All posts by tugolson

The Book is Better… Most of the Time

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By Dante Troina
Staff Writer

The Golden Compass was such a terrible movie, I didn’t bother reading the book. That is the problem often times when a book is turned into a movie. In most situations, movies don’t live up to expectations created by the book. There are many prime examples of books that have been turned into terrible films.
For every book that is made into a great film, such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or The Harry Potter Series, there are just as many that are adapted to screen, and don’t share the same success.
Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief was everyone’s favorite book in my fifth and sixth grade elementary school classes, and I remember going on a field trip to the theatre as a class to go see the first film when it came out. What I remember most however is leaving the theatre and, for the first time, I’d had a terrible experience. The mess of the movie that is The Lightning Thief made me realize that not all great books are as great in movie form.
English Teacher Linnaea Troina believes that the film wasn’t even comparable to the novel.
“I was very excited to take my fifth and sixth grade class to see The Lightning Thief, but after seeing the movie, I didn’t even feel like I had just watched a film based on the book,” said Troina.
Junior Largim Zhuta, who loves watching and analyzing films, thought that The Lightning Thief didn’t capture the world in the same way the book did.
“There’s something about the movie that just doesn’t make you care as much, it doesn’t set up or get you interested in the world.”
There are many other films that pale in comparison to the book.
Junior Sarah Kuharich claimed that Ender’s Game film lacked value in characters.
“When I watched the movie, I was immediately turned off to it, because of the fact that it didn’t have the same characterization that the book did,” Kuharich said.
Some books turn out as better movies, which people mainly seem to think is a direct result of great characterization, but also, it’s a result of movies sticking to the books. Films often get criticized for not developing the characters as well as the books do, and also not capturing what the novel was about.
Junior Luke Reynolds, who wants to be a scriptwriter in the future, gave many examples about books that have been adapted into films very well.
“Obviously there are films such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Harry Potter Series that have done it better than others,” said Reynolds. “But there are more examples, like The Martian and The Wolf of Wall Street that are very great adaptations.”
Zhuta and Reynolds also gave insight on what makes a good film.
“What makes a good book into a great film is likable characters, while having them look and act accurate to what their on page counterparts do.”
Reynolds agreed with Zhuta, then talked about how the setting is important as well.
“Also, what is important is the universe around the characters, because if you don’t care about what is going on around your protagonist, or if it is a dull setting, then you don’t get as invested in the film,” said Reynolds.
Some luxuries that books have is that they don’t have as much time constraints when creating a universe, the author can spend as much time as they need creating a setting and evolving characters. An average length of a film is 146 minutes, which is two hours and twenty-six minutes. That means that the director has to sometimes squeeze up to ten hours worth of story and turn it into a two hour film.
Add that on top of the pressure that a fan base of a good book can generate, and that’s what an average novel-turned-film faces. There are many reasons why some films haven’t been as successful as their on page counterparts.
Taking all of this into account, it is a difficult task to turn a novel into a film, and not all novels are meant to be turned into great movies.

Staff Picks

Who wins the World Series?

Tug Olson: Indians
Cubs, Indians. Game 7. Winner takes it all. That winner is going to be the Cleveland Indians. They’ve got a ruthless bullpen with THE Andrew Miller, who has only allowed one run this entire postseason and has racked up 29 strikeouts. We may not even see the Indians bullpen because they are putting Corey Kluber on the mound, who is looking to be the first starting pitcher to win three games in the World Series in 48 years. These aren’t the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors, they won’t blow their 3-1 series lead.

Gabe Bowlen: Cubs
Kyle Hendricks is starting on the mound tonight for the Chicago Cubs, and will pitch until the ninth inning with a shutout. Then, Aroldis Chapman is going to relieve tonight and throw nine pitches for three outs to win it. All those college gameday signs will say “Cleveland blew a 3-1 series lead,” and not say “Warriors blew a 3-1 series lead.” Cleveland will get Clevelanded. Lebron can’t save the Indians.

Jack Carson: Indians
The Indians are going to win game 7 because Corey Kluber is lights out. The Indians have a big home advantage and they will be all pumped up ready to go. I think that the Indians bats are gonna come out tonight and they are going to put up some big numbers in the World Series. The Indians are going to blow out the Cubs. I also want the Indians to win because the Cubs beat the Dodgers and that sucked.

Max Collins: Indians
Pitching usually rules the game and I think it will tonight. Corey Kluber from the Indians has had a tremendous season and could give the Cubs a hard time. The Indians have to pay attention to Kyle Hendricks who is starting on mound for the Cubs. Cleveland was the drought city of all sports – until the Cavs won the NBA Finals. It would be cool to see them walk off with the the series. The last time the Cubs won was 108 years ago so as fans we are very fortunate to have two franchises that deserve this victory. The Cubs won the last two and it has come down to the wire, but I still have faith in the Indians.