The Books on Film

THE BOOKS ON – Poll

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BOOKS ON FILM – Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide

I like books.  I like film.  I like books on film…

Leonard-Maltins-Movie-and-Video-Guide-1994

I used to call this my bible.  I’d buy an update every year or every two years.  The perfect reference guide for a film buff.  At the time my internet access was mostly via the university computer rooms, so this was great to have around.  The synopsis/reviews were concise, accurate and sometimes funny and it was a book that was a great guide and a fun thing to dip into randomly.

Of course, today, it’s unnecessary, with instant internet access almost anywhere.  Free.  Constantly updated.  With better search functions.  But way back then it was the perfect book for me.  I’m surprised it’s still around, but part of me is glad is it.

~ DUG.

Maltin

THE BOOKS ON FILM – The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made (David Hughes)

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As a movie/SF buff, I’m also a big fan of the road not taken.  I even have my own blog on Unmade SF, so this was the perfect book for me.

The title is great for selling the book.  It’s strong, to the point and promises knowledge of potential screen gems and the glee of frustration at what was lost.  It’s not a very realistic title, however.  Even if people could agree on whether a SF film was good or bad, execution is important.  Some great ideas are ruined, and bad ideas can turn out great.  Also, Hughes goes for completeness on the topics so some of the films discussed aren’t so great and he sometimes gets a little caught up on the development of films that were made.

The title aside, Hughes completeness is a blessing and a curse.  If do a search of the best film never made online you get list after list which combine details into simple list entries.  “The film was going to star X and be directed by Y with FX by Z” when X left the project before Y was signed and Z was consulted by the project was shelved before he was hired.  It’s that flow that Hughes address.  His well researched chapters chronologically address the development of films and their failure (and sometimes replacement).  It’s far more accurate and interesting than the simple amalgam of facts.  However, it does lead to rambling chapters, sometimes jumping between competing projects in the same franchise.  A problem when it comes to reading the book but a necessary evil when presenting the facts.

Overall, The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made isn’t the simple read that the title promises, but a complex exploration of the struggles to get sci-fi films made; a book that pays off if you’re willing to put in the effort.

~ DUG.

Other Science Fiction Posts.

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