When you put in fifteen hour days and get paid for only eight in the public education, you tend to work up quite an appetite. Driving home I had quite the hankering for a nice greasy cheeseburger. I pulled into the parking lot of the golden arches and proceeded inside for a nice high-sodium, low-protein, poor food-value meal with visions of bloating and passing out on my couch, dancing in my head. As I walked passed the giant plastic tubing and hollow sphere pit acting as a babysitter for over a dozen children, I couldn’t help but notice that no adults were anywhere near the outside play area. Maybe I just picture the worst all the time, but all I could think was how much of a liability issue that was. Trying to put it out of my mind, I placed my order with the cashier…or at least I tried.
I wanted an Angus third pound bacon cheeseburger. I am very picky when it comes to my burgers and attempted to make my directions very clear. “One Angus bacon cheeseburger plain, please.” Simple enough. Yet the simple minded young lady behind the counter couldn’t quite wrap her head around it. “So you want just the meat on the bun?” “No I don’t want just the meat one the bun, I want an Angus bacon cheeseburger plain.” “But that makes no sense. If it were plain then it wouldn’t have bacon or cheese on it.” “Well, it wouldn’t be a bacon cheeseburger without the bacon or cheese.” “Oh. I see. Sorry sir.”
Stomach full and irritability level now risen just slightly, I found myself wandering the shopping center until I came to my video rental store. The clerk is kind of eccentric and a little quirky. Most would cast him out as some kind of a weirdo, but he is a good convo when it comes to films. Since we are on good terms, he lets me peruse the store and even preview some of the more “less seen films” from time to time. Sipping on my super-sized coke and wandering down the action isle, my eyes made contact with a film that sent me into a new digression of thought.
I have not seen Bloodrayne II: Deliverance, so I cannot pass complete judgment, but having seen the prequel, I can make an educated guess that it isn’t a winner. Why do film makers think that just because a storyline is successful in one medium, it will transfer its success to another? The scripts seem to fail right from the get go and never stand a chance. Video game players are not necessarily of all the same demographic. Ages vary between players, sometimes even greatly. In World of Warcraft, for instance, you can be raiding a dungeon with a nine year old and a forty-five year old at the same time. So transferring it to a film wouldn’t bring an audience of the same successful sale numbers. Not to mention that not all video game players are avid movie goers. Some in fact, are shut-ins that never leave their homes, therefore, tend to wait for the next DVD release of the new Uwe Boll monstrosity. Two of the largest pop culture mediums for the last twenty years have been film and electronic games. Yet this does not mean the two can be inner-twined into some money making orgy. And there en lies the truth.
Money is what makes the world go around. Originality in films are exponentially dieing out. We get these films that are movie adaptations of video games because movie producers start to see dollar signs. The inverse is also true. Most video games that are adaptations of films are generally bad. My philosophy is to never buy a “movie-game” since they typically are a waste of sixty dollars. All because of money. It is slowly becoming less and less about the art form, and more and more about the box office results.
A couple of blogs ago I reviewed the DVD of George A. Romero’s Diary of The Dead, and if you read it, you would remember a comment I made about the poor low budget films getting shafted. Due to production companies’ greed, many better written films are getting swept under the rug to make way for these big productions that lack subtlety and substance. What happened to the days of well written scripts and Oscar winning performances selling tickets instead of flashy effects in CGI and stuffing a cast with A-listers. It is no wonder why film lovers such as myself, find ourselves watching classics from way before our time, just to satiate our hunger for stimulating screenplay, rather than throwing our money away on fancy bells and whistles that do nothing more than dazzle the eye, but are deep as a puddle and share the same structural strength as a house of cards.
Every once in awhile a film slips through the cracks and is decent and makes the cut. If you agree with me here is a list of some more recent ones I recommend; Lions for Lambs, Lars and The Real Girl, There Will Be Blood, Life In The Time of Cholera, No Country For Old Men, Dan In Real Life, just to name a few. Help keep the good films coming by refusing to pay for crap. Read reviews. Think deeply, I beg of you. Don’t be sheep heading to slaughter, but instead demand good film making by praising the films that are ‘different’ and shooting down the ones that lack original thought. See an indie film from time to time. Attend a film festival. Get your art side back.
As always, keep a free mind, and keep watching the skies…