Rob, my dealer (of information, which is a lot like a drug) sent me this link to the '10 Most Awesome Films that Hollywood Ever Killed'. Despite the bad title the article is interesting with films I didn't know about like Peter Jackson's 'Halo'!? I love Peter Jackson's films but there is something slightly moronic about movies based on video games. Does anyone remember 'Super Mario Bros'? Thank god I missed it.
Has there been any good film translation of a video game?
Now that I'm on the topic, are there any good cinematics/cut scenes in video games? It's an issue that has bothered me for years. I feel that it would be great if these game companies would hire actual filmmakers to create their scripts and cut scenes. Every game I've seen makes me imagine video game nerds wanting to be filmmakers. It seems that they could do something really remarkable if they would hire an 'expert' to create the little films within the games. I do remember Lucas Arts creating some great little gems with 'Sam & Max Hit the Road' and 'Day of the Tentacle' but that just feeds into my argument that they need to hire proper writers and directors (it is a George Lucas company after all). To top it off, the hugely successful Ubisoft Games out of Montreal has announced that they are going to get into the movie business. What frightens me is that they have the funds to make some great films but none of the film talent to make it. It frightens me because they are going to end up flushing their money down the toilet if they allow amateurs to make their films. It'll be another 'Wing Commander' or 'Tomb Raider' movie, full of cliches and masturbatory cinematics.
On a side note, Roger Ebert has been having a bit of a tussle with Clive Barker over some statements that Video Games are not art. This isn't my point but I'll link to it as it is an interesting topic.
In the article '10 Most Awesome Films that Hollywood Ever Killed' they state that George Lucas was originally 'hired' to direct Apocalypse Now. This is slightly incorrect. The project was in-house with Zoetrope (Coppola's company) and Lucas and Milius were originally going to make the film. Lucas went on to make American Grafitti and Star Wars and Coppola decided to make it himself. It was never a studio owned film and Coppola financed the film himself (with United Artists as distributor).