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GoatLord

Is every game movie dogshit?

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Fling tomatoes if you will, but I'll admit, "Super Mario Bros." is so goofy and insane that I can't help but enjoy it. It's entertaining, and that's all I ask for. Most of the other films based on games seem to be a mess though, as though they don't really understand the language of cinema. Inevitably, the story gets changed around too much to carry the brand name, characters are miscast, really great things about the game are blatantly left out, and there's often a vibe that the director and/or writer wasn't hugely familiar with the source material. Also, these adaptations are frequently handled by inexperienced or just plain lousy directors.

That said, who's gotten it right? Is there a video game adaptation that not only attempts to translate the source material, but is good cinema, period?

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I remember Resident Evil 3 being good when I thought they're all awful.

Its difficult having a wafer thin plot that makes gameplay 8 hours long into a 90 minute movie.

And entertainment is all you can really ask for from a movie. Were you entertained watching it? Even if for the wrong reasons.

Personally, I always though the Marios Bros could be a gritty cop drama. The Mushroom kingdom could just be a shitty precinct of Brooklyn. King Koopa can just be a drug lord turning all his crack heads into his minions. Princess can be the mayor. Mario and Luigi don't have to be blood brothers, just 2 cops working a beat.

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Belial said:

The first Mortal Kombat is still my fav game movie.

Seconded.

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Postal: The Movie is a great movie based on a great game.

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Yeah, I watched the Postal movie because of Maes and found it to be genuinely good. It's not anywhere as offensive or dumb as people claim it is; just silly fun, very accurate to the source material and it actually makes the Postal Dude's story believable.

Didn't watch anything Uwe Boll did before so now I'm curious as to whether his reputation is deserved. Sometimes bad press says a lot more about the naysayers than about the reviewed content.

I thought Edge of Tomorrow was a cool game movie too. It might not be based on any particular video game, but it features respawning/quicksaving, aliens, guns, learning through experimentation and repetition, explosions, guns, equally strong male/female characters, guns, guns, explosions, an awkward romance and also guns. If that's not what video games are about, then what is?

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Belial said:

The first Mortal Kombat is still my fav game movie.


Someone punch me. How dare I forget about this movie? It was like Enter the Dragon, but with special effects.

Uggg then there's that 2nd movie. The Mortal Kombat forum elsewhere is still holding out hope that the Youtube series will become a movie, but I think someone is still strangle holding the movie rights.

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I own that Alone in the Dark movie, due to a $1 Blockbuster sale. I had legitimate interest in it even though I've never played the game.

I've tried watching it 3 times and just fell asleep all 3 times. More funny than that, the 3rd time was with 4 friends, because they wanted to see how bad it was. All 5 of us passed out at like 8 pm.

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Doom was ok. It was mindless, deviated too much from the premise, and lacked sufficient horror, but I didn't have a bad time watching it. It was just strange they decided against using Hell despite so many other movies doing it.

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Mortal Kombat
Silent Hill
Postal

Are my top three. If you can appreciate that the Silent Hill series is more of an anthology based on a location, it's a good standalone movie. The sequel was absolute shit in all aspects, though.

There are movies I'd file under "not overtly bad": Hitman, the Resident Evil series, the Tomb Raider series.

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Mortal Kombat was entertaining... not good by any means, but entertaining, and it was oddly faithful to the source material despite having a PG-13 rating. I've often wondered why video game movies fail so hard, and I've always gotten the same answer, "Well there's not enough story in games," and it's like, well yeah, but you could expand the story without completely changing it. I mean, Super Mario Bros. has no story, but you didn't need to add futuristic alternate reality dystopia with people evolved from dinosaurs in order to flesh out the world of Super Mario Bros. Then I come to find out, what often happens is studios will buy scripts for movies that have nothing to do with the games, and then try to work the games into the script. Then it makes so much more sense.

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I like MK and Postal.

Doom was average, but Doom in name only, really. SMB is too silly to hate. Max Payne was a fucking mess.

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Bucket said:

Silent Hill

It's pretty good, but it could've been so much better. The atmosphere of the movie is very genuine and creepy, the monster parts are excellent, but the movie shits the bed when the heroines reach the surviving townsfolk.

