: Editorial: Hollywood Needs To Stop Blaming Games

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Editorial: Hollywood Needs To Stop Blaming Games

It never fails. Every time some Hollywood bigwig stands up and tries to explain why box office revenues are down again, they just have to mention that the video game industry is "taking away" many long-time theater-goers. They don't necessarily say it's the gaming industry's fault, but it's almost always phrased as an excuse. Well, I'm going to lift the very thin veil on this little mystery, Hollywood. Just so you get it through your thick skulls, once and for all.

Nobody is holding a gun to someone's head and telling them how to spend their leisure time. People of all ages are flocking to gaming of their own accord, and there's a damn good set of reasons for this phenomenon. First of all, the experience of going to the movies has drastically fallen in quality over the past three decades. Why? Because most theaters outside of IMAX tend to use the same damn equipment they were using three decades ago. With so many people in ownership of HDTVs these days, the comparison is embarrassing for the theater: back in the '70s and '80s, the theaters were the best. Now, you can easily have superior picture and sound quality with a decently-priced home entertainment setup, and the advent of Blu-Ray widens the gap. And yet, movie ticket prices haven't reflected this in the least, and that's the first part of this depressing equation for Hollywood.

Next up- movies suck. Yes. They suck. Sure, there are a few good movies here and there, and I know for a fact some very impressive films have released over the past few years. I'm not going to deny this. But their popularity has fallen like a stone; it used to be that the Oscar winners every year were also most of the more popular titles of the year. Now, the Oscars are loaded with plenty of films that have gone unnoticed by the mainstream, which is further proof that the mainstream masses are dumber than a stone and will reward the worst pile of crap. Comedies are painfully insulting. Dramas are on the steady decline, unless you can find the scant few that turn out to be truly rewarding (and they won't be blockbusters, I promise you that). Special effects and CGI sell tickets. Intelligent scripts do not. Mindless action and sex appeal sells tickets. Well-developed characters and excellent dialogue do not.

So perhaps it's not necessarily Hollywood's fault, as they're only trying to sell movies to a population that's on the downward spiral in terms of intelligence. That's one way to go. Or, you could take my argument: personally, I'm sick of being insulted by movies I would've been insulted by when I was 8 years old. I'm sick of the poor quality of movie theaters. I'm sick of the pandering. On the other hand, I become very excited when I think about the upward rise of gaming and the possibilities that loom large on the horizon. I think of some top-quality scripts ('cough' MGS4 'cough') that have made many movie scripts appear terrible in comparison. No, I'm not saying the best game stories can compete with the best movie stories. I'm really not. What I am saying is that games have made very large strides in this area while movies have gone backwards. Pretty soon, the gap will become so small, they'll have to start nominating game scripts for "Best Original Screenplay" at the Oscars.

Hollywood should be downright embarrassed. And the gaming industry isn't going to apologize for putting out a superior entertainment product. They're not going to apologize for making leap after leap, generation after generation, while the movie business remains in this incredibly steep dive. I do not hate movies. I happen to enjoy them. I'm one of the people Hollywood should be able to snag on a routine basis, and at one point, they kinda did. But everything has gotten so bad, I have to search through independent film markets in order to find something even remotely appealing and not insulting. So Hollywood needs to step up and do something; prove to their fans they've lost that there's still a reason to watch movies. Games are far better, and people will turn to those games in order to have a better entertainment experience. They're doing this of their own volition. They're weighing the rewards and consequences, and people know what they'll enjoy. It's not...that...difficult.

1/23/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (55 posts)

GoldenShadow
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 10:33:22 PM
Reply

I can't blame Hollywood for releasing these "insulting movies," if I were in their shoes I would be doing the same. Like you said the mainstream public can be dumber than a stone, and will enjoy those movies that we find insulting.

They have to cater to their audience, and from recent experiences you can see that some of the movies that are awesome get completely ignored. Why risk having hard work going unnoticed? Even if a smaller part of the general public loves some of the better movies, it still can't make up for poor sales. It really is a problem that might be impossible to solve as long as the public remains woefully ignorant, at least from my point of view.

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Qubex
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 11:00:00 PM
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Damn, it could have been me writing your editorial Ben... spot on really.

The last set of films to really impress me; and I mean really impress me were The Lord Of The Rings... now those are films!!! ... on the other extreme you do get beautifully shot artistic films that have merit and touching soulful stories... especially films that are based on real life stories... most people with some sort of intelligence will appreciate real life based adventure stories where characters must overcome the huge struggles and adversities that life presents... no doubt lessons can be learned from such films... How can one not be touched by films such as Schindler's List, or The Las Emporer etc etc, unless you are a stone...

