Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Game On for Hollywood

Besides comic book heroes, Saturday morning cartoons and boardgames, Hollywood is infatuated with bringing video games to life. From Final Fantasy to Street Fighter, it's an endless supply of cheesy, unbelievable drama. I won't be surprised if I'll be reading about a Pac Man or Rolando movie soon.

According to Variety, Sam Raimi has signed on to direct Warcraft, the live-action film adaptation of the MMORPG video game "World of Warcraft." It's scheduled for a 2011 release according to IMDB, so I doubt we'll get more info on this until next year. I was laughing my jaw off watching Raimi's latest comedy-horror Drag Me To Hell (you'll get the pun if you've seen the movie), but I can't stand any of Raimi's crappy Spiderman movies. And from the looks of things, I have a feeling Warcraft is going the route of Spiderman, i.e. glossy, simplistic good vs evil storyline with generically good looking actors who attempt to look like they're fighting internal demons. And if that sounds good to you, you're in luck because Raimi will be doing Spiderman 4 and Spiderman 5 (rumored). Raimi is the master of cheesy, LOL horror - no one does this niche genre like he does. Sigh. I guess oddball horror doesn't pay the bills.

Another video game turned movie is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with Jake Gyllenhall. Check out the new posters, featuring Gyllenhall and Ben Kingsley. Is it just me, or does Jake Gyllenhaal look stumpy in the costume?

Gyllenhall has always fallen in my category of intellectually interesting-looking men (other people in this category include Peter Saarsgaad and Christian Bale), so in my books, Gyllenhall looks out of place in this fantasy action flick. Come to think of it, Gyllenhall has not impressed me since Brokeback Mountain, and even then - he was in Heath Ledger's shadow the entire time. I've attempted to play Prince of Persia the game once, and got a bad headache out of it, but then again, I just don't get the concept of playing three dimensional games on a 2D screen surface.

While we wait for more Prince of Persia stuff, Gyllenhall can next be seen in Brothers, which initially looked like Pearl Harbor with brains; but with the exception of Tobey Maguire - he's one of the reasons I can't stand the Spiderman franchise - it's hard to go wrong with Gyllenhall and Natalie Portman in a movie that explores the personal & emotional scars of war. Saarsgaad looks deliciously mischievous (it's the semi-grin I tell you!) in a new movie, An Education, about having to choose between adventure and stability. Click on the links above to view the trailers.



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