"Which one's better: the book or the movie?"
This is a question I feel like we're all so tempted to answer after seeing any remake of a book into a movie, and it's totally valid: we want to know if the book is being ruined, or if the movie is worth seeing. People are quick to say that the movie sucked and that the book will always be better.
But sometimes the movie version of a book is so strong it actually is better than the book, or does something new with the books message that we might not have been able to imagine otherwise. The cinematic experience of a story is totally different form the literary one.
Here's some movies that, in my humble opinion, I think are better than the book version!
The book Forrest Gump was just really, really not good. I really liked the movie, but the book was ridiculous. Thankfully, the movie was absolutely nothing like the book, except they had the same main characters. For that I am eternally grateful because that book was just one big disaster, and I probably would not have watched the movie had I read the book first!
Book Forrest is, in most ways, just not the same guy. For one, book Forrest is a hulk of a man with inhuman strength...he swears a lot and there's too many scenes where the author enjoys making sure that we know female characters are impressed by his manhood. Yup. Not movie Forrest at all!!
I have always felt that the book lacks the immense subtlety and grace of the movies, being instead a stumbling piece that's a bit hard to get through. It's still readable (and probably enjoyable to many) but I prefered the smoothness of the movie version over the written one.
Les Miserables, in its numerous adaptations, is a tricky thing. Some people hate it, some people love it, everyone has a different opinion. The book is by no means unreadable, but I too think its about 700 pages too long. It's definitely a compelling with fascinating characters, but when there are 50+ page tangents, it's hard to keep going. The movie allowed me to follow and love the characters in a totally different way that I liked so much more.
First off, I should say that I do enjoy Chuck Palahniuk's writing. Some people find it awful and impossible to get through, but I quite like some of his work. However, I thought Fight Club, as a book, was just OK. It was Palahniuk's first book, and it was one of his weaker, shallower ones. But the movie...the movie!! The movie has something else. I'm not sure what it is, but the movie is without a doubt better than the book for me.
The Bridges of Madison County
I don't want to soil The Bridges of Madison County, but you can basically call it the Fifty Shades of Grey of 1992. Robert James Waller's book sold tens of millions of copies, but was not enjoyed by anyone who was trying to see it as real literature. With Clint Eastwood directing the movie, though, the story became really fantastic and moving. And Clint's a total heart throb, so that helps.
Jaws is a pretty average book. But the film...the film! It’s beyond spectacular and has scared people out of waters for decades. While I still wish Hollywood would have kept the original ending, the movie is still pretty great.
Die Hard (all of them)
Beginning with Die Hard in 1988-- it was based on the 1979 best-selling novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" by Roderick Thorp. Die Hard 2 was adapted from the 1987 novel "58 Minutes," by Walter Wager. Die Hard with a Vengeance was adapted from a script called Simon Says by Jonathan Hensleigh, which was also originally intended to be the original script for Lethal Weapon 4. It was novelised by Deborah Chiel. Live Free or Die Hard was based on the 1997 article "A Farewell to Arms" written for Wired magazine by John Carlin. A Good Day to Die Hard was the first totally original movie in the series.
And absolutely none of those are as good as the movies!!!!