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Digital Spy presents Games on Film, a look back at the numerous (and quite often disastrous) movies based on video games. How closely do they stick to their source material, and how well do they hold up on their own merits?
Previous Games on Film: Super Mario Bros | Resident Evil
Street Fighter (1994)
Back in 1993, Street Fighter II was just about the coolest video game on the planet. Its genre-defining gameplay and colourful characters had made it the busiest coin-op in arcades across the globe, and creators Capcom saw in it the potential for a huge cross-media franchise, starting with a big screen adaptation.
Capcom wanted the film turned around fast in time for Christmas 1994 and hired action screenwriter Steven E de Souza (Commando, 48 Hrs, Die Hard) to write and direct the film in what would be his first and only directing job in Hollywood. A slapdash cast was assembled, propped »
From Russia with Schlock: Martinez’s Derivative Revenge Flick
While there’s certainly a modicum of perverse interest to be satisfied in witnessing the rotund Gerard Depardieu as an ex-con exacting vengeance on a gang of Russian hoods in the type of watered down B-action flick that’s about as originally conceived as the already derivative Liam Neeson franchise Taken (or Pierce Brosnan’s The November Man), Philip Martinez’s Viktor is neither of significant quality nor campy enough to justify its bizarre existence. Depardieu’s well-publicized tax inclined emigration from France to Russia may explain some of how this nonsense came into existence, but Martinez’s workmanlike march through a series of unenthusiastic events makes it seem as if everything was filmed in one, hurried take.
- Nicholas Bell
Out now, this Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s (Wbhe) 25th Anniversary Blu-ray is released as the studio’s distinctive new sleek Diamond Luxe Edition. Visually stunning, sleek, contemporary packaging to appeal to the modern collector, Diamond Luxe Editions are built with a revolutionary lithographic material for an unprecedented hyperglossy finish including a hidden magnet that maintains a secure, yet soft closure. Limited to 2000 copies, this must-own release contains new and several vintage bonus features!
In 1989, director Tim Burton breathed new life into one of the most complex and intriguing characters in popular culture. Burton cast off the 1960s camp depiction of the Dark Knight and launched for Warner Bros. one of the most popular comic book film series ever. Batman was the top-grossing movie that year and subsequently became a global phenomenon.
The Diamond Luxe Edition is available to buy from Zavvi today: http://bit.ly/1xSfQvU
© 1989 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved. »
- Phil Wheat
Dan Velez, who combined a magnetic personality and deep passion for movies to launch a thriving career as a casting director, passed away Oct. 31. He was 30. At the age of 13, Dan left Colombia with his mother, Ana Maria, and younger brother, Alejandro, and settled in Paw Paw, Mich. Dan didn’t speak a word of English, but he quickly conquered the language barrier by devouring American movies and television shows. In Dan’s own words, “If Jean-Claude Van Damme could make it in the United States with an accent, then so can I.” Dan was both a fastidious high school student and immensely popular with his peers. Voted “most likeable” by his senior class, Dan finished with the second-highest grade point average in high school and won a full scholarship to Western Michigan University. But Dan knew his ultimate ambition was to make it in the entertainment industry, so he »
A weird truth: Even in the midst of the current comic book gold-rush, major studios can't seem to get a good anime or manga adaptation off the ground—although the influence of those works can be seen everywhere. This weekend's Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel comic that's heavily (perhaps even problematically) inspired by anime and manga. As tangentially connected to the art form as Big Hero 6 is, could it be the harbinger of a sea change in Hollywood's approach to manga and anime? Tackling this question can be kind of tricky—after all, "anime" and "manga »
- Joshua Rivera
John Wick, 2014.
An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.
If there is one thing that John Wick proves, it’s that no matter how stupid a story sounds on paper, with proper execution anything can be entertaining. Seriously, a movie where Keanu Reeves plays an ex-gangster known as The Boogeyman who gets back into the game because mobsters murder his dog – the very last thing reminding him of his deceased wife – sounds like it was spat out by a random movie plot generator website. It is completely absurd but fortunately never once takes itself seriously after the narrative sets up the non-stop action.
Furthermore, the action of the film is unexpectedly quite good. »
- Robert Kojder
In the mid-1980s, Belgian martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme arrived in America with dreams of stardom. Possessing a finely-honed physique, thanks to years of training in (among other things) karate, kickboxing and ballet, he was ambitious and brimming with self-belief.
The acting bug bit Van Damme while he was still in his teens: he played “a bad guy with all the knives” in the 1984 French gangster movie Rue Barbare and, determined to further his goal of becoming an actor, hopped on a plane to Los Angeles. His first few years in America were, however, tough. He slept in a rental car for two weeks, and made money money by teaching aerobics and martial arts, delivering pizzas, and working as a doorman at a restaurant belonging to Chuck Norris. »
Turkish artist/auteur Kutlug Ataman’s “The Lamb,” a drama infused with humor set in poverty-stricken Anatolia, took the top prize at the 51st Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival which wrapped on Saturday with a high-caliber closing night gala that also saw Iranian maestro Abbas Kiarostami and Jean-Claude Van Damme take the stage of Turkey’s oldest film event.
