The Greatest Game-Themed Films

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by KingdomBlade, Jan 21, 2012.

Jan 21, 2012
  1. KingdomBlade
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    After noticing a severe-lack of movie themed threads around, I decided to make this with Video-Games in mind. This is the list of the greatest video game themed films of all time, ranging from adaptations, documentaries and simply just those with games integrated to the plot. The majority of the movies on this list aren't the most well-known films; however they are all well worth watching. Sorry to those of you who were expecting films like Resident Evil or Tomb Raider to pop up.

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    10. Mortal Kombat
    Mortal Kombat is a film that is ridiculously cheesy and relatively brainless, but overall good fun. It is an adaptation of the popular fighting-game series of the same-name. The film is, as would be expected from the source material, laughably plotless. However, the film becomes watchable because of its good and funny action scenes, the fun dialogue, surprisingly serious and effective visuals, and a good stunt-oriented cast. The special-effects are, surprisingly enough, good, and look attuned to the theme. A movie you should watch if only for the heck of it. It's nothing special, but it's not bad actually. If you don't find it good, it's likely you'll find it on the 'It's so bad, it's good' spectrum of these.

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    9. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
    While Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is, I believe, ridiculously over-hyped, it's also a fairly good film. The movie depicts the aftermath of the events that occurred in Final Fantasy VII. That already says so much about why this movie is often considered great by gamers. While the plot had an enormous amount of potential, it screwed itself up by entangling too many elements and it ended up being a convoluted mess. It's virtually impossible to understand for anyone who hasn't played FFVII yet. The visuals however are where it really shines. The CGI is extremely polished and the action scenes look dazzling. Each scene looks and sounds pitch perfect, and the coloring is possibly some of the best I've seen. Besides that, they also kept the integrity of the characters which preserves the nostalgia. I certainly had some. You'll probably have it too.

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    8. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
    While not directly mentioning video-games or even showing any, this is very much a video-game movie. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World stars Michael Cera in the titular role as Scott Pilgrim, a guy who must defeat his girlfriend's seven evil ex-boyfriends (or exes.) The film is brimming with invention and extremely bright. It's quirky, wired, and hell of a lot of fun. It's sort of reminescent of old Nintendo games, which is why a lot of gamers (ahem, everyone on this website) enjoyed it heavily. It makes the old feel young, the middle-aged feel young, and the young feel younger. One such scene that I found humorous is when Michael Cera defeated an enemy (that enemy merely disappearing) and picked up coins that he dropped. It was hilarious. I immediately pictured what Mario would really look like doing that.

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    7. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
    The Spirits Within is frequently overlooked for the next FF film, regardless of the fact that it may actually be better. Instead of trying to talk about the story (that of which is average), let's talk about what really makes it incredible. The effects. Aki Ross may as well be the most amazing looking CGI created character ever. Until now; which is fascinating considering that it was made nearly 11 years ago. The movie looks and feels incredible; its effects are the best on this list. Even #6. It's worth experiencing if only for the visuals. The movie should've taken off with ease; unfortunately the movie proved (surprisingly) to lack audience compatibility. It really is worth a watch. Even Roger Ebert, who has well known disdain for games, was on the side defending the film (albeit a small side that is.) That says quite a lot.

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    6. TRON
    TRON is the second movie on this list that is not specifically about any games, but is themed in the same way as a game. This movie barely needs a description. The plot is inspired by Pong, which may explain a lot. The plot focuses on a game designer who intends to use a program called TRON to monitor communications. It's a weirdly engaging look on video games. It visualizes technology in an obviously ridiculous manner, however it is a visual delight. It's a sound and light show full of wonder and very easy to appreciate; triumphant in style. The video game themes are well integrated into the story, though now thinking about it, it seems like the concept that the inside of a computer looks like a video game is preposterous. It's not really a big deal though, you'd probably just chuckle at it. The film made me want to put Christmas lights on a plate and throw it at balloons.

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    5. Second Skin

    Second Skin is a documentary about MMORPG's and the subculture of people that it has formed. It also shares the stories of people who's lives have been affected by MMORPGS, for better or worse. The movie is incredibly impartial; it depicts the games in both a negative and a positive light. That just shows how much ground this movie covers. It shows the human side and how it affects people, the technical side, the issues pertaining to it, and the history behind the games. It's extremely informative and entertaining. It shows a world that is somehow different from our own, and how it clashes with ours.
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    4. Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade
    This first acts as somewhat of a companion piece to the first place film which you will see later on. Chasing Ghosts is a documentary about the video game craze of the early 80's in which Walter Day, an eccentric businessman/arcade owner, decides to national high score table. The film showcases a wide variety of faces, the majority being either the current or previous holders of arcade-game high score records. It's a compelling film. We see the whole dynamic behind the frenzy, the lives of those people who have been hooked, how the entire mania ensued, and the games themselves. Through the film, we see that even then, video games could be a big deal. The film is an essential for any video game fan, most especially those who want to reminesce that certain age of gaming.
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    3. Playing Columbine
    The most serious game on this list. By far. As is obvious from the title, Playing Columbine is primarily related to a game about Columbine, which for those of you who for some reason do not know about it, is a massacre that occurred when three high school students embarked on a massacre, killing 13 people. The game, called Super Columbine Massacre RPG! was subjected to widespread controversy. The documentary is dramatic. It's extremely compelling. From someone who has played the game (and, surprisingly enough, appreciated it) it's a very good story to be told. The game, the ensuing murders that followed (The Dawson College Murders), and the wild reaction from the press, all speak about how video games ought to be treated much more seriously. For better or for worse, they can severely affect lives. It's a movie that will take you to somewhere you'd never expect video games to be. For the heck of it, I have to say this is my favorite from this list. There's a lot to get from it.

