Are Book Readers more Critical of Movies?

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#21
I completely agree with @rudyjuly2. I'm from Sweden and we have the same approach in our Swedish classes and there is not a single student who enjoy those. English is actually one of the most liked subjects here but surprise surprise when we get to Shakespeare it definitely isn't anymore.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#22
Yeah they both make valid points but I would rather have a tumor removed than read Shakespeare and I am an adult who actually likes reading. Try that with a younger me who likely had ADHD and didn't like reading to begin with.....great way to make me hate everything about that class lol.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#23
Interesting post, and I thought I'd come out of my hiatus to make my first post of the new decade.

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?
Probably. And I guess it's inevitable. A well-written novel is very well thought-out and logical, has intricate sub-plots and nuanced characters, and most movies cannot compete. It's probably a little unfair, since filmmakers generally have only 2-2.5 hours to tell a story compared to a Fantasy novel of 800 pages, but it's hard not to notice logical errors and the like in movies. But I think it's almost certain that the story-telling prowess of good novel writers is far above that of Hollywood screenwriters. A prime example of this is Game of Thrones. D&D did a great job adapting the screenplay from the novels. But the moment the show surpassed the books and no longer had GRRM's source material to rely on, the show became increasingly cheesy and unrealistic. It's not a coincidence that the last 3 seasons (when the show overtook the books) are generally viewed as the weakest of the series.

Generally, I would say that my approach is to not analyse movies too much. Also, it's important to judge a movie based on what it's 'trying' to do rather than what you think it should be. The late movie critic Roger Ebert had a quote to that effect which I can't quite recall now.

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.
I get what you're saying. It seemed like they were trying to make the new movies a bit more thoughtful but didn't quite have the chops to pull it off. The one thing I liked about them, though, was the dynamic with Charles Xavier and Eric. I like how they show Charles is far from perfect and, even more so, that Eric is someone who has a dark side but tries repeatedly to do the right thing; only for something to happen that makes his dark side take over. Magneto seemed a much more interesting antagonist in the new movies than merely, "He's evil."

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.
Agreed. I doubt I will see it again, though I liked the movie. I felt that it was a bit too heavy-handed, though, and I certainly could have done without the "revelation" at the end about his mother; I felt that came too close to being an excuse.

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.
Agree 100%. The horror approach seemed like it would be very interesting, but it's probably going to be significantly toned down now. Fox's upcoming The New Mutants movie might be good, though. Not familiar with the mutants in question, but judging from the trailer they are definitely going with a horror vibe.

Other thoughts:

Marvel - I have largely enjoyed the MCU movies. Sure, they're not the deepest movies ever, but they're not meant to be. I think there are merits to both the way MCU movies are made and the fans who enjoy them, and also to the arguments Scorcese made when he self-servingly proclaimed them to be "not cinema." (It should also not be discounted that his opinion conveniently was written shortly before The Irishman was released. All publicity is good publicity, right?)

Black Panther - Agree on it being overrated. It was good, but not that good. Felt the same way about Wonder Woman.

Star Wars - I've seen the Star Wars movies, though I've never been a huge fan. The Mandalorian was a decent show, though. Cheesy in all the ways that Star Wars has always been cheesy, but a fun enough watch.

Amazon - Anxiously awaiting what Amazon (and Sony) do with the upcoming Lord of the Rings show and the adaptation of The Wheel of Time. For the former, I'm expecting at least a couple of cameos from the movie characters for fan service. For the latter, I'm expecting massive amounts of content being cut to fit the ginormous series into a show.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#24
Interesting post, and I thought I'd come out of my hiatus to make my first post of the new decade.


Probably. And I guess it's inevitable. A well-written novel is very well thought-out and logical, has intricate sub-plots and nuanced characters, and most movies cannot compete. It's probably a little unfair, since filmmakers generally have only 2-2.5 hours to tell a story compared to a Fantasy novel of 800 pages, but it's hard not to notice logical errors and the like in movies. But I think it's almost certain that the story-telling prowess of good novel writers is far above that of Hollywood screenwriters. A prime example of this is Game of Thrones. D&D did a great job adapting the screenplay from the novels. But the moment the show surpassed the books and no longer had GRRM's source material to rely on, the show became increasingly cheesy and unrealistic. It's not a coincidence that the last 3 seasons (when the show overtook the books) are generally viewed as the weakest of the series.

Generally, I would say that my approach is to not analyse movies too much. Also, it's important to judge a movie based on what it's 'trying' to do rather than what you think it should be. The late movie critic Roger Ebert had a quote to that effect which I can't quite recall now.


I get what you're saying. It seemed like they were trying to make the new movies a bit more thoughtful but didn't quite have the chops to pull it off. The one thing I liked about them, though, was the dynamic with Charles Xavier and Eric. I like how they show Charles is far from perfect and, even more so, that Eric is someone who has a dark side but tries repeatedly to do the right thing; only for something to happen that makes his dark side take over. Magneto seemed a much more interesting antagonist in the new movies than merely, "He's evil."


