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Does A Good Game Make A Good Movie Idea? 464

Posted by timothy
from the aztec-needs-a-movie dept.
Brakz0rz writes "Here's a BBCi article by Daniel Etherington with an overview on how videogames translate onto the big screen. I can't say I've been impressed by any such effort so far. The article touches on John Woo's upcoming Metroid adaptation. Etherington writes, "One of these days, someone has just got to make a decent video game movie. How about Peter Jackson doing Zelda? Now that would be promising." I would enjoy that more than the games franchised from the LOTR trilogy."
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Does A Good Game Make A Good Movie Idea?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2004 @03:59PM (#8960549)
    Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Mario...

    games make TERRIBLE movies
    • Let's not forget Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and Wing Commander.
    • by FrYGuY101 (770432) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:20PM (#8960710) Journal
      That's not true! I mean theres...

      err...

      uh...

      Pokemon?

      Crap, you're right. They all suck. I'm just waiting for Frogger: The Movie.
    • by JamesP (688957) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:21PM (#8960717)
      And don't get me started on Solitaire!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      A good story makes a good story.

      "Good Game" is not a descriptive enough term to determine whether or not some bit of content will translate well to another format. Game 'genres' are comparatively less like genres and more like species. You can find common ground between the worst Ahnuld action flick and your favorite movie (assuming they are not the same) - differences in movie genres are all content-based.

      But while the ancestor of the arcade genre are arcade action games, graphic adventures have their
    • Re:lets see here (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Princeofcups (150855)
      There is nothing about video games that makes them inherently good or bad as movies. The answer is simple studio economics.

      When a studio decides to make a movie on a video game, they are trying to cash in on the name. It is self marketing. People will go see the movie because they know the game, not because it is a good movie. So to maximize profits, the studio hires the cheapest (i.e. least compitent) writer, director, actors. Bam! Bad movie. It has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter.
    • Re:lets see here (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cylix (55374)
      I think I am the only person who liked Super Marior Brothers.

      It probably helped I liked all the actors involved, especially Bob Hoskins. The man does a great job with a Bronx access.

      In any event, I thought it was a bit cheesy, but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad movie. I thought it was quite humorous.

      Just not enough people agree with me as there will be no sequel.

      Everone's taste are different, but it doesn't mean I don't like every other bad movie out there.

      Anyhow, I have to go, the goombas are
  • Metal Gear Solid (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:00PM (#8960554)
    How about a metal gear solid movie. Imagine if that came out in the movie format instead of the game format... Wait it did come out in the movie format! What sucks though is that lots of these game-movie adaptions stray away from the main story of the series which is what makes the series so unique to begin with. Case in point, Final Fantasy Spirits Within.
    • by Gadzuko (712568)
      What? I thought the whole point of the Final Fantasy games was that there was no interweaving plot line to stray from. Each game is unique.
    • Castlevania.

      A couple of years ago I had hear John Woo was interested in making a Symphony of the Night film. Konami apparently has a trilogy of scripts floating around. I can see it must have never gone anywhere. John Woo has been expressing his interest in making a videogame movie for a while now. Honestly, I don't have high hopes for this Metroid game.

      I want a movie about the first Castlevania game before everything turned to cheesy anime hell, when it was a European horror game about Simon Belmont
    • Re:Metal Gear Solid (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MikeXpop (614167)
      Metal Gear Solid was basically a movie where you could play as the character. However it would suck major ass if you had to watch it on the big screen. For example, (I'll use an example in MGS2, cause I can't think of a quick one in the first one) in MGS2, Raiden and Snake have to go all the way around each others site of the plant defusing bombs. Imagine watching that. While it might be filled with action and such, it would be very, very boring.

      If you allowed Hideo Kojima to write a new MGS script solely
    • by forgetmenot (467513)
      On the flip side you don't want movies rendered stupid because they were too afraid to stray from the original storyline. The story should be altered as appropriate to fit the media. What makes a good comic/game/novel, doesn't always makes a good movie. For example. imagine what spider-man would have been like if he rambled on philosophically during the fighting sequences in the movie as much as he does in many of the comics. Or better yet, imagine the confusion the average non-Tolkien reading movie-goer wo
  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NetNinja (469346) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:00PM (#8960558)
    The same way a movie makes a bad game idea.

