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

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

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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Four Sci-Fi Movies You Might Not Remember Were Set During Christmas

XmasElbaSince their inception, movies have loved to use holidays as a backdrop to the stories they tell. It makes sense. Celebrated by large swathes of the population, their inclusion lends an air of commonality to the proceedings, a sense that the people on screen are not so different from you the viewer. Each holiday comes with its own set of easily recognizable tropes, and many bring with them their own set of complications and problems to add layers to a narrative. How many times have we watched a family gathering set on Thanksgiving, where people not usually in the same room with one another come to blows, real or metaphorical, when forced into close proximity?

Christmas, being the biggest kid on the holiday block, has easily amassed the greatest number of holiday-themed movies, and science fiction is not immune from taking part in the cinematic festivities. In honor of December 25 rolling around once again, we decided to put together a collection of some of our favorite sc-fi you might not remember unfolded during this festive season. Did we miss any of your favorite sci-fi holiday gems?


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The Matrix, Donnie Darko, And More Get Classy With Fake Criterion Covers

CriterionIf you’re not a die-hard cinephile, you might know know what “the Criterion Collection” is. The high-end Blu-ray and DVD publisher releases “important classic and contemporary films.” A quick survey of their new and coming soon listings include titles like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, and Richard Linklater’s Slacker. Being a high-falutin’ line as they are, they don’t have nearly as many science fiction films represented as they should. Artist Peter Stults decided to remedy that.

Okay, so he can’t actually make Criterion give fancy-schmancy new releases to flicks like The Matrix and Starship Troopers…but he can ape the visual style of Criterion’s cover art to show what those hypothetical Blu-rays might look like. For instance, check out this classy image that could adorn a Donnie Darko Criterion version. Like many Criterion releases, it’s evocative and symbolic, latching on to important visual elements from the film, in this case the pages from Roberta Sparrow’s The Philosophy of Time Travel.


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Exit Stage Left: The Ten Best Sci-Fi Movie Endings Of All Time

EmpireGeek royalty Joss Whedon stirred the pot quite a bit this week by criticizing the ending of arguably the best Star Wars movie of all time, The Empire Strikes Back. His problem with it was that he didn’t like the cliffhanger aspect that left many things unresolved. Whedon said, “I go to movies expecting to have a whole experience. If I want a movie that doesn’t end I’ll go to a French movie. That’s a betrayal of trust to me. A movie has to be complete within itself, it can’t just build off the first one or play variations.”

Aside from that criticism being kind of odd coming from a master of TV cliffhangers, Whedon’s argument has stirred up many fans who love Empire precisely because of its dark, unresolved ending. For the second film of a planned trilogy, it makes sense to end on an ominous down note, thus setting the stakes for the third film to follow. But Whedon’s comments got us thinking: what makes for a truly great ending? We’ll try to answer that question below, with our picks for the Ten Best Science Fiction Movie Endings of All Time.

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Beautiful Fan Made Posters For Most Of Your Favorite Movies

Blade RunnerFan art, taken as a whole, is a hit or miss proposition most days. There are some pieces that you look at and know immediately why this person is not making art for movies in a professional capacity. But then there are the ones you look at and ask yourself, “why the hell doesn’t the movie studio just use this instead of paying some hack to make a poster where the main character stands with his back to you?” There are a lot of terrible movie posters out there for great, great movies, and for every one of those, someone invariably seems to have made of something incredibly beautiful, as if to say, “see, you poster didn’t have to suck.” Such is the case with this new gallery of fan made posters for a grip of wonderful science fiction films, classic, recent, and otherwise.

Erupting from the mind of Adam Rabalais, these posters are absolutely freaking gorgeous. (Follow the link to check out even more fantastic attempts for non-sci-fi movies, if you’re into that sort of thing.) His choice of pictures are subtle and understated, but totally capture the feel of the films in a way that you rarely, if ever, get from the cluttered, tech heavy offerings you see from most movie studios. He actually makes you feel like this is an art form rather than manufacturing throwaway chunks of movie marketing. These make me want to see movies, most posters don’t.

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