Friday, December 14, 2012

Could This Be The Last Set Of Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)?

I love my Wii. Yeah, okay, I did that on purpose, but the point is, of all the latest systems, not counting the Wii U which I've yet to play, the Nintendo Wii has always been my favorite. In a modern gaming landscape where everything else is either a God of War rip off, a Call of Duty rip off, or a Diablo rip off, the Wii is the only system that appeals to the old school gamer like me who just plays video games for some low intensity escapist entertainment. I don't want to play a game that I have to employ hours of complicated strategy just to beat, or a game where I have to team up with friends or random people on line and log in to a server that might not be around in ten years if I consider it a classic down the road. I just want to have fun, and that's where the Wii beats out the PS3 and the 360 every time, at least in my mind. I'll probably go back at some point and look at some older consoles that I've never personally owned, but for now, this will be the last entry in this series, and my love for the Wii, double entendre or not, is why I thought to order this series the way I did, to save the best for last. So here are my pitches -

1: Deadly Creatures

 One of the first games I ever played on the Wii, with a really strange and original set up, following a story inspired by the Treasure of the Sierra Madre about two men (voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper) in search of Civil War gold, as seen from the perspective of a spider and a scorpion fighting various predators and each other. The thematic parallels between the two stories and the size differential setting the two worlds apart bring to mind an adult version of movies like Osmosis Jones, where live action and animation are combined to show what happens just under our noses, only this time, with a serious and bloody tale of betrayal and revenge instead of a cutesy kids' story. Rather than traditional animation, I actually see this as a claymation or puppetry movie for the arachnid scenes, made almost like a nature documentary without the narrator, with no voices or other attempts to make the non-human characters anthropomorphic, just like the game. Obviously, you couldn't bring Dennis Hopper back, by I imagine Thornton would be game for this, and there are plenty of other hard bitten actors you could bring in to fill the other role. My pick would probably be William Forsythe.

2: Epic Mickey

Probably a cheat, considering its such a well known property and there's really only one way you could do it as a movie, but I still want to see it. With Don Bluth retired and/or still sucking, it seems to me that Disney is the last and best hope for any sort of resurgence in traditional animation, but with the lackluster performance of The Princess and the Frog, it does not seem very likely. It's probably foolish to think an adaptation of a video game would ever happen at all, let alone be the thing that brings the genre back, but as a loving tribute to Disney history, the nostalgia factor that attracted me to the game might be enough to make it more appealing to a mass audience. Maybe that's pushing it, as Epic Mickey is made by and for Disney nerds, but you never know. Back in my Playstation 2 article, I almost suggested Kingdom Hearts, because it's always seemed like the company is looking for a vehicle for their mascot to come back into movies, and it would have to be something like that that isn't hokey. The inclusion of Square Enix characters and the convoluted plot line it created convinced me to leave that one off the list, but I think this might be the thing to do it.

3: Elebits

The story of a secret species of magical creatures whose existence provides the world's energy, who must be captured in order to turn the power back on after a lightning storm scares them all into hiding. My first thought for this movie was in keeping with my gritty remakes of children's books, in this case a dark, post apocalyptic story about life without electricity, sort of Revolution meets Pokemon, but the more I thought about it, the more a serious, smaller scale effort actually appealed to me. I would confine the action to a single town during a blackout and do it in the style of a Spielbergian 80's fantasy movie like Batteries Not Included, where the townspeople come together upon the discovery of their hidden helpers and team up to save them from some common threat. You'd have the greedy mayor or someone who wants to exploit them for their energy, not taking the time to understand the wonder they represent, and the over protective parents who don't want their kids messing around with strange alien creatures, almost ruining everything with their good intentions. And of course the kids would be the lynch pins, the first ones to discover the creatures and bond with them. Sort of like The Last Mimzy, only not really shitty and pointless.

Seriously, Fuck This Movie.

4: No More Heroes

In the first article that inspired this series, I mentioned my desire to see another Suda51 game, Killer 7, turned into a trippy supernatural thriller co-directed by David Lynch and Takashi Miike. That would still be fucking awesome, but in lieu of that I could work with No More Heroes as well. The story follows a twenty something dickhead who gets a light saber off of the internet that he has to charge by jacking it off, and proceeds to take on the top ten assassins in the world just for the fuck of it. It's got a lot of potential for great oddball characters from the United Assassins Association ranking members, and is filled with pop culture parody and over the top bloodshed. The anarchic tone and video game as real-life sensibility of life as levels of combat leads me to Edgar Wright, basically doing an adult version of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. If he can beef up a little bit, I'd go for Andrew Garfield as Travis Touchdown.

5: Fragile Dreams

I have to be honest, I never actually finished this game, not because it was particularly difficult, which it wasn't, but because it was so goddamned depressing. As best I can tell from how far I got, its about the aftermath of what I think is a ghostial apocalypse, with most of humanity wiped out by the spirit world, and one cloistered teenager venturing out on his own after his guardian dies. The tone and atmosphere are haunting and at times gut wrenchingly sad. The battery death of an artificially intelligent computer you meet for like twenty minutes had me balling and almost made me turn the thing off right there. I've always wanted to go back and play the rest of it to see how it turned out, but I've never been able to bring myself to. I think I just want them to make a movie out of it so I can learn the rest of the story and only have to experience it for 90 minutes instead of several hours of game play. It's good, I swear, just, really really intense in a gloomy, slow moving sort of way.

6: House Of The Dead Overkill

If there's one genre of gaming I like more than the old school 2D platformer, it's the rail shooter, and the series that made me fall in love with it was House of the Dead, which I first discovered on the Dreamcast, and then never played in the arcade, because I'm cheap and there are no arcades. This one is kind of cheating too, as they've already made several House of the Dead movies (shitty ones that had nothing to do with the games from what I understand, though I've never seen any of them). Still I had to put this one on here, if only for the insane Grindhouse satire element that in the right hands could be made into an awesome zombie filled deconstruction of 70's exploitation films. It's a buddy cop movie set in the Louisiana bayou with enough crazy characters and a few genuinely fun plot twists that I think would really work in the hands of Tarrentino, Rodriguez, or even Eli Roth, who I haven't always liked, but seems to have a good sense for over the top stuff like this.

7: Dewy's Adventure

A game that's probably too hard for most kids and probably too cutesy for most adults, it's just right for a man child such as myself. The adventure of the most adorable little rain drop in the whole wide world fighting ink-like monsters trying to take over his idyllic forest, Dewy's Adventure is an underrated platformer that uses the Wii balancing mechanic of the remote to move the world, and thus move the liquid character along various surfaces. It's another kind of game where there's not much to say other than give it to Pixar or Dreamworks, but even then, a protagonist made of living water presents an interesting potential for visual wonder. I'm thinking back to Monster's Inc, where it was really the first time we saw so much detail in a CGI character, with every strand of Sully's hair individually detailed, and I think there could be something like that with Dewey, transforming at will between ice, steam, and water to kick ink blob ass up and down the magical forest.

So that's it for now, the latest and probably last edition of this series of blog articles nobody asked for, and nobody reads. Like I said, I'll probably go back to it now and again for a few addenda and maybe explore some other systems I have less experience with sometime down the road, but for now, this is all you get. Enjoy.

Okay, here's Wendy Hamilton one more time.


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