So, a popularity contest. I do not watch many movies . . . I just don’t ever seem to get to it . . . and I don’t go out of my way to watch adaptations. Nearly always, I prefer the book. The only real exception I can think of is The Hunt for Red October, where the movie is dramatically better than the book because:
a) Sean Connery
b) pacing is more taut in the movie
c) Sean Connery
d) Tom Clancy overwrites in terms of detail and isn’t that great at description and if you take all that away and just have images plus dialogue, you get a better product.
e) Also, Sean Connery
Of course, The Hunt for Red October isn’t an SF story. I know which SF adaptation I’ve liked best in the past decade or so. As I said, I’m choosing from a small subset of SF movies made. But I really liked The Martian as a movie — I thought it was ALMOST as good as the book.
Let’s see what BookBub picks out …
- The Martian. Yep. I am just another sheep following this herd
- Arrival by Ted Chiang. Oh, was there an adaptation? I didn’t know that. Chiang is a very skilled writer; if the adaptation stayed close to his original story, I bet it was indeed very good.
- Ender’s Game. Now come on. That was a terrible adaptation. It lost almost everything good about the book.
- Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey. Somebody did an adaptation, really? How ambitious of someone. Oh, this is The Expanse! I’ve at least heard of that tv show. I didn’t realize it was drawn from this novel. If any of you have watched The Expanse, how is it?
- Jurassic Park. Sure, okay, the movie was good. I mean, great special effects. All the stupidly unbelievable science is probably just as stupidly unbelievable in both the book and the movie.
Several others at the link. The other one I’ve watched and thought was really quite excellent was Guardians of the Galaxy. I didn’t realize it was based on a comic book.
I’m a bit surprised not to see Galaxy Quest here. Personally I think I’d count it as an adaptation of Star Trek and put it right up at the top.