Monday, October 20, 2008

An open letter to Hollywood.

Dear Hollywood,

Please stop.

We've all had a laugh, now it's time to stop dicking around an actually make some good movies again. Furthermore, please stop pissing on video games.... You stopped pissing on comic books and look how that's turned out for you! Batman! Iron man! Money in the bank!

So when a game comes along that basically hands you a decent movie on a platter and then attempts to spoon feed it to you, don't take it back to the kitchen and microwave it. And melt cheese on top of it. And add some spices... It was good for you the way it was. It was a tasty nutritious meal! I'd stop with the food analogies but I'm a little hungry BECAUSE MAX PAYNE LEFT ME EMPTY AND UNFULFILLED.

Max Payne (the game) wanted to be a movie sooooo bad. It was like a love letter to movies of a bygone era, to a almost forgotten genre that's proven to actually be profitable and relevant in recent years *cough cough* Brick *COUGH COUGH* Sin City *CHOKE* Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang *AM I MAKING MY POINT YET MY THROAT HURTS* . Max Payne (the movie) could've been right up there with those I just mentioned. It could've been proof that games can be compelling and provide strong naratives. But most of all, it could've been an entertaining way to spend 2 hours.

Max Payne (the movie) was none of those things.

I could go on at length (At great length, with bullet points and graphs and diagrams) about what made it bad but thats been covered so many other places (terrible pacing, replacing the plot with a deus ex machina envelope, barely any action, NO NOIR VOICEOVERS - for those playing along at home; mark those off your bingo sheets) but I think It's best to just cut to the chase and say this: You don't deserve people's good ideas, Hollywood.

I mean it's like you wanna keep bringing down other forms of media so people don't realise you aren't necessarily the greatest form of modern art anymore...

This is why I never want to see a Metal Gear Solid movie.

Your's Truly,

Meanwhile. Elsewhere. I put up Virtual House on the site... It still needs some stuff (and some more up to date photos) but thats going to have to wait because I just wanna put something up. Furthermore, the house is dirty and probably wont get a decent clean til we have another inspection... SO IT'S GOING TO BE A WHILE.

This month I'm also tied for the most posts made in a month. Can I push on through and break the previous record? Only time will tell.

Finally, todays picture isn't by me, but if the shoe fits...


  1. Honestly I can't agree.

    Perhaps for me it's a combination of only playing the game briefly and watching my brother play it + Watching with a friend and enjoying the company; but I honestly and really enjoyed the Max Payne movie.

    It did dissapoint me how they didn't include all the true Noir tropes (Specifically voice overs, something I always love) but the directing style was definatly up there with the best. It wasn't as attention grabbing as the pallete/direction choices of something like Sin City of course, but it wasn't meant to be. It suited perfectly, it really was wonderful cinematogrophy.

    The acting worked (It wasn't fantastic and Mona could have used a bigger part but it worked) the story wasn't 100% predictable even for those of us that know the game. You call it a Dues Ex Machina? How? It ends almost the same as the game, the only real "Groaner" plot point was when they throw him into the water instead of just shooting him.

    I dunno. Perhaps I have no taste, I somewhat wish you'd pointed out really where you felt the Movie was weak so I could see where our tastes differed. But I honestly enjoyed it thoroughly.

    It wasn't fantastic but then neither was The Dark Knight, Ironman or Spiderman 3. It was at least as good as Ironman.

    And sadly most likely far better than the new Watchmen movie will be (Oh god...)

  2. Metal Gear Solid already is a movie! (To be fair the first one actually let me play it a little, but hey).

    That said it'd make for horrible cinema because they'd have to completely rewrite all the Cliche/Overdone/Melodramatic/Made-Up-As-It-Went-Along script.

    Which would defeat the entire point.

  3. Woah awesome! Comments!

    I dunno if you they are from the same person or not, but hey... doesn't matter.

    So, in regards to Anon. 1:

    I wouldn't have minded them changing the plot that much if they had managed to make it an exciting movie, but there was way too much plodding character development and not enough plot development. For most of the movie I felt like I was waiting for Max to catch up with everyone else. Part of the problem was the director's choice to focus on multiple characters rather than just Max.

    By doing this the audience isn't doing the detective work with Max any more. We already know who the bad guys are, We know the machinations going on behind the scenes. There's no mystery or suspense anymore. Worst of all though, it distances us from the main character, which leads to caring less about him, which leads to a more boring movie.

    I will fully admit that some of the cinematography was fantastic. It definitely matched the look and feel of the game, and for that I'm willing to forgive the bullet-time-to-the-point-of-ridiculousness scene. I was also impressed with the sparks mixing in with the snow when seeing things through the eyes of the junkies, I thought it added a something really nice to the movie thematically. This leads into the Valkyries...

    ...Which really added nothing. Well, except for making some people think this movie had a supernatural bend. I understand they were supposed to be visual representations of the drug effects... And I understand that doing the mind-tripping fourth wall breaking that the game does instead would've seemed way too odd for the big screen. Still though, every time I saw the Valkyries all I could think of was how much better that money would've been spent on some better action scenes.

    I wasn't too bothered by the acting, it's not really a story that required a massive range anyway. Casting similarly didn't bother me too much... I didn't care about Bravura being young and black instead of old and white. However, as much as I think Mila Kunis is great, I think they needed to get someone who looked a little more mature and serious for Mona... She tried hard tho, and for that I don't think she ruined the movie. If anything, they overused her character... Furthermore her overuse means she doesn't get any resolution to her motivation (She's not around when Lupino's killed) yet at the same time they somehow managed to explain nothing about her except that shes somehow 'connected' and carries a machine gun around with her.

    The biggest "Groaner" for me, which has by far eclipsed all the other mediocre plot points, is the whole section involving the envelope containing information about Valkyr. Out of NOWHERE (almost) we meet Jason Colvin, who just happens to have an envelope that has EVERY VITAL PIECE ABOUT THE PLOT in it. He mentions it to his boss as her limo pulls up somewhere, who says, basically, "meh...". He then takes it back to his office. Max suddenly remembers he never bothered to talk to his wife's employers and heads on over. Colvin gives him the envelope and then dies. CHARACTER SUCCESSFULLY USED.

    I mean sure, they try and make it look like he had the envelope because he had a guilty conscience, but we all know it's more because it's incredibly convenient. What happened to Max slowly piecing the mystery together as he worked his way through the mob to Lupino, and then onto Punchinello and Aesir? Sure Woden gave him a kind of similar tip off out of guilt, but also for his own schemes. And at least he stuck around to do some other stuff.

    Speaking of Woden, Where was he? and the Inner circle? Where was Punchinello? Where was Vlad?!? (Yes I know he's there for a 3 second shot but that doesn't count.) I'll tell you where they are, they are in the sequel (I'm guessing) since they seem to be breaking the game into 2 movies. So this movie doesn't end just like the game. Sure, they both end on a helicopter pad, but in the game its Horne that's dead and plot is resolved in it's entirety (Well until 'The Fall Of Max Payne'at least).

    Honestly though, check out the games... You should be able to pick them up pretty cheap now. Max Payne 1 is pretty damn good, and Max Payne 2 is even greater than that!

    Damn this is long... But you wanted to know...

    And Anon 2:
    Yes har har long cutscene = movie yes yes.:P

    I will agree that there are a lot of WTF moments in all the MGS's but its only really 2 that goes off the rails. 1 and 3 are capable of being mostly coherent. I'll write about it some time.

    Damn this is long...