Are Book Readers more Critical of Movies?

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#1
We all know book adaptations tend to be weaker when moved to TV or movies. But in general do you, as a person who reads more than the average person, find yourself more critical of movies? I grew up on Star Wars and loved comic books. But these latest Star Wars movies have been bad to mediocre at best. Poor plots and poor writing have doomed them. Most Marvel movies lately are just action packed popcorn flicks with little plot other than beat up the bad guy. It’s why I generally like the Marvel movies that are origin stories and fail to connect with the never ending sequels. Just curious if other people tend to find the current state of movies lacking. Not sure if I’m getting grumpier in my old age (47) or my expectations have grown lol.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#2
I have noticed in the more recent years it has been harder and harder to find movies I really enjoy. There are a lot of factors I think contribute.

1. I am 34 and at our ages (you being 47 even moreso) I am sure there is some burnout on our parts from having taken in so much content over the years. Books, movies, video games, comics, etc.

2. My attention span just doesn't cut it with movies and what seems like longer and longer run times every year. I can do tv shows at 30-45 minutes a pop but a movie over 2 hours? I really have to prepare myself for that. That leads to things after the movie ends where I think back on everything I watched and say "did I really enjoy this part?" or "they definitely could have done away with this or that". A lot of how I value movies is on if I could watch it again and movies with longer run times and drawn out plots make it less likely.

3. I find it harder now to lose myself in the movie experience. What I mean is, when I watch it starts to feel like real life where you recognize someone is being fake and it is offputting. With the obvious understanding that they are actors and supposed to be acting, I just can't immerse myself in the fictional ideas like I can with a book.

Getting back to your original question I am not sure if being a reader makes me harder on movies other than ones that are adaptions from books I have read. Marvel movies are some of the ones I have really enjoyed because it is a lot of fun seeing the heroes brought to life on such a grand scale. Star Wars I have never been into in any form. It is my big sin as a nerd I guess. It has literally 0 appeal for me. That being said, The Mandalorian is the first thing Star Wars to make me want to watch it.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#3
Agreed. No movie should really be over 2 hours. That one Avengers movie was over 3 I think. The LOTR movies were to long too. Watching at home with breaks is OK but to have to sit ins

Today took the family to see Jumanii and two people couldn’t stop checking their phones. People can be so annoying too lol.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#4
These days I try to just go with it when watching movies. There's a lot of shabbily made movies that rely on visuals and cool scenes to work, and I can either enjoy them by going with the visuals and cool scenes, or not enjoy them by picking holes. Why not pick to enjoy myself? Rise of Skywalker offers a field day for criticism, but I enjoyed it. The Sith stadium was cool. The underground snake thing was cool.

And of course, if I don't think I can do that, I don't go. Haven't seen most of the Marvel movies. Haven't seen a lot of things. I do have to agree with anyone looking at this age of movie making and asking "What happened to telling a story?" You listen to some of the things that come out of Abrams' mouth, or the guys who did GoT, and I'm thinking "Wow, how do they have jobs?". But there we go.

Don't get me wrong. There was a time I was more critical not that long ago. But I am moving away from it.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#5
Have you seen "Joker"?

Awesome movie IMO, but definitely not your typical superhero movie.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#6
Have you seen "Joker"?

Awesome movie IMO, but definitely not your typical superhero movie.
Objectively speaking Joker was well acted and overall a good movie. A little slow though and a little too heavy to re-visit very often if at all. So not knocking it but for me I prefer other super hero movies from a pure entertainment standpoint.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Let me know which are your favourite superhero movies :)
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#8
Let me know which are your favourite superhero movies :)
Man that is tough because there quite a few good ones. Hard to make a definitive order so I will just give you a list of some that I thought belong in the conversation for top 5 or whatever:

Captain America Winter Solider
Captain America Civil War
The Dark Knight
Iron Man (I like all 3 but the first one really launched the superhero movies as we know them today)
Batman Begins
X-Men Days of Future Past
Avengers: Infinity War
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I know you said superhero but I tend to just go with comic book movies) the original

Honorable mention to The Joker and Wonder Woman because while I thought both were a little boring I also thought they both had 2 of the best lead roles of any comic book movie. There are other movies I didn't list I like better on the whole though.

