Since this is the internet, I’m going to make brash judgments and criticize something that hasn’t even come out yet even though I have nothing really to go on other than a short trailer. “Pixels” with Kevin James & Adam Sandler. Video game movies have never really gone over well, starting with Mario Bros. to Tomb Raider to Resident Evil to Doom. I personally thought the first Resident Evil wasn’t TOO terrible just as a movie itself, but then again I also liked Mortal Kombat in a MST3K sort of “so bad it’s good” movie. I mean, at least Mortal Kombat was exactly what the game was about; fighting. I also enjoyed Silent Hill, but from a more filmmaker perspective than anything else. Or perhaps, Max Payne, as in “how much pain you’ll be in watching this film? MAXIMUM.”
But in the world of video game movies, nobody holds a torch to Uwe Boll. He’s a german “filmmaker” which is a term I use loosely in this sense, who has a quite impressive backlog of video game filmography:
- House of the Dead
- Alone in the Dark 1 & 2
- Bloodrayne 1-3 and a planned 4th installment
- In the name of the King; a Dungeon Siege Tale
- Far Cry
- Postal (and a planned but scrapped sequel)
- Planned Zombie Massacre film
Uwe Boll is the M. Night Shaymalayn of video game films. So his record notwithstanding, yet let’s not discount it either, why bother continue to make video game films? But Pixels isn’t a video game film. It’s a film about video games (BASED ON A 10 YEAR OLD FUTURAMA SEGMENT, but that’s already been said to death). And what’s worse is the idea that apparently films based on video games are terrible, so instead they’ll just make a movie literally about video games themselves. Why is it so hard to adapt something of one medium into the medium of another? Books to film, stage shows to film, games to film, even newer film adaptations of old films for god sakes. I understand that it’s going to have some hiccups, simply because one medium is different from another, but we should be able to be competent enough to make something decent or at the best mediocre, shouldn’t we? Have you watched any of Boll’s films? Have you sincerely sat down and watched House of the Dead? It takes place at a rave on an island which apparently Sega is hosting, but there’s only like 100 people there even though it’s supposed to be tons of people, and for some reason there’s zombies.
And not even stuff from the games. Just straight up zombies, and different types of zombies. Some can swim, some can jump. It doesn’t matter. Accuracy or even straight up legitimate sense goes straight out the window with this mans films. “Who cares?!” Boll screams from atop his 30 foot bed made of solid gold while smoking a cigar inside a cigar, “Those dirty nerds will still watch it! MUAHAHAHAHA!”. At least Mortal Kombat tried to be the source material. It’s a game about fighting, and it’s a movie about fighting. Even to some extent, the Silent Hill & Resident Evil films (at least the first two resident evil films) were somewhat connected to their gaming counterparts. And to play devils advocate, in the mans defense, perhaps his entire problem is the source material he’s trying to use. Old console games and light gun arcade games. I mean, what’s he gonna make a film out of next? A dark gritty crime noire of Pacman that starts when he meets Miss Pacman?
“They say bein’ a detective is about chasin’ down bad guys and gettin’ the money. Well I’ve been chasin’ my own ghosts lately. Poppin’ pills every chance I get. But all that changed that dark rainy night, when that dame walked in. Red bow in her hair, shiny shoes on her feet. She was the whole package. And I was about to do anything to get a chance at that sweet sweet cherry.”
That sounds great, actually. Maybe I should take up fanfic and continue this as a series. There’s certain things that lend themselves better to the film medium, things with an already fleshed out story and characters that you can build from and upon. Things like The Last Of Us or even the Halo movie that’s never going to come out. That’s why they tried to make a Tomb Raider movie. But these old school games, things like Mario Brothers or in my case, Pacman, there’s nothing. There’s nothing there. That’s why it’s a game. So what exactly is the problem? Is it trying to adapt one medium to another, is it who the product falls into the hands of for the production, or is it simply the fact that it can’t really be done? Gaming is a much more personal, interactive thing that we each take something away from. Nobody played Mass Effect the same way. And maybe that’s why it’s so hard for them to make a film that appeals to everyone, because everyone has their own version of the thing in their head. You can’t appeal to an entire market who can spend more than 80+ hours in the game and only 2 1/2 hours in your film. It won’t appeal to everyone, and if you try to appeal to everyone you lose appealing to anyone. I think frankly, video game movies shouldn’t be made. Games are a personal experience, and a movie isn’t as much.
Let’s keep them separate from now on. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more Pacman noire to write.
Maggie Rose is a 26 y/o transgirl. She currently lives with her girlfriend and their dog. Together they fight crime, put an end to injustice and sometimes do laundry. She is a writer because she has no other skills or applicable talents useable for monetary gain.