MovieBob - Intermission
Please, Film These Games!

Bob Chipman | 18 Jun 2010 12:00
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Last week, you got my list of video games that should not wind up on the Big Screen. This week, just so you don't think I'm a relentless pessimist, here's a set of interactive-entertainments I'd be greatly pleased to see as (proper) movies.

Red Dead Redemption: "Rule #1" last week was that games that only exist to let you "play" an unofficial, interactive version of a movie or set of movies shouldn't get made back into movies (see: 90% of all military, FPS or zombie games.) Here is the exception to Rule #1: It doesn't count if the movie(s) in question are something that hasn't been done all that much lately. The Prince of Persia games, for example, are basically retreads of old Middle Eastern-set fantasy/action movies like Thief of Baghdad or Sinbad ... but since that genre hadn't been "done" as a major movie in forever, the translation worked out okay.

I love a good Cowboy Movie. When necessary, I'll even take a BAD Cowboy Movie. And the Red Dead game seems to be clueing a new generation into just how awesome a place the Wild West is to set an action story. If putting what amounts to "GTA with horses" on the big screen is what it takes to make saddles and six-shooters trendy again, I'm all for it.

Dragon Quest: Something you'll probably see a lot of on this list: JRPGs. Last week's "Don't" list included Final Fantasy, mostly because the series has vanished so far up it's own ass as to be untranslatable at this point. Dragon Quest, on the other hand, hasn't. At least I don't think so.

The obvious advantage to any filmmaker here is that the DQ franchise is about a world and a design-scheme, so pretty-much any solid "hero's journey" fantasy story can be slipped into its context so long as you nail that signature dreamy/epic adventure vibe and have the Slimes etc. turn out in force - though my personal wish would be to see an adaptation of DQIV (Brendan Gleeson for Torneko Taloon!)

Castlevania: Something else you'll probably see a lot of here: Pre-Playstation era franchises. Hey, don't shoot the messenger. The industry's general unwillingness to create new dynamic characters and settings over the last few cycles isn't my fault.

In any case, Castlevania strikes me as a can't miss: You've got a setting and premise that affords you the opportunity to build action/suspense sequences around any famous monster or mythological creature you can think of, a signature tool (re: magic whip) to craft unique, eye-catching combat and the non-gamer name recognition of Dracula. Just one personal request on my part, though: Simon Belmont. I know the series has "grown" and whatnot, but at least the first go-round it really ought to be Simon. Not Alucard. In fact, Alucard shouldn't even show up - or, if he does, he should be teased-out and built-up like he's going to be the "Darth Maul" ultimate-henchman guy... and then Simon takes him down with one casual whip-strike en-route to Dracula. Gotta love a fake-out - I'd be grinning ear-to-ear.

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