One SF film that I thoroughly enjoyed was Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element." It shows off a carefully crafted and detailed world of the future. Some of the plotline is a bit weak, but the visual imagery is sufficiently stunning (highly colourful) to let one overlook such issues. Definitely a French film.
The novelization, on the other hand, seemed to me to be extremely weak, treating the story as an excessively tongue-in-cheek space opera. It is true that the story actually includes opera as a significant matter, but that is certainly different from Space Opera. There's a difference between "sly tongue in cheek" and heading all the way to Pythonesque ridiculousness.
It's odd; it's quirky; it's rather funny. " Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy!"
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