If there are two things dominating the Hollywood landscape at this very moment in time then one would conclude them to be superhero films and recognisable titles.
Unlike, skeptics and old fashioned fools I am not flustered nor am I restricted by the sheer force of superhero films on the market.
They are not killing culture. They are based on a very strong and dedicated sector of culture, which just happens to be in fashion – good on them. And the way the films are going, the superhero genre is developing and improving with each film. So you won’t see me complaining if the quality remains.
What angers me about Hollywood trends is the need to fast track recognisable projects and names merely because you are guaranteed a foundation audience to build off of.
And with the announcement of a Minecraft movie with Night in the Museum director Shaun Levy at the helm, my faith in the studio structure has seriously depleted.
Not only are we getting a Minecraft feature film, most probably animated, we are also getting a Space Invaders and Tetris films. Tetris? You have got to be joshing me.
I can understand Space Invaders. You have the basic yet novel concept of invading aliens being forced back on their heels by a fleet of armoured and powered brave human soldiers. A good writer and hack director could transport such a title and concept into a half decent feature that performs well at the box office. Toss in a big star or two and you could have a surprising franchise starter on your hands.
I can even understand Minecraft. Growing up with the Internet and gaming firmly in my teenage hands I am all too familiar with the sandbox and never-ending world of Minecraftia. The world can be rich if you want it to be. It can be dense, dark, lively or funny. The possibilities are endless. And the simple minimalistic block background lends itself perfectly to animation and a young target audience.
The film’s creators will have a hard time living up to the story and animation of amateur-turned-professional YouTube personalities who have made a living off Minecraft machinimas and storylines.
I for one will be very surprised of the Minecraft feature film story and emotion lives up to the nostalgia of BlueXephos/The Yogscast’s Shadow of Israphel series.
And they’ll have a hard time matching the animation and lyrical genius of countless Minecraft music videos from the likes of Lalna, Captain Sparkles and The Yogscast. Nevertheless it can be done and it most probably will be done.
Where I draw the line is Tetris.
There is no story here. There isn’t even a foundation for a story. The only reason a Tetris movie is being considered is that the name is recognisable. It is a game that everyone has played at least once. But that is what it should remain as: a game.
I can already see studio execs commissioning a Wreck-It Ralph/LEGO Movie inspired script where a character wants to be the best builder in the world but his/her nemesis stands in the way. They’re clutching at straws with Tetris and I wonder if there are more ludicrous adaptations on the way.
What next? Pong: The Movie. Perhaps a live action adaptation of Nokia’s Snake in the vein of Anaconda, get Nicki Minaj to do the soundtrack while you’re at it. I don’t often get riled up at the hundreds of movies that Hollywood details because each one has a predetermined audience.
But surely this is going too far?