Everyone’s heard that Peter Jackson is making a Halo movie, that Quinten Tarantino is not making a Half Life movie (as of now), and that Uwe Boll is going to knock Postal and Farcry clear into the worst 100. At least everyone would expect Postal to make a crappy movie no matter who directed it. Our question to you is:
What’s the harm in making (Video Game) Movies?
That is definitely a double-edged question (120.0 dps with Mana Burn), the first part pertains to movies like the last two mentioned above, would many people really care if a crappy Postal or Farcry movie is made? Certainly the later is a much better game, but is anyone so attached to the generic first-person shooter haracters and plot of it that a movie practically writes itself? You can’t seriously think so, it took hollywood forty years to turn out most beloved fantasy setting into three fantastic movies (one of which being the best movie of all time). The damage comes when you touch something exquisite like Half Life, where the game played more like a movie then any other at the time, due at least partially to the introduction of perfectly executed scripted sequences. You never saw two Doom demons greet each other in the hallways beneath the martian surface, probably because when they turned to the side they became invisible. Scripted sequences added new life and narrative to a previously stale medium, but therein lies another point, if the game played so much like a movie what is the merit in reproducing that? I guess we do remake movies and tv shows enough, why not remake these in full cinematic glory?
My feeling on the topic is that everything stems from potential. Now we see the other part of this weeks inquisition; what is a franchises potential for making a good movie? If the ideas don’t translate well into the cinematic medium, then we shouldn’t give much thought to it if someone stupidly decides to make the movie. This brings me to the real kicker, that someone somewhere is working on a World of Warcraft movie. (as revealed in an old post) Certainly the vast world and millions of players in WoW support that the game has a solid foundation of story, interesting characters, and a rich setting. These all make for the potential to create a fantastic movie, but how difficult must it be to get things just right? Peter Jackson most likely sold some part of his eternal being to execute what he did so well in any one lifetime. PJ was an anomaly, a rarity, and a genius when it comes to Lord of the Rings. He’d been a fan for years, but was not afraid to change things. He brought in other people like himself, fans who also knew how to make a good movie. We would be living in a perfect world were a team like that behind every interperative movie based on a pre-existing property.
The image above is shown because of my fears and desires intermingling. Ever since I read the second Wheel of Time book I’ve wanted to experience it in a movie, but the fact that there are over nine other books to deal with deters me from thinking this for too long. The series simply has too much story potential to be pulled off in a satisfactory way, unless of course a team like Peter Jackson’s pools together a movie budget to produce a tv show, then we’ll talk business.
I leave you with the above question, and a tangent: A fascinating trailer for an upcoming movie based on a comic book (that is a fictionalization based on historical dramatizations of actual events that someone wrote about happening), I am of course talking about the trailer for 300. I’ve heard mixed things about the comic, but the trailer is downright breathtaking.