However, games for me are far more interactive and enjoyable today. In my view Hollywood is losing the plot... there are between... 2-5 films per year that are really worth spending money on... otherwise rather keep your bones for games.

Lest not forget the downloading of films is nibbling away at Hollywood profit margins... the situation will get worse and worse.

I think partly, you have a situation were movies, especially bubble gum mediocre movies... movies that you probably wouldn't spend your money on anyway... are being downloaded freely for cheap entertainment... like music to some degree... whilst people go out and spend their hard earned cash on games that can be replayed and enjoyed for years... especially the multi player games; the good ones anyway.

Hollywood is an embarassment; with very few decent films out there... roll on Killzone 2, Unchartered, GT5 and the like, thank God for video games...

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 11:18:15 PM

Thanks. And- "thank God for video games..."

I second that. :)

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Sir Shak
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:08:17 AM

I love real life stories too , especially the ones based on boxers ( Cindrella Man , Ali , The Hurricane ) .

Last edited by Sir Shak on 1/24/2009 1:09:51 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:08:34 AM

I thought Cinderella Man was great.

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ceedot
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 11:18:46 PM
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I don't even think it's the games. I think it's stupid movies like disaster movie and boring rip offs that make movies so sh** nowadays. I still think there are a lot of good movies out though.

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GuernicaReborn
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 11:27:40 PM
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There is one reason I don't go to the Theater anymore, at least not during opening week... people. Conversation, little comments to people on a screen WHO CANNOT HEAR YOU, cell phones, and my favorite, the guy who says "I saw that coming from the beginning!" like I give a rats ass. You name it, people do it. I'd gladly take a job for $5 an hour knocking the sh** out of idiots who don't know how to be polite, shut up, and shut off their phone. The job satisfaction alone would be worth it.

Oh yeah, one more thing. When I went to see Halloween someone actually shouted, "OH SH**! Did you see that?!" from a couple rows below me. Like everyone else was facing the back wall or something. It's things like this...makes you wonder.
I'm just in the mood to complain tonight :)

Last edited by GuernicaReborn on 1/23/2009 11:33:43 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 11:46:19 PM

All valid. :)

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coldbore
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 11:55:35 PM
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personaly i never go to the movies any more, what would you rather do, watch someone else in a set plot do something for an hour, maybe two hours or spend your time being the character himself and choosing his/her actions. i also find that u can spend a lot more time playing games then watching a boring movie you can see for free on the internet. so bring on the games (or at least make a better theatre experience)

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LightShow
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:04:00 AM
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Video Games are just a better investment, as far as money goes. I'm not a big fan of "smart" movies; when i go to the movies its for the express purpose of *not* having my brain stimulated.

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K ASH
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:16:27 AM
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I have since drifted from movies ever since i got constant stream off the ALMIGHTY ANIME.hollywood just pales to how the japanese tell a story its flipping awsome in all department 8 out of 10 animes. Cant wait 4 an era where the japs or anybody can make a game that feels like you are playing an anime, not watching like in MGS4 but playing 70% of the time. MGS4 and the hole franchise has the best morden military story to date.

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dveisalive
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:34:15 AM
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It is bootlegs that are popular demand for the BOX OFFICE being / theaters being a little colder now-a-days even thought the box office still makes $! I rather waste my money on a new Game than go to the theaters, and bootlegs are getting clearer, so I save gas money, but have more games thanks to bootlegs!

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eLLeJuss
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:43:18 AM
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well, alot of movies are trash these days. So why even blame video games. they should blame the crappy movies. like.. uhmm the unborn. that movie was a joke. trailer was good. in fact, it was better than the movie. Another crappy movie is DRAGON WARS. worst movie i ever saw... tskstk. that was last year btw

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Jed
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:46:52 AM
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Most of the movie commercials I see are insulting. It's like they know that 14 year-olds are the only ones going to see the movie.

I am also sick of seeing actors get paid disgusting amounts of money for mediocre performances.

When I do hear about a movie I want to see, I can wait until it comes to dvd, instead of paying $10 to see it in the theatre.

I did go to a really cool movie theatre in Austin called The Alamo Drafthouse. I saw a foreign movie called "Let the Right Ones In" It was fantastic.

Last edited by Jed on 1/24/2009 12:50:09 AM

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:09:45 AM

Aww. Im from San Antonio and I loved the Draft House! Its got the coolest vibe to it. Too bad Im out in Hawaii now...

