Saturday, February 11, 2012

Breaking Dawn and other books-to-movies

I know I usually write about my magical experience with mommyhood, but books and movies are a big part of my life too! Reading is one of my favorite one-handed pastimes (thanks to my easy-to-hold IPad), and watching movies is a great way for a new mommy to spend a Saturday night while the rest of the world gets sloshed in a bar. Even daddy Spencer is out on the town tonight, celebrating a friend's birthday!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand; I just got done watching Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part One and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! The other movies improved upon consecutive release, and were pretty enjoyable, but I feel like this latest really blew the others out of the water! Why, I wondered? The book is (from what I've read in reviews) often considered the least popular for numerous reasons (personally, I like the final book despite its quirks), so why would the final movie be so much better? And then I realized: time.

This final book, which, if I remember correctly, was only a couple hundred pages longer than the rest, and has been split into two parts for the movies. This basically gives them double the amount of time to tell (slightly more than) the same amount of story as the other books-to-movie. I think it gave them more time to linger on visually-moving and enjoyable moments that would normally have to be rushed through. The final Harry Potter book-to-movie used the same two-part formula, and I was so happy that they did! It was necessary to include everything that they did, especially for such an epic finale!

So now I'm definitely all for drawing out the movie versions as long as possible when going from book to movie. It has always irritated me when I go see a movie based on a book I love and so much is left out! I'm very understanding about changing certain elements and plots in order to translate better to screen, but most of the time it's the rushing over or leaving out important and enjoyable parts that really makes a book-to-movie lack luster.

Another recent example: I've really been getting into BBC classics and Masterpiece Theater Classics lately. I've wathched 4 hour mini-series versions of Emma, Wuthering Heights, North and South, Wives and Daughters, Pride and Prejudice...and they are all awesome! So much better than the two 2-ish hour versions of Mansfield Park (and other books-to-movies) that I've seen. Two hours just can't seem to get it right!

Yep, I'm officially a fan of the mini-series and the two-part movie. However, there's also the issue with books-to-tv-series that can go awry as well. A lot of times it seems like they had TOO MUCH time, and end up going off on tangents and totally changing characters in order to stretch a book out to ten, twenty (or more) episodes. HBO's Game of Thrones series, however, did not disappoint. Loved it! Season One stayed almost entirely true to the first book in the series, and the variations were well placed. I recently finished George R.R. Martin's most recent book in that series, and can't wait for him to release his next. When will it be?! His writing is so good, other fantasy novels have just paled next to his. I'll never enjoy reading again!!! Ahem, sorry, just freaking out for a moment...

Anyhow, luckily I can get my Game of Thrones fix in April when season two premiers...except I don't have HBO, what will I do?! Oh the woes of becoming addicted to a good series...

What's your opinion of the Twilight books-to-movie? Love em? Hate em?

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