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Gamer Movies Suck, Right?!

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Gamer Movies Suck, Right?!

Saturday, 18 May 2013 20:23

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Written by 

    Good afternoon Tanked Matinee viewers! In case you haven't had the time to get to know me, my name is Ben and I am a gamer.  Surprising revelation, I know, but I needed to say it.  I also really love movies, hence my involvement with this site. So you would think that when these two passions are combined, it would be a buffet of fantastic and nothing could go wrong. Right?

Golden Corral
*Pictured: Buffet of Fantastic

     I have been a pretty dedicated gamer for the past two decades (i.e. damn near my whole life). Sure it started with Atari and NES, but grew over time until I amassed a huge digital library of games and got really big into tabletop gaming. Just wanted to establish some geek cred out there, that’s all. And I can tell you, as much as I truly ADORE gaming in its many facets, nothing frightens me more than when I hear tale of a new movie coming out based on one of them.  But why? Most of the time, the stories are basically written, big budgets are everywhere, and Hollywood has the technology to recreate almost anything on the big screen with a live action cast. There is no reason for me to be scared, and yet I quiver in fear every time!

     You may notice that this is a departure from my normal style of writing, but I want to branch out and start a dialogue with you, the trusted reader, as well as share my opinions on what causes most of these abominations.


I don’t think they try hard enough:

     Sometimes it seems that directors/investors take a look at a piece of Intellectual Property  (IP from here on out) and say “ HEY! That shits pretty much done, put a bow on it and It’ll sell!”

Guile

"Yes he did, in his home country of Bel….Aire. Guile was from Bel Aire"


     Sometimes a movie has everything in its court and just lacks that little bit extra that could have made it amazing.  A perfect example of this is the 2010 release of Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40000 Movie”. For those of you out of the loop, Warhammer 40k is a tabletop miniatures game that started back in the 80’s and is extremely popular around the world. As far as games go, it has one of the most in depth and expansive storylines there is and enough sci-fi imagery to make Star Trek and Star Wars collectively shit their pants. This movie had a loyal fan base from the get-go that were already used to spending a lot of money on a silly hobby (I paint plastic army men for Christ’s sake) and was written by one of the leading sci-fi authors of this time, Dan Abnett. Hell, it even had some really solid voice talent involved ( John Hurt and Terence Stamp come to mind). The only thing missing was the animation to back it up.  For a piece of IP that generates millions of dollars a year for its parent company, there is really no excuse for lackluster animation. 

 220px-TheSmurfs2011Poster

Also, god damn ultramarines….  

Other offenders:  Street Fighter… The live action one… Yeah, it’s based on a fighting game, so what? As a franchise, Street Fighter has moved its way up as a household name, known by fledgling gamers and their grandpa’s. In the mid-nineties, this series was eating entire allowances at a time. Each character had personality, rivalries, relationships, everything a good story needs. The big screen adaptation didn’t lack budget (35 million….think about that for a second), and really didn’t suffer from a terrible story. What it did lack was anyone on the staff with common sense. I enjoy Raul Julia and Jean-Claude Van Damme but their inclusion in this movie simply baffles. 

Sometimes they try too hard:

     This happens a bit too. Sometimes a company decides it wants to turn gaming IP into a movie and throw every single thing they have at it. I’m talking money, talent, writers, marketing, and yet something gets lost along the way and the true fans are left scratching their heads.  I give you, Final Fantasy: The Spirits within. Seriously, this movie had a lot going for it! Great voice acting and some of the best 3d animation you will see in a movie.

TheSpiritswithin

" It took our animators 30 million just to animate his eyes... his cold, lifeless eyes"

     Under any other name, the movie would have been pretty good. Unfortunately the creative forces behind it stuck the Final Fantasy brand on it to help guarantee its profit potential. This wouldn’t have been a bad idea really, had the movie not sucked.  As a Final Fantasy fan, it was too jarring a departure from the series norm to really work out.

Other Offenders: Honestly, I think Resident Evil falls into this category.  I always really enjoyed the Resident Evil series because it was always fucking bleak. Ammo was always scarce, and zombies were numerous.  The movies tried to make that feeling of hopelessness stick, but only for a few minutes. They let things get out of hand and opted for a different story arc.


Xena

"…but with guns…and zombies… and bio-weapons"


Last but not least, please ban Uwe Boll from making movies.

    Not every video game movie is bad, but every video game movie Uwe Boll makes is bad. He has made big screen adaptations of MANY games including:

House of the Dead
Alone in the Dark
Alone in the Dark 2
Bloodrayne
Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance (No piggy squeels here!)
Bloodrayne : The Third Reich
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Postal
Farcry

    Now you may be saying to the computer screen “FUCK YOU BEN! ________ was a great film!” and while I appreciate your enthusiasm, you are wrong. This is what the comment section is for, folks.


     Boll’s game adaptations have gotten universal disdain from the greater media and fans alike.  And yet somehow, he keeps getting work.  Let us put things into a bit of perspective: I work as a printer. People pay me to print things they want. If I print something and the customer doesn’t buy it, my company loses money and my job is in jeopardy. If it is well known that everything I print is shit and I constantly make a failing project, I LOSE MY DAMN JOB! So maybe we can all just agree to fire the guy.

BOll

"I mean.. he did write “Auschwitz”… this would be apt."


     Of course, Boll will keep getting work as long as money flows to him from whatever sources has. And, in fairness, the man does alot of other projects (some of which are actually decent), but is it too much to ask that someone take away some game rights?

Is there Hope?

    Yes! Of course there is always hope. As I touched on in my article about Free Comic Book Day, nerd-culture movies are making the mainstream. As the price of high quality graphics goes down, on screen adaptations of popular videogames become more plausible. I also imagine that crowd funded projects (think Kickstarter) will eventually catch up, and independent directors will be able to make their passion for games come to life.  I don’t want you to think that I hate all game based movies, I most certainly do not! Personally, even some game movies that aren’t critically acclaimed, I find a lot of entertainment in.  Movies like Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, or Final Fantasy Advent Children aren’t blockbuster hits, but are really enjoyable on their own merits.

     The whole point of this article is to spark discussion. I won’t pretend that I am the authority on these things, but I wanted to share my opinion and get yours in return.  So use the comments section below to tell me what you think. What games do you think would make good big-screen showings? What do you think is the biggest hurdle the movie industry faces when trying to adapt game IP to a movie?  Tell me what you think!

 

Read 1185 times Last modified on Saturday, 18 May 2013 21:29

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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