Friday, February 19, 2010

When Good Adaptations Happen

It must happen sometimes, right?! Bookmonkey had a cool post today praising three fine films that did justice to their source material. I racked my brains for three more in my sci-fi baliwick. You know, it was not that easy? Either my standards are too high or this is a very tall order. I guess what a book or comic can achieve inside the reader's imagination will always remain beyond the limits of film. But they can get close!
My buddy Ron says L.A. Confidential is tops as an adaptation.
I have my suspicions that 'Enemy Mine' is a good one, but I've yet to read Barry Longyear's original story. Likewise, I can't be sure about 'Bicentennial Man', but I sure liked that.
'Millenium' is great but the budget required to really do justice to John Varley's novel with the Titanic's rusting hulk, Roman legions, mid-air collisions, cyborgs and a vast time machine just wasn't there. Nobody's fault really. Gotta try again someday. So I choose...

3. DUNE- the David Lynch one, weird as it is, is still pretty good. The John Harrison epic version comes closer in terms of scope and detail, but damned if I didn't wish Lynch's cast had starred in it. Maybe some technical genius can make that happen for me someday, smushing the two together in a computer somehow and enhancing them both. A miniseries is probably the MINIMUM requirement to do justice to most books, and certainly to Dune.

2. WATCHMEN- I can name a guy who disagrees, and if the author isn't on your side, well... that hurts my case. A lot. Alan Moore went on record that he'd never go to see it. Seems like a shame, 'cause it was pretty much what I saw in the comic brought to life. No pirate comic, no squid, but otherwise... pretty frickin' sweet.

1. STARSHIP TROOPERS- I wonder if the ones I like are the ones the authors wouldn't? He's not around to ask, but I have a sneaking suspicion Heinlein might not have approved, either. But, then again, I know he liked nudity! And since Heinlein's Dizzy was male, I prefer Verhoven's version of her. For that matter, I prefered Verhoven's cynical view of war, soldiering, and patriotism to Heinlein's entirely sincere take on those subjects... as a lover, not a fighter I'm pretty glad I have the right to vote even though I'm not willing to kill to defend abstractions like my 'rights'. Contrariwise, I'm willing to kill bugs... because the only good bug is a dead bug.


The Doc said...

Oooh, you can name me if you want to! IT IS I WHO DISLIKES THE WATCHMEN MOVIE!

Mike The Bold said...

Fie upon thee! Whyever so?