View Poll Results: Which version do you like more?

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  • Novel

    14 63.64%
  • Film

    8 36.36%
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  1. #1
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    Default Jurassic Park: Book vs. Movie

    Which did you like more and why?

    For me, it has to be the original novel version by Michael Crichton.

    The problem with the movie is it simplifies too many things and so the central theme is lost. For example, a lot of people ask "why didn't they just try to restart Jurassic Park? It was working great until it was sabotaged." And that's true....in the movie. In the book, Jurassic Park had already failed spectacularly by the time the team got to the island. All Nedry did was deliver the final nail in the coffin. Well, it wasn't even him really, it was the fact the team shut down the park's systems then brought them up on auxiliary power without realizing it.

    Dinosaurs were breeding and escaping the island in droves. The former is very, very briefly touched on in the movie but it's a central element to the book version.

    The point is that the book not only offers up superior plot in how it explains Jurassic Park's failures, it offers up superior action as well. Sure we might not be able to see the dinosaur in the book version but we still got Muldoon shooting off raptor legs and chasing after the T-Rex with a rocket launcher. I mean, COME ON. Isn't that more awesome than anything in the movie? There's also the whole T-Rex chasing Grant and the kids in the raft segment. I love that part so much. Or when the raptors are chewing their way into the lodge where the survivors are held up and just waiting their gory end.

    The novel is just...it's the total package.

    But that's my piece. What do you all think?

  2. #2
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    The movie. Easily.

    The book is trite crap, filled with shallow cardboard cliché characters. In the book, Hammond is a stereotypical rich white man, where in the film he is well-meaning but misguided. And Ian Malcolm is nothing but a shallow author insert. The film does more to develop the characters in two hours than the book does in 400 pages.

  3. #3
    Cruel and Unusual Twickster's Avatar
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    I remember watching the movie then reading the book years later and thinking, where the hell was *this* Muldoon?! Book Muldoon was distilled awesome, and in the film he ends up as raptor poop. For this disservice alone, I prefer the book.

    Also, Hammond being a slick shyster actually plays out as more believable than the lovable grandpa in the film. Film Hammond always seemed trite to me, even as a child.

  4. #4
    Nostalgia Fanwanker Pharozonk's Avatar
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    I grew up watching the movie so when I read the book in high school, I was amazed at how much of a douche they painted Dr. Hammond to be. In that regard, I prefer the movie, though the book is still very enjoyable in it's own right.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvandor View Post
    The movie. Easily.

    The book is trite crap, filled with shallow cardboard cliché characters. In the book, Hammond is a stereotypical rich white man, where in the film he is well-meaning but misguided. And Ian Malcolm is nothing but a shallow author insert. The film does more to develop the characters in two hours than the book does in 400 pages.
    I've enjoyed the book, I read it it was very enjoyable.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member t hedge coke's Avatar
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    I think the movie is great fun, exciting and fantabulous.

    There are dinosaurs that look real! And there are some great actors, a few of whom are genuinely immensely sexy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arvandor View Post
    The movie. Easily.

    The book is trite crap, filled with shallow cardboard cliché characters. In the book, Hammond is a stereotypical rich white man, where in the film he is well-meaning but misguided. And Ian Malcolm is nothing but a shallow author insert. The film does more to develop the characters in two hours than the book does in 400 pages.
    The movie changes Grant to being standard Spielberg man, can't handle kids, doesn't like them, can't understand them. While, Ellie, is touchy-feely as hell, because of course she is.

    The lawyer is turned into a pure bloodsucking parody of a bastard.

    And, Hammond is given a whole lot more rope to hang himself, and it's more colorful, nostalgic rope, so we feel like maybe he hung himself trying to do good.

    Crichton isn't the best author ever, certainly, and he had some dodgy politics and social politics. He loves leading his reader by the nose with rhetoric or stacked decks, when he can. But, just with those four characters, I think his versions were much sharper, and unexpected, than what the movie gave us.