    Something suffers because the time to market seems to influence the outcome of the product,
    • Re:No (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:40PM (#8960823) Homepage
      The best video-game-made-into-a-movie was never a video game. It was Run Lola Run, and it was built around the structures and logic of a game (multiple lives with learned rules; time limits; lots of running; "puzzles"; even some FPS action.)

      There's an essay called "Run Lara Run" by Margit Grieb, a doctoral student out of the University Florida, published in the collection "ScreenPlay: cinema/videogames/interfaces" that connects Run Lola Run with videogames.

      Other essays in the book are worth checking out. Also, people have described Matthew Barney's experimental films "The Cremaster Cycle" as videogame-inspired. [gamegirladvance.com]

      Instead of trying to just stick videogame franchises into schlock pop cinema, it would be good if some brainier filmmakers continued to pluck the truly most compelling aspects of the videogame experience and translated them into film. But they won't - and it's mostly the fault of fan culture, I'm afraid.
    • How about we come up with something original. Why not make an original movie...not a re-make, not based on a tv show, not based on a video game, not based on a SNL skit...

      How about someone make a movie that's original?

      Hmmmm....nah, it'll never work! The kids don't like stuff like that.
    • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sporty (27564) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:27PM (#8961109) Homepage
      It depends. Someone else said it, and I totally agree with them.

      Paraphrased: The way a game story and movie story is written is different.


      Unless the movie can hire writers that can cut out the parts that make it distinctive as a game, and put more movie ingredients.. a game can be made into a good movie easily.

      Take Mortal Kombat. What made it a good fighting game is the variety of characters, cool moves, good control and what not. Isn't that what makes any fighter game good? But when they made the movie, they kept MANY of the characters in it. If they took two of the characters who would be natural enemies, and expand on just that, it may have been better.

      Take Mario Bros. Go through many obstacles, save the princess. The movie was the same exact thing minus mushrooms making you grow. As the movie went on, things got harder until the end when things finally resolved.

      Now let's take something that may have been a made up game that could have been made into a movie that existed. Let's take an action movie, since they have battles and what not.. not so emotion based. Let's take "The Rock", the Nicholas Cage movie. Cage and Mr Connery have to get back some nasty bio weapons and save 150 hostages. Also have to take out the enemy. It sounds like a drawn out rainbow six mission, no?

      So imagine taking the simple elements of a game, and making that a movie. Wouldn't THAT be the key? Zelda 64 isn't a rehash of Zelda or Adventures of Link, right? So why should a movie about Zelda be a rehash of an old video game?
  • Nooooooo!!!!!!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:01PM (#8960566) Homepage Journal
    Two words: Tomb Raider

    God spare us all....
    • actually, that's an example of a bad videogame movie, but NOT a bad videogame movie idea!

      Tomb Raider was a golden opportunity to deliver a straight-up adventure movie, with enjoyable casts and good heroes. Tomb Raider just messed it up. All they had to do was to do a movie "inspired" by Indiana Jones and it woulda been good. "The Mummy" was a great movie based on this idea, IMO...
    • by Coryoth (254751)
      Two words: Tomb Raider

      Appalling wasn't it. Yet it was quite possible to make a good film pout of that. Likewise Resident Evil - terrible piece of crap, but there was good potential. The problem seems to be the directors and production crews that take up/get handed these films to make. Personally I think the problem is that the sort of directors/writers who take on these projects are people who love video games, and they are too close to the game to step back and rewrite/reorganise things to properly wo
    • Come now.. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kjella (173770) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:03PM (#8960931) Homepage
      ...Angelina Jolie made sure that movie had at least two distinct advantages. Now disasters like Wing Commander don't have any extenuating circumstances.

      Kjella
    • Tomb Raider wasn't that bad of a game to base a movie off of, being essentially based off of Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones character. Instead of a globetrotting American professor you have a globetrotting British society woman, but the settings and potential plots are not significantly different. Certainly Lara Croft's mysteriously backstory could have led to a gripping script, and her John Woo action stylings could have let to a much grittier and more intense movie than Spielberg's fist fights ever could
  • Games and movies have different life cycles.

    A decent game often gets better in its second abnd third versions as technology improves and the story lines get more mature.

    Films sequels are rarely better than the original and often dramatically worse.

    Today, games make more money than films. A successful game franchise - that has many years of life left - can be ruined by one poor film tie-in.

