Thursday, June 16, 2005

Movie Games and Game Movies

Originally posted at

I wrote this first bit as a comment to Aric’s “Jaws Unleashed” post below. I’m pulling it out here to try to generate some chatter:

Sadly, Jaws Unleashed is part of a larger pattern in current games of mining older movies for their videogamability. Witness The Godfather, The Warriors, The Great Escape, Scarface, and From Russia With Love. I'm genuinely excited about the latter, and don't give enough of a shit about the Warriors to feel one way or the other. Scarface can only be less fun than GTA Vice City, and turning The Godfather into a video game is an abomination unto the Lord.

Let's make some predictions. What old movies will be turned into video games? I'm asking for serious predictions, so save "Ernest Scared Stupid" for another time.

The French Connection
Dirty Harry or The Good the Bad and the Ugly or The Outlaw Josey Wales

So, whaddaya think, WayIPlayers?

On a related note, I read on 1up the other day that German director Uwe Boll has been tapped to direct a film based on the hyperviolent Postal series of PC games. Boll is the man responsible (liable?) for the awful adaptations of video games House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark (the latter a Christian Slater / Tara Reid vehicle!).

A look at his upcoming filmography is instructive: Bloodrayne, Dungeon Seige, Fear Effect, Far Cry. Why, it seems that Boll is in a race with Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, Alien vs. Predator) for who can make the most shitty movies based on video games.

Last year Warner Bros. announced a new policy in which a video game company could be penalized for “damaging the brand” if the game based on a movie gets poor reviews. This was supposedly in reaction to the deservedly bad reviews of Enter the Matrix and Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (never mind that Tomb Raider was Eidos’ brand to begin with). What if the game companies held movie studios to the same standards? Are there any video game movies that really HELPED their brands? Mortal Kombat, maybe. Tomb Raider, maybe. Wait, oh yeah: Pokémon.

Also in the news this week: Microsoft has been shopping around the Halo movie with a stipulation that the studio that produces it must stick to Bungie’s “Bible” of plot and character for the franchise. This is a savvy move on Bungie’s part — here’s hoping the stipulation stands and that the film doesn’t land in Uwe or Paul WS’s inbox.

UPDATE: When I was looking for video-game-based movies on IMDB, I found a lot that are in the works that I didn’t know about. Here’s a list of those, for you all to shake your head over: Carmen Sandiego, Crazy Taxi (what?), Deus Ex, Doom, Driver, Metroid, Silent Hill, Spy Hunter, Tekken.

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