Monday, December 22, 2008

Why Video Game movies suck…

By Redd (courtesy http://www.magmablizzard.blogspot.com/)

Anyone who’s not an accountant for any of the major studios (or Uwe Boll) can tell you that the quality of Video Game based films is not something most people look forward to in a film (B-movie or otherwise). While there are several people (like Roger Ebert) who claim that video games are not a part of the art community or art in general, the real reasons for this diminished quality in video game adaptations deals more with the age of the video game medium itself.

Think about it, how long did it take to make a good Batman film that was true to the tone of an actual Batman comic book?

How long did it take to make a film like The Dark Knight that was actually true to the source material? Well, it would be seventy years if you count from the beginning of the Batman comics as a whole, or twenty years starting from The Dark Knight Returns.

The sheer critical failure of video game related films deals more with the esoteric quality of video games in the psyche of older film executives who often are uninformed of the content of the video games they are adapting.

Video games perceived in the media are the modern day equivalent of an old episode of Dragnet attempting to negatively portray drug use by showing a “juvenile delinquent” attempting to climb a wall as a side effect of “the uppers”. The sheer uninformed status of these directors and studio executives is the main cause for the abuse most of these video game franchises receive.

To use comic books as another example, look at the successes of films like 300 and Sin City and how the respected directors felt about the source material. Both Zack Snyder and Robert Rodriguez really attempted to treat the source material with respect and their films flourished due to that integrity, which is ironic, considering the changes Frank Miller made to his interpretation of The Spirit.

This is not to say that video games as a whole should not be changed for the better. A lot of video games do not really have any character development due to the dependence on the player’s interaction with the game’s characters and a good screenwriter can find a way to develop these characters. But at the same time, if I said I was going to make an adaptation of X-Men that had nothing to do with any of the original comic book characters, and starred Milla Jovovich as a stand alone new main character, I am going to have a film that the respected fanboys and X-Men enthusiasts are going to hate (more than Brett Ratner’s film, that’s for sure).

6 comments:

Midwest Gamer Podcast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Midwest Gamer Podcast said...

good observation! It's definitely going to take film makers with a real passion for games to make truly great film adaptations.

Matt (MWG)

www.midwestgamerblog.blogspot.com

OverlordStrider said...

saw this blog on a profile link...nice post! Following this blog now....

-OverlordStrider-

Hideo said...

I agree. Video game films are too profit-motivated. It seems that comic book films fell victim to that same pit-fall, but passion projects seem to permeate that market now. Hopefully the mentality of passion and interest takes hold soon enough. I'd like to think Doom and the latest Resident Evil films were a cautionary tale to those who venture into the field of video game adaptations.

(I'm not even going to dicuss the work of Uwe Boll...)


Aside from that. Great blog. I'll be following it intently from now on!

Matt-suzaka said...

The general public doesn't have respect for games as an art form just yet like with how comics were treated as cheesy kids stuff over the years. It usually takes a successful well made film to show that if you do things correctly and show the source material some respect you can actually make a decent product that the masses will enjoy along with a majority of us fan boys. And like you said with comic movies outside of Donner's Superman were not done very well up until Blade and X-Men came out. And that is when Hollywood took notice of the medium, and then milked it for all it's worth. And I'm fine with that as long as most of the films are decent. I do think that Silent Hill is a step in the right direction...a lot of people hate on it and yes the story is weak and the dialogue is God awful, but it is a beautifully shot film with a sense of style that shows that the filmmakers tried to make a reasonably respectful video game movie. Not a great movie, but at least it's better than Double Dragon.

Eleni said...

Old post, but I just found this blog so it's new to me...

That's an interesting point that video game-based movies may be so bad because video games are a relatively new medium, and the right people who could do justice to the material simply haven't come along yet. I hadn't considered that before. I wrote my own thoughts on the sad quality of video game-based movies last summer:
http://rpgcalledlife.blogspot.com/2008/07/lost-planet-movie.html