By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
So far, this year’s crop of movies inspired by video games is not making the grade. With two films out and at least three more due this year, I’m ranking the remaining couple by order of appeal and anticipation. After a lull in the previous years for the number of properties being turned into a film, I have to wonder what makes this year special. Another title, concerning a gentleman thief in an anthropomorphic world was slated for this year, but I’m dubious that it will come out in time before the year is over. I list this “Sly” film anyways, in hopes it comes out in time.
Will these features be good? Hard to say, since half the time these movies are made, it’s mostly to reignite a dying franchise. Just how Angry birds manages to stay on top after eight years is amazing. Rovio Entertainment must be making pigs fly to keep their flagship product alive. I’ve played the game and enjoyed it, but the novelty has died for me after their take on Star Wars in 2012. Kudos goes to the company for making a very addictive game (for some), and it just makes a glancing blow in making my top three of the movies I want to see.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Release Date: September 2, 2016
After five films, this zombie-fighting franchise still shows it’s tough to put down the undead. Milla Jovovich looks great as always, and although the title implies an ending to the saga, to see how the Umbrella Corporation finally gets put down makes this film the number one product to check out. I’m just hoping the studio doesn’t do the no-brainer idea and simply reboot it with a new leading lady.
Release Date: December 21, 2016
With a name like Michael Fassbender involved, how can I not avoid this movie? The trailer just released and I’m intrigued by the premise of going sci-fi to delve into the past. Callum Lynch (Fassbender) looked like he’s being jacked into a Matrix computer system so his memories can be recalled. Just how much of this film will be set in the past looks uncertain, because this part of the story is what I’m truly excited for. The present story looks to have Fassbender do what he does best, to break the backs of new evil-doers. Although, if it’s to be ‘historically accurate’ the Knights Templar are the good guys. That’s going by what’s presented by historians than in how Pope Clement V tried to discredit them.
Release Date: (Due 2016)
I get the feeling development for this film is behind and it will slink away as it’s not a widely known property as other games. This product will be a retelling of the plot of the first game, and it rightly needs to be told to get newcomers familiar with the character. Sly is a gentleman thief and he’s a racoon. The back story is quite rich to explain how he teams up with a turtle and hippopotamus. Those animals are very much the opposite of the while a racoon can pull. That alone makes a proper exploration of their camaraderie in the cinematic medium interesting than to have it told in a video game.
Release Date: May 20, 2016
When I first heard about this game property being developed for the silver screen, my worry is whether or not these hair-brained flyers will develop a voice beyond their squees and caws. Fortunately, the production team has found a great cast to provide the voices and the toilet humour even had a buddy giving a slight nod of approval. After watching Angry Birds Toons, I’ve found this product to be on the mindless entertainment type of front. It’s kind of funny, but after a while, I just wanted to tune the pig’s buffoonery off. Hopefully, the film will not be like that. Some intelligence is needed to move the basic plot about pigs wanting to steal the bird’s eggs along. I don’t think my brain can handle being deep fried.
Dead Rising: Endgame
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Not every movie is slated for the big screen, and this sequel is set to play on Crackle, an online distribution channel owned by Sony. This product is worth noting because Billy Zane (a favourite actor of mine) is in it. He plays a scientist who is going to find a cure to the zombie plague. Of course, there will be more to him than meets the eye, and just what he does with the infected has me curious a lot more than the movie on the bottom of this list.
Release Date: June 10, 2016
I really enjoyed playing the early versions of this game when it was more about resource management to build armies to do battle against the Orcs (or Humans). When it became an MMO, I lost interest, but that has not stopped me from keeping tabs in how a game has to change with the times. The basic premise of Humans going up against Orcs is intact. With a trailer suggesting that one of the piggish brutes sees that a truce must be forged to prevent total annihilation of a world, perhaps there’s a plot to enjoy. Although this film will be mired with heavy CGI all over and it wants to shame Lord of the Rings, I just don’t think it’s going to be that terribly exciting.
This product looks like it’s meant to give fans of the game something meaty to chew on. Already, I can see a lot of people wanting to spit it out should it not be faithful to the material.