Tag Archives: Video Game Movies

My Favorite Scene: Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle (2017) “Strengths and Weaknesses”

Making a “great video game” movie has become an annual rite of failure for Hollywood.  For whatever reason, even games that have great storytelling and visuals on home consoles can’t be adapted competently on to the big screen.  Just this year Tomb Raider and Ready Player One whiffed in trying to translate.  I think the best video game movie currently is actually a sequel to a movie based on a kids’ book: 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. 

Welcome to the Jungle uses all the conventions of video games: limited lives, character skills, levels, bosses, NPCs, cut scenes, and more to push the plot along a fast-paced, comedic action roller coaster.  If the plot is thin…..well so are most video games, and every one of the characters is more than aware that they’re trapped within one.  It doesn’t waste time trying to be more than what it is, and mainly the entire jungle serves as a showcase for the movie’s true star: their four leads’ complete and utter dorkiness within their host bodies.  My favorite exploration of the movie/game space is when the four character discover how to read their character’s stat sheets and discover the strengths and weaknesses (mostly weaknesses for Kevin Hart) of their flesh prisons.Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle Poster

Movie Review: Rampage (2018) *Big Meets BAAAAAAD*

Dwayne Johnson in Rampage
Footage of The Rock watching the final cut of the film.

In 1986, there was released an arcade game in which you could play as a lizard, an ape, or a wolf, move back and forth on a static screen of a random cityscape, and beat it to ash.  That….is essentially the entirety of the plot of Rampage the arcade game.  I fed an unholy amount of quarters into that machine, and had fond memories of the arcade game, which naturally required a feature film adaptation.  Given my description of what the plot of the game was, you can see where they might need to add some things to reach a theatrical run time.  I was hoping this was going to be a really fun bad movie.  That was my bar going into the film.  Instead, Rampage is a hyper violent, crass, ball of dumb (yes even by giant animals smash things standards).  It’s not good bad.  It’s just baaaad.

Continue reading Movie Review: Rampage (2018) *Big Meets BAAAAAAD*

Movie Review: Tomb Raider (2018) *Right Lara; Wrong Movie*

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider
Lara Croft isn’t just bosoms any more, people.  Since 2013, when Square Enix rebooted the chesty gaming icon, Croft has been the realistically proportioned, desexualized, gritty action star of 2013’s Tomb Raider and 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider (the third game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is due out in September).  The character was refocused as an intelligent, empowered seeker of rare artifacts and, yes, raider of tombs.  Opposing her is a shadowy organization called Trinity (corporate motto: “Hey, we’re not The Umbrella Corporation, for crying out loud!”).  Alicia Vikander looks freakishly like the rebooted Lara (who is voiced in the games by Grey’s Anatomy star Camilla Luddington), and she is undoubtedly the best part of the Tomb Raider movie franchise reboot.  She’s a perfect Lara Croft.  Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the good news stops.

Tomb Raider Then vs. Now
I clearly was not kidding about the redesign.

Continue reading Movie Review: Tomb Raider (2018) *Right Lara; Wrong Movie*

Rampage Trailer #2 (2018) “Big Meets Bigger”

Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered alpha predators. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

Serving as executive producers are Marcus Viscidi, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Jeff Fierson, with Wendy Jacobson co-producing. The screenplay is by Ryan Engle and Adam Sztykiel, and the story by Ryan Engle.

Released in 1986, the original Rampage put players in control of one of three monsters: A giant ape named George; a giant lizard name Lizzy; or a giant werewolf named Ralph. The game saw the monsters running amok across the United States, fighting the military, and destroying key landmarks. Several sequels were developed for the title as well, adding even more types of monsters to the playable roster and extending their path of destruction into the cosmos and even back in time.

Rampage is set to open April 20, 2018.

Rampage Poster

Rampage Trailer #1 (2018) “Big Meets Bigger”

Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered alpha predators. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

Serving as executive producers are Marcus Viscidi, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Jeff Fierson, with Wendy Jacobson co-producing. The screenplay is by Ryan Engle and Adam Sztykiel, and the story by Ryan Engle.

Released in 1986, the original Rampage put players in control of one of three monsters: A giant ape named George; a giant lizard name Lizzy; or a giant werewolf named Ralph. The game saw the monsters running amok across the United States, fighting the military, and destroying key landmarks. Several sequels were developed for the title as well, adding even more types of monsters to the playable roster and extending their path of destruction into the cosmos and even back in time.

Rampage is set to open April 20, 2018.

Rampage Poster