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Top 6 Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies from TV Shows - Serenity is #1

Julia Houston

Thursday 9 March 2006, by Webmaster

Not everyone can make the jump from TV to movies...especially with the TV shows themselves. But these made it. For some, you do have to be a fan of the show, and for others you don’t. Each movie here will take you on an adventure beyond what you could get with the weekly series.

1) Serenity (2005)

A true rarity among big-budget sci-fi films, Serenity offers insightful dialogue, thoughtful characterizations, and a ton of bang-up fun that never dumbs the movie down. A group of barely-getting-by "cargo transporters" provides the most unlikely of havens for a talented but deranged escapee from The Alliance. What secrets does she know that has an assassin hunting them, and in such an incredibly screwed-up universe, can people find the strength to even care about what’s right?

2) Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

To understand how good this Trek translation is, you really have to suffer through the first film in the Trek series...or you can just take my word on it. What was sterile and outdated becomes rich, warm, and more relevant than ever. But best of all, this is a kick-ass battle between two seasoned commanders with a bitter mutual hatred. Kirk and his crew have never been in better synch, and Khan really is the best of the Trek villains. Great space fight in the nebula, too.

3) Pennies from Heaven (1981)

This fantasy-through-musical adaptation of the BBC miniseries delivers a sense of wonder mixed with despair. Steve Martin’s dreary life constantly transports us to the lavish sets, outrageous costumes and dance! dance! dance! choreography of the 1930s. Bernadette Peters shows why Broadway loves her, and this movie shows us why we love to escape to a better place, if only for a few minutes.

4) Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Well, I saw them on TV first, though I suppose the characters really came from "shorts." Whatever. The movie is hilarious and well worth — for me, anyway — the five years it took to make. Blending stop-motion animation, fantastic voice work, and CGI, the film deals with a mutant rabbit and ruined veggies but is really about what makes us like characters on the screen. Stinking Bishop cheese rules!

5) Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Every bit as good for the TNG series as Wrath is for TOS, though a bit less edgy and more slick. From the incredible opening shot of Picard as a Borg drone to the final musical joke (with our favorite aliens, of course), this a space adventure everyone can cheer for. There are some pretty excellent jokes, too, and a deliciously evil villainess.

6) The Muppet Movie (1979)

I have no idea how a movie so technically complicated manages to feel spontaneous, nor have I a clue why none of the other Muppet movies managed the charm, wit, and fun of their debut. It’s even just a little bit sly. The film chronicles the early days of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and the rest as they make their way across the country to Hollywood, where they hope to become rich and famous. Multiple cameos help them along. My favorite? Of course, it’s Steve Martin as the rude waiter.