Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Movies That Were Better Than the Books

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A wooden bowl filled with buttered popcorn I have three answers for this week’s prompt.

Several other WWBC participants are also fans of Lord of the Rings, so I might horrify some of you a little by admitting that I think the films based on them that came out in the early 2000s were better than the books.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a wonderful storyteller, but he could be longwinded at times. This was especially true when it came to his descriptions of settings. I’d much rather see a windswept hill or an ornate hall in a castle than read pages of descriptions about every little detail of them.

As much as I liked the original novella version of The Shawshank Redemption, the details and character development added to it when it became a feature length film made it even better. Stephen King had the opposite problem that Tolkien did here. He didn’t spend enough time describing things in this novella for my tastes. 

Honestly, I want to lock King and Tolkien into a room together and have them rub off on each other a bit. 

My final answer is Children of Men by P.D. James. The novel spent a lot of time focusing on the psychological burden faced by all humans on Earth once we stopped being able to have babies.

It worked well for the original form, but this story became even more compelling to me once the thriller elements were added. I’m saying that as someone who generally enjoys introspective fiction! There does come a time when characters need to step away from their ruminations and spend more time directly dealing with their problems.

22 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Movies That Were Better Than the Books

  1. I agree with your first two, haven’t read or seen the third.

    LOTR … I read these books repeatedly when I was younger. There is a darkness and grittiness to the movies that I just never got from the books and I think the darkness and grittiness is far more accurate an impression given the storyline.

    Shawshank … I absolutely agree with this. My memory of the short story was that it was just kind of … blah. Nothing remarkable at all. But the movie … one of the best ever.

  2. I completely agree on LOTR. I would also say that I liked the first Hunger Games movie better than the book. (I don’t recall if I liked the rest of the movies better than the books or not, though I do remember liking the series.) In the books, Katniss isn’t a very likable character, yet you spend the entire time inside her head. I appreciated the distance from her thoughts that the movie provided.

  3. Thanks for coming by earlier!

    I’m with the rest on Practical Magic… huh. And, good answers. I do love LOTR both books and movies. And, I’ve never seen or read Children of Men, but I do love PD James. Adding it to my movie and book list.

  4. I agree re: LOTR — they are HARD to read. And the large amount of poetry, etc., also slowed it down. I realize it built depth and beauty, but honestly it was primarily an adventure IMHO. Anyway, other than Sam and Frodo’s endless trek (I FF over that part now, #Truth) the movies were very well done.

  5. I was literally having this discussion with a friend about Lord of the Rings. While I love the books, the movies perfectly capture the spirit of the characters and the story and I think the music in the film just makes you that more engaged with the tale.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.