Agreed. I doubt I will see it again, though I liked the movie. I felt that it was a bit too heavy-handed, though, and I certainly could have done without the "revelation" at the end about his mother; I felt that came too close to being an excuse.


Agree 100%. The horror approach seemed like it would be very interesting, but it's probably going to be significantly toned down now. Fox's upcoming The New Mutants movie might be good, though. Not familiar with the mutants in question, but judging from the trailer they are definitely going with a horror vibe.

Other thoughts:

Marvel - I have largely enjoyed the MCU movies. Sure, they're not the deepest movies ever, but they're not meant to be. I think there are merits to both the way MCU movies are made and the fans who enjoy them, and also to the arguments Scorcese made when he self-servingly proclaimed them to be "not cinema." (It should also not be discounted that his opinion conveniently was written shortly before The Irishman was released. All publicity is good publicity, right?)

Black Panther - Agree on it being overrated. It was good, but not that good. Felt the same way about Wonder Woman.

Star Wars - I've seen the Star Wars movies, though I've never been a huge fan. The Mandalorian was a decent show, though. Cheesy in all the ways that Star Wars has always been cheesy, but a fun enough watch.

Amazon - Anxiously awaiting what Amazon (and Sony) do with the upcoming Lord of the Rings show and the adaptation of The Wheel of Time. For the former, I'm expecting at least a couple of cameos from the movie characters for fan service. For the latter, I'm expecting massive amounts of content being cut to fit the ginormous series into a show.
God to see ya @afa. Been a while.
 

ABatch

Journeyed there and back again
#26
Actually, Shakespeare wrote in what is considered modern English -- you read that right, modern. You might be surprised to know that you speak and read a certain number of the words he coined or invented every day. For example, he invented "eyeball," "upstairs," "to puke," "anchovy," "suburbs," and on and on. So, if you say, "I'm going upstairs to eat anchovy pizza 'til I puke my eyeballs out," you're speaking Shakespeare.

Shakespeare doesn't suck, my friend. Your TEACHER sucked, and for that (as a teacher), I am sorry. But I was really speaking more of his laying of plots, his casts of thousands, his ability to maintain a person's attention -- when in performance, anyway -- for well over three hours.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#27
Shakespeare's English is no longer modern English. I had fantastic English teachers, people who brought books to life and were among the most popular teachers in the school, but none of them made Shakespeare work for us. And I first read through it when I was eight. Reading long screenplays in an unfamiliar brand of English in a group where the lowest common denominator of boredom will work on all is grim. If you want to have kids like Shakespeare, have them watch it.

I also have to add that while Wonder Woman and Black Panther might be slightly overrated, I think that's due to them satisfying an itch that most of the MCUniverse couldn't find if you gave them all week and a map - and that's sincerity. Marvel movies were drowned in Bathos and if you don't like that, Wonder Woman and Black Panther were fine antidotes. Which is probably why they're my favourite recent superhero movies along with Deadpool.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#28
Actually, Shakespeare wrote in what is considered modern English -- you read that right, modern. You might be surprised to know that you speak and read a certain number of the words he coined or invented every day. For example, he invented "eyeball," "upstairs," "to puke," "anchovy," "suburbs," and on and on. So, if you say, "I'm going upstairs to eat anchovy pizza 'til I puke my eyeballs out," you're speaking Shakespeare.

Shakespeare doesn't suck, my friend. Your TEACHER sucked, and for that (as a teacher), I am sorry. But I was really speaking more of his laying of plots, his casts of thousands, his ability to maintain a person's attention -- when in performance, anyway -- for well over three hours.
This is so true... When I was fresh out of university I was a history teacher. You would not believe the times kids told me that apparently "history can be fun!" just because I made classes engaging (showing up in full battle armour, being able to carry a good story etc).

Of course there can be personal preferences (I hated French classes, no matter how good the teacher was), but in general my experience is that it mostly depends on having a good teacher / curriculum (sometimes the hands of the teachers are tied).
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#29
On topic: I am more critical of movies than all my friends, and I'm also the most avid reader. I don't know whether there is any correlation there though. I try to base my view on the merit of each medium and like afa correctly states you cannot expect the same level of detail from movies as what you'd expect from books. I do notice that over the years (I'm 34 now) I've grown more critical of movies and series. I've also noticed the unfortunate trend in Hollywood nowadays for re-runs, sequels and derivative works. A shame really. I never go to the cinema to watch those type of movies (except Star Wars), but apparently a big chunk of the audience does, otherwise we'd not be bombarded with movies like Alladin, the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.

By the way, I'm also slowly but surely moving towards @Alucard's approach when it comes to books; I just don't bother with books anymore that I have a feeling I will not like. Life is just too short, there are so many books, and only so much room left on my shelves,