RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,599
Posts: 5,404,664
Members: 24,870
Currently online: 453
Newest member: The Hooded Man

TrekToday headlines

Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Vol. 2 Comic
By: T'Bonz on Oct 1

Cumberbatch In War Of Roses Miniseries
By: T'Bonz on Oct 1

Trek 3 Filming Location Revealed
By: T'Bonz on Oct 1

October-November 2014 Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Sep 30

Cho Selfie TV Alert
By: T'Bonz on Sep 30

TPTB To Shatner: Shhh!
By: T'Bonz on Sep 30

Mystery Mini Vinyl Figure Display Box
By: T'Bonz on Sep 29

The Red Shirt Diaries Episode Five
By: T'Bonz on Sep 29

Shatner In Trek 3? Well Maybe
By: T'Bonz on Sep 28

Retro Review: Shadows and Symbols
By: Michelle on Sep 27


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 29 2013, 09:31 AM   #16
I Am The Walrus
Rear Admiral
 
I Am The Walrus's Avatar
 
Location: Saga
Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to I Am The Walrus Send a message via Yahoo to I Am The Walrus
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

i love Planet of the Apes but the book is very very different from the novel. not sure i'd consider it a good adaption. great film though.
I Am The Walrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 09:44 AM   #17
Deckerd
Fleet Arse
 
Deckerd's Avatar
 
Location: the Frozen Wastes
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Praetor_Shinzon wrote: View Post
i love Planet of the Apes but the book is very very different from the novel.
Uhuh.
__________________
They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.
Deckerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 02:35 PM   #18
Darth_Daver
Captain
 
Darth_Daver's Avatar
 
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Picking from instances where I've seen the film AND read the book, I would name Prestige, since it was a brilliant movie in every regard. And much better than the book

But Scanner Darkly gets huge thumbs up for being very faithful to a brilliant book.
Darth_Daver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 04:35 PM   #19
theenglish
Rear Admiral
 
theenglish's Avatar
 
Location: Suriname
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Harvey wrote: View Post
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.
I think that an HBO limited series of Do Androids could really be awesome. Or even an ongoing series with the first season being an adaptation of the novel and subsequent seasons different stories set in the same world.
theenglish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 04:50 PM   #20
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Praetor_Shinzon wrote: View Post
i love Planet of the Apes but the book is very very different from the novel. not sure i'd consider it a good adaption. great film though.
I think that raises the question of how one defines "good adaptation." Does it mean an accurate/faithful adaptation? I don't believe so. Because the definition of the word "adapt" is "change to fit new circumstances." So to me, a good adaptation isn't one that copies the original as closely as possible. That's more atavism than adaptation. A good adaptation is one that changes the source work in a good way. By that standard, PotA is a very good adaptation. It changed the story in a way that resulted in a classic that transcended its source material.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 05:13 PM   #21
Tom Hendricks
Tom Hendricks
 
Tom Hendricks's Avatar
 
Location: Syracuse NY
View Tom Hendricks's Twitter Profile
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

How to Train your Dragon, the movie is way better then the book(s) by a mile. Basically only using the names and locations and basic premise of the book. The movie has fleshed out and made great what was only good in the book(s).
__________________
The Sleeper has Awaken!

Of course I'm a creationist. I believe man created god.
Tom Hendricks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 05:23 PM   #22
Greg Cox
Vice Admiral
 
Location: Oxford, PA
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Praetor_Shinzon wrote: View Post
i love Planet of the Apes but the book is very very different from the novel. not sure i'd consider it a good adaption. great film though.
I think that raises the question of how one defines "good adaptation." Does it mean an accurate/faithful adaptation? I don't believe so. Because the definition of the word "adapt" is "change to fit new circumstances." So to me, a good adaptation isn't one that copies the original as closely as possible. That's more atavism than adaptation. A good adaptation is one that changes the source work in a good way. By that standard, PotA is a very good adaptation. It changed the story in a way that resulted in a classic that transcended its source material.

Good point. We shouldn't take for granted that "best" equals "most faithful." Fidelity to the original source is not the only criteria that matters, or even the most important.

It's possible to make a perfectly faithful adaptation that doesn't work at all as a film, or to take major liberties and still come up with a great movie or TV show.
__________________
www.gregcox-author.com
Greg Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 05:38 PM   #23
Creepy Critter
Admiral
 
Creepy Critter's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Praetor_Shinzon wrote: View Post
i love Planet of the Apes but the book is very very different from the novel. not sure i'd consider it a good adaption. great film though.
I think that raises the question of how one defines "good adaptation." Does it mean an accurate/faithful adaptation? I don't believe so. Because the definition of the word "adapt" is "change to fit new circumstances." So to me, a good adaptation isn't one that copies the original as closely as possible. That's more atavism than adaptation. A good adaptation is one that changes the source work in a good way. By that standard, PotA is a very good adaptation. It changed the story in a way that resulted in a classic that transcended its source material.