    So the ideal model is to take a good film and turn it into a series of games, and to resist at all costs the temptation to make film sequels. (Yes, I'm thinking of the Matrix).

    LoTR does not really count as a film + sequels since it is based on an existing story and was shot in one go.
    • Today, games make more money than films.

      No, they don't. As a whole, they make about the same amount of money as movies as a whole at the box office. The box office is not where movies generate cash, though - it's TV syndication, rentals, and tie-ins.

      Games are a *far* cry from that kind of money. And there are way more games than movies.

      Hence, the average game doesn't make much at all. It's the block busters that carry the industry. (Like the movie industry)

  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by ajiva (156759) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:01PM (#8960569)
    Well there was that Super Mario Bros movie...
  • by Noksagt (69097) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:01PM (#8960575) Homepage
    It is good that video game movies are a fairly recent innovation. Lest we end up watching pong for 90 minutes.

    I think that movies make even worse video games, though:ET for the Atari anyone?
  • John Woo and Metroid sounds promising, but God help us if somebody tries to make a movie about Nibbles. Or does Tremors [imdb.com] already count?
  • Clue! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr.henry (618818) * on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:04PM (#8960599) Journal
    Clue [imdb.com] was pretty good and it's "based" on a game.
    • Re:Clue! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Guppy06 (410832)
      I don't think Clue would have worked as well if they hadn't turned it into a comedy and if it hadn't the cast of thousands it did.
  • What is it with people who do not want to come up with an original and new idea, and make good movies? They just seem to want to rip ideas off, from books, videogames or whatever it is that they can find and make a quick buck.

    There seem to be very few original works, especially when it comes to mainstream movies.

    Originality - that seems to be a thing of the past.

    Oh well, enough rant for a day.
  • Final Fantasy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jin Wicked (317953) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:06PM (#8960617) Homepage Journal

    I'd like to see a GOOD Final Fantasy movie based on one of the actual games. Six has always been my favourite, I'm sure the story is strong enough to be made into a good movie, but there's so much to it that two hours may not be enough. It might make a good two-part or three-part movie like LOTR, though, I doubt it has enough audience to have anyone know what the Hell it was.

    I'd wager to say most movies made from games in the past (like the awful Streetfighter movie and Super Mario Bros) are just trying to capitalize on the name. I did like the first Mortal Kombat movie, though, and Tomb Raider was silly but at least entertaining.

    Maybe we need more movies made from RPGs, they seem to have more in the way of actual plot to begin with.

    • So long as I don't have to watch the characters level-build I'd watch it ;)
    • Re:Final Fantasy (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MBCook (132727)
      I agree. I liked FF:The Spirits Within, but it wasn't as good as a FF game. The problem is the timespan. It can easily take 20 hours to play through a FF game, which is one of the things that makes it so deep. So even if the movie was 3 hours long, you really couldn't do the stories justice.

      For Final Fantasy (and many other games) I think Hollywood shouldn't be looking at movies as much as miniseries. That would allow them to spend enough time to do a good job. There are lots of great properties too. FF 7,

  • Pong (Score:4, Funny)

    by dicepackage (526497) * <dicepackage@gmail.cQUOTEom minus punct> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:07PM (#8960622) Homepage
    I am still waiting anxiously for Pong: the Movie to come out in theaters.
  • Grim Fandango (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlad_petric (94134) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:08PM (#8960627) Homepage
    That game [lucasarts.com] provided me more dramatic entertainment than two thirds of the movies I've seen. It convinced me beyond any doubt that games are a form of art.
    • Agree completely. And the fact that LucasArts has put the kabosh on not only Grim Fandango 2, but also the new version of Sam and Max, is a sign that I was a very bad person in my last life and have now reincarnated into hell.

      Oh, fucking boy. Another Star Wars game. Yes, Mister Satan, I'll take another 100 years of torment, sirthankyousirmayihaveanother.
  • They could make really good independent films and do make awful big budget movies.

    In order to portray the story correctly, you actually have to be able to tell a story...
  • by spellraiser (764337) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:09PM (#8960641) Journal

    The reason why games usually make terrible movies is pretty obvious. It's because the movies are usually made out of high-profile action games - to cash in on the name, as is standard practise in Hollywood.

    These kinds of games are, of course, plot-free zones. Hence, the movie makers fill the void in an ad-hoc fashion, usually with horrible results.

