I like to read. I admit I don't own an E-reader and probably won't anytime soon. I like the feel of a book, turning the pages, hearing the spine crack as I move to the next fresh chapter. So I always approach a book-turned-movie with a bit of trepidation. I believe the story images in our minds are always better than anything that Hollywood could possibly produce. And sometimes the casting isn't what I thought of a particular character and I think that's the worst. And so I was really surprised with "Water for Elephants" -- the wonderful novel by Sara Gruen about life in the circus during the 1930s Depression and Prohibition era.
The movie really stayed true to the book, the characters were well cast, and it moved along with no wasted frames. I didn't know how I would feel about Reese Witherspoon in the part of Marlena, but she did pull it off. Robert Pattinson was wonderful as the gentle animal vet, Jacob Jankowski, who loses his innocence about life during the 1930s depression. The best role was played by Christoph Waltz as August, the brutal circus owner and animal trainer.
I admit watching the animal abuse was harder than reading about it (I studied my coffee cup a little too long) but the story was wonderful and interesting. Good choice - movie theater or DVD, which I assume won't be too long coming.