I’ve often encountered the dreadful moment of watching a movie of a book I love. So far, I have to say that the vast majority have been disappointing at the very least, and in some cases I can only regard the movies as abominations! The most notable successes have been the latest Narnia movies. The worst? Well, for me that is the triplet of movies that allegedly give a “faithful rendition” of The Lord of The Rings. I cannot abide those movies, where events are changed in such a cavalier fashion.
The flipside is, of course, reading the “book of the movie”. In this case, I’ve found greater satisfaction, because the book is loyal to the film while adding detail that movies are simply unable to communicate. I will admit, however, that I haven’t actually read many such books, mainly because my taste in movies is far broader in genre terms than my reading preferences.
Now that brings up an interesting point. Why do our tastes often differ radically across different media? I can, of course, only speak for myself with any certainty.
I never read newspapers and rarely read magazines. I avoid watching television news programmes, other than on sports news channels. In general TV viewing, I tend to choose crime dramas, though I am a fan of Stargate SG-1 and Babylon 5. I tend to go for action and adventure movies, but avoid most of the ultra violent ones. I also enjoy historical epics, such as Lawrence of Arabia, and war movies, from Zulu to Black Hawk Down, plus some science fiction and fantasy movies. I don’t like horror and usually avoid modern “comedies” of the “madcap” type. I will watch romcoms and some other “chick flicks”, though normally I watch those only with my wife. With books, I narrow down considerably, to science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction war books, and general history non-fiction. I have read books outside of these genres, but only rarely.
I can’t actually answer the question. I suspect that I watch things that do one of two things: require no thought effort or test my ability to think using enigmas. Generally speaking, I don’t enjoy reading detective books though. I think, on the whole, that I am disinclined to read what amounts to anything contemporary. Possibly for the same reason that I have a strong aversion to TV “soap operas”. I have enough of “real” life, day in, day out. Ultimately, I suppose I’m mostly looking for escapism.