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If a movie is to be based off of a book, can't the producer read the book?

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posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 09:28 PM
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What prompted me to write this rant was that I went out to go see The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I am a Tolkienite, in that I grew up reading these books ever since I discovered them on a dusty bookcase in my basement. After the first three Lord of the Rings films, I actually enjoyed them, because they pretty much stuck to the book with a few minor differences (artistic license, right?) - Peter Jackson definitely read the three books.

Now, I come to watching the first Hobbit movie - This one was alright, and I overlooked the fact that they made an orc out to kill Thorin (I mean, the only time they were being chased was after killing the goblin king - who wouldn't chase them after the people that killed your king?). The second movie, however is where I draw the line between "artistic license" and "made up". I understand that you need to usually have three things to sell a fantasy movie to adults:
1. Some kind of hero.
2. Lots of violence.
3. Some kind of romantic element (in this case a love triangle).

Problem is: This is a kids book - the whole story is about a hobbit named Bilbo, who is helping dwarves reclaim a home. There's no romance in the book, and until the last couple chapters only spiders, goblins, wargs, and one dragon were hurt in the making of the book (a few of the characters die off at the end). The whole bit with the Necromancer? Mentioned in the appendix of the LOTR set, and is not directly related to the story of the Hobbit.

I understand - the movie producer's goal is to make films that earn the mega-bucks and awards. I also understand that you can be creative. However, you can only be creative when there are openings to be creative. For example, in the Star Wars franchise, we only know what happened (as movie goers) in the films 1-6. George Lucas could create several other films because his universe is massive enough to contain areas where we don't know what will happen. Same goes for movies such as the Wizard of Oz - this was based off of a book series as well, but there are still openings to create a side of Oz that we haven't seen before.

And I will say this - not all the films based on books or stories came out badly. For example, I loved The Illusionist, and thought the movie was one of the best things I've seen. About a month ago, I discovered the short story that it was based on, and liked the movie form better. Same with The Princess Bride - Loved the movie (yes, I'm a guy - I'm allowed to like fantasy romance movies), wasn't so much a fan of the book.

The short, short version of my rant is: If you are going to make a movie, and base it off of a book that existed before you were born and has limited room for side plots - do it right by using the book as your script.

-fossilera

PS: For those of you that are thinking I'm just writing a movie review because I hated the film, think again. If I had never read the book, this soon-to-be trilogy was not too bad, as far as films go.

PSS: Bah Humbug (after reading through my post a second time around - those two words describe my tone perfectly. I may rant, but I know when I sound like a grumpy old man).
edit on 21/12/2013 by fossilera because: misplaced underline




posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 10:13 PM
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I look at the Hobbit films the same way I look at the J.J. Abrams' reboot of Star Trek. The essence is there, but new stuff happened.



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 10:42 PM
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If a movie is to be based off of a book, can't the producer read the book?


I wonder that every time they come out with a crappy new Batman, Superman or Spiderman movie.



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by fossilera
 


Cost, time, what people want (sorry for the brevity error) will F up a good book movie. At the same time, it will usually be a good entry level media for those who didn't read the book.

Battlefield Earth is a good example. Saw the movie first, really didn't like it. People were like, 'read the book, it's better!' So I did. Book is way better and the movie wasn't even close.

I can imagine book sales for the hobbit series will skyrocket compared to the book sales a decade (or three) ago.

It's all about money in the end.



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by fossilera
 

Theres a far greater distance and difference in a SCREENPLAY for a movie, as its "based on a novel by". There are all kinds of reasons for the differences. For movies, that's the reason for screenplays and screenwriters.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 12:45 AM
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If this pissed you off then do not read "World War Z" then see the movie.
And in my opinion the hobbit isnt a "kids book" per se, its an all ages tale about good vs bad, greed vs loyalty.
I think maybe you need to read it again and discover their was more going on in Tolkien"s work than you picked up the first time, and for the record in my opinion The Lord of the Rings series left massive chunks out that were decisive to the story line.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 03:13 PM
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PLAYERONE01
If this pissed you off then do not read "World War Z" then see the movie.
And in my opinion the hobbit isnt a "kids book" per se, its an all ages tale about good vs bad, greed vs loyalty.
I think maybe you need to read it again and discover their was more going on in Tolkien"s work than you picked up the first time, and for the record in my opinion The Lord of the Rings series left massive chunks out that were decisive to the story line.



That one I'll try not to spoil it for myself - I did read the zombie survival guide, but haven't gotten to World War Z yet. Take it that the movie is strenuously different from the book?

The reason that I bring it up that it's a kid's book is because when reading Tolkien's biography, he said that at least in the beginning the book was for kids, kind of like the Brother's Grimm fairy tales. Although I do see your point though, I picked up the stuff "behind the scenes" (such as that the old king of Lake Town ran off and starved with a good chunk of the treasure - My kid eyes kind of ignored that). As for reading it again, I'd be glad to - as my 50th time over the years
.

-fossilera



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by fossilera
 


Hollywood rarely gives an accurate portrayal of actual historical events, why would you expect it to be any different with regard to fictional novels?
edit on 22/12/13 by Freeborn because: grammar and clarity



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