Archive for Movies

Transformers, or “40 Foot Tall Robots Blowin’ Shit Up”

Posted in Reviews & Previews with tags on June 29, 2009 by Danny Methane

So, this weekend I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Yeah, me and the rest of America.

$201 Million dollars in $5 days? That’s just friggin’ ridiculous. Continue reading

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It Would Be Illogical….

Posted in Reviews & Previews with tags on May 10, 2009 by Danny Methane

This is a review of the new Star Trek film. Please note, I had not watched an episode of Star Trek before seeing this film. It’ll be riddled with what Star Trek was to me for the years leading up to me seeing the film: cheesy, space-related one-liners.

So, without having any prior interest or knowledge of Star Trek (above the standard, Kirk says “beam me up Scottie’, Spock says “It would be illogical”, and Bones says, “I’m a doctor, not a _____”) I threw down $13.50 to see the new Star Trek film in IMAX (actually $27.00, since I bought my friend a ticket as well.)

Let me just say, it was damn well the best $30 I’ve ever spent.

After receiving a 96% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes (and a few A+++++++++ would watch again’s from eBay), I have to say, this film and it’s critiques are right on cue.

Slight spoilers to follow.

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HOW video game movies don’t work #2 – Adapting the right games the wrong way

Posted in Rants and Raves with tags , on April 21, 2009 by Just Zach

In my “Video Game Movies Don’t Work” series thus far, I’ve tried to point out that films based on video games don’t work, and attempt to explain the many reasons why this is so. Today I cover reason #2 ‘How’ they don’t work… adapting a good property in the wrong manner.

1. The wrong games get adapted.
2. The right games get adapted the wrong way.
3. Inferior talent behind or in front of the screen.
4. It’s just a plain bad movie.

Even if a studio manages to grab a good license ripe for the film treatment, it doesn’t mean they’re going to do it right. Quite a few films with potential were turned into rubbish by film studios not understanding what they were working with. Continue reading

HOW video game movies don’t work #1 – Adapting the wrong games.

Posted in Geek-Out, Rants and Raves with tags , , on March 24, 2009 by Just Zach

There are fewer labels in cinema that have a more negative connotation than ‘video game movie’. And this breaks my heart. It doesn’t need to be that way. While not every game movie released has been terrible, not a single big-budget adaptation has been received with high regard by critics and filmgoers alike. It’s easier to please the masses than Ebert and Roeper, sure, but it’s certainly not impossible to do both. One of the best and least-likely film adaptations of recent times went on to spawn a massive franchise and make a cultural phenomenon out of it’s subject matter. And the folks behind that are trying to recreate that magic with one of my favorite games. I’m hopeful that this interactive medium can make it’s successful mark upon the world of film.

It has yet to do so, however.

Because it seems that I didn’t make this point clearly enough in my last entry on the subject… I want a game to movie adaptation to succeed. I think it can. I think it will. I just think we’ve yet to really see one that pleases on all fronts. I’ll explain why I think this is the case a little latter on, but for now allow me to introduce the criteria for failure, as it were.

1. The wrong games get adapted.
2. The right games get adapted the wrong way.
3. Inferior talent behind or in front of the screen.
4. It’s just a plain bad movie.

In my humble opinion, every video-game movie adaptation falls into at least of these traps.

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Early Edition: Episode 2 – Watchmen

Posted in Actual News, Geek-Out, Rants and Raves with tags , , , on March 15, 2009 by Just Zach

Now with half the line flubs!  Twice as long… for her pleasure.  It says ‘Just Action News’, so you know it’s good.

Across the Uselessverse

Posted in Rants and Raves with tags , on March 12, 2009 by Just Zach

If you liked this movie (Dan and Katie omitted, as I’m contractually obligated to still like them) then I officially disown you as a fan, as a reader, as a friend, as a fellow person. This movie had absolutely zero reason to exist, and yet scores of people I know seem to love the damn thing as if it actually achieved anything.

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Video Game movies don’t work.

Posted in Rants and Raves with tags , , on March 9, 2009 by Just Zach

Video game movies don’t work.  I’m not saying it’s not possible given the right circumstances, just that we have yet (and I personally doubt we’re ever) to see a movie really do justice to it’s source material and be objectively good while doing it.

Film is passive.  It’s a very cool medium (definitions 5-11).  You, as the viewer, simply go along for the ride.  Games are a little different.  You’re still pretty much set in the narrative for what it is, but the minor details and overall pace are the user’s to set.  Games, as a general rule (although plenty of titles break this mold) tell the meatiest bits of their story in cutscenes- small chunks of pre-rendered video to the uniniated.  Part of the story is in cutscenes, part of the story emerges in gameplay.  Things happen on the player’s time.  That allows games to be immersive in a manner film is hard pressed to match sometimes.  Certain details, methods of storytelling, and the like have to be done in such a way as to have an open-ended type pacing.  This is all well and good for a 20 hour game; something you can play on your own time.  Film is limited so much more by the march of time.  2 1/2 is pushing the limit of most audiance members’ patience.  You see the problem here?

Things have to be cut in order to be a film.  I understand that.  Be it characterization or plot points or whatever, you have to trim a bit.  But what usually remains makes a disjointed mess on-screen.

Let’s check a line up, shall we?

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