    Speaking of Zelda, anyone remember the old Zelda cartoons that we had on TV once? That's a classic example of what I'm talking about; those cartoons made my eyes bleed. Badly.

    I can imagine that it WOULD be possible to make a good movie out of a good, plot-filled game, such as the old Lucasarts/Lucasfilm Games ones. Those would at least be funny. But, that hasn't happened yet. I'm still crossing my fingers ...

  • I've always thoughts The warcraft series a fantastic plot and lots of cool magic....though it'd probably be a little too close to the LOTR series...

    Starcraft Also has a pretty cool story line, but I'd love to see a Warcraft movie.
  • by hcetSJ (672210) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:11PM (#8960648)
    Just last Thursday I heard a lecture about digital effects in movies and games by George Joblove and Douglas Kay, two former ILM-ers who have now moved to Sony Imageworks and Mondo Media, respectively. One of the clips that Douglas Kay showed was a concept for a project they're doing which is a combined movie and game. The idea is that the movie is done entirely digitally, and at a technological level that can be reproduced on a game console, so that there is a seemless transition between the movie environment and the game. Sounded like a good idea to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Those jedi knight FPS games might make a good series of movies if they scaled back on the special effects and wrote some better dialog.
  • Ooooh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by sunspot42 (455706) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:12PM (#8960657)
    Can't wait for M*U*L*E - The Movie.

    Now if only EA would release the damn game for a modern platform . . .
  • Grim Fandango (Score:5, Interesting)

    by instinctdesign (534196) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:12PM (#8960662) Homepage
    It is funny how these type of stories come up now and then because, for awhile now, I've been really set on the idea of a Grim Fandango movie. I can't think of any game which could more readily translated onto the big screen. Even as a video game it still boasted an incredibly well developed story with a wonderful atmosphere and stellar voice acting.

    My dream? Pixar doing Grim Fandango. Something like that would, in my mind, help make up for all the Tomb Raiders and Mortal Combats.
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:15PM (#8960672) Homepage
    If you liked "Saturday Night Fever", you'll love Dance Dance Revolution: The Movie!
  • different targets (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gclef (96311) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:17PM (#8960691)
    No, games<->movies don't work. The reason is that they are entertaining in totally different ways, and the translation doesn't work between them.

    Example: most adventure/shoot-em-up games are almost all fighting, with the occasional puzzle. These are entertaining because they tax your reflexes or your strategic thinking. It's fun to do that yourself, and so they're entertaining, but it's boring to watch someone else do that for more than about 10 minutes.

    Also, because there's so much time spent in fighting & puzzles, the story background and character development in games is often (yes, often, not always, but very often) weak to non-existent. A shining example: Final Fantasy. That game has more character development than most adventure games do, and it was still a boring movie.

    Short answer: there's a long gap between things that are fun to *do* and things that are fun to *watch*. The only thing that clearly falls in both catagories is sex, but I'm not going to go there right now.

    • Star Wars the original movies X-wing (space combat game). Worked excellent x-wing killed wing-commander. Who needs cats when you have the empire!

      Star Trek Original Series Star Trek 25th aniversery and Judgement rites. Two excellent adventures.

      It can work but it needs really carefull work. X-wing worked because it really only used the setting of star wars. You weren't Luke Skywalker or Han Solo but rather one of the many nameless pilots that got killed in the movies.

      The star trek adventures are perhaps

    • Re:different targets (Score:3, Interesting)

      by prichardson (603676)
      If you think games can't have a lot of background and character development then you are sorely mistaken. For a game with a great story and background, look no further than the Baldur's Gate series (I mean Baldur's Gate 1/2, Icewind Dale, and the expansions, not the atrocity that was NWN). There is an order of magnitude more content in either of those stories than there is in even the most developed movies. For good character development, Max Payne (the first one, complete with ambiguous ending) is a tri
  • Zelda now? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RTPMatt (468649) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:20PM (#8960707) Homepage
    How about Peter Jackson doing Zelda?

    I can't wait to see what the original zelda theme sounds like when a full symphony plays it.

  • Star Wars: KOTOR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeyNg (88437) <mikeyng@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:20PM (#8960709) Homepage
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic would make an outstanding movie. If someone actually bothered to make it, the storyline and characters are much better than anything Lucas is putting out in the "current" trilogy.

    Video games are a different medium than films. Resident Evil and Tomb Raider were more action-oriented games with hardly any plot. Hmmm... what kind of a movie do you think is going to arise out of a video game like that?

