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DEBATE: Movies vs Books?

For me, movies are better.

I consider movie as the better choice of medium for sheer entertainment value and it is considered the more direct "in your face" form of medium. I prefer movies because something like a novel adaption is much more difficult to be portrayed through films, as opposed to texts. The hours of time invested watching a movie is much more worthwhile since it's a lot more immersive than written texts. You have to appreciate the actors/actress's ability to act as well as budge, time and special effects accordingly used to create the project.

The emotion of the actors, art style, visuals, music all adds dimension to a movie and enriches your experience that a book just cannot posses. Movies are a lot more versatile than books which I find it one-dimensional, as opposed to endless reach that movies can provide.

What do you think?


This is what I've thought of so far for my class debate tomorrow

11 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Let me argue both sides.

    When you read a novel/story you can impose your own viewpoint. You supply all the imagination. So we can read "To Kill a Mockingbird" likely as the author intended, like the movie - with a wise and caring lawyer/father, an innocent thoughtful daughter, and heroic recluse who deserved to avoid a murder investigation. Overly simplistic characters. Or we can question and change the characterizations as we read - was the lawyer/father caring and wise, or distant and lazy ? Was Boo Radley a heroic recluse saving little children, or a vigilante in need of some questioning ? When reading "1984" - was Winston Smith an awakening dissident - or was he a feckless fool who no did nothing but satisfy his own self-interests in a foolishly dangerous way ? We can read the stories any way we choose. We can even disagree with the authors assertions or question the reasonableness of character's motives.

    Movies have an immediateness and a low level of effort that is appealing as entertainment, but it supplies only one interpretation of the work. Also the pace of movies is such that we can't easily stop and reconsider the interpretation or motives or plot (tho' the pause button helps).

    Where movies really add value IMO is when the work is obtuse or hard to understand or even when the style/content are too boring to read. I find it hard to read Shakespeare and interpret the ancient language and stageplay dialogue while still enjoying the experience. It breaks up the flow of thought. However when Shakespeare is performed by a good actor + filmmaker, then interpreting the language is effortless and therefore the plot is lucid. Reading Beowulf even in translation is tedious stuff, but it is a compelling story and could make a good movie (AFAIK there is no very good movie version). I'd rather have a root canal than wade through the turgid gothic prose of Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein", or the romance novel "Gone with the Wind", yet as a movie they can be enjoyable. Just saw "Last of the Mohicans" movie tonight - a great film, tho' you'd have too pay me in gold to read the romance/action/noble-savage cliche'd content book again.

    Sometime the visual "feel" of a movie can't be reproduced in a book. So "Maltese Falcon", "Sin City", "Blade Runner" or Brazil" can't really be read as books without serious loss. Skit Comedy never works well in a book; it requires the intonation and expressions and reactions of others. Physical comedy makes no sense in a book.

    Humans communicate with words and gestures and facial expressions. When we restrict the communication method to words only, even removing inflection and tone - then we get misinterpretations and distortions. Really good writers can use this medium restriction to advantage; but there are very few really good writers. When the 'point' is complex plot or ideas - then a book can be just the thing if the writer is good.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    What to consider:

    Your argument, "I prefer movies because something like a novel adaption is much more difficult to be portrayed through films, as opposed to texts." sounds like a argument for the other side. It's more difficult to portray books through movies? Thus books are better in their pure form? I would refine this claim.

    Less time invested=more quick pure entertainment. Although it might not be as mind stimulating, it's "pure entertainment." This makes sense. But part of entertainment is to be stimulated? But maybe prepare a response to this counter-argument

    "You have to appreciate the actors/actress's ability to act as well as budge, time and special effects accordingly used to create the project." I would also consider elements such as writing, character development, and cinematography.

    "The emotion of the actors, art style, visuals, music all adds dimension to a movie and enriches your experience that a book just cannot posses." This is a very strong argument. However, I'd consider how a reader invests his/her own imagination to fill in the story. This can give a more richer experience than any movie can give.

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  • Cody
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Well I won't state the obvious, which everyone else has done effectively.

    The problem is that movies don't always perform on the levels you mention, therefore they become faulty, dry, and not nearly as immersive as a book. Then again, if the writing of a book is bad, then the same thing happens to the book.

    A really, truly good movie is, to me, like a book. It's deep, it's engaging, it touches on more than one theme, enough in fact to maybe cover themes of life rather than direct genres and such. Most movies focus around what genre that movie is. An action movie is just an action movie.

    A good book is deeper, more engaging, powerful, and covers A LOT of themes. That depends on the movie or book you're watching, but that's basically how it goes.

