Monday, August 17, 2009

Musing Monday: Movies

Well, I had hoped to publish this post earlier in the day, but it was a L-O-N-G first day of school. Oh well, better later than never.....

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about movies …How do you react to movies made of your favourite books (or even not-so-favourite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?

What a great topic this week and one that I have been recently musing in my own free time.

For the past several years (probably close to two decades) I have rarely gone to the movies. I think there are many reasons for this, but mainly because of the expense. The money spent for us to go to the movies for 2 hours seems excessive when I could purchase 2 books (or more at Half Price) for the same price which will provide hours of reading pleasure and the opportunity to re-read if I desire. I am not one who has to be on the cutting of edge of anything: fashion, technology, or entertainment, and if there is a movie that I think I might enjoy, I am more than willing to wait until it is released on DVD and watch it in the comfort of my own home for a fraction of the price (even then it is rare that I take the time to watch it).

Having said that, however, I am hoping to expand my entertainment horizons and begin adding movies to my free-time repertoire. In keeping with my "life is an educational opportunity" philosophy, I will probably start with movies that are based on novels that I have read. I have incorporated that concept with the Everything Austen challenge, in that I hope to read each of her six novels and then watch the corresponding BBC movie adaptation. I have enjoyed the Harry Potter audiobooks (I have only had the chance to listen to the first three, however) and I am hoping to read all 7 books for the Harry Potter challenge and then watch the corresponding movies (or at least those that have been released on DVD).

While I much prefer to read the book first, exercising my own imagination rather than relying on the director's interpretation, I simply cannot seem to get into the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love the Hobbit and have taught the book for the last four years - rereading the book each year and always discovering some new insight, but the trilogy is just too "fantastical" for my realistic brain to comprehend. I think in this case I would benefit from watching the movies first: I am a very visual learner and hopeful that putting a face with the elfish name might help me keep the characters straight.

I think watching movies might help me assimilate into the 21st Century. I often feel like I was born in the wrong time-period, preferring the old-fashioned methods of entertainment, such as reading and writing, to the current trends of movies and video games. I think if I add movies to my entertainment mix I might be able to relate to my students, as well as my own family. My son has always been interested in videos and film editing. Watching a movie with him is quite the experience because he not only focuses on the characters and action, but he also notices the lighting, camera angle, etc. My youngest daughter enjoys movies and this would be an opportunity to connect with her on a different level. My husband has always enjoyed movies, most particulary the classics as well as the westerns, and I think it would be a nice alternative to going out to dinner.

All I have to do now is figure out how to stay awake during the entire movie. It seems that if I sit down for too long in a single place, my eyes automatically close.


  1. As a child I was a great movie goer but over the past few years it has become such an unpleasant experience with difficult behaviour from many of the teenagers who go and I have started to do what you do and wait for the DVD. I did, however, go and see the latest 'Harry Potter' film when it came out and it reinforced how I feel about the adaptation of books in general. I don't mind too much when the texture of the plot is thinned out. I can see that that is inevitable. What I really object to is when the plot is changed as happens at the end of this film. And on the subject of 'The Lord of the Rings', don't get me going about the changes in the second book when they filmed that or we will be here all day.

  2. The price of a movie ticket is getting more expensive nowadays, and I'd rather spend that money on books I enjoy unless it's a movie which I'm dying to watch. Generally, I'd prefer reading the book first before watching the movie, however there are also times that I turn to the book after watching the movie. ;)

    As for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I don't think I'd get to the story if I read the books, but I did enjoy the movies! They were great!

  3. you are right about the pleasure/cost ratio of books vs. movies. and books always win!

  4. If I thought about that cost/pleasure ratio when I buy movie tickets, I'd probably never buy one again - lol!
    We don't go very often, either.

  5. I agree with you on the cost of movies. We usually go to a matinee which is cheaper. The hardest part is passing up the popcorn. That is where the cost really adds up! Yet there is something about that huge screen in a dark room that gets me. I especially like it if the movie is based on a book I truly loved. The Secret Life of Bees is a good example.

  6. I enjoy a good movie at the theater, but at home on TV, not so much. I like to see the movie years after reading the book - if I can't do that, I'd rather see the movie first. I hope the rest of the school year flies by!

  7. I had trouble getting in to Lord of the Rings to and I ended up giving up on it. Then I went to see the first one in the theaters and it really made me want to read the whole series. I just had to know what was going to happen and I couldn't wait for the next movie to come out to find out. This might not work for you though since all three are already out. But it really did interest me to start reading the books after I saw it.

  8. It seems that The Lord of the Rings series has been trouble for a lot of people until they see the movies--me included! After responding to the second chances question from Musing Mondays, I am talking myself into trying this series again!

    Our area has seen the birth of the $3 movie theaters--showing movies that are just about to go to dvd release. We have been going to a lot of movies this way lately as there are just some we want to see on the big screen. I agree though, there are VERY few movies that I want to go pay $10 for. I only do it as a splurge with my husband or my best friend once in a while.

  9. I love movies so I might be a bit biased, but I have to say that watching films is a wonderful way to relate to your students. They get a great chunk of their education from television and movies, so it really helps to stay relatively current on what they are watching. The cost is a big pain though!

  10. Table Talk: Well, it has been so long since I have really gone to the movie theater, that I did not even consider the teen behavior issue. Good point! I totally understand the frustration of "diretor's perogative" when storylines are totally changed.

    Melody: glad to hear you enjoyed the LOTR movies. I am hoping that can find the time to watch them this winter.

    Caite and JoAnn: I am glad to hear that I am in good company with my fiscal priorities :)

    Margot: I absolutely agree --- there is nothing like the taste of true movie popcorn! I read The Secret Life of Bees and thoroughly enjoyed the book. I will have to add the movie to my TBW (to be watched?) list.

    Kathy: I do think I would be less likely to fall asleep in the theater than at home, I just wish the cost were more affordable (I agree with Margot that the matinee is cheaper, but working full-time makes it a bit more difficult to take advantage of that bargain).

    Plain Janiey: I am so glad to hear that the movies were the impetus to get you to read the books. I am hoping that I have that same experience.

    Kim: What a great idea to read LOTR trilogy for the 2nd chances challenge. If I didn't have SO many other books to read this fall, I would join you! Sure wish we would see some $3 movies in this area -- that sounds like a great compromise: still have the feel of going out but for a fraction of the cost.

    Trisha: It has taken me a while to get on this bandwagon, but I realize that watching movies is a great way to relate to my students -- if nothing else, it will provide ice-breaker conversation on Monday mornings :)

  11. I love watching movies, especially if they were created from or inspired by a book. I think it's so interesting to SEE how differently a story can be interpreted. There was a time I would get upset that the movie was nothing like I pictured, but I've grown to accept and look forward to see another's view point. I think it adds a different dimension of the story, expressed in a different medium.

  12. You have a Kindle right? That is cutting edge! Give yourself some credit!


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