This Week In Miscellanea: “Emergent Qualities, Now With Max Payne Movie Review”

1. Ok, so video game movies suck, right? Uwe Boll makes them, and they usually turn out a bit like this… No. Wait. That was kind of funny. Nevermind. The point is that video game adaptations tend to be crap.

2. So where the hell did this come from?Didn’t that look good? I think we can all agree that CG zombie slaughter might actually be able to redeem the RE movie franchise precisely because it looks and feels a lot like the video games do. A lot. A scary lot. If you’ve played RE4,  you’ll be able to clearly recognize the film’s male protagonist – despite only seeing him for a split second – because you’ve already spent 40 hours staring at his back while he raises a pistol.

3. I pray that this will be good. It looks good: I do have one tiny casting beef, though. Who looks more like Max?

Well, whatever. The film probably needed some star power to get off the ground. I am content to raise my hopes high before having them cruelly dashed.

UPDATE: Max Payne Movie Review

Precis: My hopes have, in fact, been cruelly dashed.

Synopsis: Pretty much everything you loved about the game is absent. Mild redeeming features do little to save feature itself.

Review: It sucked. Heading a lengthy list of faults are a complete lack of the noir humor, engaging plot and slow motion gun-fighting found so abundantly in the game. Don’t hold the presses, you read that correctly. There is almost no bullet-time gunplay, leaving aside the two brief shots that the preview spoils for you. This makes about as much sense as shooting a version of Planet of the Apes without any chimps. Also lamentably discarded was the graphic novel-style voiceover element that made it so easy to sympathize with the video game Max’s quest for revenge.

The movie did add a few things, like a vastly less cool backstory for Max, and a pointless Jamaican arms merchant instead of cool-as-vodka Vlad. You can expect most of the well-crafted bit players to be replaced with generic Hollywood stereotypes, and the only appearance made by the mafia is the name “Gognitti” on the neon sign illuminating the outdoor storage facility where Max keeps his 700 boxes full of stolen cold case files. Seriously.

Lone bright spots include Mila Kunis’ turn as Mona Sax and the interesting “mythic” depiction of what it’s like to get high on Valkyr. Not sure why people would want to take a drug that just makes them terrified, but it does make for some nice visuals. The production design is also excellent, with many locations eerily echoing spots from the game.

None of this is enough to save the film, however, which is a bunch of emotionless, action-less drek. You heard it here 64th – do not pay money to see Max Payne.


From Failing Hands

Quote: “Beijing Olympic organizing committee spokesman Sun Weide denounced Sunday’s protests as ‘sabotage.’ ‘”A few Tibetan separatists attempted to sabotage the torch relay in London, and we strongly denounce their disgusting behaviour,’ said Sun.”

Over the weekend they tried. Today, one way or another, they did it. As it rode through Paris today, the Olympic torch was extinguished at least twice. Further protests are expected, Xinhua is presumably now in the dictionary next to “mouthpiece“, and the weird internet backlash has been going strong for about three weeks.

UPDATE: Just to spice up the current affairs links – I am sort of excited about this movie, and the fact that that there is now a firm release date for this.

FURTHER UPDATE: You all owe it to yourselves to have a look at Hull Breach, a Half Life 2 mod recently linked by Kotaku. It has an interesting dev team, totally awesome concept art, and a varied, fascinating OST. Check it out.