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Four Unfaithful Sci-Fi Book Adaptations That Resulted In Great Sci-Fi Films

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StarshipWhen it comes to movie adaptations of books, 100% faithful isn’t always a good thing, nor is unfaithful necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes a slavishly faithful transfer from a book results in a cinematic mess, whereas a film that only uses the source material as a leaping-off point can generate something fun or fascinating it its own right. Consider Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers, which ended up satirizing many of the themes and concepts Robert Heinlein addressed with a straight face in his 1959 novel. As a result, Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is by no means a faithful adaptation of Heinlein’s, but it is undeniably entertaining in its own right.

In honor of Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers having just celebrated an anniversary, we decided to look back at some of our favorite unfaithful science fiction book adaptations that nevertheless turned out just fine.

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Minority Report TV Series Finds A Home And Brings Big Changes

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minority reportOne of television’s current favorite trends is spinning feature films into series, and shows like FX’s Fargo have proven how this concept can be a success. Time will tell for the roughly 3,000 other similar projects currently in development. One of those, a longform sequel to Steven Spielberg’s 2002 thriller Minority Report, has been in development over the past few weeks, and Fox is the network that beat all the others to drop a bunch of money into the project’s lap. Say goodbye to dreams of weighty cable fare everyone, if you ever even had them in the first place.

To specify things, Fox didn’t actually order Minority Report to series, but they shelled out major coin for a put-pilot commitment, which means they’re required to air the series’ pilot or pay a very stiff penalty should they break that contract. It’s basically saying they’re either definitely going to officially order it soon, or they’re perfectly comfortable with hemorrhaging money on a whim. We wouldn’t be surprised by either choice. We also wouldn’t be surprised if they change the name to Future Crime Unit and this becomes a procedural.

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Steven Spielberg Developing A Minority Report TV Series From Godzilla Writer

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MinorityYou know who Steven Spielberg is. He’s the filmmaker responsible for some of the most celebrated, beloved movies of the last 40 years. His resume is like a laundry list of great films, from Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark, all he way up to Schindler’s List and Lincoln. He also has an obvious soft spot for science fiction, with the likes of E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park, and so many more. You know him via his movies, and though he still remains active as a film director, he’s been busy in the television realm lately as well, producing shows like CBS’ Extant. And now these two sides of his career are about to collide, as he plans to bring one of his fan favorite sci-fi films, Minority Report, to the small screen as a continuing series.

Based on Philip K. Dick’s short story of the same name, The Wrap reports that Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is working to produce a TV serial around the 2002, Tom Cruise-starring film. To further this end, they’ve also reportedly hired Godzilla writer Max Borenstein. While that first part is totally exciting, the last part is rather meh. We loved Godzilla, but more for the monster and the spectacle, not for the story, writing, or characters, which all left much to be desired. Lets just say that the writing is not the strongest element of the film.

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7 Sci-Fi Movies To Watch After You See Edge Of Tomorrow

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Edge of TomorrowThis weekend saw the release of mega-star Tom Cruise’s latest science fiction actioner, Edge of Tomorrow. From the box office numbers, not nearly as many of you went to see is as should have since it only managed third place (though it did top $100 million worldwide, so there’s hope). We here at GFR are in total agreement that it is one of the best movies of the summer, a fantastic mix of action, dark humor, invading aliens, and Tom Cruise dying in a many, many ways. Before you read on, you should step away from your computer and go watch this movie. Maybe buy an extra ticket while you’re at it, just to tell Hollywood that they need to keep making movies like this. Doug Liman’s film is one that wears its influences on its sleeve. As you watch, you notice a variety of scenes and elements that definitely call to mind other notable genre movies. In that spirit, we’ve put together a list of movies to watch, or most likely re-watch, after you see Edge of Tomorrow repeatedly.

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Discovery Channel’s DNews Names Their Top Five Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time

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The argument over the greatest science fiction movie of all time is a constant, heated debate among genre fans. There are always a few staples, including the likes of Star Wars, The Matrix, and War of the Worlds. Recently, the Discovery Channel’s DNews YouTube Channel explored some of the cinematic options in one of their latest videos, arriving on a top five. The results might just surprise you.

Host Anthony Carboni sat down with filmmaker and Film Riot host, Ryan Connolly, to talk about their top sci-fi movies. While the discussion was purely anecdotal, Carboni injected how the films link to real world situations and technology. The conversation, not only circled around the movies that form the core of the genre, but also how science fiction influenced hard science and the real world.

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(Minority) Report Shows Brain Scans May Identify Repeat Criminals

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Minority

It’s both humbling and disconcerting to know that while I think I’m telling my brain to stop wanting me to eat another peanut butter and bacon jam sandwich, my brain could have already told anyone listening that I’m an overeater and that I would probably do anything for another sandwich. I doubt I’d commit a crime, but maybe…

It turns out our brains may also play stool pigeon by ratting out which of us may be prone to repeated criminal behavior, as preliminary tests have shown, with results published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Kent Kiehl of the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, New Mexico and a team of neuroscientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of 96 prisoners just prior to getting out of jail. The scan focused on the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), located at the front of the brain. It’s involved in executive functioning and some motor control, and so the test surveyed the prisoners as they made quick decisions while inhibiting impulsive reactions.

Four years later, Kiehl and his team concluded that even after other risk factors were accounted for, it appeared that men with lower ACC activity had a 2.6-fold higher rate of rearrest in all criminal activity, and a 4.3-fold higher rate in strictly non-violent crimes. That’s a pretty solid connection, but of course it’s anything but conclusive. As Kiehl plainly states, “This isn’t ready for prime time.”

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