    Basing a movie off of an RPG, such as KOTOR, would at least give the writers and directors more meat to play with. They probably wouldn't have to do too much yet still remain true to the game.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx . b c.ca> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:21PM (#8960718) Journal
    as long as it had a better plot than the games.

    Seriously, that chick was getting kidnapped or shanghaighed so many times that she probably has to have 911 preprogrammed on speeddial in her cellphone just to keep up.

    • Actually, it's a different Zelda in every game. It's almost always a different Link too. They occur in different time periods (possibly timelines). Reconstructing the Zelda chronology is a continuing project among Zelda fans.

      I think Ocarina has just enough plot to fill a movie, provided we don't have to sit through eight dungeons and bosses.

  • Would make an excellent movie!

    *mumble mumble stupid lucasarts mumble mumble*
  • Download the "Savage" Demo from S2 games [s2games.com]. The trailer the demo plays is *INSANELY GREAT*. I would see a movie about the game in a *heartbeat*.

    Here's a transcript of the voice over so you can get an idea, "In a Savage age, beyond the fall of civilization, a leader will rise. To rebuild and restore what once was. The days of uncontested human domination are over, two armies in sight, the smell of battle is in the air, and the drums of war begin a dance of death. Victory or extinction? Glory or defeat?

  • Fallout would definetly work out.
    But monkey island would be quite nice aswell.

    However, what would beat PacMan - the movie?
  • Nethack (Score:5, Funny)

    by quantum bit (225091) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:24PM (#8960738) Journal
    I always thought that Nethack would make a good movie.

    The biggest question is who to cast as '@'
  • by Zakabog (603757) <[john] [at] [jmaug.com]> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:25PM (#8960742)
    It depends on the game, I dunno if I was the only person watching the Final Fantasy movie thinking "This should be a video game" there was too much in the movie to be explained in that short time frame of a movie. I'm sure any good video game turned into a movie will probably be bad since we're expecting too much of it. And they'd try to make a blockbuster, not a movie that's true to the game. But then again Final Fantasy Avant Children is coming out, that seems like it's true to the story of Final Fantasy and not just trying to be some movie that just happens to have the name of a popular video game in it when having almost nothing to do with the game itself (Mario Brothers.)
  • AH come on, tombraider the MOVIE was much more exciting than the video games. Well, at least the later ones. Sure, I loved making Lara Croft run around for hours on end with minimal action, but the movies were much more fullfilling and conclusive to what was going on than the video games.
  • by weston (16146) <westonsd@@@canncentral...org> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:25PM (#8960745) Homepage
    There are a couple of basic problems with translating a video game to a movie:

    (1) Most video games have thin, unelaborated setup plots. Nobody cares when it's the game, as long as the play/action is good. When it comes time to move things to the silver screen, though, it's much more important.

    (2) A good video game movie could be based on a character's adventure in the world set up by the game -- but in addition to simply treating it as a sequence of scenes where the character accomplishes the same goals as the video game (or even some new goals you make up), and throwing in cool effects and kick-butt action, you'd have to make the character emotionally and intellectually three-dimensional. Why do they do what they do? Where are they vulnerable and strong? How do they grow/change over the course of the movie? However, most video game movies don't try to do this at all -- just walk through the levels, kids! -- and so you get bored out of your skull.
  • Willow? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ratboot (721595) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:29PM (#8960761)

    I remember an exception : Willow was a perfect match on screen and in its 16 colors pixel adaptation...

    I just remembered I need to boot my computer... with my Tredair!
  • by moviepig.com (745183) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:36PM (#8960796) Homepage
    Participation-wise, games are active and movies are passive. Not merely de facto, but by explicit design. Two mutually orthogonal media.

    The only reason they're occasionally, misbegottenly commingled is the built-in audience for whichever is the later rendering. And it's not reason enough, for my money.

  • Mortal Kombat (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Roman Levin (774216) <anat_lev&shaar-hagolan,co,il> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:36PM (#8960799) Homepage

    It wasn't all that bad. It was an okay action movie. I mean, it had Christopher Lambert.

    Mortal Kombat 2, on the other hand, was such an incredibly disgusting piece of shit it almost makes Tomb Raider look like Indiana Jones.

