Thursday, February 21, 2008

Scraping the Barrel (of Monkeys)

I have for some time now been lamenting the lack of quality original work in the cinematic arts. Nearly every movie that has been made, and most of those I've seen in the last few years has been a derivative of some other work (for example the Harry Potter movies, Serenity, Transformers, Stardust, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men, Ocean's 11-13, 300, Die Hard 4.0, Sweeney Todd, Doom, Sin City the list goes on and on). Long have I waited for an original work, not derived from a book, comic, tv show, another movie, or history.

Unfortunately it looks like I shall have to wait a while longer. For Hollywood has found another mine from which to dig up derivative works. Board games. Universal pictures has signed a deal with Hasbro to make movies based on board games. On the list are Monopoly, Battleship, Candyland and Ouija.

Just how useful is a board game as a base idea for a movie. I mean really, Battleships? Fine, a nautical action/battle movie. That would be fine. Will there be giant red cylinders falling out of the sky taking out ships? Will aircraft carriers unrealistically take 5 hits in different parts of the hull before sinking? Will ships stay in place while barraging each other with gunfire? Will the action take place on a square ocean? I think (and hope) the answer to all of these will be no. So why try and link it to a board game. Let's just make a naval action movie.

Same with Monopoly. There have been a number of finance, wheeler dealer type movies, and there are more to come. A hotel mogul is definitely an idea for a story, but does he really need to be building his hotels on the Boardwalk and the Strand to keep the vibrancy of the idea?

I guess this is just one more case of life imitating art.

End Post
Writing time: 38 minutes (it took a while to find a working link to the right Robot Chicken episode)
Time since last post: an hour or so
Current media: Pleasantville

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