Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Super Movie News

When The "Rabbit Hole" Goes Too Deep...

Had you noticed it has been a while since I updated anyone on the whole "The Dark Knight" Viral-Marketing thread? There is a reason for that. The Last time I posted, I gave a link to a page that had all the latest updates on the Dark Kight ARG.

"The what?" you say?

The ARG. Alternate- Reality Game. This is apparently a genre of "Advertainment" which has its own subculture, of which I was, I am rather proud to say, unaware. ARG's have been used to market products from Mountain Dew to "Halo 3", and they use the internet, as well as phone systems and some live events to create a kind of hybrid real-world/fictional game world interface for the fans/players/followers/cult members who are playing. The kick-off event/location for one of these games is termed "The Rabbit Hole", for reasons that should be obvious.

Well after the "Whysoserious" ARG strung me along for a while, "The Game" went into full-on immersion mode with a string of websites all leading to others, and to new puzzles, and phone "hotlines" and dead ends, and... I had to crawl back up out of the "Rabbit Hole" for some air! I guess I have to turn in my Fanboy Membership Card, because I just don't have a week of my life to devote to winning tickets to see a movie preview. For those who want the full skinny on what happened, you can check out the after-the-fact details of the game at batman.wikibruce.com.

I could have gone and seen the Awesome Batman Prologue yesterday, but I saw The Golden Compass instead. What did I think?

It was a "Bronze" Compass at best...

The thing that was most disappointing about this movie was knowing how good it should have been. I really enjoyed the book, and was very excited to hear about the upcoming movie. And when it came, the Casting was Perfect. The Visual Effects were Perfect. The Acting was Great..

But the Script was TERRIBLE!!

I hated this movie exactly as much, and for the exact same reasons that I hated the last two "Harry Potter" movies. As a matter of fact, one of the great things about keeping a blog is that I can go back and recall precisely what I had to say bout the "Potter" movie at the time. And I quote..
I thought the Movie could be better called Harry Potter and the Basic Outline of the Phoenix, or Harry Potter and the High-speed Montage of Doom, Or maybe Harry Potter and the Cliff's Note's™ of Destiny. The difference between the story contained in the Book and the story contained in the Film is like the difference between "Visiting The Grand Canyon" and "Visiting someone's home for a slideshow of their trip to the Grand Canyon".
The fact of the matter is this; it's impossible to make a single, good, movie out of any of the later Harry Potter Books. They are too long and complicated to compress into a movie that the Masses of Moviegoers could be expected to sit through.
The same thing applies here (The Book is 432 pages, and it is the Shortest one in the Trilogy), except that unlike "Potter", this film didn't even follow the basic outline! Toward the end, they start changing plot points around willy-nilly, transposing the order in which things happen, moving characters to different locations, and most insanely of all, re-writing a "Happy Ending" for the film. The Book had a dark ending. The Book does not leave you on a happy note. The Book does not try to make you feel good. But it does make you want, desperately, to read the next book, to see how things turn out. It is as if the director and/or studio don't WANT to make the next two movies of the trilogy, which, the more I think about it, is probably just as well.

It was a Good Movie, But I liked the Video Game Better.

I never wanted to see the "Transformers" movie. (see above, Re: Fanboy Card, Revocation of) I played with some of the toys when I was a kid, but I never watched the cartoon, or read the comics, and when the movie was announced, and I saw a yellow sportscar (which should have been a classic VW Bug, amyway) somehow turn into a 70-foot tall robot, defying all the currently available laws of physics, I figured I would pass. Another Michael-Bay directed explosion-fest just didn't seem like my cup of tea.
But then one day, in the TV department at Sears, I saw a preview that made me change my mind about the cinematic Transformers. But it wasn't an ad for the movie; It was an ad for the videogame based on the movie. The movement of these Computer-animated robots/vehicles as they transformed was poetry in motion. Unlike the cartoon, in which the transformations took place in a couple of sound-effect-enhanced seconds, the movie 'Bots were transforming at speed, in graceful, athletic, spinning motions, and the whole thing made me want to see the movie after all.

I say all that to say this. The Iron Man Videogame Preview is out now, and it looks as impressive as The Transformers ad I saw months ago in that Sears store. It makes me even more hopeful that the Iron Man movie will be a winner.

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