Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bioshock Movie On Hold: A Good Thing?

Being a movie buff and a video gamer, I have always been disappointed with lack of quality in video game to movie adaptations. And yesterday, it was announced that director Gore Verbinski's BIOSHOCK adaptation is now put on hold while they try to quell the rising budget which was reportedly $160 mil. I can't help but think that maybe this is a good thing.

I believe that video games are the ultimate melding of multiple entertainment mediums - in game movies, interaction, music, experience - and could very much revolutionize the entertainment world one day. Slowly, games have become more cinematic and their stories more moving (a great example is the Metal Gear Solid series, my absolute FAVORITE!) But once, the movie aspect is removed from the film and crafted into its own entity, it loses something along the way.

The problem? A few things. One is the writers are Hollywood, most have never played the games they are making which demonstrates a lack of commitment and respect for the games as a work of their own. The end result is a petition to get signatures asking a director to never make another film again (take that Uwe Boll!). Two, is Hollywood itself. Too often is the studio dipping into a game license with a pre-established fan base so that they are guaranteed to make money off the die hard fans of said game. Instead of taking the time and money to make a good, or at least passable, film, they only see dollar signs leaving us gamers angry and disappointed.

Now Gore Verbinski at least has some talent to put a good film together if you think of the first Pirates of the Caribbean and try to forget the rest. I just don't know if his directing style is right for BIOSHOCK. The game's story and design is groundbreakingly unique. Set in an underwater city called Rapture, we (the hero) are forced to fight a plasmid crazed population of psychopaths and old-school-deep-sea-diving-look-alikes called Big Daddy's who protect ADAM collecting Little Sisters. Its terrifying, thrilling, grotesque, depressing, dark, visionary, and a heck of a lot of fun! I just feel that it is too serious for Verbinski's style. But I could and would love to be proven wrong.

So is it a good thing that BIOSHOCK might be lost in developement hell from whence it may not return? I think so. We always have the games, untainted by the greedy hands of Hollywood. Maybe one day they will take video game movies seriously. I did like MORTAL KOMBAT though.

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