Read book first or watch movie first?

VanFannel

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With a few of the biggest book to movie releases approaching would you recommend someone read the book first or watch the movie first and then read the book? and why?
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Dome Vongvises

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I'll be honest with you, it works either way. I saw the The Godfather before I even read the book, and I liked both. The same with Jurassic Park. With the upcoming Harry Potter movie (the jury is still out on whether or not I want to watch this), you can do what you wish. If I were you, ALWAYS do both, and in any order of your convenience.
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Robert Crawford

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I read Jaws, The Exorcist, and The Godfather first before seeing the films and for me it worked best that way.
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Chuck Mayer

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I am on Return of the King (for the first time - fourth attempt to read the Trilogy - convinced it will be done now that Tom Bombadil is in the distant past...). I believe in reading first. It worked with Silence of the Lambs and Jurassic Park. I expect it to work here. But it is your call

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Tom-G

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If you want to be disappointed, read the book then see the movie. That's the way it's always been for me.
When I watch the movie first and then read the book, I find that the book always fills the gaps and expands on the movie.
The only movies I can think of that are as good or better than the book are The Godfather and Fight Club.
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Brett_B

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I'll just toss in my 2 cents, but I would say that I enjoyed "The Green Mile" movie as much as the book.
 

Dave Morton

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Of course any 2 hour movie can never be as detailed as a book. You can't get into the characters as in depth in a movie as a book, either. Most of the time you will be disappointed in the movie if you expect an exact replica of the book. But I will say that I prefer the book first because if I see the movie first then I get the images of the director and not the images that come to me through the authors words. One example would be Interview with a vampire. I never expected Lestat to be Tom Cruise. Just didn't work for me and neither did Brad Pitt as Louis.
Of course, Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile are good renditions of the books.
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Tom Ryan

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It's hard for me to say, especially when both the book and the movie are supposed to be great and I've seen neither!
For instance, with Harry Potter....I started reading the first book recently and just couldn't stop myself, so while the movie will hold no surprises(probably) I'll be able to anticipate the great scenes (Quidditch, troll, etc.).
However, with something like Jurassic Park...where I read the book after...I was ok with it. The book did have a lot more detail in it, and the plot was slightly different, but it didn't ruin the movie.
I read The Lost World before I saw the movie, and it ruined that crapfest even more because the plot had so changed from the two books that it was unrecognizable. The whole movie I just kept thinking, "that's different, that's different", etc.
Anyways, I think it's usually best to read the book before, because the book is almost always better than the film, but you could get burned either way.
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ace peterson

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I think I have seen this post before here at the forum, but anyways I would say you should always always read the book first. You should form your own images of what the characters look like and what the background settings are, etc. You should be able to interpret the book on your own without any bias, which someone who has seen a film about it cannot and will never be able to do.
After you've read the book you and then see the movie, you can be a critic and determine wether or not you thought the directer's interpretation was similar to yours. You could think of what you would have done the same or different if you were making the movie.
Always read the book first if you possibly can.
 

Ken_McAlinden

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There is no hard and fast rule except that you should probably not read the book while watching the movie because theaters tend to be dark.
Personally, the only thing I have found that detracts from my enjoyment is when I have read a book immediately prior to seeing the movie. This happened with L.A. Confidential, which I liked, but I spent way too much time thinking about how they condensed & altered it for the screen (very cleverly, I'll add) when I should have been just enjoying it. A little distance from the novel helps.
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[Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on November 06, 2001 at 03:17 PM]
 

DonMac

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See the movie first.
Almost every time I've read the book first, I've been disappointed in the movie. But when I see the movie first, I've never been disappointed by the book.
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Gregg Shiu

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What about the movie Lord of the Rings, which is coming out in December? I'm really anxious to see it, but I'm not sure if I will be let down after reading the LOTR series. Does anyone here know if the book(s) is/are worthwhile?
 

Brad_W

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I read Sphere twice before I saw the movie. The movie was extremly close to the book, which was awesome for me, but so many people hated the movie. In that case, read the book first. Also, I read The Lost World and it was NOTHING like the movie. I too read it twice before I saw the movie and it was strange not seeing anything in the movie after reading the book. The same went for Eaters of the Dead. This book was roughly based on a true story and the movie, The Thirteenth Warrior was NOTHING like the book. And to top it off, the movie sucked so much that it was unwatchable.
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Neil Joseph

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I would see the movie first because the book is almost always much better than the movie is so reading the book first will take away my enjoyment from the movie. No matter if I see the movie first or not, I always enjoyt the book. But the other way around won't work, at least for me.
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Glenn Overholt

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What a horrible question!
It is up to you. If you read regularly and find out that an author you like has a book that is going to be made into a movie, by all means, read it first.
I do need to add that if you do this, make sure that you get the first edition of the book. Some books are republished based on the movie. They usually indicate that a movie is coming out on the cover of them, so stay away. This goes along with what the author originally intended.
As for LOTR, due to the complications of the plot, you should read the Hobbit and the trilogy before you see the movie. If anything is underplayed in the movie, you might not 'get it'. One example of this was the choas theory in JP(1). The movie did not spend enough time on it to explain it as well as they should have, IMO.
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Geoffrey_A

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I find that it's been my experience that I enjoy the movies more if I read the book after. Movies never live up to books, but books almost always surpass movies. I loved Jurrassic Park, it inspired me to read the book, which I also loved. Upon seeing the movie after the book I was disappointed that it wasn't as good as I recalled. Luckily I was able to enjoy the movie before the book spoiled it for me. Now, in the case of Starship Troopers, I read the book about a zillion times before I saw the movie, and man did I hate that movie when I first saw it. It was such a complete bastardization of the novel. It felt like the writer couldn't be bothered to read the novel, and asked his kid to read it and give him the jist. But his kid was too lazy too, so he just read a biased review online and gave it to his dad. I love the movie now, but only as a textbook of movie cliche's. AS for HP and LOTR. I've read the whole HP series, as well as having read LOTR many times. I can only hope the movies will live up to my expectations.
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Mitty

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Whichever you do first, it will have a negative impact on what you do second.
If you read the book first, it'll ruin some of the little surprises the movie has to offer, and vice versa.
If you've read a book already, it's best if you haven't JUST read it prior to seeing the movie; that way you'll recall the essence of the book and not all of the details.
I read Harry Potter two years ago, so I don't remember a lot of the intricacies. I think this is probably good. I haven't read LOTR in at least a decade, so that's probably good also.
It's all up to you, man. It depends on your preference.
 

John Besse

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It depends on the movie. For example. Star Wars... I would see the movie first and then read the book. I wouldn't want to ruin my movie experience. On the same note, sometimes reading the book and then watching the movie you set yourself up for disappointment. I evaluate which I think I will like better. But usually, I'd read the book first and then see the movie. Again, unless it is Star Wars!!! I just wish Jimmy Buffett would turn "Where is Joe Merchant?" into a movie!!!
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