Sunday, February 19, 2006

Equilibrium


Things are starting
to level out now. I actually have today off, which is a small step in the right direction.

The sheer pace of getting the game out to the undeserving public is exhausting to the core. The typical reaction of videogame fans when one says, "I work in QA," is, "Wow, that's like the best, easiest job ever!" It is neither the best nor the easiest. It does receive the lion's share of the negative feedback, however, and that makes it all worthwhile.

The Halo movie has snagged Peter Jackson as Executive Producer and rumors for a director center on Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy). I can't say I'm disappointed at all with those choices.

I'm by no means a fan of Halo. My reaction to the whole franchise is lukewarm. I remember watching the original demo movie with a Banshee flying half a mile straight up in the air and then strafing over gorgeous water . . . and then the game dropped and the best I could muster was a disinterested shrug.

However, I could definitely see Halo being one of the first videogame-based movies to legitimize the whole endeavor (I'm trying to think of any thus far . . . and blanking). I'm not sure exactly what I myself expect from adaptations except maybe a passing attempt at faithfulness to the basics of plot and characterization and tone.

Which may have been a good reason for Doom's poor reception. Why change the plot? It's simple, it's stupid and it works.

I had the same feeling watching Spider-Man 2 when they set up Dr. Octopus' tentacles as some kind of nanite-driven corrupters. Why? Stupid. Unnecessary.

Why do moviemakers feel the need to take juvenile material and further dumb it down?

And how do they do it? An experimental dumbing-down machine, driven by free ignorance? Rewrites from Fox News viewers?

3 comments:

Chill said...

Well changing plot and character of comics is one thing but:
I had the same feeling watching Spider-Man 2 when they set up Dr. Octopus' tentacles as some kind of nanite-driven corrupters. Why? Stupid. Unnecessary.

Comics do that to themselves all the time. For example, How exactly DOES Spiderman stick to walls. There's at least 3 different, conflicting, explanations. Hulk was originally gray.

Johnny PI said...

I can see some merit to arguing over not-previously-established details, such as how, exactly, Spider-Man sticks to things, but I saw the changing of Doc Ock's story as much more affecting for the character.

In other words, it's not very important exactly how Spidey sticks to things, but it's much more important to know why Ocky goes haywire. Making it a kind of outside force (the tentacles), for me, diminished the impact that his wife's death was supposed to have on his character -- there was plenty of justification for his meltdown without introducing elements that altered the character in such a vital way. Doc Ock's personal angst should be more than enough to sell the character. Supervillains seem to represent, a lot of times, the brutal, negative side of the power-fantasy coin. If it's all in the tentacles, then it's much easier to dismiss his personal responsibility (which seems to be a more popular narrative in America nowadays).

It may have to do with the tropes of each medium and the difficulty in translating them over. Either way, it struck me as excuse-overkill. His wife died - he went crazy.

'Nuff said.

ArC said...

To me, I think the story makes it clear he was more or less in control of his faculties when his wife died. The accident that killed her also destroyed the override that stopped the arms from taking over his brain. Silly? Yes, but by externalizing the source of the crazy, it made his redemption at the end of the movie more plausible. The script would have had to be simply amazing to do without the corrupting arms but still have hit the climatic beats as it did with them.