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Jed
Sunday, January 25, 2009 @ 7:29:38 PM

That is the first time I've ever heard anyone complain about being in Hawaii

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King James
Sunday, January 25, 2009 @ 11:53:32 PM

They have those Alamo Drafthouse's here in Houston too. Must be a South Texas Area thing b/c they do have them in Dallas. DFW has a franchise called Studio Movie Grill.

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Wage SLAVES
Monday, January 26, 2009 @ 2:11:20 AM

Its beautiful but you feel so encapsulated. Nothing like Texas though. Actually, anywhere that isn't your Home just doesn't feel right.

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 1/26/2009 2:12:33 AM

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eLLeJuss
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:47:08 AM
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"Mindless action and sex appeal sells tickets."

LoL. and we were talking about tomb raider last night.

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Sir Shak
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:02:28 AM
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You guys should start doing what I do when a movie is utter crap. Take the ice from your drink and start throwing it at people . :)

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:06:54 AM
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The gaming industry has ambition and competition driving it and that is what drives innovation.

Though I have to say Im a sucker for 300 or Dark Knight how many movies are clever anymore? Something like say, 'The Departed' or something. I still couldn't stand watching DK in theater knowing my Blu Ray version was going to kick it in the pants.

I was recently insulted by 'Tropic Thunder' ugh. It was awful! Like all the jokes that would make a 5 year old laugh isn't workin on me!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:14:55 PM

Feelin fluish? Put him up on the animal!

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 2:01:12 AM
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I admit 2008 wasnt a great year for films, but have you been paying attention to 2009s early line up?!

I only went to the cinema 4 times last year, but this year already ive seen so much that interests me, Sam Mendes Revoultionary Road, David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Che: Part One (Which i really enjoyed) & Part Two, The Reader, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire. Theres alot going on early 2009 which is certainly making up for last year.
Some years a good others arent. PS3s first year is a prime example pior 2007 there wasnt much but in 2008 it really got kicked up the backside to top form.

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BigT_1980
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 4:11:22 AM
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I don't watch movies at the theater much any move because most of the movies that come out suck. I go less also because I'm lucky to get out of the theater without spending spending at least $40 dollars. Because I am taking a date with me two tickets cost $20 dollars. Then you add in the popcorn and drink then their is another $20 dollars. Because of the expense I watch more movies at home because I am tired to the theater raping me with there ridiculous expenses.

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www
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 5:01:43 AM
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Yes movies do suck!
I always tell people i prefer games to movies by far.
Reason cause in games is like a movie but i get to be the hero and control his fate,that extends over several hours and most of the time can last for 3 days,1 week or for months.After beating a game you could go back to it again.

With movies you sit down STILL without moving your fingers or nothing but stare straight up at a screen for an hour,2-3-4 hours depending on the movie length,afterwards it ends and what do you feel,your dvd or blu-ray looks useless,the next minute you put it up a store for sale.
Movies suck really.

Last edited by www on 1/24/2009 5:08:04 AM

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Naga
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 5:46:39 AM
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The Movies are ass especially Horror movies why is it that damn genre shows up in every ad ON UTV!! and Channel 4.

I really hope Dragonball Evolution + Prince of Persia because they'll be the only movies that I would enjoy

But as it should already realised Hollywoods F***** Video Games are taking over

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Robochic
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 7:40:21 AM
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I would love to go see a movie in the theatre but man it's so damn expensive costs 25CDN for 2 without treats or a drink, plus if you do you really have to choose wisely like to me harry potter movies,transformers are a must see in theatre but like Mall cop not worth my 12 bucks. I went to take my 4 yr old to see bolt but because it's 3D they make you pay 10 for the child and 14 for you what the hell, i can go buy some used games for the total of that price. If the movie industry wants to get more people to go to movies in theatre or rent them lower the amount we have to pay, we're not keeping the movie so why pay so much, when you buy a game u're keeping it plus it has so much more to offer like able to play it over and over again. Oh all prices are in Canadian dollars.

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Zaben
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 8:11:38 AM
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Movie theaters are just too expensive when you can Netflix everything.
Though I am seeing the new Underworld today as me and my dad are classic fans of the series.

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Deleted User
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 8:18:04 AM
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Movies are ok to get the girl to calm down and in the mood;).

Other then that tho. I have a couple I like here and there..but rarely do I HAVE to see a movie. I do however, love killing my friends online. Now thats fun.

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Zorigo
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 9:13:07 AM

i love movies, last year there were tons that i never got to see, and as a teen, i don't have endless amounts of cash. watching online is a fave for others, i'll see.

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Deleted User
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 9:24:53 AM

They have plenty of sites with good movies. You ever go to movies6.com? I watch movies there all the time.