As everyone, I'd go with Mortal Kombat. Genuinely good (in a B grade sense), fun action movie. Avalon is a weird Japanese/Polish movie about a game, although not based on one. Not for everyone, but interesting if you don't mind some pretentious gnosticism philosophy. Hitman was decent, although a poor man's Transporter.

I haven't seen Postal, because my predicament is the opposite to phml's and I would hate it for Boll alone, so I have to wait maybe a decade to cool off. I mean House of the Dead, Far Cry, Alone in the Dark and Bloodrayne... I've seen them all and they're insultingly bad. Not incompetent bad, but "I don't give a single fuck about any of this, the German government is going to give me loads of money in any case" bad. He exploited and intentionally mocked the industry with cookie cutter bullshit, so there's really nothing of value.

Pure Hellspawn said:

how about games made off of great movies and shows?

Dune by Cryo is a wonderful game, while the Lynch movie it's based on is utter garbage. Does that count?

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Pure Hellspawn said:

how about games made off of great movies and shows?

Goldeneye.

Also Prince of Persia was pretty good.

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I loved Postal 2 and was really letdown by the movie. It did, admittedly, have a lot to do with the source material, but I was with friends, we were getting intoxicated, and we still ended up not finishing it. It just has this agonizingly awkward and lackluster pacing to it. There are a few really brilliant scenes in it though, and I kind of want to try to watch it again.

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As for games based on movies, well yeah, there's Goldeneye. I'd also throw in Spiderman 2 - God I wish they could go back to making good Spiderman games. Oh, and the Ghostbusters game - does that really count as a movie game when the story of the game doesn't actually follow the story of the movies? I mean, it builds on the movies so I guess it does, but either way, that game was hella awesome.

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Bucket said:

Mortal Kombat
Silent Hill
Postal

This list is very accurate. Hitman needs to be added to it because it had a great plot, good acting, awesome score, and nice pacing. Felt very close to the source material.

Street Fighter is only good because of Jeane-Claude Van Damme. The new Street Fighter wasn't anywhere near as good (that says a lot) than the old one, but it is entertaining nonetheless.

Max Payne should be on that list too. It was good, cinematography followed the games to a "T", and Mark Whalberg and the villain actually fit the characters. It suffered from pacing problems but ranks pretty high on my list. It's like a re-interpreted, truncated Max Payne 1. The game (as a stand-alone graphic novel) is still superior, though.

Doom wasn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Karl Urban was superb as the DOOM guy, but the Rock felt a little too over-the-top. Marines had good personality and the movie was dark. Loved the bits of martial arts in the movie as well. Hellknight fight was golden. Decent soundtrack.

Silent Hill 2 was decent but no where near as good as the first. Only gets a mention because it followed the continuity and Sean Bean pretty much starts Silent Hill 2 [game], and to me SH2 was the most badass in the series.

EDIT: House of the Dead was great!! Awesome B-movie when B-movies were cool. And had the bit of gaming footage and the badass theme. Remember?

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Not sure if it counts but the Street Fighter Manga is worth a mention, I think.

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There was that one current movie-like Street Fighter titled Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist.

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Doominator2 said:

Also Prince of Persia was pretty good.


I was trying to remember that. I thought it was pretty good too and found a copy in Wal-fart for $5 over a year ago.

Ewww Boll has his name on a lot of shitty game films. In The Name of the King based on Dungeon Siege was pretty terrible.

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Silent Hill 1 was good. I have it on DVD, the 2nd one was awful and shouldn't have been made.

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Personally, I've found that if you pretend Jacob's Ladder is a Silent Hill movie, it suddenly becomes the best video game movie ever.

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Belial said:

The first Mortal Kombat is still my fav game movie.

Pretty much, while it didn't have gory fatalities or anything like that for obvious reasons it still had a kickass soundtrack, great cast and some neat looking stages.

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I liked the Prince of Persia movie, but then again, I know next to jackshit about Prince of Persia. Just randomly went to see it.

