personalities, that are, I’m sure, quite different than how the author intended them, but also quite different from those every other person who’s read the book will imagine.

This is where movies from books run into dangerous territory: you can’t please everyone. The characters will almost certainly be different than how anyone has imagined them, so the majority of people will inevitably be disappointed. This is not to say that the movie itself won’t have merit, won’t be well-made, and won’t be entertaining. It can be all these things, it just won’t be like the book.

I will see the Da Vinci Code eventually, I’m sure. I just don’t have any great expectations of it.

Great books that have been turned into equally great movies:
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yes. I loved the books, I loved the moofies.
Bridget Jones’ diaries – entertaining. Such a great character
High Fidelity (book by Nick Hornby) – I love John Cusack.
Pay it Forward - Hayley Joel Osment is a brilliant child
Trainspotting – appeals to me in a very warped way
Requiem for a Dream – the movie gave me the creeps, but was certainly well made.

Great books that have been turned into TERRIBLE movies:
The Power of One – what was the crap. Seriously? Loved the book, would honestly like to drive The Beast repeatedly over every copy of the movie.
Emma (by Jane Austen) – um Hello? CLUELESS? Oh dear.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – this was made into the film Blade Runner. Hated it. just revolting. Probably not helped that we studied it at school. Blegh.
The Manchurian Candidate – just wrong.

Comic books, on the other hand, make excellent movies.

X-men - the whole trilogy. Can't wait to see the new one. comes out on thursday. yippeee.
Spider Man
Batman (some of them, but certainly not the most recently one with katie-Recently-Turned-Scientologist- Holmes).
the Blade trilogy (the 3rd one was my favourite... i think it's cos Van Wilder was in it, not to mention Jessica Biel).
Elektra and Daredevil (actually i hated Daredevil, but loved elektra...)
Sin City (i actually hated this, put it in the bad movie category please).

OK. i like comics. Perhaps it's that i haven't sat down and read and become involved in the actual comic books, which is why i like the movies more, i haven't got as many pre-conceived ideas. Or maybe i'm just a big kid.


TOBYtoby said...

I dunno, I like Blade Runner. I mean, it's ~very~ different to the book, but the director's cut is good. I'm biased because I adore Philip K Dick, have something like 30 of his novels. Bit weird really.

Da Vinci code will so definitely suck. I mean, the book is a page-turner, but it's not amazing. Hard to turn it into a great film.

Tammiodo said...

tobytoby i think you're right. The movie will be terrible. It's a shame. They should have left it a while.