31-Day Mage Challenge: Day Fourteen – “Favorite Video Game Movie”

31 Day NES Well-Red Cover

Oh boy. What have we gotten ourselves into? Today’s challenge is a cinematic doozy, a flop-fest, a critique of the critically panned. It’s enough to give Ebert nightmares, for today we scrape the bottom of the Rotten Tomatoes barrel.

Yes, that means video game movies. They aren’t exactly Academy Award winners, let’s just say that.

Not a single film based on a video game released internationally since ’93 has ever scored any higher than 45% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now of course, critic scores aren’t everything. That’s why we have general consensus, which holds that these are some of the worst of the worst of the worst. Of the worst. Something can be so bad it’s good (somehow), but more often than not these movies are really, really bad/sappy/poor/ugly/cheap/terrible/messy/gratuitous/pandering/cheesy.

Obviously, a distinction can be made between movies based on existing video game franchises and movies that feature video games as part of the plot. There are the theatrical releases and the home releases. Live action and animated. For our purposes, we’re including all of these categories into today’s challenge…

What is your Favorite Video Game Movie?

…or “What is the Video Game Movie you tolerate the most?”

 

 

timemage The Timely Mage

Mortal Kombat. I was a huge Mortal Kombat fan as a kid and was so excited to see the movie in theaters. After watching it I was actually very pleased with it and still am to this day. I think it’s one of the few game-to-movie attempts that actually went well and felt like a cohesive film. Mortal Kombat Annihilation on the other hand… (“3% on RT!” -TWRM) I don’t know what happened there but I still can’t finish that movie without cringing so hard my face rips itself apart.

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blackmage The Black Humor Mage

Indie Game: The Movie is my favorite video game movie. The only good video game related movie is this documentary that focuses on different creators in different stages of their video game development . It’s interesting to see which games and creators the filmmakers picked before they were popular. They had good foresight because now many know what FEZ and Super Meat Boy are. This trailer that I’ve shared below does an awesome job of telling you exactly what the movie will be like, but not giving away too much. This is probably one of the best trailers ever made, to be honest.

 

 

ragemage The Rage Mage

So much to hate! I feel like a diabetic kid in a candy store! Super Mario Bros. tried to kill Bob Hoskins by stabbing him, electrocuting him, nearly drowning him, and breaking his fingers. Too bad it failed to finish the job. Everybody wonders what happened to Fred Savage through the years. The Wizard did him in. Pixels recently proved once and for all that no amount of modern special effects can make Adam Sandler funny. WarCraft showed the world that sweaty, overweight, white males do indeed have no lives. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider couldn’t be salvaged even by Angelina Jolie’s copyrighted cheekbones. Street Fighter took everything you loved about the game and made sure you’d never love it again. That was especially true for Raul Julia. Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within… you get a pass only because I already lambasted your crap in a previous post. Resident Evil, Max Payne, Prince of Persia, Silent Hill, DoomMortal Kombat AnnihilationWing Commander and lest we forget the tears we shared: Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Returns (ironic I used so many colons there since the Pokemon movie is full of it). These may have been mildly entertaining, but so is waterboarding.

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“When is it over, you little yellow sphincter?!”

 

 

FF3-NES-Summoner2 The Green Screen Mage

Wreck-It Ralph!! What? That doesn’t count? … Oh… (“It does count!” -TWRM)

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete. Yes, the complete version does make a big difference. It’s not a perfect movie, but it is a dang good looking one. Watching it and finding all the little easter eggs and hearing your favorite music pop up was just so fantastic. And those fight scenes?? Come on, they were so over the top awesome.

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whiteoutmage The White Out Mage

I’m going to go with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within… It may not be the best written story… but a few years after its release, when I was in animation class in college, I was introduced to this film. I was just learning that I wanted to do something creative with my life. I remember watching it on the projector screen in my classroom as we discussed how much life was in the eyes of the characters and how their skin was luminescent. That sort of thing wasn’t common back then. This film will always be a piece of nostalgia for me and I will always consider it a work of art and inspiration.

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Untitled2 The Well-Red Mage

Ladies and gentleman, 1989’s sci-fi summer blockbuster: Tron. Let’s not waste any black and white on Tron: Legacy, which demonstrated everything that’s wrong with modern film making. I’m talking about the classic Tron. It encapsulated the fever of the arcade scene. Like any good sci-fi it emphasized the looming dangers of technology developing at such an exponential rate that it outpaces ethics. I’m not going to “read too much” into Tron and label it a classic but it’s light-years ahead of most video game films based on existing franchises. It’s graphics are severely out-moded, out-dated and archaic but they still remain some of the most unique. I remember thinking this movie was hideously boring as a child, and it still is pretty slow-paced, but watching it again as an adult (especially in contrast with its sequel) made me realize how much of a sci-fi gem it is. The racing sequence is iconic for a reason. This is one movie that I wouldn’t be up in arms about if Disney gave it a proper reboot. And seeing as how they seem creatively-constipated enough to remake every Disney movie ever (prepare for a plot-twist-less Beauty and the Beast), I’m sure I’ll get my Tron.exe eventually.

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20 thoughts on “31-Day Mage Challenge: Day Fourteen – “Favorite Video Game Movie”

  1. I do not have much experience of watching films based on computer games (except for Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter). I actually like Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life. While there are some good points about the first Tomb Raider film, I feel the second reflects the Tomb Raider games more, with the obviously evil villain, range of exotic locations, simple story, interesting settings and strange monsters. Weirdly, the original film actually created a template (the idea of Lara’s father being a renowned archaeologist) that was used in later games in the series.
    I also find it interesting why one director (Uwe Boll) made so many films based on computer games.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ben X. Not Ben 10, Ben X. It’s about an Autistic gamer who escapes into the world of ArchLord, and then meets-up with a girl he’s met in that world. There’s lot of comparisons about the way he sees the world as being a competitive MMORPG. At first, I didn’t think ArchLord was real – like an homage to World of Warcraft – but it turns out to have released about 11 years ago by Codemasters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a couple of different favorites here. Naturally Final Fantasy: Advent Children is one of them, but does anybody here remember the Double Dragon movie? One of the worst movies, hands down, but great for its campy, one-liner spitting fun. Though not tied directly to a game I think Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a move FAAAR before it’s time and still stands today as a technological masterpiece. The story was good, if not a tad bit confusing, but if you understand where Hironobu Sakaguchi was in his walk of life it becomes a bit clearer. He was going through some bad stuff around the time of FF7 and Spirits Within.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yass Wreck-It-Ralph should totally count. You all saw the “Aerith Lives” right? I hate that spelling of her name, but the shout out (and LOTR nod) was appreciated.

    That being said, my favorite video game movie is Advent Complete, and agreed the “Complete” makes all the difference. I can’t watch that end fight scene though. My sensitive, empathetic soul can literally “feel” it. I’m sure I’ll get some scoffs for this, but impaling is one of those acts of violence I try to avoid watching D:

    Honorable mention to Max Payne. I never played the game so I have no prior medium to compare. I thought it was a decent movie with phenomenal cinematography. That one scene where the snowflakes looked frozen in midair. Lovely. .

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If we’re allowing movies with loads of video game references (even though source material is not a game), then I’d say Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Its plot resembles a game, and a beat ’em up was even inspired by it. This is one of my favorite movies, and I’ve seen it many times. I still get giddy during and video game references.

    If we’re not counting that, then I agree with The Green Screen Mage – Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete. That movie is pure FFVII fan service. I love the action. I only wish the main cast had a bigger role besides Cloud and Tifa.

    Liked by 3 people

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