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Congratulations, Hollywood. You have officially run out of good ideas.
The movie is scheduled for 2013.
After reading this short article on Game Informer, I found myself laughing the first minute and horribly depressed the next: Angry Birds will be a movie next year. This fun little game (of which I have each version of) has sold out in a very big way, going the tragically painful way of Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat; another movie based on a video game that exploits fans and delivers disappointment.
As a concept, movies based on video games are a smart call. They have a built in audience that grows with every year, most games have well written stories and worlds crafted over months of development, and there is plenty of room for the changes necessary for adaptation to a shorter amount of time. With so much time saved finding an audience, all that’s left if to make sure what people pay over ten dollars for is well developed, respects the fans and watch that hard work be rewarded. Which makes it even more shocking when they actually release the atrocities they try to sell as entertainment.
It’s still hard to see this poster…
As a young child with little understanding of exploitation, I was excited when trailers of the Super Mario Bros movies were released. A movie based on my favorite game? Yippie! Gotta see that! Walking out of the theater, I was satisfied by the movie. Luigi was funny, and Daisy was hot, but I knew it wasn’t as good as the game. That’s a 6-year-old, mind you, who thought A Goofy Movie was a cinematic masterpiece that would never be surpassed. Daisy is still hot, though.
Raul Julia’s (in)famous final role.
Through my developing years, I subjected myself to the tragedies of Wing Commander, Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat, all with wooden acting, horrible added plots, sadly designed costumes and horrid dialogue. Sadly, the only remotely bittersweet thing about these experiences was that a video game movie, Street Fighter in particular, marked the last movie of Raul Julia’s life, and his performance had his whole heart in it. Not even the rest of this abysmal Van Damme vehicle can take that away. I was taught as a child to give things a chance, and I prayed Hollywood would get at least one of them right. Then I saw House of the Dead…
Wearing that is sacrilege to the company.
Yes, he does deserve his own header. At least in this article. The German filmmaker (laughable, but technically true) is the man who brought us such critically panned adaptations of Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark, Postal, Far Cry and the upcoming In The Name of the King 3, in addition to House of the Dead from the previous paragraph. Using a German tax loophole that allows investors to claim any lost money on films made in Germany as tax-deductible, this guy has no incentive to even try and make something watchable, let alone enjoyable to fans. As someone who suffered (and I mean iron maiden in an unventilated torture chamber suffered) through these titles, I will happily recommend reading the reviews and be done with them. Most of them have a poor connection to even the thought of the game’s plot, and those that don’t are so badly adapted they may as well not be based on anything at all. I was thinking of providing a synopsis of one of them, but I love humanity too much for that. Don’t see these films. They are sad, pathetic, crap on the bottom of your shoe dregs that hurt cinema as greatly as Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Schindler’s List redefined it. Grim satisfaction won’t be satisfied and neither will you.
If you’re going to do something wrong, do something else right.
Though video game movies are subpar universally, some of them manage to hit the mark better than others. Christophe Gans captured the mood and setting of Silent Hill quite well, though the story of the first game was butchered and the dialogue was cliché (if I hear the words “its going to be ok,” I expect things to get better and not see someone get burned to death…) Resident Evil was typical Popcorn movie fare, but at least it was a competent side story, albeit one that throws out any game continuity. And Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within may have underperformed, but it still represents the finest CGI ever released and has yet to be surpassed from 2001 (though Avatar came damn close). Though I wouldn’t recommend these movies to anyone but fans, at least it shows some studios develop films with the fans in mind and not just the money.
In closing, maybe the Angry Birds movie won’t be horrible. Despicable Me was entertaining and it’s director has a lot of freedom with the story. Celebrity voices could add to the characters’ signature grunts and screeches, adding some depth to the countless flock. And maybe, just maybe, we will explore the existential argument of the avian heroes selflessly committing themselves to a suicidal quest of kamikazes and bacon creation… but I won’t hold my breath.
The movies in this article were all rated PG-13 to R, though as time changes the standards of the MPAA does as well.
Drop a comment below with your story of movie expectations not reaching the greatness of the game!