23 April 2009

Video Games as Movies

The new millennium has seen a passing interest in turning video games in to movies into an obsession, even if they don’t work. What was a novel idea once (The Last Starfighter, Super Mario Bros) has become more common place than turning comics in to moves, or remaking an old television series, and the finished products are usually not worth watching. Tomb Raider survives on little more than the power of Angelina Jolie’s spectacular pulchritude, while Resident Evil survives predominantly on Milla Jovovich’s zombie killing sexiness. But what the hell was Silent Hill about? And Cube? It was nothing like Q*bert.

Max Payne (2008)
Mark Wahlberg is Max Payne, a cop looking for the killer of his wife and child, in this cliched video game adaptation. A dull script, dreary direction, and Mark Wahlberg (unbelievable in any role where he is not playing an idiot) result in a very bad copy of Sin City.

Postal (2008)
Uwe Boll’s films are like drinking alcohol or dating a surprise transsexual. At the start they seem okay, but eventually you pass out and wake up with a bad taste in your mouth, swearing to never go near one again. Postal (one of Boll's many movies based on a video game) is deliberately gross and politically incorrect. It starts out like it is going to be quite clever but, of course, it isn’t. It's bolls.

OneChanbara (aka Chanbara Beauty) (2008)
A bikini wearing, sword wielding cowgirl teams with a leather clad, gun toting hottie to stop a demented schoolgirl, an evil scientist, and their marauding zombies. The story and acting are minimal, but the action and blood is plentiful (just like the video game it is based on), and the finished product is gloriously likeable. Those wacky Japanese.

Doom (2005)
Even the greatest video game ever does not guarantee a great film. Doom the movie is carried by the charisma of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, some video game referencing camera work, and the BFG9000. A pity.

Super Mario Brothers (1993)
Dennis Hopper, Bob Hoskins, and John Leguizamo make this film much more lunatic than the game ever was. And the game had plumbers on mushrooms.

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