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    2. WarGames
    What a sudden change of tone, huh? WarGames is an undeniably entertaining thriller about a teenage hacker who, in his hacking ventures, accidentally manipulates games that feed false war information to the US Military. Because of this, NORAD, a defense group, nearly launches World War III. It's very compelling, geniune, and a near classic of the genre. It's intelligent and has an ending that seems both philosophically accurate and clever. It's not the most game-themed film, but the film does heavily involve concepts from games. "The Only Winning Move is not to Play."

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    1. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
    There's a reason why this is on top: it captures the gaming spirit beautifully. Not only in the theme of competitive gaming, but in terms of how the story between them is too. A classic redemptive story is present here, somewhat similar to how your character starts out tragically in a game, and ends up evenentually reaching the evil villain. It's clear that this story, about Steve Wiebe trying to take the Donkey Kong high score record from superstar Billy Mitchell, will capture any gaming nerd's heart. It's a documentary that shows how much people can care about these games, how strongly they can feel for it, and what they would be willing to do to prove their worth even in an (admittedly) trivial matter such as this. He trains hard, for hours and hours, and somehow, this becomes the most interesting thing possible. The ending isn't the happiest, but it's clearly trying to point something out. You decide what that is.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS:
    6. Clannad - It works for fans, however it doesn't work for anyone else really.
    5. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - It's an action packed film featuring Angelina Jolie at her sexiest. That's the primary thing in this movie.
    4. Silent Hill - It's not as scary, or as effective, as it should be. It is very good in capturing a nice atmosphere though.
    3. Gamer - A very action packed film in which Gerard Butler plays a controllable character. It's watchable.
    2. TRON: Legacy - A lackluster sequel to the first movie, but still as gorgeous, this movie's main pro is the excellent score from Daft Punk.
    1. House of the Dead (or better known as The Uwe Boll Show) -In order to find out how funny this movie is, you just have to watch it. It's just so amazing. It's amazing.
     


  2. AlanJohn

    Member AlanJohn くたばれ

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    But wheres tomb raider and prince of persia?
     
  3. KingdomBlade
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    Prince of Persia was neither true to the spirit of games nor was a good application of the potential story to the screen. The special effects were nothing special either.

    Tomb Raider is in honorable mentions.
     
  4. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Wait, how did Spirits Witihn beat Advent Children? Who cares about Spirits Within's special effects when Advent Children had incredible CGI, not to mention one of Final Fantasy's most popular casts. It was largely just a piece of fanservice but it still had good action and great special effects.

    Also the fact that it's ranked above Scott Pilgrim is rather laughable. While Scott Pilgrim isn't a video game movie really (it has references and odes to gaming but isn't based off a video game) it still has good special effects, solid action, and it's well written with an amazing director. Despite gathering a hipster/emo following it's still a great piece of film and another fantastic Edgar Wright film.

    Where's Tron Legacy? While not the greatest film in the world it still had an awesome sound track (DAFT PUNK YEAH) and good special effects.
     
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  5. KingdomBlade
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    Member KingdomBlade Blade v3+ (I R SHMEXY)

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    Spirits Within's effects were pretty innovative. Also, thematically, I thought it was a lot better than FFVII:AC. FFVII:AC was virtually just a CGI feast with a useless, fanservice plot (damn, that CGI was good though), while Spirits Within actually made an effort to be a good movie and to do something new (albeit slightly failing witht that.)

    Well, I never thought the rankings mattered too heavily. I would give Spirits Within and Scott Pilgrim the same score if I were to rate them, placing Spirits above Scott was just an impulse. I'd gladly interchange it if it's necessary.

    I thought TRON Legacy was a little lackluster as compared to the first, most especially in the story department. It's gorgeous and the Daft Punk score is fantastic, so I'll make a mention of it now. Guess it was an overlook.
     
