Five Great Movies About Videogames

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Ken_J:
I'm starting to hate moviebob for introducing me to TV tropes.
3 words: Electronic. Crack. Cocaine.

Edit: Why doesn't he have an Avatar?

He's a non-conformist.

Pipotchi:
What about The King of Kong? that was a great Videogame related movie

The King of Kong is more of a documentary than a feature film. I loved it and wish it would show again on G4 so I can grab it on my DVR.

A solid list, but I still vote for Crank + High Voltage for their portrayal of GTA-style video game violence.

Avalon is an okay film, but I think the tone is better than the actual execution. It's a shame, because I really wanted to love Avalon.

Also, has anyone seen Brave Story? It has a surreal video game vibe.

It's not movies ABOUT video games that always suck, it's movies BASED on video games that always suck.

Sad fact, I'm afraid. But like you said in the Transformers: Revenge of the Suck review, there is potential for a good movie in anything. The idea is in there for video game movies, it's just poorly executed.

Frybird:
It's one thing if a film is weird, but another if the plot goes nowhere other than a BIIIG STORY TWIST that almost seemed like a excuse for the plot going nowhere.

A big story twist that whole movie was a foreshadowing of. Right.

And if the Dialogues are horrible.

Which is a very accurate aside about how horrible the dialogue is/was in games.

And it proves to have as much knowledge about videogames as other films have when they show a kid wildly swinging around a Playstation 2 Controller with 8-bit "boop-be-doop" sounds (Made even worse by the constant "I'm a Game Designer!" Lines).

It is a science fiction film so of course the technology is nothing like real technology. eXistZ is about drama management AI and virtual reality that is as convincing as reality. Two technologies that people who are into games should know about but are not even attempted by most games and may not even be technically possible to do well in 50 years time. The film is about players dropped into a realistic dramatic role playing game having no idea what they are doing. They say stupid things that they think their character's might say, "I'm a superstar game designer, guh huh." They have inconsistent and bizarre motivations that would have a dungeon master rolling his eyes and the game AI struggles to cope with them.

I like Cronenberg, but for things like Eastern Promises, History of Violence and The Fly (one of the best horror movies ever made). But even when you compare it to stuff like Naked Lunch, eXistenZ is STILL pretty unremarkable and tame.

It may not be his best film but it is still a lot better than the best of the rest in this narrow criteria.

What? No Cloak and Dagger?

I still need to pickup a copy of The Wizard on DVD (just recently learned they made one), I love that movie to death even if it was slightly before my time. I actually first saw it when it randomly played on television.

I have seen Avalon and I have to say, it was one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. It's probably the finest example of pure visual storytelling I can recall seeing in film. If anyone ever tells you that a good movie can't consist of visuals alone, ask them if they've seen Avalon.

Very cool list, except that I never really understood the appeal of The Last Starfighter. Sure, the premise is awesome, but the execution is... lame. Just plain lame. The dialogues were especially bad. I guess I'll have to blame it on seeing it too late and it would've been a lot more impressive if I had seen it at the time of its release, but by the time I did see it all I could think was "This is it?"

Tron is awesome no matter what, ExistenZ is shamefully underrated, and Wargames is a great movie even without the gamer/hacker angle. I'm afraid I've never seen The Wizard. Might have to remedy that.

True Nero:
the last starfighter was a great film. numerous times after watching it did i dream of something similar happening to me. the biggest tragedy was that they set this film up PERFECTLY for a sequel and they never made one.

I cannot emphasize the following "THIS" enough. Of all of these movies, The Last Starfighter deserves a sequel the most. Yes, that includes Tron. The premise was original, the dialogue was funny, and the vicarious feelings that it imparts on any gamer that watches it are palpable. The only thing I'll nitpick is more of an esthetic issue than anything. Which costume designer decided that the Rylans should have a George Costanza/ Dominican Monk hairdo?? So goofy.

Edit: Found this link afterwords and thought I would share it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1196243/

The Wizard was really sweet, but then it was the first video game movie I ever saw.

I think Tron is my favorite though.

I haven't seen to many video game based movies. That being said I'm going with Super Mario Brothers, I was like 8 when I saw it so no matter what anyone says now it will remain in my head as a classic. Oh nostalgia, how I love you.

