Thursday, March 5, 2009

Character Assasination ...

Now, before I start talking about immigration attorneys, how many times have you read a book, got yourself immersed in the storyline and the characters and then when the movie comes out, you're all eager to go watch it but come away totally disillusioned? Well, I don't know about you but it's happened to me so many times.

I'm a person who loves to read, I think I've blogged about that before. In fact, I prefer reading a book to watching a movie. And when I read a book, I get totally immersed in the storyline and the characters. I picture myself as a third person 'watching' the plot unfold throughout the book. I take into account every word the author writes and imagine every single item that is pictured in the book like as if I am there in person. I read the book word for word.

I start picturing how the main characters would look like, their disposition, their personality and the 'face' of that character will remain in my imagination throughout the book. But sometimes, when that book you're reading is turned into a movie and then they cast a character so unlike what you read, someone who is totally different than what you envisioned in your book, you get totally disappointed. Well, for me anyway.

For instance, I'm a huge fan of Clive Cussler. He's a maritime adventure writer with stories that involve a blend of high adventure and high technology, generally involving megalomaniacal villains, lost ships, beautiful women, and sunken treasure. I think I have most of his novels that basically borders on fantastic spectacles and outlandish plot devices.

Now, the main character in all his novels is this guy called Dirk Pitt with craggy looks, dark wavy hair and possessing a rangy build. In the book, his most striking features are his Opaline green eyes, which can be both alluring or intimidating, as need be. Pitt has a commanding presence which combined with a quick, sly wit often infuriates those opposed to him.

And the picture I had of Dirk Pitt was someone in the range of Tom Selleck. Through all the Dirk Pitt novels I've read, that's how I envisioned him. Now, when the movie Sahara, which is one of Clive Cusslers novels, came out, I was ecstatic. I've read Sahara at least a gazillion times (in fact I've read and re-read all my Clive Cussler books a gazillion times too) and I couldn't wait to watch it. But after watching it, I seriously came away totally disappointed with the choice of casting for the characters.

I mean, Matthew McConaughey, casted as Dirk Pitt is a decent actor and all that but he certainly wasn't the face I envisioned in the book. He wasn't even craggy looking to begin with! Even the character pick of his side kick, Al Giordino really was far off the mark. And I believe the right choice of character makes or breaks a movie. Even the choice of Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), the main character for two of the Dan Brown movies (The Da Vince Code and the yet to be released Angels & Demons) was really not what I envisioned from the book.

I don't know about the rest of you but I take my novels very seriously so when it's turned into a movie and it doesn't live up to my expectations and how I imagined the book to be, I get very disheartened. I know it's a silly thing to feel disheartened about but I guess I'm the sort of guy who picture myself in the book with the hero, following him on his adventures, getting to know him as he escapes one deadly trap after another so I expect the movie to be as close to the book as I pictured it.

Which is no wonder why I prefer reading to watching movies. With a book you can really take your time to absorb every detail whereas in a movie it's a rush of trying to fit in everything within two hours at the risk of totally changing the whole story line and bad casting selections.

But all that said and done, there are movies where the cast chosen are the perfect choice for that particular character. For instance, Toby Maguire is exactly how I thought Peter Parker should look like. Yes, I'm a huge comic book fan too :D And Harrison Ford was exactly how I envisioned Jack Ryan, the hero of all those numerous Tom Clancy books to look like.

What about you guys? Are the characters you see in movies exactly the same as how you envisioned them in the books (or even comic books) you read?


  1. okie dokie.. i just did that to annoy you.. hahahaha...

    I envisioned Detective Alex Cross from all the James Patterson series really different from Morgan Freeman too.

    And yeah, of course, almost always you can't enjoy the movie as much as the book, because the details are all in the book. :) As you said, trying to fit everything within 2 hours is just impossible. So it;ll definitely leave you unsatisfied.

    I didn't quite agree with Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon either.. granted, he's an amazing actor but I had someone totally different in mind. Same goes for the character of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series.

    Anyways, I love both books and movies so I just try to keep an open mind about it. :)

  2. I'm totally with you here on this one. That's why most of the time I just stick to the book or stick to the movie. I don't do both. I don't wanna end up disappointed which happens almost everytime.

