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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old November 28 2013, 04:39 PM   #1
Neon
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What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

What do you currently consider is the best 1-3 film, or cable TV mini-series adaptation made of a sci-fi book so far and please say why, for each one named.
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Old November 28 2013, 05:51 PM   #2
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

The Dead Zone based on a book by Stephen King and staring Christopher Walkin is the only instance where I have ever thought the move was better than the book.
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Old November 28 2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

The PBS adaptation of Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven from arount 1978 or 1979. Despite what looks to have been a pretty modest budget, this movie really delivers a good adaptation of the book. NOT the later A&E version with James Caan.
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Old November 28 2013, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Seeing as you said best rather than most faithful, I'll go with Blade Runner, the '78 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Planet of the Apes. With Jurassic Park as an alternate.

My reason for each choice is that they are awesome films.
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Old November 28 2013, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

For most faithful, I'd turn to Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly.

For "best," I can only turn to my favorites, which include Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both the 1956 and 1978 versions). Expanding to short story adaptations, and I'd include John Carpenter's The Thing and David Cronenberg's The Fly.
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Old November 28 2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Some really good choices here. the 78 SNATCHERS is one of my fave flicks period, TDZ was the first King film to exceed the novel and APES is to my mind more interesting than Boulle's MONKEY PLANET. I think a much more literal adaptation of DO ANDROIDS could be an interesting companion piece to BLADE RUNNER, though, because I find a lot of the source novel to be a thing so far apart from the film (which I do adore) that they are wholly separate entities.

I think I'd add CHARLY from FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON as well.
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Old November 28 2013, 06:39 PM   #7
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

I'm not sure a faithful adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? would make for a great movie, but it would certainly be quite a bit different than Blade Runner. Really, there are enough ideas in the Dick novel that you could produce a dozen wildly different adaptations using the book as a launching pad.
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Old November 28 2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Didn't Philip K. Dick himself say that he thought Blade Runner improved on the novel?
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Old November 28 2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Dick expressed many different opinions about the movie during it's production (he died during post-production, before it was released). His reactions are well-documented in Paul Sammon's book about the movie, and a few of his phone messages to the author from the time (some extremely positive, some extremely negative, as I recall) are included on the Blu-Ray.
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Old November 28 2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Except for the depictions of Mercerism, I found the novel fairly UNcinematic, but there were dramatic situations that almost cried out to be seen (the alternate police department comes to mind.) The two replicants looking alike and being played by the same actor would have been a cliche already in 1982, but by now I think you can see beyond it being a gimmick and actually use it as an acting showcase for whoever played Rachel/Pris.

I'm pretty sure Dick only saw the VFX reel (which blew him away) and a few Ford scenes where he like the performance, so I doubt he could evaluate the finished product on that basis, especially since even though glimpses would have been colored by his having read Hampton's drafts (don't think he ever read David P.'s, which is where the magic started to happen.)

I actually think ANDROIDS might make a better SERIES than a film (much as I think THE FIFTH ELEMENT would be a more interesting series than it was a film, that there were hints of a varied and interesting unTrek/unWars environment that could have stood on its own with a good showrunner to implant his own notions atop it.)
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Old November 28 2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Oh, what the hell was I thinking? CHILDREN OF MEN is the best adaptation for me, hands down. It took what I found to be a pretty lameass book and turned it into what is for me thus far the supreme moviegoing experience of the 21st century (2001 and Se7en pretty much own the 20th century for me.)

Edit addon: there's another thread on this page about 2010, and in the vein of novel-to-film here, let me say I am FLABBERGASTED by the number of folks weighing about how much they prefer 2010 to 2001 (emphasis mine.) Makes me think I was right all along in thinking 2010 should have gone more lowbrow, with the LEONOV crew trading shots with the Chinese expedition and Roy Scheider turning whatever convenient space pod was around into a deep space version of BLUE THUNDER, all the while muttering that he was going to need a bigger spacecraft.
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Old November 29 2013, 08:02 AM   #12
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

It was an inspired by and not an adaptation but "Instinct" with Anthony Hopkins could have been in the same world as the book, "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. They pay great homage to the book.
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Old November 29 2013, 08:17 AM   #13
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

For being technically interesting about an intriguing premise, I'm a big fan of Robert Wise's The Andromeda Strain, although I think Crichton's book is actually even more intriguing.

For the best film mentioned so far, I'd probably go with Planet of the Apes (1968). Both the '78 Body Snatchers and Blade Runner are close runners up.

2001 was really more of a collaboration than an adaptation, or I'd be picking it, hands down.

By the way, what's a "1-3 film"?

P.S. Starship Troopers also rocks.
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Old November 29 2013, 09:06 AM   #14
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
By the way, what's a "1-3 film"?
Single to trilogy films. Probably.
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Old November 29 2013, 09:07 AM   #15
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Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

I assume by "1-3 film" he means "film or series of films".
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