Bookmans Recommends | Our Favorite Video Game Movies
By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa
Video games are extremely difficult to translate into film. After all, how do you transfer something that is designed to be played by an active audience into something that is purely meant to be viewed? How do you handle a story that is designed to be shaped by the decisions of the player? As a result, video game movies are notoriously bad. But just because a movie isn’t great doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. If you’re anything like us, you can get plenty of enjoyment out of some pretty terrible video game movies. The following is a list of some of our favorites.
Warcraft (2016) – As far as video game movies go, Warcraft wasn’t half bad. The story was based on the original Warcraft strategy PC game (1994), but took much of its design cues from worldwide bestselling online game, World of Warcraft. For those coming into the Warcraft universe with no previous experience from the games, the film was a solid, if somewhat generic, fantasy film. For those of us used to only experiencing the Warcraft universe in a game, watching the world of Azeroth come to life on the big screen was magical. The scene where the gryphon soars above the clouds and you see the floating magical city of Dalaran gave me goosebumps – even though technically Dalaran shouldn’t have been floating at this particular point in the canon timeline. In fact, there were quite a few liberties taken with the lore in this movie, but it was still enjoyable. By and far, the best parts of this film were the Orcs. Motion capture and impressive CGI created giant, ferocious Orcs that somehow seemed more real than the humans were, and their story was far more interesting too. FOR THE HORDE!
Mortal Kombat (1995) – Mortal Kombat was about as cheesy an action film you can get from a game that was notorious for its pixelated ultra-violence back in the day. Full of lame one-liners – mostly (and appropriately) delivered by Johnny Cage – this film delivered plenty of martial arts goodness and some pretty impressive CGI for the early nineties. Mortal Kombat came out when I was in high school and I still remember how cool it was seeing Sub Zero’s powers for the first time on the big screen, not to mention developing a mad crush on Robin Shou who played the hero Liu Kang. To top it all off, it had a badass soundtrack featuring KMFDM, Fear Factory, and Type O Negative, and quite possibly the best movie theme song. MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAT!
Tomb Raider (2001) – The Tomb Raider games were known for action, exploration, puzzles, and a busty female lead. The movie was no different. Starring Angelina Jolie with a push-up bra, Tomb Raider the movie was actually a solid action/adventure film. Jolie plays Lara Croft, a tomb raider/relic hunter with way too much time and money on her hands. After discovering a clue about some obscure relic from her dead father… oh who are we kidding? All that matters in this movie is watching Angelina Jolie shoot up mercenaries in an ancient temple in a way that would make Indiana Jones cringe. She also shoots up her own mansion.
Street Fighter (1994) – Admittedly, the only encouragement we needed to see this movie was Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile. That being said, this movie is hilariously bad, which is what makes it worth seeing at least once. The cast is rounded out with Kylie Minogue as Cammy, the badass Ming-na Wen as Chun-li, and the illustrious Raul Julia making his final big screen appearance as the villain M. Bison. While the plot and fight scenes are forgettable, the lines and the costumes (many of which were true to the video game) are not. There are some great one-liners and we challenge you to sit through this film without laughing.
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006) – The Dead or Alive video games were mostly known for being one of the earliest 3D fighting games and for their busty female characters with jiggle physics. The DOA movie is just as ridiculous. We honestly don’t remember much about the plot because it doesn’t matter. All that matters is hot girls in skimpy outfits beating the crap out of each other in a martial arts tournament on a secluded island. This movie is fun if you don’t try to think too hard about what you’re watching.
Stock within our stores can vary. To locate these game inspired flicks as well as their video game inspiration counterparts, contact your favorite Bookmans location today! Our friendly staff is happy to help. Happy video game movie viewing!
*Bookmans is your store to explore. We can’t guarantee stock, so if you are interested in one of the DVDs or BluRays mentioned, please give us a call and we’ll check our orange shelves for you.