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The following is probably somewhat redundant to what those above me have said about the movies, but I'll state my piece anyhow.

Mortal Kombat - Actually an enjoyable and well-done film. The source material wasn't really very serious anyway, just an excuse for violence in a weird eastern-ish setting.

Doom - Okay action film, nothing really special though, feels like a poor man's Aliens. Obviously, the huge plot change sucks hard, no good justification for it. Look, I get it, the source material doesn't have a whole lot to work with, but don't change the core premise, for god's sake.

Postal - I tolerated the movie, but disappointed me because it isn't quite what I wanted out of a Postal movie. Why didn't they actually use Gary Coleman for the midget character? Y'know, back when he was still alive. I generally don't like the lightened tone; I want Postal to be dark, they've been slowly abandoning that ever since the first game, and the movie/3rd game is when that transition from black humor to juvenile slapstick completed.

Maybe the movie version of the Dude was more believable as a person, but I would rather have seen the sunglasses-wearing, trenchcoat wearing crack-smoking misfit of the game. I would have quite liked the movie with only a handful of changes to the script, costumes, casting and tone.


Super Mario Brothers - When I was younger, I thought this movie, while competent, was disappointing due to the heavy deviation from the source material. It's grown on me very much more recently, and I actually like it more than the game version of the universe.

It's an interesting, dark, cynical and adult-oriented twist to the Mario universe, lending more appreciation for the absurdity by deliberately pointing it out and all of the characters flaws than by playing it straight with one-dimensional characters. Super Mario RPG is kinda nice for that as well, for writing the characters with personality flaws and ulterior motives like real people.

Of course, I don't want Mario to be Game of Thrones or some other kind of character drama, but I at least want interesting characters in a work of story-focused fiction.


Aside from that, I haven't seen the other movies mentioned in this thread so I can't comment.

dew said:

Dune by Cryo is a wonderful game, while the Lynch movie it's based on is utter garbage.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I actually liked the Lynch film (to an extent). Yes, it needlessly changed basic facts and even threw stuff from later novels in there, but I at least liked it for the visual and sound design. They did try to cram too much story in one movie, resulting in double the standard runtime and rather iffy pacing.

But I think that it got the general aesthetics just right*. If only then it was true to the source material and was broken up into digestible smaller episodes that covered most or all details.


*aside from stupid changes like baldness, fat eyebrows or cyst implants

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Since we're talking about Dune … Lynch's version is amazing, one of my top five favorite films actually. The studio's decision to not make it three two hour movies (as in Lord of the Rings) was the main reason the movie is so cluttered and incomprehensible to mainstream audiences. That said, I love the book and totally understood what Lynch was going for. All of the core stuff from the novel is there; Lynch's changes were mostly aesthetic, although the changes are many, admittedly. The miniseries is dogshit. Low budget aside, it was disgustingly juvenile in regards to visual and sound design, everybody's acting and dialogue sucked and the costumes were stupid beyond measure. Lynch's version is far from perfect, but it's a meditative, beautiful experience.

The 1992 Cyro game is amazing as well. It was a bit lacking in a few minor ways--the ecology aspect of the game is damn near useless, and the battles could have been portrayed as fun mini game instead of just giving you a few options--but it was very inventive for the time and it still very playable today.

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Should also mention:

Silent Hill had a very eerie atmosphere and was genuinely creepy. Unfortunately, after watching it once, all that suspense and horror fades very quickly on the second viewing, too where you realize it's not that great.

Street Fighter was stupid as shit, but enjoyably stupid as shit.

Mortal Kombat Annihilation is bar none, hands down, 100% one of thee absolute worst movies I have ever seen. While I liked how they crammed in so many characters, the fact they were all wasted and had almost zero plot relevance made their appearances wasted shitty trash.

I keep meaning to watch the RE movies, but just haven't found the time to start them.

And in the realm of RE and Silent Hill movies, I really want a legit Dino Crisis movie, if not just to see if they can get a good casting for Regina, the only character I can remember by name (Other than Cooper, the guy who dies at the beginning).

Also, I still need to do my Uwe marathon too.

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