Reporting The Man Behind Patrick Emmel
5) Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
To be fair, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within wasn’t really a bad movie. As the first photo-realistic computer-animated feature film, it was ground-breaking. With a cast that included Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, James Woods, and Donald Sutherland, it had talent. While the plot may have been preachy, it was tolerable. The problem was, this was not the movie that Final Fantasy fans wanted.
In 1997, Sony Playstations were sold in bulk when the greatest role-playing video game of all time was released, Final Fantasy 7. With a 3-D world and the weaving storyline of Cloud, Sephiroth, and Midgar that filled up 3 discs, Final Fantasy 7 became, and still is, the goal of RPG games in regards to plot development. When a Final Fantasy movie was rumored, fans were hoping for a movie that made the cut-scenes of Final Fantasy 7 even better, without having to spend days breeding chocobos.
Amends were offered to fans when Final Fantasy: Advent Children was released, an epilogue movie to the game, but by then it was too late.
4) Max Payne
The Max Payne video game series gave new life to the first-person shooter. Using comic book pages instead of cinematic cut-scenes to tell the story of an undercover cop with nothing to lose, it was a video-game interpretation of detective film noir with the element of “Bullet Time,” lifted directly from The Matrix. (Remember the millennium, kids? You couldn’t turn around without a string of cameras rotoshooting you.
Unfortunately, Max Payne the movie was a film interpretation of a video game interpretation of a film genre, which is just too much of a stretch to take seriously. Add to that the fact that “Bullet Time” had already been done in The Matrix and you have a disjointed film that would forever be compared to other, better films, that is easily forgettable and may never earn a sequel like its gaming console predecessor.
3) Street Fighter
Street Fighter 2 is arguably one of the greatest fighting game franchises on the planet. Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Virtua Fighter may have expanded the genre, but Street Fighter 2 got the ball rolling. When it was rumored that the game would spawn a live-action movie, dreams of what Blanka, Dhalsim, Guile, Vega, and M. Bison would look like in reality filled the dreams of video game fans. Sadly, the movie not only didn’t deliver, but may have destroyed the franchise.
First off, the acting was horrible. We didn’t expect an Oscar-winning performance from star Jean-Claude Van Damme. Apparently the creators of Street Fighter did, leading to a dragging storyline about Special Ops agents fighting terrorists with more throw-away pro-America shots than any movie from the 1940s. That plot was the second problem. It didn’t deliver the same intensity of martial arts duels that the game featured, the intensity that Mortal Kombat finally delivered to fighting-game fans. Sometimes more is clearly not better.
2) Super Mario Bros.
Mario and Luigi have had quite a run in the gaming world. The sight of Mario’s mustachioed face is almost as recognizable worldwide as Mickey Mouse. Featuring brainwashed mushrooms, evil turtles, and, of course, Italian plumbers saving a princess, the games were never about being realistic. They were just good, plain fun.
The movie Super Mario Bros. tried to capture that innocent playfulness and expanded it into a live-action feature, but failed miserably. Maybe it was the fact that Goombas were reinvented to be giant club bouncers with itty-bitty craniums. Maybe John Leguizamo’s Brooklyn accent was just a bit over the top. Maybe fans were disgusted that the big movie climax had ray-guns, a prop Mario Mario and Luigi Mario never used. Maybe it was the fact that, instead of just having a vertical leap that would make Michael Jordan proud, Mario and Luigi used special boots that needed to be refilled with “Bullet Bills” every time they wanted to jump again.
With all of these problems, it’s hard for the stars of the movie like Dennis Hopper, Samantha Mathis, and Bob-omb to truly save it from utter confusing mediocrity. It would also be hard to find another movie that could have ended any hope for another movie based on a video game…almost.
1) Double Dragon
The Double Dragon game series began with a simple idea: put two brothers in an 8-bit street to beat up gang members to save their woman. Yes, one woman. If you were playing it in two-player, you would be forced to fight your brother because there can really be only one. It was basic, it was fun, and it helped launch the most ridiculously awful video game movie ever made.
Starring Scott Wolf, known for such action-packed masterpieces such as Party of Five, and Mark Dacascos, who should have known better after his top-notch martial arts work in American Samurai, Double Dragon was a video game movie so bad that its video game franchise changed its format to a straight-up fighting game with Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls to spare itself further embarrassment. The ugly special effects turned Koga Shuko into a black-and-white shadow, and the colorful early ’90s fashion created a movie that most people have forgotten, in part because most people fell asleep watching it. Even the screen power of Alyssa Milano and Abobo couldn’t stop Double Dragon from one-upping Super Mario Bros. in horrible video game movie concepts.