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My opinions on why video game stories donít work as films...

Hey guys, I'm new to Destructoid so don't flame me or anything please! Anyway, this is a essay I wrote for Uni, I thought I'd throw something about video games in to my film theory work, so here it is....

First off, I am a giant video games player, I am what some people would call a diehard gamer, I love games and everything about them, the feel, the stories and of course the gameplay. Now over the many years I have been playing games I have been very, very disappointed with the terrible video game adaptionís that the film industry have been churning out, the stories and visuals seem to change so much that they hardly resemble the game or source material anymore and some film makers even seem to just attach the name of a game to the film to sell more tickets. Super Mario Bros, Max Payne, House of the Dead, the list is endless.

Like I said earlier they just donít work, to me the biggest part of a film that has to be just right is the script, it has to have dialogue and a story that doesnít ďgo over the topĒ and when it comes to an adaption it has to stay close to the source material.

Recently I had the displeasure of watching a film called ďIn The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleĒ by the notorious director, producer and scriptwriter Uwe Boll. Iíll admit I had never seen any of his movies until then, only watching a couple of his trailers on the internet, but immediately declared him as a terrible director and had trouble with whether I should give up 2 hours and 7 minutes of my life to watch this film, I did and even now I wish I had not.

What amazed me about this film was that I actually had a $60,000,000 budget and on some parts it looked like a low budget made-for-TV film. Granted some of the CGI work is quite good but the costumes are terrible and the visuals look like they have been copied from Lord of the Rings. Quoting Kit Bowen of Hollywood.com, ďI suppose Boll has his own obsession with Lord of the Rings (or he wants to channel director Peter Jackson), stealing shot after shot from that glorious fantasy-adventure trilogy. The Krugs look like Orcs; Gallianís domain looks like Mordor; female forest warriors are oddly reminiscent of LOTR Elves, and so forth. Thereís even a shot of the protagonists walking on a mountain range, for heavenís sakes. Nothing about this movie is original.Ē

Finally the worst part of the film for me was the acting and actors, Uwe Boll actually managed to cast Jason Statham, star of films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Transporter, and the brilliant Ron Perlman but it included some of the worst acting I have ever seen. Claire Forlani and Ray Liotta ruined any hope the film had of being acceptable, their acting was overdone and unbelievable, and when compared to performance by Statham and Perlman (who were both not giving their full potential) they seemed to be very amateurish. Quoting Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe, ďLiotta is painfully less funny. Some of his scenes require him to gesticulate so that it looks like electricity is flying out of his hands while the camera spins around him. In the rest, he chooses to yell dialogue that doesn't suit him. ("You wish to accelerate things? Fine! We shall accelerate!") I've never seen an actor try so hard to go over the top without getting there.Ē

I have concluded that Uwe Bollís legacy as a terrible director that ruins any franchise that he can get his hands on. Of course Uwe Boll does not represent the whole industry and film makers as a whole when it comes to video game adaptions.

Recently I discovered a new fan made independent adaption of the epic video game Mega Man. As I watched the trailer I was amazed on how close it matched the story, the visual and feel of the game even though set in a world most like our own compared to the game. Mega Man the Movie is actually a independent production with no financial back from a studio or the makers of Capcom and the director, Eddie Lebron, is a big fan of the Mega Man series. This fan made production, in my opinion, is mostly likely to be one of the best video game adaptions ever due to it being made by fan of the series and no financial or script restrictions by a studio. Eddie Lebron, discusses his opinion on why he thinks he is a suitable director and also shares the same views on adaptions with me, ďIím angry with what has been done to video games in the past when translated to the big screen. Sometimes itís the studio executives to blame, sometimes itís the directors. Money, profit, and creative liberties will come into play and shape the film in something thatís either disrespectful to the video game itís adapting or shape the film in a horrid mess.Ē ... ďSurely, I want to make a film everyone can see but I want to make a film that will, first and foremost, do Megaman justice.Ē

Concluding, in my opinion it is usually the director that ruins a video game adaption due to their artistic view of the film not matching those of who first made the game and story or the gaming community as a whole. An example of this is of course Uwe Boll, and the directors of the Super Mario Bros film, Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. The star of this film Bob Hoskins seeing this as the worst film he worked on, "The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Brothers. It was a fuckin' nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! Fuckin' nightmare. Fuckin' idiots."
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About Durga AIone of us since 12:23 PM on 05.14.2009

Hey Destructoid, my name's Martin. Uni student. I write stuff.

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