    • Re:Mortal Kombat (Score:4, Insightful)

      by reverseengineer (580922) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @07:52PM (#8961966)
      Mortal Kombat made for a decent movie because the basic plot to the game is simply a rehash of Enter the Dragon, with some supernatural world-hanging-in-the-balance stuff thrown in to freshen things up a bit, and the movie remained faithful to this basic idea.

      A diverse group of fighters, both heroic and villainous, are invited to a secret martial arts tournament on an island, and fight it out in a series of battles that culminate in one of the heroes defeating the shadowy host of the tournament in single combat. There were even characters directly lifted from Enter the Dragon- Liu Kang for Bruce Lee's virtuous character, Johnny Cage for John Saxon's playboy, Shang Tsung for the evil guy with the claw hand. However, instead of coming off as just a lame rip-off, Mortal Kombat mostly stays within the realm of homage of it and innumerable other kung fu flicks, and throws in some special effects that were pretty sweet for their time, making it, if not exactly a classic of the genre, at least watchable.

      Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, however, was an abomination, and should never been made. It utterly fails in all areas of filmmaking- the dialogue is wooden and often unintentional funny, the special effects are not on par with the original released two years earlier and look incredibly cheap, and most damning for what should boil down to a kung fu flick, the fight choreography really sucks.

      It's usually a terrible omen for a film sequel if half the original cast declines to return to their roles in the sequel. As the parent mentions, even Christopher Lambert avoided this one- and as a perusal of his IMDB entry shows , it's quite rare of him to pass up the opportunity to act in a terrible, terrible sequel. If he acted in the Highlander sequels, but not Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, what does that say about the latter movie?

  • by smcv (529383)
    A while ago I saw something about a Deus Ex film being under consideration - if done right, that could work.

    Unfortunately it would probably get overly Hollywoodized (good guys made 100% good, bad guys made 100% evil, JC Denton made into a generic big-gun-wielding action hero) but if instead it was scripted/filmed in a way that reflected the style of the game, it'd be impressive.

    (Of course, the other issue is that its anti-authoritarian plot and characters' musings on the nature of freedom might not be too
  • Endger's Game (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ignipotentis (461249) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:39PM (#8960814)
    I think an online team based game using the battle room as inspiration would be great. Lets just hope Warner Brothers does right by Orson...
  • by blueZhift (652272) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:39PM (#8960818) Homepage Journal
    Why not just make the movies directly from the game using the cut scenes and footage of expert player gameplay. Sega did something like this with the first Shenmue game for Dreamcast. It's actually rather interesting to watch.

    Heck, it might even sell more games. Though I would go for a direct to DVD release rather than a theatre release since to market may not be very big.

  • Does A Good Game Make A Good Movie Idea?

    The way that question is asked reveals a profound ignorance of where movie ideas come from. Movies are high-stakes ventures. So in the end, it's not about entertaining people it's about making money. Hollywood likes movie ideas that make money, hates movies ideas that don't. Whether the movie itself is any good is irrelevent.

    Marketing is everying. So most movies are based on something that has established name recognition. Twenty years ago, I saw so many bad movie

  • by tentac1e (62936)
    Movies and video games each serve a different purpose.

    Movies are, first and foremost, about narrative. You tell a story. Plot, character, thought, diction, song, spectacle. All that.

    Video games are about an interactive experience. Let's face it: 99% of video game plots are total shit. At best, they're amateur screenwriting schlock; anyone who's attended a Syd Field seminar can turn out half the bestselling games today.

    Even Metal Gear Solid 2, considered by many one of the best written games of recent yea

  • by secondsun (195377) <secondsun@gmail.com> on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:42PM (#8960832) Journal
    A good story makes a good movie. The Legend of Zelda series more or less historically suck for stories and are about exploration. (I have played and beaten all the games but the N64 ones). In Wind Waker the story was about Hyrule but not about Link. A good story is one where the characters themselves change and learn more about their own selves and manage to change in some capacity. That makes a good movie.

    What makes a good video however is being fun and entertaining. Take Metroid as an example. A fun game but no story at all. So now we have a game that is fun to play, but is kinda boring in review. From a game to movie perspective Megaman X makes much more sense and has ore to work with. You have the outsider (X as the first reploid and as such the father of the maverics), the internal conflict of the main character (why and I here and why do I fight), character progression (the destruction and rebirth of Zero and how it affected X's relationship with him).

