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Sessler's Soapbox: Why Video Game Movies Suck

Posted: January 18, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Why Video Game Movies Suck
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/50791/sesslers-soapbox-why-video-game-movies-suck/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/258294_LGST/soapbox-1-18-11.jpg
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  • crocodilius

    you can count on me not to blow 10 bucks at the theatres!
    i learnt my lesson after the tomb raider movies...
    apparently you cant take 12 hours of jumping around walls and make it into an interesting 2 hour film, whod of thunk it.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:58 PM
    crocodilius
  • Jimi0088

    "You get what you vote for."

    Adam, you said it perfect.............

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:52 PM
    Jimi0088
  • TheBearJew

    While i haven't read any of the comics and only saw the movie i have to agree with what sess was saying about watchman,don't get me wrong i thought they did a damn good job at making a overall interesting story(which is rare comic book source or not) but more than half of it was in flashbacks that kind of made me feel that i was missing a LOT of story,like adam said you can only get so much in with 3 hours.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:51 PM
    TheBearJew
  • SirFault

    I agree about Tolkien, couldn't get into it for the same reasons. Also couldn't get into Wicked, they spent too much time talking about hermaphrodites than seriously advancing the story. Well, that point was such a turn off I couldn't continue anyway. I slightly disagree with you on Watchmen Adam, when I think about Watchmen and keep it separate from the comic book it was good at what it did, and enjoyable. When I compare it to the comic book the movie is terrible, for the exact reasons you mentioned in your soapbox, an awesome huge book scrunched up into a 2 hour movie. It just doesn't work. I find it's best to have more than one mind set when approaching these things. Accept that movies will only do a so well when compared to the original (if it was based off of a book or something of the like) and once you've been able to accept that fact the movie is more enjoyable. Not going to lie it's very difficult to do that it's comparable to making yourself stupid without the use of booze or narcotics. Oh and thumbs up to anyone who actually had the patience to sit and read my dribble!! Kudos to you good people!

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:41 PM
    SirFault
  • POTATOjim

    For once i am going to have to disagree with you Mr. Sessler. Having read Watchmen on multiple occasions I can say that i thoroughly enjoyed the movie adaptation.
    Also, besides LotR, I think you may be forgetting some fairly excellent movie adaptations of books. 007, the Bourne series, 2 out of 3 Spider-Man movies, and a few fantastic Batman movies (especially The Dark Knight)
    Plus a few great game adaptations of books and movies: Arkham Asylum, Dante's Inferno, KotOR and the multiple Tom Clancy games.
    Just like many of the other viewers I agree with you to a certain extent but there are so many exceptions

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:38 PM
  • JamesFinn1

    It's obvious that the Uncharted movie will suck but the question is how much will it make. It think it will probably make enough for a sequel which is pretty depressing.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:36 PM
    JamesFinn1
  • TGE0

    Personally I think that there really could be some interesting movies based on certain game universes.
    The key point there being the "universe" of the game setting, the interesting background information and stories that add depth to the world but are never really explored in the game.

    Games are often sculpted around the long story, getting you familiar with the details of the character, often letting you form your own opinions about them. Movies are just too different to achieve the same experience and feeling that you get from many, many hours with the story and character in a game.

    That said some games have vast, interesting universes and story that are not directly connected to or told in the span of the game. To give an easy example; Star Wars has (not always but often enough) managed to have games and other non-movie mediums that really helped to expand on the universe and story without trying to be the movies.

    Likewise a movie set in something like the Mass Effect setting but OUTSIDE of the story line of the game really could give people the extra that they wanted from that game setting that they enjoyed but without the problem of just being some mediocre rehash with Bruce Willis or the like playing a dumbed down version of Shepard*.


    *There will be no movie with Bruce Willis as captain Shepard... I hope.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:35 PM
    TGE0
  • JamesFinn1

    Studios make movies out of video games because the larger the pre-existing propoerty the more money you can make. If they made a Halo movie it would make at least 100 million. Even if it was terrible it would make 100 million and if it was actually good then 500 million. Just look at that terrible Superman Returns movie that made over 250 million theatrically and over 1 billion in merchandise. That movie was terrible but it was Superman so it made a lot.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:33 PM
    JamesFinn1
  • JessicaStar

    When these ideas are discussed, I always find myself going back to Pirsig's book "Lila" in my mind. There's a scene where the author meets with a Great Actor to discuss making his first book, Zen & the Art, into a movie. Ideas are bandied back and forth and the author is very excited at the prospect...but on reflection finds that he's uncomfortable with translating the book into film.

    As the point of Lila is building up and describing a metaphysics of quality the author uses this to illustrate the dilemma. He considers the narrative put forth in books to operate primarily on an intellectual plane with visualization vs film which operates on a social visual plane. According to his hierarchy, this reduces the quality and ideas of the book and not necessarily be right to adapt--at least without changing the quality and message of the work.

    While I don't necessarily subscribe to his hierarchy or at least the morally absolutist way in which it's presented, I do think it's a great illustration of another idea...that of philosopher Marshall McLuhan in saying "The Medium is the Message". I don't consider adaptations to be necessarily inferior at all, however if you expect to get the exact same message from an adaptation in another medium then you are likely to be quite disappointed. It will be, and in fact has to be, different on some levels.

    The biggest danger here, and the thing that I think gets fans of an original upset, is that once a story has been adapted into another medium the adaptation can supercede or become intrinsically entwined with the original in such a way that the experience feels forever changed. A few earlier commenters referenced Resident Evil, and that's a fantastic example because for many people the movies and images associated with them cannot be separated from the name--whether or not this is a bad thing depends on how you feel about the movies, but either way they are now linked.