Didn't care for the Thor trilogy and I think the third one would probably go down for me as the most overrated comic book movie and while I enjoyed both Deadpool movies I think they are a touch overrated as well.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#9
I liked the origin Marvel movies best because they tell a good story. Follow ups tend to be all action and little substance. My favourites are X-Men 1, Spidey 1 and 2, Thor 1, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 1, Iron Man 1.

Honourable mention to Incredible Hulk (Ed Norton version), Ant Man 1.

I think the Avengers movies have largely been over rated brainless action flicks. The last one was pretty decent but I am not impressed with most of them. Captain America movies are OK. He is a bit too clean cut and lacks good bad guys. Wonder Woman had a good start but I am tired of Nazi movies. I think all of the newer XMen movies are disappointing. They have gotten too serious and aren’t much fun. I think Batman Dark Knight is one of the most over rated movies of all time. Some huge stretches that require too much brain shutting off. I thought Black Panther wasn’t that good either.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#10
I think the Avengers movies have largely been over rated brainless action flicks. The last one was pretty decent but I am not impressed with most of them. Captain America movies are OK. He is a bit too clean cut and lacks good bad guys. Wonder Woman had a good start but I am tired of Nazi movies. I think all of the newer XMen movies are disappointing. They have gotten too serious and aren’t much fun. I think Batman Dark Knight is one of the most over rated movies of all time. Some huge stretches that require too much brain shutting off. I thought Black Panther wasn’t that good either.
A few things:

1. I don't necessarily think you are wrong about them being brainless action flicks though I do think that is a little harsh, but essentially that is what they are supposed to be and they do a damn good job of it. I would also say that Marvel did a great job in casting most of the heroes as well as balancing humor and impending doom. Not sure if you are going off of personal taste or objective rating but I would say objectively it is hard to rate what Marvel did poorly even if you don't enjoy them.

2. I agree on the Nazi thing with Wonder Woman. It was very hard for me not to view that movie as a women's version of Captain America. The saving grace really is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I praise Marvels casting almost all the way around but I am not sure any single person tops her as Wonder Woman.

3. You say the newer X-Men movies are too serious and not much fun after criticising Avengers movies for being action flicks. Those seem like opposite sides of the argument. The Avengers movies are made the way they are to be fun and bring the Superhero thing to life. So would you rather they be more plot oriented and serious or fun? Or am I misunderstanding your stance?

4. I agree on Black Panther being overrated.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#11
My post about X-Men can seem contradictory. I just look back at the first two X-Men movies and think those were very well done. A good story, strong characters and some humour. Hugh Jackman really helped. They were fun and had a plot. The new ones with new characters just didn’t seem fun. I didn’t like anything about them. They were darker, more serious and yet I still didn’t find the stories or characters that interesting. Maybe I just didn’t like the new cast but nothing about the newer character XMen movies resonated with me.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#12
I have no problem watching a 2+ hour movie. The recent BR2049 for example, 2h 40 something minutes and it's the best cinema experience I've had.

I agree with you on Black Panther. The 88 critics score it has is utterly ridiculous. There was nothing new with that movie, just more of the same. Joker is sitting at 59 btw.

I definitely feel I'm becoming more of a movie snob though. But yea that's probably because so much stuff you see is more of the same, eventually you lose all interest. That's where I am with Marvel right now. I was excited for the new Doctor Strange film because the director was supposed to be given more freedom with the sequel, and he wanted to make it sort of a horror. However, surprise surprise he just dropped out due to creative differences.