    So there's no way i could agree with that debate you've made, so I would try focusing more on the strengths of a movie, not switching it out with the strengths of a book. But good job!


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  • 8 years ago

    "a novel adaption is much more difficult to be portrayed through films, as opposed to texts". Really? You must be confused. If it's an adaptation from a novel, then that means they've already cut and pasted the parts they like or think will grab people's attention and left out possibly many, many details. For this reason novels turned movies can be great like Harry Potter but there are so many gaps and "huh?" parts in the movie because they were skipped over and not explained like in the book. For this main reason, there's no way you can ever argue that a movie (novel adaptation) is better or more interesting than a book. Yeah it's visual and it draws you in, but you don't really get the whole story.

    Also, as nice as it is to see a movie and just watch all the special effects, acting, hot actors etc, the fact remains that our imagination is much better than any movie can make it. I read the Harry Potter books and as grand as the movie made it, there were still more things left to my imagination than the movies attempted to cover.

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  • Cher
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Certainly, film can be enjoyable, but it can only really invoke two senses. Provided good direction, a kickin' score, a darn good set of actors, a Cameron-meets-Industrial Lights and Magic-meets-Weta-meets-Studio Ghibli-level creativity and budget for special effects and/or animation, and awesome scriptwriters, (either way you cut it, writers make things rock,) it can definitely engage those senses to the max. One really can appreciate all the effort, money, and time that makes an awesome film awesome. But when a film doesn't hit that level of cool, you know what you're saying to yourself and/or your buddies: "They could have made that look so much better." "That guy didn't sound at all like I thought he would." "There wasn't enough focus on this character and that one subplot didn't make sense; I wish they'd spent more time on it." Even so-so books can offer you all that and engage the rest of your senses, as well. You can even pick your own music. With a good one, you can send your imagination completely into another's head (or multiple others' heads) on a free-to-thirty-dollar budget, depending on if you prefer the library or the hardcover.

    With books, it generally takes longer to get through one novel than a marathon of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and a brainless rom-com or three. Movies are great for short, punchy plots, but if you're willing to invest the time, books can show you the details of what makes things tick, explore more intricate stories, and point out the implications - good, bad, and in-between - of events that movies and even serial TV shows just don't have the time to get into. With books, there may not be the fangasm at first sight one might feel for the heroes of a movie, but once you get to know the characters really well over the course of the story, the little buggers glue themselves into the heart and mind in ways that the movie leads just can't hold onto.

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    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Good argument! Though I love both, I'll present an argument for the Book side:

    I think literature is superior in a way, because one could gain much more from reading a book intellectually. Since the film presents an "in-your-face" image, it leaves little room for expanding the imagination, as a book would. Books give you room to envision the characters yourself, sending the mind to a playground. Give your own interpretation on things instead of following Hollywood's interpretation.

    Books also can teach literary conventions, such as new vocabulary, new writing styles (stream of consciousness, just to throw one out there), as well as syntax and different ways to say things. Who doesn't need a broader vocabulary?

    Books can arugably teach you more as you are an active player in the story, not sitting back and letting it come to you. It invites you to think. You may learn about different types of people, places, and things, as well as new thought processes. In a film, who knows what's true and what H-wood is fabricating.

    Lastly, just to throw in, many Americans stare at screens too much anyways, and it puts far more strain on your eyes than a nice book. Good ol' paper books all the way!

    Good luck on your debate. =}

    Thumbs-downing a viewpoint that doesn't agree with yours...real immature...

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  • 8 years ago

    Absolutely not, books are far more better. With books you can see things and imagine them, sometimes very vividly if the author is good. A book provides days or moths of entertainment, not just a few hours. And has much more detail.

    Now I'm not saying I don't think movies are good entertainment. I like movies, but if a movie is based off of a book, the book will always be better.

    Also the emotions of the characters in a book can be expressed FAR more than a movie, because you can feel it. You can delve into their thoughts and feelings, rather than just see it.

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  • chorle
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    although there are stories told better as a movie if done right (like Lord of the Rings)

    the book is almost always better because books have more space and unlimited special effects budget in your mind.

    I think you might have a point and movie could be much better for people with no imagination

    I am quite fond of audio books and live plays you could have more argument with them

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  • 3 years ago

    Reading a good book provides a richer experience and can leave you with memory that will last years

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  • 8 years ago

    I don't think that movies are immersive at all, compared to books. With movies, you're just a spectator. With books, you're right there, in the middle of the action, inside the head of hte main character, hearing his thoughts and fears and desires. You can't hear those things, in a movie.

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