Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Revenge of T.S.H.B.G.

Once more I have produced a list of three movies which would have probably been better off games rather than feature films.  For this outing I've decided to focus on some smaller budget lesser know motion pictures rather than the typical overwrought Hollywood blockbuster.  Incidentally, if you want to read the previous entries in this reoccurring segment you can check them out here and here.  Now on with the show!

Neither good enough to avoid a direct to video release, nor bad enough to enjoy cult classic status, "Moontrap" is a mediocre sci-fi flick staring Bruce Campbell and Walter from "Evil Dead" and Chekov from Star Trek.  The premise is sometime before recorded history humans got into an interstellar war with a robotic race capable of harvesting dead tissue and machinery in order to make Frankenstein copies of itself.  At around 14,000 years ago the conflict ground down to a stalemate and, while the Earth was spared any harm, the moon became...well, for lack of a better term, a trap.  Of course corny dialogue and nonsensical plot points didn't do this film any favors, but the basic components would make for an excellent horror game.  Think Echo Night: Beyond with a more comprehensible story, or Martian Gothic: Unification with better acting.

"The Last Battle," or in the original French "Le Dernier Combat," is a black and white art house film made by (the then 24 year old) Luc Besson, who later in life went on to  direct "The Fifth Element" among other movies.  What makes this post-apocalyptic tale stand out is the nearly complete lack of spoken dialogue.  Apparently people lost the ability to vocalize words as a consequence of the largely unexplained disaster which befell humanity.  Our hero is a lone male tinkerer, scavenger and aviator of sorts trying to survive in a desolate wasteland.  During the course of his journey he comes across a doctor who he befriends, and an adversarial brute who he does battle with using a lot of improvised weapons and armor.  Overall the film has a quasi-medieval vibe focused on basic needs such as food, water, shelter and companionship.  Imagine The Last of Us, Condemned: Criminal Origins and MadWorld all rolled into one and you have a pretty good idea of what this movie would be in video game form.

Last is "Gedo Senki" or "Tales from Earthsea" as it is called in English.  It's Goro Miyazaki's first film and a rare instance in which Studio Ghibli made a lackluster animated movie.  In part this is because of the ineptly written screenplay which disregards all the best parts of the source material in lieu of dull and disjointed attempts at an original narrative.  The saddest part is Earthsea is a rich and unique setting with interesting characters, plus a original system of magic based on Taoism and a bit of Jungian psychology.  By use of true names and an ancient language of creation, wizards are able to alter reality through spoken words which only a gifted few can comprehend.  The only problem is if the natural balance is disrupted to much the consequences can be disastrous both mentally and physically.  Imagine what this would be like as a video game.  It'd be like if Scribblenauts were to combine with Ni no Kuni and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

Beautiful graphics and original gameplay!?!  Where do I sign up?

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