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mark211"[T]he book was not dedicated to erotic problems of people in outer space ... This is why the book was entitled 'Solaris' and not 'Love in Outer Space'". Disappointing movie adaptations.2016-07-10 00:45:45
mark211First, a quick thank you to everyone as always for contributing to these weekly discussions. 2016-07-10 00:46:33
mark211The quote in this week's title - ""[T]he book was not dedicated to erotic problems of people in outer space ... This is why the book was entitled 'Solaris' and not 'Love in Outer Space'" - comes from Stanislaw Lem, Polish author or 'Solaris', and was based on his disappointment with the several filmed versions of his (in my opinion superlative) SF novel.2016-07-10 00:48:01
mark211So this week, I wondered what had been some good, some not so good, and some downright awful movie adaptations of SFF novels that you have seen. And what about SFF stories you think could and should be adapted and which you might be surprised have not been yet? For instance, after HBO's huge success with their televisation of 'Game of Thrones', I feel fairly sure that an epic work of Science Fiction is likely to be their next venture into Box Set series (because it could allow them to repeat the formula of GoT but with superficial differences in context and surface details). In fact, even more specifically I'm going to predict that it is surely only a matter of time before Paolo Bacigalupi's 'The Windup Girl' is going to be turned into a film or Box Set series - it has everything I can imagine a Hollywood producer would be looking for: genetically engineered robot courtesans being sold on the black market, louche ex-pats drinking whisky in an end of the world style bar, ecological disaster brought on by GM tinkering and a carefully crafted and credible post-Carbon scientific world, migration and racism issues, exotic near future relation ... that's quite a heady brew. So what are your thoughts?2016-07-10 00:55:23
MagonianLem also said words to the effect that he had no idea where his story ideas would take him once he'd started them. Perhaps the po-mo bugbear that is authorial intention needs summoning forth to justify the religious/romantic takes of Tarkovsky and Soderbergh respectively. I doubt Lem would have agreed though. 2016-07-10 07:06:56
GordonRowlinsonI thought the Arthur C Clarke novel 2001 was light years ahead of the Kubrick movie adaptation.2016-07-10 09:37:54
RTwould you consider "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Short Story by F Scott Fitzgerald) SF? The movie was 100 times better than the short story2016-07-10 11:04:19
IronspiderHmmm, where to start! Taking the award for 'Downright Awful Adaptation', Johnny Mnemonic gets my vote as a floor-wipe of Gibson's excellent short story. Coming in at number one under 'Not-so-good' I'm suggesting Solomon Kane. Being a fan of Howard's puritan adventurer I was looking forward to this adaptation. Unfortunately it just ambled across the screen as a generic fantasy film with no real feel for the source material (likewise the various Conan movies). In the 'Good' category I'd like to propose John Carter (of Mars) which, though smelling a little of finest Camembert, did stay reasonably true to its source, and was an enjoyable planetary-romance romp.2016-07-11 05:01:21
tgoyetteIt was a made for TV movie but "Legends of Earthsea" was a dreadful and disrepectful abuse of the source material. Interesting that one of my favorite adaptations is "I Robot" which wasn't loyal to its source material either.2016-07-14 18:31:31
Ironspidertgoyette - similar situation with the anime version. Having read and enjoyed the original Earthsea trilogy which I read as a teenager, and being a fan of Studio Ghibli, I watched their adaptation, Tales from Earthsea, with high hopes. Unfortunately they chose to combine various plots from the (by then) four books and the result, though beautiful to watch, didn't evoke my fondness for the original stories.2016-07-14 23:24:52
mark211@Magonian: To be fair to Lem's adaptors, the novel presents an immediate and potentially insoluble problem to film makers: when Rhea appears in the novel, it's possible to immediately grasp the emotional significance for Kelvin of just what that means (I should say that I think he protests rather too much at times - while of course the concept of communication with the planet is the core of the novel, Kelvin's relationship to Rhea is clearly a very significant plotline). In film, it's far, far harder to do because unless you've read the book, you just suddenly see a girl appear in Kelvin's room without any real idea of who the hell she is. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Soderbergh actually took the right approach in building up the relationship of Kelvin and Rhea - although it kind of backfired because it meant he had to spend a lot of time putting things into the story that had never been there. However, I should say I hated the unsubtle references to the 'Alien' franchise that I have no doubt the producers made him insert into the film (e.g. the references to 'the company' and to 'a disappeared security team' that made literally no sense). I also found the character of Snow profoundly irritating. I've forgotten the actor's name and he's not a bad actor usually, but that kind of autistic-Silicon valley type genius really got on my f***ing tits. 2016-07-15 06:29:39
mark211@Ironspider: I've not read the Barsoom novels yet, but I saw the movie and (while I enjoy your allusion to 'fromage') I thought it was pretty entertaining.2016-07-15 06:31:16

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