Thursday, July 20, 2006

Book into Movie

This summer, I joined my library's Summer Reading Program for adults. One of the books on my list to read was The Day After Tomorrow.

It never crossed my mind to read the BOOK after seeing the movie five times .... and counting.

Many thoughts on the subject of movies made from books abound. Most I've viewed seem to be in the negative; that the movies never seem to capture the brilliance of a well written story, that it doesn't translate well to the screen and it insults the vision of the author . I've read statements that, on principle alone, they refuse to see the movie made version less they experience extreme disappointment, rage, disgust or disillusionment. Basically, they won't ever give the theater version a fighting chance.

I approached reading the book with tentative steps, even going so far as to wait until my three weeks of borrow time was almost up. I ended up reading it in two days.

I have no clue as to whether my experience is unusual or typical for this book, but I LOVED it!
Truly, my heart was pounding even though I knew what was coming.

There were, obviously, many differences between the two, but not in concept, interpretation and most of all, the delivery.


In reading the book I now better understand how the wolves escaped.
That I found the written version of Sam's encounter with the wolves more blood-chilling than the movie. The movie only had to rely on the visuals ( M.E. - remember what I said about canine fangs?) which was enough for me, LOL.
That from reading the book I felt more empathy for the cop who led the people from the library.
I was drawn more completely into the familial love that existed in the book, whereas I was a tad confused as to where they all stood in relation to each other in the film.
The only element that was clear in both the book and movie was a father's love for his son and the son loving his dad.
Very powerful that.

Also the transformation in the personality of the Vice President - the book made a more powerful statement in how circumstances make a man a man.
Remember the adage, Adversity will show whether a man IS a man or a mouse - OK, I'm paraphrasing the cliche, but it works here and you get to see it put into action during the story.

So many internal emotions were thoughtfully woven in the book that simply cannot transfer onto the big screen. I admit that.

My only negative observation (and it was a glaring gaffe) - the movie forgot to let Sam/Jake grow face fuzz. At the end when his dad comes to the rescue, Sam is still as freshly shaved and smooth faced as if he had just stepped out of a grunge spa. There should have been three days worth of fur. Somebody was probably too goo-goo eyed by Jake to notice the omission.

All in all, I was impressed with how closely the movie followed the book. The changes the director made worked for the film version making reading and viewing two different experiences - both enjoyable.

I recommend both.

Sure, the movie has been out for quite some time and I am probably being repetitive to some readers - but the reason for this post is to state that sometimes, a book CAN be successfully translated to a movie and I believe The Day After Tomorrow is proof of that.

Do you want to share a sucessful book to movie experience with me today??


Mailyn said...

I'm one of the people that agree that a movie never comes close to a book but what can you do? there's only so much to work with, especially considering even some things are impossible with special effects.

nonetheless I sometimes enjoy them such as the HP series, Lemony Snicket, Nanny McPhee, and yes, even the rape of my favorite book The Count of Monte Cristo. it was unpardonable what they did to my baby but what the hell, I enjoyed it anwyways. when they do this I just try to see it as a different plot alltogether. that keeps me from hyper ventilating. lol.

Kristen Painter said...

I'm way too guilty of seeing the movie and not reading the book. I better excuse myself from this one.

Kimberly said...

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty was both a beautiful book and a brilliantly done movie!! But then, I'd suffer through two hours of Nicholas Cage just for a few scenes of Robert Duvall :)

M.E Ellis said...

I scrolled this post very carefully...spider wary!

I forgot to put fangs on my post today. POO! Will do it tomorrow!


Brandy said...

The Movie Beaches was good, and the book drew out the relationship between the 2 main characters.
Another is Little Women, the 1940's version was pretty good, but the 1990's version with Susan Serandin(sp) was also pretty well done.

M.E Ellis said...


I've gone a put the wrong bloody fangs up!



Michele said...

True, Mailyn!
I have a sometimes blog buddy that told me awhile ago that Starship Troopers the book is great while the movie wasn't. Not only that, but the movie and book to two totally different entities. The movie does the book a grave injustice. You think you're at least getting an outline of the original book but that is far from the truth. I haven't read it yet, but I promised him I would. I still intend to honor that.

LOL, Kristin! Don't feel so bad. If it weren't for the book program, you and I'd be twins, !

Kimbery! Hi! You suffered... through Nicholas Cage? LOL - glad I'm not the only one. *grin*
Hmmm, I'm not into westerns, but I might give that one a whirl. Thanks!

M.E.!! ROTFL!!!!! I checked your blog recently...I think the fangs are perfectly scary. Thanks!
RE: "scrolling carefully" - Teehee and lots of giggles!

Brandy, I never saw Beaches...nor read it. It doesn't seem like a story line that'd float my boat. Good thing people come in all flavors - if not, the world would be boring, eh?

Annalee Blysse said...

Skimming through comments I agree with Kimberly. I loved the book Lonesome Dove, and the movie is wonderful. Robert Duvall just did another western epic like that recently... Broken Trail. Loved it. Makes me want to see if there was a book.

How about Disney ride to movie? I went to see Pirates 2 last weekend. I am really enjoying these movies, and it's also my favorite ride from childhood at Disneyland.