It's honestly sad that the directors aren't allowed to have any input whatsoever with the movies they're making.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#13
My post about X-Men can seem contradictory. I just look back at the first two X-Men movies and think those were very well done. A good story, strong characters and some humour. Hugh Jackman really helped. They were fun and had a plot. The new ones with new characters just didn’t seem fun. I didn’t like anything about them. They were darker, more serious and yet I still didn’t find the stories or characters that interesting. Maybe I just didn’t like the new cast but nothing about the newer character XMen movies resonated with me.
Fair enough and I think we all have things like that. I was just trying to clear up if you were attempting to speak objectively or subjectively on each one. Like for me I would say Joker is a good to great movie and Phoenix killed the role, but it was really heavy and wasn't the most enjoyable experience. So I would rate it highly but not sure I will ever re-visit it.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Gotta say, Deadpool is the only superhero movie I've honestly loved. It's cool they've had their moment in the sun, but if they could find a new obsession in Hollywood, I'm more than ready to move along...
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#16
These days the only true entertainment I get and have most fun with are audiobooks. I thoroughly enjoy the performances and I usually pick books I'm pretty sure I will like. I'm done chasing any kind of challenges, reading- or rather listening to audiobooks has become my main entertainment.
I still read too but I just don't have the time for paper/kindle as much as I do for audio, because I can work and listen.

I have no interest in superhero movies or series. I grew up on comics, but they were european comics and I love them with all my heart, but they are a completely different beastie to american superhero comics. Some of the stuff I loved was Dylan Dog, Martin Mystere, Alan Ford, Zagor, Asterix and Obelix, Tintin, Prince Valiant (an exception to the list as it's 1937 american comic). There were many others, but it was mainly italian and french/belgian publications.
So my sensibilities are a wee bit different when it comes to comic book related media and I never got into this endless wave of comic book movies Hollywood was pumping out for the last decade. I think I stopped watching Marvel somewhere around Winter Soldier and I never watched any DC movies.

It's also my impression in general that the quality of screenwriting has gone down in Hollywood. I hardly ever see any original screenplay, it's always some adaptation of a book or a story, whether it's a movie or a tv show. Usually the book is better and adaptation doesn't satisfy me.
Whether this is just my impression or objective I have no clue. Sometimes I think I have me problem and that everything is the same quality as it ever was and it's just me that has become more picky/grumpy. I don't know.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#18
I have never tried an audio book before. I’m not sure how much I would like it. I guess I should at some point.
I recommend this thread for some BFB members' favourites: http://bestfantasybooks.com/forums/threads/good-audio-book-recomendations.1843/

If I had to recommend something to a total audiobook newb, I would recommend Dresden Files audiobooks done by James Marsters for two reasons.
First Marsters does a stellar job, and second the books are short enough to have a taste of audiobooks without them being overwhelming. I heard a common complaint from people who aren't used to audiobooks that their mind wanders off when they're listening. The longer the book, the more danger of that (for some folks).
 

ABatch

Journeyed there and back again
#19
I think everyone needs to be exposed to a LOT more Shakespeare when they're young. I have no problem with 3 hr. + run times, as long as the story is engaging. I think our attention spans are being done a huge disservice by television, the internet, etc., and I certainly see this in my classroom. And yet, kids have no problem playing Fortnite for 8 hours straight. Huh.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#20
I think everyone needs to be exposed to a LOT more Shakespeare when they're young. I have no problem with 3 hr. + run times, as long as the story is engaging. I think our attention spans are being done a huge disservice by television, the internet, etc., and I certainly see this in my classroom. And yet, kids have no problem playing Fortnite for 8 hours straight. Huh.
I couldn’t disagree more. Shakespeare sucks. It’s written as a screenplay and written in old English that most people don’t care about and is hard to understand. I hated reading it in high school and hated a lot of the choices of “classics” we were forced to read. Completely turned me off of reading. I only started becoming a regular reader as an adult and that was in my late 30s, closer to 40. Offer Shakespeare as a senior, optional class for those that are interested (problem is nobody would sign up for it so they don’t).

Do we want kids to read? Absolutely. So let’s start giving them choices in school and stop covering literature that’s hundreds of years old and almost nobody in school wants to read. The whole language approach of modern English classes is to put more emphasis on writing and creativity and less emphasis on spelling and grammar (which I do have some issues with). But I would love to see teachers allow more choices and pick more interesting and modern books to study instead of relying on teacher notes that are decades old.

Edit: I should add that I agree kids play too many video games and stare at screens too much. But forcing them to read stuff they hate is NOT the solution.
 
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