Good point. We shouldn't take for granted that "best" equals "most faithful." Fidelity to the original source is not the only criteria that matters, or even the most important.

It's possible to make a perfectly faithful adaptation that doesn't work at all as a film, or to take major liberties and still come up with a great movie or TV show.
I think that it's an essential ambiguity in the OP question as phrased. Instead of asking for the "best film adaptation", to clarify, one has to, say, ask for "best film that's an adaptation" or "best adaptation of a book into film", and put the adjective "best" directly against the word you want it to modify and especially don't fuse "best", "film", and "adaptation" into the same noun phrase!
__________________
CorporalCaptain
Creepy Critter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 06:27 PM   #24
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
It's possible to make a perfectly faithful adaptation that doesn't work at all as a film, or to take major liberties and still come up with a great movie or TV show.
I think the Harry Potter films are a good example. The first two films are pretty slavish to the surface content of the books, but to me they fail to embody the books' spirit and tone. The third and subsequent films take more liberties with the plot and details of the books (though still hewing pretty close), and come closer to capturing their spirit.


CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I think that it's an essential ambiguity in the OP question as phrased. Instead of asking for the "best film adaptation", to clarify, one has to, say, ask for "best film that's an adaptation" or "best adaptation of a book into film", and put the adjective "best" directly against the word you want it to modify and especially don't fuse "best", "film", and "adaptation" into the same noun phrase!
But my point is that such qualifications aren't needed, because the literal meaning of the word "adaptation" is "change" -- specifically, change that serves a constructive purpose when adjusting to a new context. It should be axiomatic that a film adaptation will make changes from the book. The question, then, is whether its changes work well, whether it manages to preserve what's important or add something new and worthwhile. Even those first two slavish Harry Potter films changed things, but they changed them in a way that I felt made them dull and prosaic, stripping away their sense of wonder (like having the Hogwarts stairways visibly rotate, as opposed to the books' description of having the corridors change topography in an unseen, inexplicable way that was far more magical). That was a change that took things away, whereas a good change -- a good adaptation -- will be one that adds something new or makes something work better.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 06:45 PM   #25
Creepy Critter
Admiral
 
Creepy Critter's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
It's possible to make a perfectly faithful adaptation that doesn't work at all as a film, or to take major liberties and still come up with a great movie or TV show.
I think the Harry Potter films are a good example. The first two films are pretty slavish to the surface content of the books, but to me they fail to embody the books' spirit and tone. The third and subsequent films take more liberties with the plot and details of the books (though still hewing pretty close), and come closer to capturing their spirit.


CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I think that it's an essential ambiguity in the OP question as phrased. Instead of asking for the "best film adaptation", to clarify, one has to, say, ask for "best film that's an adaptation" or "best adaptation of a book into film", and put the adjective "best" directly against the word you want it to modify and especially don't fuse "best", "film", and "adaptation" into the same noun phrase!
But my point is that such qualifications aren't needed, because the literal meaning of the word "adaptation" is "change" -- specifically, change that serves a constructive purpose when adjusting to a new context. It should be axiomatic that a film adaptation will make changes from the book. The question, then, is whether its changes work well, whether it manages to preserve what's important or add something new and worthwhile. Even those first two slavish Harry Potter films changed things, but they changed them in a way that I felt made them dull and prosaic, stripping away their sense of wonder (like having the Hogwarts stairways visibly rotate, as opposed to the books' description of having the corridors change topography in an unseen, inexplicable way that was far more magical). That was a change that took things away, whereas a good change -- a good adaptation -- will be one that adds something new or makes something work better.
I think the distinction is easier to see for adaptations that take a lot of liberties. This arguably isn't science fiction, but The Lord of the Rings seems like a pretty good example, nevertheless. To some, Jackson's films are faithful adaptations; to others, the situation couldn't be further from the truth. I'm definitely in the latter camp. If I didn't know anything about the books, I'd have to agree that the films are very good. But since I do know what was cut out and changed, and since I'm missing certain things that were cut out big-time because I think they're essential, I have to say that I don't find the films to be very good adaptations. So, they are good films that are adaptations, but as adaptations, I find them to be very unsatisfactory.

---

Edited to Add: In short, in the case of The Lord of the Rings, I think a better adaptation of the books would have been possible that resulted in a better movie, that I would be wanting to rewatch, and that wouldn't have hurt the box office receipts in the slightest.

