Sunday, October 21, 2012

New and Noteworthy (Unfilmable SF Movies, Spy Movies, Futurism)

In today's edition:

* io9 on eleven "unfilmable" science fiction and fantasy books that somehow did get filmed.

This list should really have been confined to movies that have already been released, The Host and Ender's Game excised to bring it down to a mere nine. (I might point out, too, that two more are Alan Moore graphic novels, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, not insignificant given that while these are worthy works, the challenges of adapting a comic with its visuals are not quite the same as those of adapting a purely verbal text.)

As far as the appended opinions go, no one will be surprised by the treatment of the Lord of the Rings cycle as a success and Johnny Mnemonic as a failure, though I, for one, didn't even know about the existence of a 1980 TV movie version of The Lathe of Heaven. (Other personal thoughts: A Scanner Darkly was as underwhelming as the rest of Richard Linklater's work, but I enjoyed both of the films based on Moore's work - which I regard as high points of the post-2000 superhero film boom, Watchmen in particular greatly exceeding my expectations, even as a big fan of both works.)

* Andrew O'Hehir's review of Taken 2 in Salon, which astutely situates the recent hit within the history of the spy film (though I disagree regarding The Eiger Sanction, which, while a problematic adaptation, did not strike me as being quite so unfaithful to Trevanian's novel).

* And finally, from Henry Adams at the Smithsonian Magazine's blog, a consideration of the continuing influence of Futurism.

Alan Moore on Before Watchmen
2/26/12
A History of the Spy Story, Part II: The Life of a Genre
2/6/12
A History of the Spy Story, Part I: The Birth of a Genre
2/1/12

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