05 February 2009

Annoucement: Board Games to Take over Theaters near You

On the more lamentable cinematic front, it seems that it is currently vogue for the big-shot Hollywood producers, especially those who take pride in bringing the masses their crowd-pleasing and often over-blown--visuals---driven summer blockbusters, to set their production slates a-choc-full of living-room-to-life-size adaptations of popular contemporary board games. As GreenCine Daily reports, Universal Studios alone will be bringing not one, not two, not even three, but four(!) total board-game adaptations to life this upcoming year, and no doubt, heeding the expected financial success of the first couple of these releasings, the other studios will be quickly following its suit. To enumerate the releveant projects currently in production: Ridley Scott, acclaimed director of such films as Thelma & Louise (1991) and Gladiator (2001), is currently set to direct the filmic adaptation of Hasbro's Monopoly; Michael Bay, popular director of 2007's analogous adaptation Transformers, is overseeing the adaptation of Parker Brothers' Ouija; and Kevin Lima, director of the popular Enchanted (2007), has been announced to helm Milton-Bradley's Candyland. And, with the further adaptations of such other games as Battleship and (the already fairly adapted) Clue also already on the horizon, one would be hard pressed to deny a trend. Whether any of these proposed and produced features will be any good, however, is an altogether different matter to assess; but my instincts are telling me, the results will majorly not be good. Other than the fodder for such predictable one-line praises as "dazzling special effects!" and "amazing action!" what exactly are you trying to offer us with this kind of film-making, studios? Or is it rather more like what the writers over at GreenCine Daily suspect: that it is too hard for current screenwriters to craft an original storyline with a wide appeal? Either way, each of your due features is starting in my book with a pre-handicap of minus 1. Show me Jonathan Demme's adaptation of Chutes and Ladders or, as they at GreenCine proposed, Woody Allen's Scrabble and maybe I'll reconsider.

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