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Valve and JJ Abrams Collaborating On Half-Life, Portal Movies 208

LordStormes writes "JJ Abrams, who apparently plans to direct every movie for the rest of time, is teaming with Gabe Newell and Valve to explore films for both the Half-Life and Portal franchises. 'Abrams and Newell made the surprise, succinct announcement at the end of their keynote speech, which took the form of a carefully rehearsed discussion between the two creatives about the strengths and weaknesses of games and movies as storytelling mediums. ... "Movies let you experience moments that you might not think are the point, but really are everything,” Abrams said, pointing to the early introduction of compressed air canisters in the opening scenes of the movie Jaws, which initially seem unimportant but prove consequential to the film’s ending. Newell pointed out that the “take your child to work” scene in Portal 2 accomplished the same thing, setting up important plot points in a way that made them initially seem like humorous throwaways.' No word on Half-Life 3, sadly..."
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Valve and JJ Abrams Collaborating On Half-Life, Portal Movies

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:40PM (#42812233)

    First of all, that is the stupidest fucking idea I have ever heard, even by dumbass Hollywood standards. The whole point of the Portal games was for YOU to solve puzzles in creative and fun ways. Making that into a passive experience renders the whole thing absolutely pointless. I would rather watch an Adam Sandler movie while eating shards of glass, with Lindsay Lohan's week-old panties wrapped under my nose.

    Secondly, does JJ Abrams have blackmail photos of every studio head in Hollywood or something? Because the guy never struck me as particularly talented, certainly not enough to warrant letting him direct EVERY GODDAMNED MOVIE MADE FROM NOW ON. Not since Keanu Reeves has a less deserving motherfucker gotten so much.

  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:43PM (#42812267) Homepage

    Good thing this isn't reddit, or you'd find yourself at zero karma.

    I learned not to point out the relative lack of talent of J.J. (and Joss) the hard way.

    I completely agree with you though.

    I don't get it: we've all seen LOST, Cloverfield, Super8, Star Trek... there's no reason for people to not see how mediocre this guy is. Why do they keep giving JJ the prime scifi?

    I'll answer my own question: Justin Beiber.

    +10 for the Keanu Reeves. "Dangerous Liaisons" should have been enough warning.

  • by Bieeanda ( 961632 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:54PM (#42812403)
    Someone's already done a short Portal movie (search Youtube for 'Portal: No Escape'; I don't want to accidentally give hits where they aren't due), but you're right. It's really difficult to pull off a film where there is only one visible, active actor. It's possible, but while I enjoy Abrams' oeuvre for its flashes of cleverness and all of its ridiculous spectacle, I don't think he could pull off a straight-up Chell vs. GlaDOS.

    Of course, this is assuming that everything is based on the games and not the broader continuity they're built from. A movie about Gordon Freeman squeezing antlion bits, or Chell discovering that the cake is (twist ending!) moist, delicious, and real? No. God, no.

    A movie based around the events of the Seven Hour War, or the events leading up to GlaDOS going on-line, on the other hands? Those, or something strongly resembling those, I could see.

  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:55PM (#42812415)

    John Noble made Fringe great.

    Adapting to a completely new universe (and/or completely different era) in which some of the previous universe may or may not have existed every season grew tiresome. Ir provided for some interesting twists, but it became difficult to care for anything or anyone once you realized they might simply not exist next time someone powers up a mystery machine. Even deaths became meaningless. How could I feel anything for someone who'd probably just exist in another universe or timeline if they "died" on the show?

  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:57PM (#42812431) Homepage

    First of all, that is the stupidest fucking idea I have ever heard, even by dumbass Hollywood standards.

    I guess you haven't heard about: Battleship []. It really is based on the table top game.

  • by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:21PM (#42812775)


    I was going in the exact opposite direction with that. I would consider JJ a high percentage batter. Lots of base hits, very few strikeouts. Of the things I've seen, JJ produces perfectly serviceable works, with no colossal flops. Lost was pretty good. Started out a bit above average, imo, but suffered due to the writers strike and some making-shit-up-as-you-go. Super8 and Star Trek were both good movies. Nothing spectacular, but both enjoyable. Same thing with Mission Impossible: decent flick, while certainly not setting Hollywood ablaze. Cloverfield was a good premise, and really only suffered to due the shaky-cam...