It is very difficult to transfer a story from one medium to another. Hell, they even have a hard time making quality Star Trek movies and video games. People just need to face the fact that one medium is not necessarily relevant to another.

You don't often see a movie on the radio, or a song in a book. That sounds stupid rite?

So, why do people expect the two latest mediums to mesh so well this early in the game?

Just my two cents.

Even to someone who grew up with them Tron and The Last Starfighter are pretty crappy movies. Existenz is definitely lesser Cronenberg but is still totally worth watching. It and Wargames are the only genuinely good movies on that list.

Hmm, a lot of ground already covered, but to be brief:

The Last Starfighter was my absolute favourite film in my youth, and I still remember it fondly. I don't so much want a sequel, as a proper remake/update for today, which is what I'm hoping that IMDB link above is referring to (but if you can pull off both, like Tron 2.0 appears to be going for, that's cool too).

eXistenZ wasn't Cronenburg's greatest, no, but mediocrity from a genius is still better than most dreck out there. This was basically trying to redo Videodrome for interactive entertainment, while throwing in some "artist as martyr" themes as well (inspired by his friend Salman Rushdie and Cronenburg's own massive persecution complex).

Avalon: I know Oshii always builds to a big mindscrew philosophical diatribe by the third act, and I still consider the plot of the first Patlabor movie to have one of the best Xanatos Gambits ever, but Avalon kind of lost me at the end. Which is too bad--I thought it had a great premise, and the cinematography was fantastic. (Having authentic Soviet war machines for the opening battle sequence courtesy of the Polish Army greatly pleased the adolescent 80s action movie fan.)

As long as we're talking movies with video game inspirations, clearly the titular course in last year's Death Race has the whole combat racing game with weapon powerups going on. I thought that part was pretty clever, even if the rest of the movie lacked the humour, fun and soul of the original. Still, I'll pretty much watch Jason Statham kick ass in anything.

Bob Chipman, I both respect an pity you: a film critic plying his trade on a website by and for the videogaming industry, trying not to stick out like a sore thumb.

I love your stuff, you're smart, funny, and you earnestly love and know your craft, but damn if it isn't obvious that you just don't fit very well here.

Daft Punk is doing the soundtrack to Tron Legacy. HURRAY

mario has already been done with a rel people type aproach

I have always wanted to see Tron. Unfortunately my video store never has it around for rental. I have played a couple Tron games on Atari though.

GrandmaFunk:
Resident Evil and Advent Children are probably the better "based on a video game" movies.

tho Advent is probably lost on non-ff7 fans.

The problem with the resident evil films is that the games were created in the first place to be the game version of a Romero film. Taking that and turning it into a movie means you've just got a lesser quality Romero movie.

The Last Starfighter for the win! I also added existenz to my netflix.

Pipotchi:
What about The King of Kong? that was a great Videogame related movie

It was more a documentary. That doesn't make it any less interesting or awesome though.

I respect Tron, but didn't find it too entertaining (Reboot on the other hand...ah, good memories). The only reason it's getting a sequel is because Kingdom Hearts 2 introduced a new generation to the characters.

Always good to see more good press for ExistenZ. I saw that movie as part of an SF Lit class, then had to see it again. It's a great film, and it was also the point at which I realized Jude Law is an awesome actor. I have no wavered in that opinion-the man's been great in everything I've seen him in. He has made some movies just by virtue of rocking so hard.

Falseprophet:
first Patlabor movie

Also nice to see the Patlabor movies get brought up by someone who isn't me. The first is definitely superior, but I find both movies excellent. What I like most about them is how they play with perceptions, both of anime in general and giant mech shows specifically.

It's also funny (and cool) to see films animated when they would have worked just as well as live-action movies. It shows the choice of medium was deliberate and purposeful, rather than going with an anime style in order to tell an anime story (usually some crazy plotline that makes no sense and has a bunch of filler).

I like anime, I just think it should be held to the same literary standard as other animated and non-animated films.

Good article, and good movies all. But, Bob, din't you lift most of the text from this article straight from your own review of "Gamer"? Looks like someone didn't want to do their homework this week...

