The Flickcast Five: Video Game Movies

Who doesn’t love lists? Starting this week, we’ll be bringing you a brand new regular feature in which many members of The Flickcast staff will contribute to The Flickcast Five, a list of five films, TV shows, characters, plots, or other pop culture related items that we love (or hate) the most.

This week, one of the bigger films in this year’s Summer Blockbuster season gets its national release, when Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time hits theaters. Many know that the film is based on the classic 1989 side-scrolling game. In keeping  with the cross-genre of gaming and films we bring you our very first Flickcast Five: Video Game Movies. This time, it’s ones we love.

There have been plenty of flops in the genre, from films like Super Mario Brothers with Bob Hoskins, to Double Dragon with Scott Wolf and Alyssa Milano. While not all of them are watchable, most of them are enjoyable, and some are even accurate to the source material that we’ve spent hours, if not days and weeks, trying to complete.

Cortney Zamm: Silent Hill

For fans of the horror video game genre, it doesn’t get any better than the Silent Hill series. Since the first one was released in 1999, these games have done a great job at scaring the crap out of any videogame player brave enough to venture into the creepy town of Silent Hill. In 2006, a film loosely adapted from the videogame series was released, about a mother whose adopted child was mysteriously drawn to the town.

The film managed to capture the creepy elements of the series and even included some of the music and terrifying creatures from the games. For any fan of films like Saw or games like Alan Wake, the Silent Hill games and movies should not be overlooked.

John Carle: Mortal Kombat

Always following in the footsteps of its predecessor Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat was released a year later on the big screen in 1995. Unlike Street Fighter, however, Kombat could not be credited to the final film of one of its stars careers thankfully.

Headlined by Christopher Lambert of Highlander fame as the Thunder god Raiden and Bridgette Wilson, the hot teacher from Billy Madison as Sonya Blade, the flick was actually a fairly faithful adaptation to the story of the Midway fighter.

In it, Raiden gathers three of Earth realms most powerful warriors, Lui Kang, Johnny Cage and Sonya to square off against Shang Tsung and his minions of outworld such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kano and the infamous Goro. With memorable moments such as the Johnny Cage split punch on the four armed behemoth, the movie provided some comical moments while still supplying great fight scenes expected of a movie based off one of the leaders in the fighting game genre.

Spawning a sequel and a spinoff TV show,  Mortal Kombat is still to this day considered one of the best video game movies so far.

Diane Panosian: Tomb Raider

It’s got Angelina Jolie in black hot-shorts at the top of her game firing 9mm H&K’s at all comers.  Without Angelina and her padded double D‘s, this flick would have fallen flat.

Luckily, Jolie shimmers on every frame in the hot Cambodia sun. The cinematography beautifully glistens in golden hues and the locations are used to their sumptuous fullest.

The soundtrack also rocked with its technofied, killer beats. I still blare the soundtrack when I’m stuck in traffic and pretend I’m whizzing past traffic on Croft’s Yamaha TRX850 while on my way to save the word.

One of the few films featuring a female action hero that actually made money- Tomb Raider proves women can kick ass.

Chris Ullrich: Resident Evil

With Milla Jovovich running around killing zombies and doing jump kicks to knock rabid zombie dogs through glass windows, this movie has it all. Plenty of action, drama, gunfights, exploding heads and zombies eating body parts to satisfy even the most jaded video game movie fan. Plus, did I mention Milla Jovovich?

She manages to look great while kicking considerable zombie ass. What more do you need from your action heroine?

Plus, a supporting cast that includes Michelle Rodriguez, James Purefoy, Eric Mabius and Colin Salmon all manage to look scared, angry and dangerous at the same time. Not an easy feat.

Sure, the story is weak and, at times, borderline ridiculous, and some of the other supporting players leave something to be desired acting-wise, the movie still manages to deliver on several levels and has become one of my guilty pleasures.

Shannon Hood: The King of Kong

The King of Kong is a 2007 documentary that examines the world of two competitive Donkey Kong players, who are each trying to attain the all-time high score for the game.

Pitting one man  against the other, the film manages to transform a nerdy premise into a heartfelt film with all the elements of a crowd-pleaser.

In addition to being a wonderful character study, the movie is exciting, poignant, and oddly inspirational.If you don’t ever watch documentaries (but you are reading this post), this is the perfect film to watch.

You won’t be disappointed.

(Honorable Mention) Matt Raub: The Wizard

Most video game films were done years after the conception of the game itself. Even Prince of Persia is getting adapted over 20 years after the first game came out. The Wizard, however, included games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Ninja Gaiden which were brand new games at the time, and had barely been out for a year.

The film follows three kids on their trip to Universal Studios, where the youngest boy competes in a national video game competition. He’s incredibly gifted at video games, but at the cost of being diagnosed “emotionally distant” towards others. Today, that same kid would most likely be the one screaming profanities at you over Xbox Live in Halo 3.

The films can be a bit campy at times, but only in a pure 80’s style. Between Savage, Christian Slater, and Beau Bridges, the film is full of quirky 80’s moments, and Savage even dons the classic Nintendo Power Glove at one point in the film. Who didn’t own a Power Glove?



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