Inkheart – More Evidence Brendan Fraser Has Given Up On Acting

Brendan Fraser looks bored even on the poster!
Brendan Fraser looks bored even on the poster!

Brendan Fraser is a decent actor. I’ve enjoyed him in a number of films from the wackiness of Encino Man to the drama of Gods and Monsters. But recently I’ve noticed Continue reading “Inkheart – More Evidence Brendan Fraser Has Given Up On Acting”

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Terry Deary’s “Horrible Histories” to get Video Games!

Horrible Histories

Now if one of my favourite book series as a kid are Goosebumps, another will be Horrible Histories. Written by Terry Deary, Horrible Histories are essentially history books. They tell you history. But there’s a twist. They tell you the more horrible, the gorier, the more twisted parts of history. The sort your history teacher doesn’t.

Interestingly, there’s going to be an expansion to the franchise. While we won’t be seeing a movie for it, like Goosebumps (hmm, interesting idea), Horrible Histories will be going into the video games arena, with developer Slitherine Strategies taking it up.

If you’ve never heard of Slitherine, do not despair, for you haven’t missed anything. Slitherine’s previous works appear to be rather obscure titles I’ve never heard of either. Still, I think it should be in the right hands, since all of Slitherine’s previous works have been historical strategy games.

To be entirely honest. I’m not sure how a strategy game on Horrible Histories will work out. HH is more about the obscure facts and secrets of histories that were either distorted or maybe censored in time. How can you convert a series like that into a strategy game?

And the second focus of Horrible Histories is humour (and black humour at that). The last game I’ve seen that was actually funny would be Psychonauts. Okay, there’s Portal too. My point being, comedy in video games is an art. How well will Slitherine capture it?

Will the Watchmen movie do justice to the graphic novel?

Window

As Ted notes, the first Watchmen trailer went online today, and it looks fantastic. Every scene looks faithful to the original graphic novel, which is a relief… for now. Pretty much all the major heroes were seen in the trailer, from Rorshach to Ozymandias to Dr. Manhattan to everyone’s favourite, the Comedian.

But will the movie stay true to the graphic novel entirely? Watchmen is an exemplar graphic novel: it showcases all the qualities of a perfect graphic novel. It is a multi-layered, deep narrative that you can read over and over again without ever getting especially tired of it.

The way the rich art blends with the dialogue and narrative is probably what makes the novel so unique. Watchmen is a story that can only be told completely and fulfillingly in the form of a graphic novel. As Alan Moore himself noted, you read a reference in the novel and flip back a few pages to find that reference and you find out something new. You observe the artwork, the backgrounds, the symbolism, and you always learn something new about the complex and beautifully-built world of Watchmen.

Ozymandias

The graphic novel is filled with witty juxtapositions, metaphors, hints and other clues. It expertly blends character exploration with a running story that you’ll never guess. Will the movie be able to capture all of this? Can you really make a decent movie while holding all the subliminal qualities of the novel?

Snyder already proved his mettle with 300, but 300 and Watchmen are two completely different ball games. While 300 wasn’t a bad graphic novel, it was a much easier conversion to the film format. And while the movie did introduce a side-plot I do not agree with, the mild change in style only did good. I’d wager to say that for once, in 300‘s case, the movie was more likeable than the original.

The Comedian

But you’d need at least 6 hours of screentime to convey all the raw information Watchmen bombards you with. There are several layers here, each conveying a deeper sense, a greater gravity to the story and its characters. To fully express them as they were in the novel would be a truly epic task to do in some two and a half hours of film. Snyder is going to have to outdo his previous work.

Also, like the comic, will the movie have hidden hints in the background? Will the movie encourage viewers to see it again and again? Most importantly of all, will it be in the same spirit? Already, I can make out that very minor shift in style from the trailer. It’s definitely good and I love the 300-style flashback scenes from Vietnam. But it is also definitely different.

Dr. Manhattan

Watchmen has a reputation in the world of graphic novels. The problem is, since movies are a much bigger world, will Watchmen achieve a similar status of recognition? The Dark Knight appears to have made its mark with the critics, giving comic book movies a lot of hope, but not everyone is a Christopher Nolan. Well, maybe Zack Snyder is.

While 300 magnified the original and became a success, the comic had been received similarly. Will the Watchmen movie be received with all the appreciation of the graphic novel? If it is, then it will get ratings and reviews no less than what The Dark Knight is bathing in right now. We definitely hope it does, because with better and better comic book movies (Iron Man included), the entire comic book movie industry might be in for a facelift.

This will result in higher bars for Marvel’s upcoming plethora of movies. Perhaps DC’s empty lineup will also receive some entries, such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Justice League, or of course, the Superman franchise that seems to have gone dead after Brandon Routh donned the red cape.

We shall wait and we shall see. Watchmen comes out on the 6th of March next year. Kick ass, Snyder.

WTF: Choose Your Own Adventure: Pong

There are some times when I am utterly shocked. I am at a loss of words. “What would you call this?” I ask myself. Is it the most utterly depressing thing that has ever happened to entertainment media, or is it the most ingenious idea ever? This is definitely one of them. The name itself should be enough to satisfy your curiosity: Choose Your Own Adventure: Pong.

It has all the gameplay of Pong, translated into paper format. You turn pages to determine the moment of your bat. The ball remains ominously stationary on each page, its position entirely dependant on what choice you make next, whether you go up or (urp) down. A truly epic adventure. Its something you’ve never experienced before.

This sort of stuff makes us wonder as to what went through the creator’s mind when he thought of it. How could he hope to sell it to anyone without as much free time as himself? Perhaps that is why he lets you “read” the excellent adventure book cover-to-cover in the free online viewer that we have helpfully embedded below.

Go ahead, enjoy your adventure!