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Zorigo
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 9:12:08 AM
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1) as for movies sucking, well i am a lot less harsh when it comes to response for movies than games. i have only ever seen a good movie. in my opinion. but i am a lot more easy going, because when i go to the cinemas, it is just fun.
2) selling tickets, you are right but there are some that reward intelligent script, and whilst intelligent script is more suited for the inteeligent and video games, because lets face it, the mgs movie will confuse like f*ck, but the game was good, because the story was amidst an awesome game, so i could bear it. Seven Pounds, is a moving film, but rarely do films be good to the masses because films are wanted as relaxation. games aren't. yes, you can have fun with friends, but that's splitscreen/online (online can get competitive though,) but what game's campaign have a compelling story line and good gameplay and is relaxing. i certainly didn't relax with ninja gaiden, mgs, heck, i'm very competitive when it gets to LBP.
overall though you're article does make sense.

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pavlovic
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 10:30:37 AM
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It's plain and simple... I won't be spending any cash to be surrounded by people talking, watching a movie in a big screen with a terrible definition and without HD sound.

I enjoyed a lot more Iron Man on BD in my home than I did in the theater.

And there's one thing I can't stand... people laughing in a terror/horror movie after screaming because they got scared.


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NoSmokingBandit
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 10:44:46 AM
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If the movie industry stopped making shitty movies i might go see more of them.

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cell9899
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:25:51 PM
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Ever since "scary movie" "disaster movie" "epic" movie and sh** like that rolled in, I lost respect for Hollywood, I mean who allows sh** like this to be produced?? Who founds this BS? Its ridiculous how much money this jack-asses get paid for acting retarded. Then there is "Tropic Thunder" and the recent "Max Payne", the "Latest Punisher", and what about "never Back Down". Where is this industry heading? VideoGames are taking Story, plot, characters, and action to new levels, levels that Hollywood has not reached since Lord Of The Rings and Gladiator.

Now in days if you want "epic" there is Metal Gear for you, if you want "Scary" there is Dead Space for you, you want "disaster" there is Fallout 3 for you, if you want "tropic Thunder" stick to Crysis or Uncharted, and if you want a real gratifying "story", there is BioShock for you.

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 12:56:06 PM
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well if you going to use thigns liek scary movie and disater movie now wonder why you hate films there appauling. what i hate at the moment is all the f****** super hero/ comic adaptions Sin City was teh only good one. and as usually all though fu**ing teen comedies for chavs usually starring seth rogers.

but once agian ill mention aload of films this year in this month and feb that look great!

Sam Mendes Revoultionary Road, David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Che: Part One (Which i really enjoyed) & Part Two, The Reader, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire.

Also James Cameron will be releasing Avatar at teh end of teh year which is ment to be quite something. You people have a right to slag of poor films, but you cant moan at films in general, its just very ignorant of you lot.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:26:52 PM

I think the consensus though is that for every good film there are a dozen crapfests.

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:01:55 PM
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Also have any of you tired exploring Foriegn films? i personally think since the turn of the century foriegn films have grown more facinating. i recommend Pedro Almodovars films and an actor called Gael Garcia Bernal, fantstic actor, i also reccomend Oldboy, City of God, Amelie, The Scienece of Sleep.

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city96
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:05:39 PM
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Yea u should check out the revenue of some big series of movies like RE, Saw and things like that theyve gon way down

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:10:59 PM
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well Horros a dying genere because its all now just about butchering skimpy teens, they lack suspense, i bet Hitchcock is rolling in his grave!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 2:08:41 PM

They're ALL dying genres.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:18:27 PM
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500,000 people lined the streets for Howard Hughes "Hells Angels" premiere. We certainly have come a long way...a long way down.

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 1:21:14 PM
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well i admit that most films nowadays dont hav ethe same magic as in teh 70's and 80's. but your example is more based on the public than film in general.

What i dotn get why films liek Transformers are precevied as popular, it was garabage, it was about two teenagers in love more than robots, utterly disgusting, in a way i see the public as to blame for all these shitty productions taking place, who wants to see the pink panther 2 honestly!

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 1/24/2009 1:25:47 PM

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 2:34:32 PM
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WorldEndsWithMe:

"I think the consensus though is that for every good film there are a dozen crapfests." ME: as is that not true for games or just about anythign for that matter?


