Sessler's Soapbox: Why Video Game Movies Suck

Posted: January 18, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Why Video Game Movies Suck

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  • sodared

    I always wanted Insomniac to put all the cut scenes together from Ratchet and Clank and make a movie out of them. I would totally watch that. That would be hilarious.

    I heart the Lord of the Rings movies. I thought How to Train your Dragon was a great adaptation of a book. Can't think of any other adaptations that were great. There has to be a few.

    I'm one of those people bitching about the Uncharted movie. The whole thing sounds awful. Ahhhhh they are ruining Uncharted! I love Uncharted 2 and don't want people bastardizing the IP. ( not sure if bastardizing is a word but it expresses what I feel)

    Posted: January 19, 2011 7:39 AM
  • Zatz


    Posted: January 19, 2011 7:24 AM
  • JustTheBeginning

    What about the Dark Knight? That movie turned out pretty well, would not have had that if they had your way and kept all comic books out of cinema.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 7:05 AM
  • Regardless

    Adam's actions/animation around the 2 minute mark is why I love him so much! You are awesome Adam, and I completely agree. Video game movies suck. Keep spreading the word!

    Posted: January 19, 2011 6:45 AM
  • Jhonax

    i agree with Bowmanganie.. it shouldn't be compared because they're two totally different medium... but that's also part of the problem because when a movie is based on a comic book or video game you cant help but compare them, like Harry Potter for example, some people preferred the book over the movie.. and they made that comment after watching it.. its like some people just watch the movie version just so they could bitch about it..

    here's a suggestion; if ever you watch a movie based on a comic book or video game, try to judge it as a movie.. i mean if it sucked as a movie but was awesome as a video game.. then leave it at that... just go home and play the game..

    Posted: January 19, 2011 6:43 AM
  • EvilDeadDave

    I totally agree with most of what you said Adam. To a certain degree though, movies made from adaptations of books or sometimes even video games do need to be made. For example myself, I have ADD and whenever I have tried to read it takes me over 5 min to get past one page since I constantly go over what it said over and over in my head. The only books I got through to the 4th book was the Dark Tower series, and that was a chore, but well worth it. Back to my point at hand, For someone like myself reading has always been a chore for me, so with mediums like movies and video games adapting these stories into a physical form I can watch helps me to experience these great tales along with everyone else, albeit bastardized versions they are, it still allows me to see through a window a sliver of what you got to experienced, and that to me, is enough to be enjoyed. Now does Hollywood need to do a better job of adapting to the big screen? Yes! As for making games into movies they are also trying to reach an audience that would normally never pick up a controller and experience the thrills of a particular game. Though likely the movie would go after the target fan base of the game, they still want to attract new audience members to the party to have a small fraction of the experience we got from playing the game. Before I ramble on too much I must quit now.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 6:26 AM
  • grizzly333

    adam, watchmen was an amazing movie because of how most of the comic book panels directly translated to the movies shots. Also, the ultimate cut combines everything together and was actually a masterpeice.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 5:27 AM
  • Spindrifter

    I tried to read LotR, and I also thought that the writing was awful, so thank you Adam for being the first person with a microphone who I've heard with the guts to say it.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 5:14 AM
  • skillsthatkills

    Love you Adam

    Posted: January 19, 2011 4:55 AM
  • Thelastgamer

    One thing that Adam doesn't consider is that these movies have the potential to be good. A video game movie doesn't have to dilute the experience of the game into 2 hours of unwatchable dreck, it could take those characters and that plot and make it work in another medium.

    Comic book movies have generally gotten this idea down. Of course a movie like Watchmen failed to live up to its source material; it tried and, in my opinion, failed to capture all of the amazing nuances of the series. But that only happened BECAUSE it was a finished series. The director tried his very best to recapture the visual and narrative minutiae of the comics, and ended up with three hours of mediocre cinema.

    However, a movie like The Dark Knight is an example of a comic book movie done right, by most accounts. It works for several reasons. It isn't directly adapting any specific Batman storyline or origin, rather the writers and directors instead tried to capture the essence of the characters from the comics and create a plot that lends itself to cinematic action and drama. It also helps to get a great director at the helm.

    While honestly I can't say that this approach will work definitively for just any franchise, it seems the best way to adapt something into a good movie. Lord of The Rings is an anomaly because, while I won't go as far as Sessler and say Tolkein is a bad writer, he really could have used an editor. Those books are so detailed in every sense of the word, creating a peerless world of High Fantasy, he might as well have been writing the script, screenplay, and World Bible himself. Also, Peter Jackson directed.

