As a hobby, gaming can create some interesting and disquieting juxtapositions to our existence. On the one hand, it is an activity which stimulates the brain, expands the boundaries of critical thinking, and allows people to de-stress or work through the problems and frustrations of their day in a world where the consequences of their decisions are not so dire as their reality. Despite these positive factors however, gaming is still often frowned upon by a vast degree of society as a childish activity which is not to be taken seriously.
Everyone has heard the famous phrase “I’m going to Disneyland” uttered by sports heroes and other famous people. Kingdom Hearts, however, has you experience the full ride throughout the Disney animated universe. There are no lines, no waiting, and best of all: Running through abridged versions of childhood favorites such as Tarzan and The Little Mermaid.
AAA (triple A) video games and the people who play them need to get over their embarrassing and childish insecurity. If I spent as much time getting in shape as gaming culture spends defending their chosen art form from mostly imagined assaults, I would have the abs of Ryan Reynolds. “We’re art too!” everyone cries, …
I’ll come right out and say it: Takashi Miike’s Ace Attorney, based on the first entry of the popular Capcom video game series, is the single-best cinematic adaptation of a video game property of all time. Now some of the more snide readers out there will no doubt think that this a pretty low bar to clear. There’s at least a partial truth to that: the current all-time champion of video game (henceforth VG) movie critical acclaim is 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, coming in at a cool 44% on Rotten Tomatoes (not that the RT metric is reflective of quality in any capacity, but that’s another discussion for another time). While the movie was a watershed moment from a technical standpoint (it had some of the most impressively detailed CGI in movie history up until that point), the consensus was the the film wasn’t engaging enough on an emotional level to be any good. The fact that it went way over budget and single-handedly killed off Square’s film production arm certainly didn’t help matters. As with anything, numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth either.
When the teaser for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children first burst upon the scene in the fall of 2003, it would have been a staggering understatement to say fans were excited. In fact, fans of gamings flagship fantasy series were positively chomping at the bit for any new information regarding the sequel. The teaser was sparse but the morsels it did offer gave the public some pretty major bits, such as a recut of Sephiroth burning Nibelheim, shots of Vincent, Barret, and Tifa, and the return of the Turks, all scored to a new version of the iconic One Winged Angel theme from FFVII’s final battle. Was Square setting the bar a bit too high right out of the gate? Just how could they possibly match the insane hype they were already building almost two years prior to release?
King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a documentary that follows Steve Wiebe’s attempt to break the Donkey Kong high score held by “Gamer of the Century” Billy Mitchell. Director Seth Gordon captures a classic underdog story on film that has you rooting for Steve the moment he takes on the Donkey Kong challenge, even though it means snatching the crown from Billy. More importantly, King of Kong demonstrates the importance of good sportsmanship.
In 2013, The Rock was named the highest grossing actor of the year with his films pulling in a combined $1.3 billion. Things were not always this great for The Rock though. When he first started out his initial run of action movies in search of action stardom, he didn’t have much luck. The Rundown and Walking Tall, while perfectly fine action films on their own, both underperformed at the box office. Then came Doom, which was either going to be his third strike or his home run. It ended up being the former, causing two things to happen – The Rock’s action career disintegrated for 6 more years, and the belief that video game adaptations are unsuccessful was bolstered.
Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (E.T.) is a critically acclaimed film that was release in the summer of 1982. The video game adapted from the film on the other hand, is unequivocally known as the worst video game in history. Its legendary disappointment reached mythical proportions when Atari buried a mountain of unsold cartridges in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Last year, E.T. was unearthed, increasing the game’s mythos. One lucky (or unlucky) cartridge made it to The Smithsonian, a symbol of the video game crash that lasted three long years from 1982 to 1985.
Over the course of the last century during which film has been a medium, there have been a lot of entries that have demanded the question: just how the hell did this film get made? There is, of course, the floating head epic Zardoz, starring a ponytailed Sean Connery. There’s the disastrously bad, yet endlessly meme-worthy remake of The Wicker Man, with the strangest Nicholas Cage performance ever (which is really saying something). And there is the mind-numbingly, soul-quakingly, unintentionally hilarious mess of The Room.