    MGS would make a better movie than any of my previous examples, however. You have a progression of plot with characters reveling much about themselves throughout the game/story as opposed to get key X to find location y and kill boss z.
  • by ajlitt (19055) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:45PM (#8960851)
    Wing Commander was an excellent game series. Wing Commander the Movie actually made me vomit. It was so bad that they couldn't even get Mark Hamill (who played the lead character in the last three games' cutscenes) to show up as Blair.
    • Wing Commander the game series, particularly III and IV, were actually great sci-fi cinema. The cutscenes themselves could be cobbled together with no changes (well, not all the branches, but one path through them) and played on a computer screen, into a camera, on the Sci-Fi channel and would probably get great ratings and sell DVD sets.

      The *games were better movies than the movie* by a long way, and had bigger stars (Jason Bernard, Malcolm MacDowell, Mark Hamill, Biff from back to the future I wish I co
  • by pantherace (165052) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @04:59PM (#8960914)
    Netrek [netrek.org]

    No plot at all, unless you count things like the t-mode messages. Goldmine for a movie, better as one of the oldest multiplayer games in existance!

  • hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ShadowRage (678728) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:09PM (#8960991) Homepage Journal
    the metroid movie might be decent..
    would be cool if they had the game music done by the guy who did the metroid prime music. that would fucking own.

    especially the ridley theme.

    dude, I wanna see ridley. and he better have his theme.
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:16PM (#8961050) Homepage
    I'd suggest: Deus Ex

    The original storyline provides a -lot- of world material to work with. Of course, it would have to be done by a good scifi/action director, or it'd be hosed.

    I'd say that there's simply a lacking of good movies in general; it's not exclusively endemic of game => movie adaptations. Hollywood excels at cranking out shit. The Hulk, anyone? There are dozens of forgetable movies every year.
  • by raytracer (51035) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @05:30PM (#8961139)

    Most books make crappy movies, why would video games be any better?

    Addendum: Hollywood may be in a serious rut with relatively few new ideas, but it is absolutely revolutionary compared to the game industry.

  • by KC7GR (473279) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @07:18PM (#8961783) Homepage Journal
    My only exposure to the movies-from-vidgames genre so far has been to watch 'Final Fantasy.' While the animation and CGI work was decent enough, the story was weak at best, certainly not enough to earn the movie a permanent spot in our collection.

    I've always held the belief that it's good, solid STORYWRITING that makes a movie or video game succeed, not how many FX you can cram into X number of minutes. Look at 'Field of Dreams' for example. Minimal FX, but a terrific story, and well-told to boot.

    What I would REALLY like to see is some of the older 'classic' SF novels turned into movies that FOLLOW THE BOOK with a high degree of accuracy. These days, adapting something like Heinlein's "Have Space Suit, Will Travel," or perhaps the original "Red Planet" would, I think, make for a heck of a blockbuster.

  • by rspress (623984) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @07:19PM (#8961791) Homepage
    It is not that video games make bad movies, it is just that those who make the games often have no idea what it takes to make a good movie.

    The people who are involved in making the game often have no idea how Hollywood works and those in Hollywood are often so inbred in the industry they don't want to stray to far from the original game or the tried and true formulas of the industry. Demographics tell them that the game was popular so lets not mess with the formula and make a film just like the game.

    There is no reason, other than talent on both sides, that stops anyone from making both a great game and a great movie. Right now both camps could use a fresh influx of new ideas and talent.
  • by corban.elektrolite (763222) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @07:49PM (#8961952)
    i think prequels may be a good model for movie adoptions of video games. any decent game has a plot and a setting. it would sense to make a movie to "set up the story".

    just waiting for pacman the movie with michael madson as pacman explaing why he is so afraid of these monsters.

    --
    i left the .sig business long ago.
  • by NerveGas (168686) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @10:24PM (#8962620)

    Now, hear me out. In the game, all you did was look at her boobs while you wandered around the boring game. At the movie, you just look at her boobs while she wanders around the boring movie.

    Sounds like a 100% adaptation, to me.

    steve
  • Home World (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TrikerII (773103) on Saturday April 24, 2004 @11:57PM (#8962972) Homepage
    People have spoken that a movie and a game to both work well need a good plot and good action. Homeworld was both. The action in the game was great, you had the plot of the story and the characters where there developing as it went along and you really felt a part of the story versus just watching and have you head slump over in bordom.

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