There is a generally accepted belief that book versions of stories are better than the movie versions and that in general, movies cannot match up to the “rich, thoughtful experience” of reading a book. While I do understand that books have more opportunity to set the scene explicitly and to develop a character’s thoughts, movies have the unique ability to show actions and setting complexity often overlooked in a book.
Great examples one of the advantages of movies are often found in action movies. The action-packed tale would not be the same if you had to read through all the back handsprings and roundhouse kicks, getting lost in the speed of the fights. The dynamic experience is enhanced by the visual, never hindered. Visual representation also comes in handy in those flicks when they have to creatively get through the moving lasers. Those scenes in Ocean’s Eleven and Twelve as well as Get Smart would not be the same in text.
Another visual advantage is used perfectly in Avatar. The settings in books are often overlooked as unimportant and in the cases where it is described to do it justice, the reader is board and not appreciative. Movies are able to contain elaborate settings that don’t need to be explained, just appreciated. Descriptions of all the beautiful flora and fauna in that movie would have been long and likely boring instead of instead of the constant admiration received by the movie’s fans.
Finally, a movie can in fact be better than a book. When a book is badly written but has a good plot (of which there are many), or is too complex for its own good (of which there are fewer), a movie version, if well done, can tell the story so that its integrity remains but quality goes up. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a perfect example of a set of movies that raise the quality of the original story by simply being well-made movies.