What one thinks of when speaking of "better this" or "better that", that's multiple topics of conversation in and of themselves, and it practically goes without saying that what is better depends upon the eye of the beholder. My point here in this post was simply to argue that there is a meaningful conceptual distinction, depending on which word "best" modifies, even if there is a great deal of overlap between the two, in how one way of looking at it feeds into the other.

I would agree that when making a film adaptation, the highest goal is to make a good film; fidelity to the original is of secondary, or lesser, importance. Perhaps that settles the issue, but I think it's worth mentioning that multiple film adaptations give one the chance to compare the adaptations themselves (e.g., The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Andromeda Strain, Planet of the Apes, The Wizard of Oz). Of course, what works for one audience at one time doesn't necessarily translate verbatim to another.

Silly me, there was an example before me in my first post that's squarely in sci-fi: Starship Troopers. To purists, it's a bad adaptation because of the shift in tone, from serious to satire. That change produces in the movie a new work of art that truly is something besides simply a beat-for-beat "movie-ization" of the original. If one expects a completely straightforward "movie-ization" of the book, then one might well see a bad film resulting from a bad adaptation. Free of that expectation, and/or free of thinking that the tone of the original is worth being faithful to in a film made decades after the original was written, one might see the changes as improvements and/or deserving of being explored in their own rights. I definitely fall in the latter camp, there, on all counts.

Contact is another film that I find great, that's an adaptation of a sci-fi book. I've not read the book, but I understand that there were some changes, and I also understand that not all people find the changes to be improvements.
__________________
CorporalCaptain

Last edited by Creepy Critter; November 29 2013 at 09:03 PM.
Creepy Critter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 08:33 PM   #26
trevanian
Rear Admiral
 
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
It's possible to make a perfectly faithful adaptation that doesn't work at all as a film, or to take major liberties and still come up with a great movie or TV show.
I think the Harry Potter films are a good example. The first two films are pretty slavish to the surface content of the books, but to me they fail to embody the books' spirit and tone. The third and subsequent films take more liberties with the plot and details of the books (though still hewing pretty close), and come closer to capturing their spirit.
You beat me to it. Potter 3 is where I always start when rewatching them. The first 2 are just such literal adapatations.
trevanian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 08:50 PM   #27
2takesfrakes
Commodore
 
2takesfrakes's Avatar
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

The SyFi Channel's Children of Dune. I can't think of words big enough to describe this mini-series ... 'tis good! It was very satisfying and made every attempt at being faithful to the novels. By the way: for my money, 1984's DUNE is still The Cat's Meow.
2takesfrakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 08:54 PM   #28
Maurice
Vice Admiral
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Location: Maurice in San Francisco
View Maurice's Twitter Profile
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

trevanian wrote: View Post
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.
Ugh. I never got the love for 2010, which puts extra pork into the term ham-fisted. A great example of a film talking down to the audience.
__________________
* * *
"If you wanted to get a good meeting... just go in and
say 'darker, grittier, sexier' and whatever."
—Glen Larson, 2010
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29 2013, 09:08 PM   #29
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: What do you consider is the best film adaptation of a scifi book?

I think that 2001 and 2010 are trying to be two very different things. 2001 is more of an art film, an exercise in pure cinema, and is best experienced in the immersive environment of the theater. It's about sensation and perception and mystery, about letting the moment sink in slowly, but there's not really much in the way of story or character or conventional movie stuff. 2010 is more of a conventional narrative. I respect what Kubrick was trying to do, but 2001 bores me greatly. 2010 is less ambitious, but more watchable.

But then, I think I like the book of 2010 better than its predecessor too. I think it's a richer story, and I like the redemption of HAL.



CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
To some, Jackson's films are faithful adaptations; to others, the situation couldn't be further from the truth. I'm definitely in the latter camp. If I didn't know anything about the books, I'd have to agree that the films are very good. But since I do know what was cut out and changed, and since I'm missing certain things that were cut out big-time because I think they're essential, I have to say that I don't find the films to be very good adaptations. So, they are good films that are adaptations, but as adaptations, I find them to be very unsatisfactory.
Again, though, I feel adaptations are supposed to make changes. If you want something just like the original work, the original is still right there. The point of an adaptation is to create a new work that tells the story in a different way.

To me, a faithful adaptation is one that's faithful to the essence and spirit of the work, not to its exact words or events. More importantly, a good adaptation is one that works by itself as an independent entity. Something can only be said to be "missing" if the film is incomplete without it, if it results in a filmic narrative that, taken entirely on its own merits, does not tell a complete and satisfactory story. If the film works effectively without an element from the book, then that element isn't missing, since it's still there in the book. The film is still complete, it's just complete in a different way, because it's not the same story; it's an evolutionary descendant of the story.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.