@ Ben, Genres arent dying, where just in a tradgic age where teen comdies and super hero films are "in", so loads of companies make loads of crap to appeal to this auidence. Me personally i cant wait to see what Sam Mendes has done with Revolutionary Road, it looks phenominal and David Finchers The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Even game gneres are dyign out. Look at the platoformer genere, Sonic, Crash, Spyro, there all going down hill horendously, i cant even look at crash anymore with out feeling disgusted. all the Horror genre is turning into action along with RPGs.

and Music........ last time i bought an album was Red HOt Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium and it flopped! i generally just ignore modern music its all indie and RnB its horrible.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 7:03:45 PM

If this was just a trend or a fad, that'd be one thing. But this "stupid" trend has been around for a WHILE. It has been around for at least a decade, if not longer...that's not a fad, that's a downward spiral.

As for games, it doesn't matter if certain genres are dying; the industry has a whole is going up, and games are only getting better with almost every passing year. It's the exact opposite with movies.

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FeyeR
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 11:16:24 PM
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I hope Jurrasic 4 will come out :)

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Qubex
Sunday, January 25, 2009 @ 2:28:30 AM

I hope it doesn't!

Q!

"i am hOme"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 24, 2009 @ 11:50:28 PM
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Ya know, Max Payne really wasn't too bad. It just tried too hard to pull off the kind of graphic novel stuff that sin city and 300 did so easily.

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King James
Monday, January 26, 2009 @ 12:15:16 AM

I wonder where they got that idea, because it wasn't from the Max Payne games.

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, January 25, 2009 @ 2:53:36 AM
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..... What do you mean it doesnt matter that Genres are dying and it just doesnt matter, thats outragous! look i dont kwnow about you but im pretty sick of every game i play having the same camera veiw and control scheme. Seriously the only difference between Uncharted and RE4 (or 5) is that one is more gruesome than the other..... I was really upset when MGS4 took on this control scheme, i much preffered MGS3's.

I love platformer games but the last one i could really enjoy was Jak and Daxter, actually Jak 2 and 3 are prime examples, look how they just turned into every other sandbox game, it was dull.

Just think of how many shody films taht must of come out in teh 70's and 80's, the reason you proably thing kthat films used to be better (in general) is becuase most of the lousy ones have just been forgotten so you dont relaise them. There not in your face all the time like Transformers and Superbad are.

like i said 2008 wasnt a great year, but look at 2007 for the ps3. there are so many films out before Febuarary that look amazing already, i cant wait to see what else there is.

@ Jed, Thanks for mentioning "Let the Right Ones In" i wanted to see that but forgot th ename was very angry, but now im happy to see teh UK cinema release will be on April the 20th. thanks :)

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Wage SLAVES
Sunday, January 25, 2009 @ 5:51:18 AM

Gotta admit though camera angles are a tougher beast to nail down than a movie. When you set to a FPS or 3rd person view then that view has to work with all other effects in the game.

On control schemes, sometimes it is amazing how easily a game can go from crappy to awesome with control tweaks. That was my GripE with SOCOM confrontation.

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King James
Monday, January 26, 2009 @ 12:12:51 AM
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I just hate the way Hollywood tries to cash in on the video game industry with their terrible adaptations to great video game franchises. Its so discouraging and lil' maddening.

-Tomb Raider
-Super Mario Bros (Dennis Hopper as King Koppa? John Leguizamo as Luigi???...LOL I know they regret that movie being on their resumes)
-Max Payne
-Doom
-Silent Hill
-Street Fighter(& they''re makin another one right now)
-the Mortal Kombat movies
-and even Resident Evil (which wasn't all that bad btw).

And I hear someones writing a Gears of War film??? Really?? The video game storyline wasn't even sub-par. I classify that game's story as disposable at BEST, and thats with me being generous.

I mean DAMN...It's like Hollywood wants payback for all those horrendous games based off successful movies. "What goes around, comes around", I guess.

Last edited by King James on 1/26/2009 12:14:15 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, January 26, 2009 @ 2:03:16 AM
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meh i agree with that, though i thought the Silent Hill film was actually very good, probaly the only game adadption ive enjoyed.

being fair though just look at all the films turning into games, THe Godfather Part II is being trashed! it looks more like Scareface. The only game i've really enjoyed from a film adaption is The Warriors, they did a good job on that.

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chaosrunner
Monday, January 26, 2009 @ 7:17:38 AM
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In all fairness, there have been plenty of times even during the peak of cinema popularity when the Academy granted its highest honors to something that wasn't the most popular movie amongst viewers. I don't think that's really a factor of the decline in mainstream film quality. Admittedly, even then, the films were still ones produced by major studios, not indie ventures.

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Kangasfwa
Monday, January 26, 2009 @ 8:09:39 PM
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"My products suck but I don't want to admit it so I'm going to blame video games for stealing my business instead." Says the hollywood executive. Dumbass.

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