More Like Bored Games
Film studios seem to be adopting an awful lot of board games into movies these days. Maybe the intellectual property rights to the Dark Tower series are too difficult to acquire. Perhaps the supply of comic books has been finally exhausted. The average theme park ride can only sustain fifteen feature films. And I suppose there's a finite number of Fast and Furious action movies you can crank out over a decade without affecting quality, because that's the only way I can imagine someone daring to pitch a film based on a board game.
I'll concede that basing a motion picture on a board game is not the worst idea in the history of cinema (hello, Triumph of the Will II: Electric Boogaloo). Clue managed to gain a cult following. It's probably more tolerable than the game it's based on. And it's a little known fact that Citizen Kane was based on Monopoly. But some of the previews I've seen lately have led me to question the sanity of the average green-lighter.
Two Machines Enter, One Machine Leaves
Let me be clear: it is hard to have a bad movie where robots fight other robots. If Sex and the City III has a five minute clip in the middle where two robots start wailing on each other in a Roman gladiator arena, I will see that movie. I would pay fifty bucks to watch Honda's ASIMO suplex IBM's Deep Blue through a Ms. Pacman table. Wait, no, I would pay several hundred dollars to see that. So it wasn't entirely distressing to see the trailer for Real Steel, a movie starring Hugh Jackman that looks to be based on Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots. I guess in the future, robot boxing has left real boxers with few opportunities to suffer long term brain damage. So one guy disguises himself as a robot, probably by building some kind of mech suit during a montage. Or they build a scrappy robot that can take on the rich boys robot during a montage. And, if they're true to the game, the protagonist and his mechanical opponent will have a dramatic title bout where they flail wildly for forty seconds until one of their heads pops back without having suffered any discernible blow. Then both of them are sold at a garage sale years later where people try to remember why they thought they seemed fun. I guess that could be ok. I hope Michael Bay isn't attached though. That man knows how to ruin robots fighting.
Good heavens! The kindly King Kandy (Sean Connery) has been kidnapped by the evil Lord Licorice (Gary Oldman). It's up to a ragtag group of kids to traverse a treacherous path to free him and restore order to Candy Land. As they travel along through the peppermint forest, they run into the overly stimulated Mr. Mint (Jim Carey), who teaches them to channel the power of the double red card. They skip on ahead on the rainbow road to the peanut brittle hut of Gramma Nut (Betty White). After suffering excruciating cut gums, they move on and reach the haunting beauty of the realm of Queen Frostine (Cate Blanchett). She sees them to the edge of the molasses morass of Gloppy (Seth Rogen), a friendly monster who imparts several messages about the importance of family. Finally, the children and their companions are able to see the gates of Candy Land. As they steel themselves to cast down the bonbon usurper they, wait, what? The Plumpy the Plumpa card!?! God dammit. All the way back to the beginning. God dammit. What the hell is a plumpa? I hate this movie.
Candy Regicide: Life On The Streets
And here's my best guess at the future of board game based films:
-Settlers of Catan - Hardy frontiersmen seek to carve a sheep empire out of the rough, odly hexagonal island of Catan. Kurt Russell stars as The Robber.
-Jenga - A documentary on the collapse of Dubai's Wooden Financial Enterprise Center.
-Hi Ho! Cherry O - Obviously, this will be a porno.
-Hungry Hungry Hippos - This project was cancelled in the planning phases when Marlon Brando died. Advances in digital imaging will allow him to join Orson Welles, Chris Farley, and Eddie Murphy in a comedy about the world of competitive marble eating.