    Anyway, I think it's a fascinating subject and really fun to delve into. I'm glad you brought it up Adam, and did so in a way that got me thinking a lot.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:33 PM
    JessicaStar
  • dino2100

    Adam very true as i have been saying for a few years ever since a reviewer made me realize it: you vote with your dollars. Everything comes down to how much money we as the public spend on a product.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:29 PM
  • goricky

    naughty dog sure has been pushing this series pretty hard. I think it'll be time to pack it up after the 3rd game and go back to jack so that way they don't end up making a male counterpart to lara croft (only with easier "puzzles" and more action)

    on what adam said in the video, I suppose people get worked up over adaptations of video games because they want the move to be as good as the game. My guess is that the people that think this way see the movie the same way they would the next video game installment in the series. Personally, my hopes aren't too high, i'm hoping it'll at least be a decent action flick like the prince of persia movie.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:29 PM
    goricky
  • prinny_hero

    I apologize for being off topic, but has anyone seen Adam with a dark shaded beard on G4? The picture on the Soapbox vid makes me wonder..

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:24 PM
    prinny_hero
  • MuppetPastor

    Except for the Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness references (never watched/read), I agree with everything he's said. EVERY SINGLE TIME I bring up what boring books LOTR are, people say I'm crazy. They might be epic, and original, and they might have created this whole entire world that has basically created the fantasy genre ... but they are so freakin' boring; and this was when I was 27 or 28. I tried so many times to read and like these books, but his writing is that of (you guessed it) a college professor. Boring, little narrative on the actual goings on, sleep-inducing, etc. For a while there, I didn't use Nytol, I used the Fellowship of the Rings.

    I also agree that video games should NOT be made into movies, and not only because they suck when made into film. Comic books have years and years for the most part to tell a good story, but especially to create the MYTHOLOGY of a character (as Tarentino would say). You can use that in a movie that is 2 hours, and at least give SOMETHING that is interesting for the most part. Video games on the other hand ... Explain to me the mythology of a Super Mario Bros. movie. Or how about Zelda (a little better done, but still, little in the way of explanation), or Metroid (you'll notice I'm only picking on Nintendo games here ... hint hint).

    You can't create a good narrative if one didn't exist in the source material. Some comic book movies were trash, some cringe-inducing, some, eh, some not so bad, some really good, and even some great. But video games, I don't believe, will ever make great films because there's not enough material there to form a good mythology of a world or even a character.

    Great soapbox, good points; I agree. Leave games alone, make your own movie.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:23 PM
    MuppetPastor
  • mattmckenna

    It's like Chicken and an egg. But my Big question is what is that cable coming out of/ going into the disc drive in the wii?

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:22 PM
  • KJDog19

    Don't diss the Tolkein!

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:15 PM
    KJDog19
  • Kill Audio

    I agree with SolidSean with the statement about Watchmen. I never did see Appocalypse but the Watchmen for the most part, exception of the mid/end to end of the movie, the rest of it was pretty spot on. And even near the end it made the movie come pretty close to the end of the book.

    So Sessler, yes video games/comics/books are poorly adapted for the most part to movies, BUT, there are exceptions.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:15 PM
    Kill+Audio
  • Jeprox

    1. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas the game"

    2. "Ghost 'n Goblin the Movie" by M. Night Shyamalan

    3. "A Shore Thing" by Snooki

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:14 PM
    Jeprox
  • GaurdianAngel822

    This was a very interesting Soapbox episode. I agree with many of the points brought up. Yes, Tolkien is such a pain for me to sit down and read. It's not that it's bad writing, just difficult to understand. The movies turned a confusing story into a kickass 14 hour (including deleted scenes) trilogy. And I am also confused on why we have the need to see video games turned into movies. Uncharted is basically a movie in itself, it's visually beautiful enough to be considered one. Why let Wahlberg risk screwing up one of the biggest franchises in history for fans? Even the Resident Evil movies start to get kind of boring after so long. Stick with video games, enjoy the fact that you can control the character's actions, feel that sense of power instead of relying on a single man to put together a single team together in possibly ruining something beloved by you.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:03 PM
    GaurdianAngel822
  • GaurdianAngel822

    This was a very interesting Soapbox episode. I agree with many of the points brought up. Yes, Tolkien is such a pain for me to sit down and read. It's not that it's bad writing, just difficult to understand. The movies turned a confusing story into a kickass 14 hour (including deleted scenes) trilogy. And I am also confused on why we have the need to see video games turned into movies. Uncharted is basically a movie in itself, it's visually beautiful enough to be considered one. Why let Wahlberg risk screwing up one of the biggest franchises in history for fans? Even the Resident Evil movies start to get kind of boring after so long. Stick with video games, enjoy the fact that you can control the character's actions, feel that sense of power instead of relying on a single man to put together a single team together in possibly ruining something beloved by you.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:02 PM
    GaurdianAngel822
  • weejer32

    i agree with some of this, but i think that people have been trying to make movies from the wrong games, therfore the movie ends up sucking, but taking a storyline form a rich universe of storytelling like uncharted or let's just say mass effect seeing as they are making a movie of that right now too. there are alot of opportunites and hope for these movies that i can see and while being hopeful about these i know there's a good chance for them to fail but hopefull these will be one of the exceptions.

    Posted: January 18, 2011 7:01 PM
    weejer32
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