    Perhaps that's why he's so popular right now. Studios aren't willing to "swing for the fences." They want a steady hand that will ensure decent returns.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:22PM (#42812797)

    I have to agree with you. Abrams isn't going to make another Metropolis or 2001 or Casablanca or you name it. Abrams isn't even good at doing science fiction. I refuse to recognize the new Star Trek film as science fiction, because it isn't. There are already comments here and there are surely comments to come that need to pull back and get some perspective.

    What he's good at doing are action movies that are based in geek culture. Star Wars is probably the most relevant franchise in that vein for him to do, but once you get some perspective, Star Trek (the new one) was actually a good movie. It wasn't a good sci-fi. It was a good action movie. There's definitely enough in Half Life that's aliens-esque for him to be successful. What it's not going to be is a resonance cascade followed by two hours of a man in an HEV suit running around with a crowbar. What it could be is a resonance cascade followed by two hours depicting, as another poster pointed out, the events of the seven hours' war.

    For that matter, there are other games that take place after the resonance cascade from different viewpoints. Why would an Abrams Half Life movie even need to be from the Freeman's (*ducks*) perspective anyway? What about the Xen? Where does the nihilanth fit in with all this? What about the G Man, his "employers," and why are the Xen trying to steal our crowbar wielding hero away from him?

    I guess what I'm saying is there's tons of stuff to work with in the Half Life universe (not to mention the Borealis for the Portal tie-in, which appears to have teleported the same place that HL2 ep 3 went: nowhere). I think he'd make it a fantastic action thriller about an extra-dimensional invasion.

    It's not going to be hardcore sci-fi, though. Once you stop expecting it to be, you can have some fun and enjoy the ride.

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:38PM (#42813003)
    If youtube has taught us anything, it's that you must be direct and over the top, or nobody will care. JJ is like that. The summary implies that he only recently discovered foreshadowing and thinks it's a really cool thing. All his stuff strikes me as if he's a 12 year old. It works because so many adults are 12 year olds, but it's almost to the point of intelligence insulting (why so many here don't like him). I wish people would stop pointing him out. Now, when I see a JJ movie, I picture him smoking weed, drinking Mountain Dew and muching cheetos repeating "then we'll have an even bigger ice monster come out and eat the one chasing Kirk" "but sir, on an ice planet, the largest creatures wouldbe smaller because there wouldn't be enough biomass to support them." "But it'd be fucking cool. He he he he."

    There was never a lamer example of his subtilty (and lack of logic) to have the larger creature kill and discard the one chasing Kirk, only to go after the smaller creature it was chasing. That's like a lion abandoning a recent gazelle kill to chase a mouse. It'd never happen. But he breaks all laws of physics and nature if he thinks it will cause a thrill. That's why people don't like him. That, and he's stuck in camera trick heaven. Lens flair, shakey cam, and all that. It breaks the 4th wall for many of us, not drawing us in as he asserts it does.

    But it's simpler and more likely to be read if I just say "JJ is a hack who huts that which he touches." Immature and childish, but more likely to be read and understood.
  • by dywolf ( 2673597 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:55PM (#42813323)

    People disagree with me about movies!
    They're all idiots to not agree with my clearly superior intelligence!

  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:11PM (#42813551) Homepage


    "he's currently the best Hollywood teeniebopper action flick screenwriter currently alive."

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:12PM (#42814921) Journal

    In other words, it's because he's mediocre that he's getting so much work. Mediocre sells. Brilliant work is practically doomed to be appreciated by a cult following and no one else.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:51PM (#42815273) Homepage

    Sorry but, this is not cheetos weekly, this is slashdot. Can't enjoy 'The Ride' unless it is a good story well told, brain is hard wired that way, I know that is not the way the 'majority think' and I also know the 'majority' do not really enjoy science fiction. Thanks to smart phones, twitter and facebook, the majority are also developing the attention span of gnats, I thankfully will never be part of the majority. So Jerk Jerk A. creates movies that keeps those gnats happy, a string of action scenes to keep them interested with only the shallowest of stories, that and deep family connections keep him going, at least be honest.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.