    All in all, I'd say most video games don't need a movie made out of them. Uncharted has the potential to be at least watchable, because it's stories can start and end anywhere. Drake went from finding his ancestor's hidden treasure to finding Shangri-friggin-La. A good story for the movie would at the least make it worth watching once.

    TL;DR Easy now, not everything that's adapted into a movie will be bad. There are good reasons for that too. The Uncharted movie might end up being okay.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 4:19 AM
  • XXXSpartan118XXX

    Uwe Boll or however you spell it needs to not make any of these videogame movies lol Bloodrayne was terrible and Far Cry (I wonder if anyone say it) was just terrible. Never copy the games story. If anything a movie should be a prequel to the game of 1.5 to connect it to lets say a sequel game.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 3:56 AM
  • Silanne

    Adaptations should mostly go out the window. Needs more expansion, backstory, side events. Cross-media spinoffs need to be more about creating a richer experience for that world rather than shoehorning it into another format.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 3:13 AM
  • Nerdi_Master

    Anybody else having trouble putting recent G4 videos inb full screen mode? I hope it's not just me. This one won't let me.

    Posted: January 19, 2011 1:25 AM
  • reepga

    i'd f me. wonder how u do that

    Posted: January 19, 2011 1:24 AM

    Why not instead of making a video game movie by directly porting the video game into a movie, you simply take the meaningful aspects of the video game universe and make a movie around those aspects? I can't see how this could be doomed to fail unless the sole meaningful aspect of the franchise is the gaming mechanics. Why not take the video game rights and use them to show the world from a new perspective or touch on aspects that are best represented from an observers point of view? Maybe you could even build on the canon in a way best suited to a movie.

    Why not make a movie about the Silent Hill franchise from the point of view of one or more of the psychiatrists treating Cheryl, Alex, James or other characters who were hinted to be delusional and in the care of the Silent Hill psychiatric facilities. Maybe we could see the buildup to the resonance cascade through the strictly observational point of view of a scientist turned repressed citizen. Maybe even games like De Blob with little story can be made into a good movie if you build on the right aspects.

    Ever wonder what significance the jazzy music and free form art has to the Radians; why not make a movie about that. How about seeing the nature of the politics of Metroid through a non-bounty hunters view of a world where important aspects of security and justice are left in the hands of those with a loose relationship with society and the law. Maybe even Mario Kart can be made into a movie built around the politics of racing and the societal forces that would lead to an international racing league between bowser's castle and the mushroom kingdom as suggested by Yahtzee Croshaw. Maybe we could even look at these works of art from a new perspective and show them to be filled with the undercurrents and themes that fill the other more respected art forms.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 11:24 PM
  • Cell34

    Yeah, I like Adam. I liked how passionate he was in the video. But after I got done watching it, all I could think was, "Wow, that was pretty stupid."

    1. Apocalypse Now is a bad movie? I understand if someone doesn't like it as much as the book, thats one thing. But a bad movie? Really? So what is a good war movie? I don't mind if someone says "This sucks" but if you say that, you need to immediately follow it with what is better.

    2. Saying that videogames shouldn't be made into movies is like Ebert saying videogames shouldn't be considered art. If you want to say, videogames shouldn't be made into movies by directors who have never directed anything and writers that probably don't play videogames or understand the game they are writing for. I completely agree.

    But to just make a blanket statement across the board like that is laughable. Crossing genres / media forms is usually how you wind up with something amazing. If you have the right talent you wind up with something good, the end.

    3. Who cares if people want to see videogame movies. Some people want to watch Musicals, I personally hate them but more power to them. Oh wait, I forgot... Musicals don't count either because they mix music and movies, my mistake.

    So yeah, that was pretty dumb Adam.


    Posted: January 18, 2011 11:02 PM
  • REmaster0514

    Am I the only guy who thinks that mark wahlberg will be a good nathan drake? have you seen the other guys this guy can be funny and have the seriousness the character conveys.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 10:56 PM
  • Bowmanganie

    Sooooooooo....if they ADAPT it, and make it for the new medium in which the story is being told, then you like it? Is that what you are saying?? Cause with THAT I agree. I don't think that when a story is done in a different medium you should ever compare the two. Each should stand on it own two hairy feet. Either it is good or bad, regardless of the "original" material.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 10:34 PM
  • InMyWay

    i liked where you were going until you got to Tolkien

    Posted: January 18, 2011 10:31 PM
  • InMyWay

    J.R.R Tolkien is one of the best authors ever! so why dont you go play ET because im sure you LOVE that game!

    Posted: January 18, 2011 10:29 PM