    I was kinda thinking Harrison Ford or Dennis Quaid as Robert Langdon. Hehehe. And Shemah, I like Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross. Ngam! :p

  3. You know what, 10 minutes into the movie Sahara, I went into a deep slumber -.- ...I think that says enough about the movie LOL...I think the story in the books are more intense than the movie in general...Movies do not have enough time to build up the suspense and what not.

  4. *pat pat's ok XD well at least for me coz I don't read as much as I watch movie XD

  5. I hope the Dragon Ball Evolution movie won't dissapoint me..! I'm a big fan of dragon know..

  6. I just can't wait for Transformers 2. I never did like the cartoon but the movie was out of this world :D

    Eh, Kadus Mama, Dragon Ball?? I prefer Crayon Shin Chan! LOL!

  7. I don't agree with Tom Hank casted as Robert Langdon. Kureng sesuaii ler...:)

    Like Kadusmama, i hope the DragonBall movie will turn-out as good as the comic or even better. I'll keep my finger cross. :)

  8. I always find the books much better then the movies.

  9. *a msg to Nessa..hahahahaha crayon shin chan?????? No thanx..I still prefer Dragon ball..LOL!!!

  10. Shemah - Oh no, you've gone into this chopping thing too? LOL!

  11. Shemah - Whoa, two chops at that ... hahaha ...

  12. Shemah - Chopping to annoy me? You don't want me setting that annoying Spiff fella with his death ray blaster to zap you, ya ... LOL!

    I have to agree with you on Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. As good an actor as he is, he just didn't cut it. I also envisioned someone totally different when I was reading the book.

    I enjoy a good movie too but when it comes to books made into movies, I'm a little apprehensive until I see the movie :D

  13. Syura - When a movie of a book I like is made, I just have the urge to watch it to see how close it is to the original story line, unfortunately I come away disappointed half the time. Maybe I should just be like you and stick to just one :D

    Harrison Ford would have made a perfect Robert Langon. As for Alex Cross, I gotta reads the book first before I can comment ... hehehe ...

  14. Samantha - LOL! I have to agree though. Sahara just didn't live up to expectations. Like Shemah said, all the details are in the book. A movie just doesn't have enough time to get into details ...

  15. Maslight - LOL! I forgot you're a movie buff. I love movies too. It's just the books that are made into movies that don't live up to expectations that bother me ...

  16. Kadus Mama - You're a fan of Dragon ball? LOL, I didn't know that ...

    I'm anxious to catch the show too though I'm not a fan. My kids are though :D

  17. Nessa - I was salivating when I saw the trailer for Transformers 2! In fact I was even hyper ventilating ... LOL! Now that is really one great movie and you're right, it's way better than the cartoons.

    Crayon Shin Chan? ROTFL! Actually to be honest, I kinda like that cartoon too. It's way better than Doreamon ... LOL!

  18. Mama Mia - At least I'm not the only one who thinks Tom Hanks is the wrong choice for Robert Langdon :D

    You another Dragon Ball fan too?

  19. Tammy - Agreed, nothing beats a good book :D

  20. Kadus Mama - Ya, I also was laughing at Nessa and her Crayon Shin Chan, but then I also like Crayon Shin Chan too ... hahaha ...

  21. I also prefer to read a book over watching a movie!

  22. Meleah - Nothing beats a good book :D

  23. I happen to prefer books to movie adaptations as well.

    One character that totally differed from my imagination was Leigh Teabing from the Da Vinci Code. He's supposed to be fat!

    Another character I was disappointed in was Professor Lupin in Harry Potter. I imagined him to be a bit better looking!

  24. Hey I got the same feeling you got when Tom Hanks was cast as Robert Langdon. In the book I pictured Robert to be a dashing handsome man and Tom Hanks is no dashing handsome man :P

    I think Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Aragorn in LOTR was pretty spot on.

    Also, Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight was exactly as I pictured him to be in the books. Yumm!

  25. Terra Shield - I actually had the same impression of Leigh Teabing as you. He came across as an obese guy in the book to me too.

    I'm not a Harry Potter fan so I can't really comment on it ... hehehe ...

  26. Perky - Exactly. Like Syura said, I thought Harrison Ford would have made a good Robert Langdon :D

    Viggo was the perfect choice for Aragon. That much I agree. I can't see another actor pulling off that role as flawlessly as he did.


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