I like the list, well chosen, have to say i love eXistenZ

The_root_of_all_evil:
T.R.O.N. should have been number one. Being the only game movie to spawn the game from the movie.

Not only that but also a movie game that didnt suck. Double hit

Really sad to report that only one of those films is available streaming on Netflix, and it's WarGames. Great movie, I've seen it recently. The others I haven't and I was really looking forward to watching them, but I'll have to wait for them by mail. SUCKS. I'll just have to watch WarGames and The Matrix back-to-back and fill the rest of the time with some TF2, which is enough hero-fulfillment for me by any measure.

TheRocketeer:
Bob Chipman, I both respect an pity you: a film critic plying his trade on a website by and for the videogaming industry, trying not to stick out like a sore thumb.

I love your stuff, you're smart, funny, and you earnestly love and know your craft, but damn if it isn't obvious that you just don't fit very well here.

Did you know that Movie Bob also does a series called "The Game Overthinker" on another website? Don't pity the man, it looks like he's got his plate full with both of his passions. I figured I'd mention it so Bob doesn't have to.

[quote="TheyTookOurJobs" post="6.177632.5122493"
You also forgot Pokemon: The First Movie.[/quote]
This should have been number 1. It will always be my favorite movie of all time. Well, at least until I watch the movies on this list.

Holy crap, I've been trying to remember what eXistenZ was called for like, five years. Thank you!

hmm, I seem to be missing the movies based on games. I thought that was the point, not movies 'featuring' video games.

I've seen all of those except eXistenZ. I was thinking about checking it out, but then someone brought up Naked Lunch. That movie made me scratch my head and wish I was doing something else. So maybe I'll just stick to the others. Three, that I loved and still watch.

You know, The Neverending Story and The Last Starfighter came out the same year? When I think of the movies of my childhood, those two pop up first.

300lb. Samoan:

TheRocketeer:
Bob Chipman, I both respect an pity you: a film critic plying his trade on a website by and for the videogaming industry, trying not to stick out like a sore thumb.

I love your stuff, you're smart, funny, and you earnestly love and know your craft, but damn if it isn't obvious that you just don't fit very well here.

Did you know that Movie Bob also does a series called "The Game Overthinker" on another website? Don't pity the man, it looks like he's got his plate full with both of his passions. I figured I'd mention it so Bob doesn't have to.

Please understand, I don't mean to imply what he's doing is silly or in any way not awesome, or that he would be doing the column at all on this site if he didn't have some kind of knowledge or appreciation of gaming, which, in hindsight, I took for granted without any real hard proof. But his video series and column really do fail to jibe with the whole rest of the site, and I'm certain that it isn't doing him any favors as far as viewer- and readership is concerned. Which is a shame.

And no, I didn't know he did that other series, but I'll certainly check that out. Thanks!

The Great JT:
It's not movies ABOUT video games that always suck, it's movies BASED on video games that always suck.

Sad fact, I'm afraid. But like you said in the Transformers: Revenge of the Suck review, there is potential for a good movie in anything. The idea is in there for video game movies, it's just poorly executed.

I would qualify that to most LIVE ACTION movies based on video games suck. Animated movies and TV series have been more hit or miss.

uppitycracker:
Movies about video games aren't necessarily always bad, it's the movies based off of video games that seem to disappoint every single time. Those are some great ones you got there, though.

Not necessarily. The Resident Evil movies were brilliant, as long as you don't try to fit them into the canon of the games. Which is silly anyway because they are specifically set in an alternate continuity. But yeah, the Resident Evil movies were great. And I really enjoyed Final Fantasy: Advent Children, though admittedly that wasn't based on a game per se, but rather it was an extension of the story and a sequel of sorts. And aside from being waist deep in the river that flows through the Uncanny Valley, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was also quite good.

My point is, that films based on games aren't necessarily bad. People turn around and say they are because they draw too many parallels between films and games, and gamers maintain that films based on their favourite games can't be good because the mediums of telling the story are completely different. But if you just take an objective viewpoint and stop comparing the different ways of telling the story, then films based on games are generally at the very least not that bad.

Although Uwe Boll is still a crap film-maker.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here