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Reading Room

Your quiet and comfy lounge to pick up a great book and discuss sci-fi literature.

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Old Oct 11, 2006, 11:35 AM   #1
More Than Just Okay
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3,854 flights since Jul 2001
Location: The Uplift Mojo Party
Best SciFi/Fantasy to Film Adaptations

In attempting to compile a top ten list I came across a couple of problematic issues. Firstly, it seems that most of the best science fiction films based on literature are, in and of themselves, very (ofter very, very, very) loose adaptations of the novels/short stories/graphic novels from which they sprang. A great example is Blade Runner, a classic film that tops nearly everyone's top five list yet can be argued to be a very weak adaptation of the novel itself. On the other end of the spectrum, the consistently listed greatest of all Science Fiction novels Dune has led to two very bad films.

That said, here is my list of top five SF films based on novels:

1. Blade Runner adapted from Philip K. Dic k's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
2. 2001 A Space Odyssey from Arthur C. Clarke's novel of the same name.
3. The Lord of the Rings arguably the best fantasy literature to film ever made (and should remain until the end time I would think).
4. Logan's Run a somewhat dated adaptation of the novel. A few changes to the text but overall very faithful in its adaptation.
5. Minority Report decent adaptation, decent film despite Tom Cruise.

And the bottom five:

1. Dune - The Lynch version is absolutely awful and no amount of excuses from Director, Producer, or fan can account for the huge missteps with this adaptation which, frankly, started with a very poor choice for director.
2. Battlefield Earth - an average SF novel turned into a complete trash heap of a film, camp city.
3. Earthsea - absolute SciFi Channel butchery of a classic fantasy series poised to make its jump into film after the success of Potter and LOTR.
4. Starship Troopers - not my favorite Heinlein novel but in the hands of more serious writers this could have been a great film.
5. I, Robot - awful butchery of Asimov's master work.
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Old Oct 11, 2006, 05:46 PM   #2
Sector Marshall
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Location: midwest
Re: Best SciFi/Fantasy to Film Adaptations

I thought the 1984 movie with John Hurt and Richard Burton was pretty decent, even though I rarely ever watch the movie, despite the fact that I own it.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 01:57 AM   #3
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Location: Chilling with Stuntman Mike...
Re: Best SciFi/Fantasy to Film Adaptations

I don't think Starship Troopers was that bad. Having now finally read the book, if they had filmed it word for word, it would have been mostly politics and not enough M.I. ass-kickery.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 04:20 AM   #4
Old One Pikeman
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Re: Best SciFi/Fantasy to Film Adaptations

Originally Posted by toomuchcoffee
I thought the 1984 movie with John Hurt and Richard Burton was pretty decent, even though I rarely ever watch the movie, despite the fact that I own it.

Ditto - I think it's not a film you can watch again and again and again, you have to be in the mood for it. I really ought to buy the book and re-read it sometime...
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