Friday, June 02, 2006


A Barn Endows Lip Pin 

Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Jean Reno

Tagline: Seek the Truth

(Didn’t read it, unless you count a smidge of the audiobook)

It’s common enough to compare a summer blockbuster to a videogame, even moreso when it has a videogame adaptation released simultaneously. Lengthy CGI battle scenes you wish you could participate in, predictable endings, overly simplistic dialogue, legions of disposable henchmen, that sort of thing. Rarely however does the term merit use when discussing a novel adaptation, psychological thriller or anything that inspires cheap companion pieces into existence on the History Channel. Flashbacks to holy warfare might look like cutscenes, Hans Zimmer’s score may be almost identical to Jeremy Soule’s score for RPG Elder Scrolls IV and Paul Bettany’s Silas, the becowled albino flagellator might look like a Speaker for the Dark Brotherhood, but the sense of weightless linearity extends to the entire ethos of the movie: travel, exposition, mild peril/fleeing, repeat ten times, credits. Somehow the game is also shoddy:

Halfway through this film, I received a text message instructing me to imagine Sir Ian McKellen shitting into the mouth of his co-star Tom Hanks, the cruel revenge of the girl I didn’t get drunk with in favour of watching this horrible film. And it made me think. How do I get that into a review?

The issue is digestion. It took years for people to figure out that film could be anything other than low art, thanks to the studio’s reliance on a system of imagination-free adaptation between media. Don’t change a thing, save for what interferes with time and money and you will retain maximum fidelity to a source, maximum truthfulness. This hokum prevails no longer, most people know you’ll just get dung out of food. The current problem is how unimaginative the adaptors are. The makers of The Da Vinci Code videogame for instance, have pieced together the fighting using the tacky minigame mechanics from God of War (this time applied to multiple-monk punchups), the cryptology and symbology is reduced to the object-based jigsaw puzzling of the old point and clicks (only with none of the wit) and predictably, the whole sloppy game has been stuck in the lifeless third-person dynamic of most shit Playstation games. Such vomit is created by the ingestion of droppings from a stooly film made under the advice of people who still don’t get that ‘change nothing’ isn’t a viable option, combined with the pressure to appeal to as much of the book and Ron Howard’s audience base (Americans, then everyone else) as possible. This onscreen fecal matter in turn begins by lapping up a book which chews at the already soggy whip of Indiana Jones, the spoor-bucket of the History Channel (again) and of course, Holy Blood, Holy Grail a history book so grounded in factual truth that its writers sued Dan Brown for ripping off their intellectual property. In short, too many shitty cooks have made poo out of excrement out of bum solids and it has ended up boke at every turn. Now try having a debate about its factuality.


Blogger Dude said...

That's a disgusting image.

2:22 PM  

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