Friday Five: Game-Based Movies and Television Edition

It’s been a busy week, so it was last night before I realized I hadn’t started working on this week’s Friday Five. I hadn’t even thought about it, actually. But I went to make myself some chai to keep me company while I was writing tomorrow’s Saturday Scene (Yes, it’s been that full a week.), and Mom was watching Clue. We got to talking about the movie and how well it represented its game. And it got me thinking. I enjoy watching movies and cartoons based on games, so I thought this week I’d share some of the ones I’ve seen, and my thoughts on them.

1. Clue – Might as well start with the one that inspired the post. Clue is kind of a brilliant live-action representation of the boardgame. The story takes place in a house with all of the appropriate rooms and secret passages (although the layout doesn’t match the board). The key characters are Mr. Boddy and the six playable characters from the game (plus an easily startled butler). And after Mr. Boddy is killed early in the movie, the characters then set about trying to solve the murder. The movie even has three endings, a nod to the process of players guessing the contents of the Confidential folder in the board game. It’s hilarious. It’s self-referential in all the right ways. And it’s so worth watching way too many times.

2. Tomb Raider – There were two: a good one and an attempt to mash up Tomb Raider and all of the action flicks obsessed with ebola at the time. Let’s focus on the good one. *grin* The first Tomb Raider movie was a clever blending of elements from Tomb Raider 2 and  Tomb Raider 3. Complete with a Shiva that Lara takes down too quickly (I have been proven wrong about this.) and by utilizing her environment. It felt like Tomb Raider, but left me and other fans complaining that she got to do the two things we couldn’t in the game: grapple and pick up anything to use as a weapon. I guess it was a good thing, because we can now make Lara grapple!

3. Mortal Kombat – Again, there are a lot of directions to potentially go here, but I love the first movie. I have never played Mortal Kombat, but I used to watch friends play it. Often enough that I was able to recognize that the movie aligned with Mortal Kombat 3. Like Tomb Raider, it felt like I was watching a Mortal Kombat game, only with an actual story component. So much attention to detail! *swoon* (Plus, I really, really like the soundtrack.)

4. Magi Nation – I played Magi Nation when it first came out, and then I moved to a larger city where the game shops had never heard of it. I was sad. My Arderial/Naroom deck is in a box somewhere around here. When I heard there was a cartoon based on the video game that was based on the card game. I was excited. Given how other TCGs had transferred to cartoons, I was curious to see how Magi Nation was going to work out. The show had the e/i stamp on it, and that kind of colored a lot of things. But what broke my heart more than a technicolor Furok (one of my go-to Naroomi creatures), was the way the Arderial magi were misrepresented in the cartoon. I stopped watching shortly after the characters left Arderial City.

5. Saturday Supercade – Can’t leave this one out! I was obsessed with Saturday Supercade so much as a kid that I actually was one of the characters from it for Halloween. I have to say it that way because I never got to play the game that cartoon segment was based on. (I think it was Space Ace.) Our next-door neighbor repaired game cabinets for local arcades and pizza parlors, so I got to play on them after he was done fixing them. (He actually invited us to come play with when he was done to make sure they worked.)

There are so many more. I could keep going. But that’s it for this week. I’ll try to be better about this next week


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