Monday, March 16, 2015

Books Into Movies

Yesterday, I jumped off the computer and found that it was early afternoon, I was tired and I didn't really want to do anything too involved around the place.  So, I dug out a collection of classic movies my brother gave me and made a huge bowl of popcorn and settled in to watch 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.  I've tried to read the book however never made it past chapter 9, finding it tough reading.  And I read it when I was a teenager and an adult and still had difficulty reading this book, so when I found I had the opportunity to watch the film, I realised that reading the book was all the more important... especially with a book such as this.

'To Kill A Mockingbird' is about racism in the South of America in the 1930's and how quick people are to accept that an African-American will commit the crime a white man committed just because the white man said so.  There was a lot of stuff the movie left out that I did notice from the book... like Bo Radley was white in the movie - I thought he was African-American in the book, and that's one of the reasons why he was kept inside the house; and how the storyline of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' would come a full circle seeing how the court case was built against an innocent man all because of his race; and yet society didn't like an ordinary man inside his own home because of his race.  The movie didn't really make any sense seeing Bo Radley was white... and they missed out on the house burning down (which was a turning point in the book; but was a major detail missed out in the movie). Instead, they concentrated on the mad dog and got Atticus Finch to shoot the dog (why this was so important, I'm not sure).  But this movie seemed to cover some things that what little of the book I read but not enough of it... silly really.

Then, later that night, I stumbled upon 'Jaws', 1975 suspense horror; and what a great film!  I caught the last half hour of the movie - the best part! - where the monster of the shark was starting to sink the 'Orca' fishing vessel with the shark hunter, the scientist and James Wood's character (I never remember who he plays) on board... and the shark is playing the best crazy nut job around.  The music is perfect.  And after the motor is blown in the boat and it's taking on water, they decide to do the only thing possible... send the scientist over the side in the tiniest metal box you've ever seen!  Of course this is going to go sideways! 

And it does in every possible way.

the shark hunter gets killed.  James Woods' character seriously shits himself while trying to get out of the smallest cabin on the face of the planet - all the while the boat is sinking and shark wants to eat him!  He shoulders a rifle and a spear (the only two instruments he sees near his feet when he starts to climb).  The music escalates and it becomes more and more like he's going to be eaten.  Then he does the best thing!  He picks up an oxygen tank as the shark comes through the huge hole he's made in the cabin and James feeds it to the shark!  But the shark can't swallow it (it's too big) and he starts chewing on it as he turns around to come back... yes, it still wants to kill this guy.
James Woods' character takes aim with the spear and loses out with that - of course - then, he shoots the shark about three times.  The fourth time gets the oxygen tank and the shark explodes!  There's shark guts everywhere!  Shark blood in the water, it starts to colour the water.  Seagulls inundate the area for scraps (as they do!) and the scientist (who we are all thinking is dead at this stage) decides to come to the surface... what a great show! 

But... I've never read the book; and yet I own it.  Yeah... I've only ever watched the movie.  I think it's time I sat down and read the book.  But don't you think that the book is better than the movie, or vise versa?  I've asked this before, however, we've never really come to a good logical conclusion.  Some movies do well with the transferring from book to film, while others don't.  Let me know your views on this subject.  Until my next post, happy reading.

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