    Plus, the various Alice stuff spread throughout the novel is funny, and his use of equations/signs/diagrams as signs, themselves, and not information, is kinda brilliant. The visual component to the novel should not be ignored. It buys so much veracity for him, to appear to have math or warning signs, when really, there's no useful function in them, except as signs directing a reader to feel/believe a certain way.
    Last edited by t hedge coke; 07-17-2014 at 06:04 PM.
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  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Hiromi's Avatar
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    Just so long as we can all agree the Lost World novel beats the daylights out of the movie

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiromi View Post
    Just so long as we can all agree the Lost World novel beats the daylights out of the movie
    Oh absolutely. Book Sarah Harding is not only actually competent at her stated profession, she's a badass.

    It should be noted that Crichton actually co-wrote the screenplay for the Jurassic Park movie. He had nothing to do with the trainwreck Lost World adaptation however.

  9. #9
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    The book lacks the sense of wonder because it doesn't have cg and robot dinosaurs, but in every other way it is superior.

  10. #10
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    I found the characters in the book to be a lot flatter and one dimensional than the ones in the movie. Plus it just wasn't as exciting. Crichton just has a very dry writing style to me. It always feels more like he's trying to tell you what's going on rather than making you believe and feel what's happening. On top of that he's very heavy handed when it comes to getting his messages across.

  11. #11
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    Both. I saw the movie waaaay before the book and even read and watched the lost world and watched Jurassic park 3 before reading the book(Jurassic park and the Lost world I saw at theaters as a child). I have to say the book was awesome, especially in terms of build up. The stuff that happens before they even get to the park is interesting enough that it could be it's own movie(even it's own series). That said, I am very glad the movie didn't style itself after the book. The book was not about dinosaurs, it was about the dangers of genetic engineering, it was clear on this right from the start. You could've had a book about Hammond genetically engineering... say creatures to look like those outta mythology(griffin's, dragons, etc) and largely had the same book. The movie was about dinosaurs and it did a great freakin job of it. When I was a child I liked dinosaurs, as was, but Jurassic park made me love them. It got a whole generation hooked on dinosaurs. I wouldn't trade that for a movie that if based on the book wouldn't of even needed dinosaurs to make it's point. Not to mention to truly give the book justice it would need to be either a miniseries or a movie series. And neither would of succeeded as well as the movie we got did. So I am glad they both exist, even if they are quite different.

  12. #12
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    Even though I come to it late in my adolescence, I highly prefer the Jurassic Park novel to the book. The roughly 1st hundred pages of intense mystery building up before the characters even touch down on the island is well-crafted. I felt the movie dumbed too much stuff down to cater to children, and obviously they cut swaths of the plot for condensing purposes and to make it more family-friendly. But still. In the books, we get to spend way more time with the raptors as they hunt down the surviving humans on the island. It's scary. Intense. Badass Robert Muldoon even starts blowing them in half with a rocket launcher! You just can't beat that.

    However, when it comes to The Lost World, I actually prefer the movie. I liked the book (it wasn't as great as the first one, and I personally prefer Dr. Grant over Dr. Malcolm as a main character), but plot-wise it would have made a terrible movie. There wasn't enough action; this one focused a lot more on scientific concepts and theories. I think the creative liberties the Lost World screenwriters took with the source material made for a better movie. Not a great movie, but I found it more entertaining than the intense, no-thrills science-y prose that was The Lost World novel.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member t hedge coke's Avatar
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    The Lost World novel was, for me, passable but pretty meh. The movie's biggest sins are the kid and that it's stuffed past the gills with excellent actors and then kinda squanders them all.
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  14. #14
    Nostalgia Fanwanker Pharozonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t hedge coke View Post
    The Lost World novel was, for me, passable but pretty meh. The movie's biggest sins are the kid and that it's stuffed past the gills with excellent actors and then kinda squanders them all.
    There's also the preachiness of animal rights activism when the protagonists cause more trouble than the bad guys at times by trying to save the dinosaurs.
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  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member t hedge coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharozonk View Post
    There's also the preachiness of animal rights activism when the protagonists cause more trouble than the bad guys at times by trying to save the dinosaurs.
    I'm willing to overlook that we're supposed to be on their side, because we get more dinosaurs destroying stuff that way. Otherwise, yeah, you're right.
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