  6. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Honestly, when you're making a Final Fantasy film, why would you want to do anything that's not fanservice? With two hours you can deliver a straight, continual feast of CGI action that, if spliced into the middle of another game, would just be poor design. If you wanted a good Final Fantasy plot you'd just play Final Fantasy. People see Advent Children because it can deliver what a game can't: 2 hours of continuous (and awesome) CGI action.

    I think you need to realize that not all movies are rated on plot and characters and story. I find you doing frequent movie reviews and stuff which I do enjoy reading and it's nice to know we have film buffs around here, but movies aren't just plot, effects, and story. You need to find why the movie was made and if it appeals (and succeeds) at what it does. Take a grindhouse film like (most recently) Machete. Plot wise and character wise it's pretty poor. The characters are static and really don't change much (Machete still kills people, She still kills people, Jessica Alba still does whatever Jessica Alba does, etc) and the plot is forgettable. But as a grindhouse flick it succeeds in having over-the-top action and that token amount of gore (not to mention a good heaping of comedy) to make it a great film for what it's designed for.

    It certainly wasn't great but as a sci-fi action flick it was good. Action was good, it had some relations to the previous film for returning fans, and the soundtrack was fantastic. Oh, and Jeff Bridges was in it, that definitely helps.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, but on the note of Spoony, he did reviews of a bunch of terrible video game movies a while back (like the animated Tekken film, the live action Tekken film, and Dead or Alive) and it's really quite hilarious. Definitely worth giving a watch.

    EDIT 2: Also, would Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy count?

    EDIT 3: ...And not really based off video games but there's also Warhammer 40k: Ultramarines (although Warhammer has spawned some successful video games). There's also a few spliced together movies from video game cutscenes (such as Metroid Other M: The Movie and Metal Gear Solid: Existence) but I doubt those would count.
     
  7. KingdomBlade
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  8. Guild McCommunist

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    Honestly, any serious expansion on the FFVII story is like walking on a tightrope. Hardcore fans will hate you for it. They tried it with Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus but neither of those were really all that good (well I only played Crisis Core but I haven't heard exactly positive things on Dirge of Cerberus). While Advent Children did expand on the plot, it was light and fluffy enough that it didn't really harm the characters of the story and it delivered what the target audience wanted: a vision of FFVII that they could never see before. FFVII honestly looks like shit nowadays. The graphics are rather unpleasant, especially compared to VIII and IX. Delivering a film that let you see your favorite characters, now fleshed out into impressive animation, is like a dream come true.

    Also I'm downloading Philanthropy right now, you can get it for free of their official website.

    There's also like a bazillion short fan films, unfortunately none of them are really anything past that (exception being Philanthropy). They're worth watching but they almost all disappoint since they're great, but you wish you could see a full film around them.

    EDIT: For a record I'm no FFVIII diehard, I certainly wouldn't put it on my list of favorite FF games. I still enjoyed the film though as an action flick more than someone who gets their boners over Tifa.
     
  9. wrettcaughn

    Member wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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  10. KingdomBlade
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    Unfortunately, that doesn't really make it great. It achieves it's purpose, and it's admirable for doing so, but after that there's not much to rave about. The post I made was about "the greatest", and I didn't find it the greatest in the pack. Good, but not hugely important.

    There are plenty of short films, however none of them are really worth much in the end. The majority are kind of futile and some look pretty ridiculous.

    @Old8oy - The Wizard was ludicorous, cheesy and horribly camp. XD It was... nothing. It dissolved into your mind.
     
  11. Satangel

    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Only saw the last one, and proud of it :) They could do a lot more with some gaming titles, but if only the budgets/timing schedules would be less tense....
     
  12. Helpful Corn

    Member Helpful Corn GBAtemp Regular

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    [​IMG]

    there would seem to be a few glaring omissions in your list.


    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
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  13. KingdomBlade
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    .... What are those?
     
  14. Vulpes Abnocto

    Former Staff Vulpes Abnocto Drinks, Knows Things

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    No love for Resident Evil?
    Really?

    Say what you will about the series: I enjoy them.
     
  15. emmanu888

    Member emmanu888 6 years and still going strong

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    even if its a fan movie modern war gear solid should have been in this list
     
  16. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    You mean Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy?
     
  17. KingdomBlade
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    It's fairly safe to assume so.

    Philantropy was a good film, however it feels incomplete. I'll wait to see the next par before I can ACTUALLY form an opinion of how good it is, cause it's clear that the next will be likely be even better.
     
  18. Sora de Eclaune

    Member Sora de Eclaune Baby squirrel, you's a sexy motherfucker.

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    I'll have to say, well... Super Mario Bros. You know the one.
     
  19. Majorami

    Banned Majorami Banned

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    Super Mario Bros maybe... but thats it.

    Even being the greatest piece of s**t is still a piece of s**t.
     
  20. LWares87

    Member LWares87 The 'Wise' Merchant

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    What are your opinions on "Stay Alive"? it has Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) in it.

    More information about the film here.
     

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