“The Lamb” (pictured), an amusingly told tale of a rural family struggling to come up with cash to throw a banquet to celebrate their son’s circumcision, won the Golden Orange for best pic, which comes with roughy $155,000 in cash. Kiarostami, winner of the fest’s lifetime achievement award this year, handed Ataman the top statuette. Van Damme was feted with the fest’s Honorary Award.
Three female thesps in “The Lamb,” also scored acting honors, including the best actress nod, which went to Nesrin Cavadzade.
“The Lamb,” which bowed in Berlin earlier this year, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Jean-Claude Van Damme's looks still kick ass.Here's a 38-year-old version of the "Bloodsport" stud at a Los Angeles awards show back in 1998 (left) and 16 years later... the "The Expendables 2" brute -- who is celebrating his 54th birthday this weekend -- at a ceremony in Shanghai, China last summer (right).What a knockout.The question is... Read more »
- TMZ Staff
How did an 80s Van Damme action flick emerge from a failed Spider-Man movie and Masters Of The Universe sequel? Ryan takes a look...
Cannon Films was in deep trouble by 1987. Its boom years, between the late 70s to the mid-80s, were largely thanks to an eclectic and hurriedly-made collection of B-movies: Chuck Norris action pictures, Charles Bronson revenge flicks and lots of things with the word ‘ninja’ in the title.
Thanks to its outsider status and anything-for-a-buck approach to filmmaking, Cannon Films became a major name in Hollywood, the grinning faces of its brusque founders - producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus - frequently appearing in TV news reports and tinseltown trade papers.
Jean-Claude Van Damme (or Jcvd, if you’re into the whole brevity thing) is the undisputed king of absolutely, certifiably crazy martial arts movies. Sure, Jackie Chan movies have more stunts, Jet Li movies have better choreographed fights, but for sheer insanity, Jcvd is your man. In the name of science, I have shifted through Jcvd’s […]
Read The 5 Craziest Jean-Claude Van Damme Movies on Filmonic.
- Evan Hopkins
There's nothing particularly special about Hilla Medalia's documentary, "The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films," other than its subjects, Menahem Golan and Yorum Globus. The eponymous Israeli cousins are well known to anyone over the age of -- well, never mind. Arriving on Hollywood shores in the early 80s, this filmmaking team -- Golan was the filmmaker, Globus the moneyman -- had ambitions to make it big and despite lacking certain obvious traits (such as taste) that is exactly what they did. Getting their break in 1984 with a dance film fittingly called "Breakin," only two years later their Cannon Films was making 40-plus films, paying Sylvester Stallone $10-plus million, and bankrolling not only low-brow stars Charles Bronson ("Death Wish II"), Chuck Norris ("Delta Force") and Jean-Claude Van Damme ("Bloodsport") but the likes of John Cassavettes ("Love Streams"), Norman Mailer ("Tough Guys »
- Tom Christie
Cool film stuff can be almost as fun as actually going to the movies. Think of a Batman cape, an Arnold Schwarzenegger action figure, or Goldeneye on the N64. Hell, the merchandising can often be more enjoyable than the actual film – remember how much fun the first few months of 1999 were before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was actually released?
Yet, in the chase to make a quick buck out of devoted fans, some... let's just say less relevant, movie merchandise is churned out and flogged to the public.
Here then are 50 of the strangest (not ranked in order!) – expect action figures of obscure henchmen, 16-carat gold Twilight jewellery and some truly vomit-inducing burgers…
In Spider-Man 3, Peter »
Donaldson will direct from a script by Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson, who are producing with Radar Pictures’ Ted Field, Mike Weber and Michael Napoliello. The project is set to start shooting in March in Europe.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is based on the 1928 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, who was a German veteran of World War I and described the immense stress on soldiers during the conflict. The 1930 film won Oscars for Best Picture and director Lewis Milestone.
Donaldson has a personal connection to the material as both of his grandparents fought in Word War I, »
- Dave McNary
Exclusive: Mia Hansen Love, Francois Ozon dramas and Cannon Films doc among Toronto haul.
UK distributor Metrodome has secured UK and Ireland rights to a trio of films that played at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 4-14): Mia Hansen Love’s well-received drama Eden, Francois Ozon’s The New Girlfriend and documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.
All three will play at the London Film Festival (Oct 8-19).
Directed by French auteur Mia Hansen Love and starring Felix De Givry, Pauline Etienne and Greta Gerwig, Eden charts the rise and fall of one of the DJs who pioneered the French electro music scene in the 1990s.
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
For the second time in a year, the meteoric rise and ignominious demise of 1980s schlock juggernaut Cannon Films comes to the screen in feature-length documentary form. But where Cannon is concerned, a twice-told tale is no vexation for the weary cinephile’s ear. Faster, sleeker and more out-of-control (in a good way) than its Cannes-premiered predecessor (Israeli director Hila Medalia’s “The Go-Go Boys”), Mark Hartley’s “Electric Boogaloo” — actors, writers, directors, editors and studio execs who, if anything, seem emboldened by the lack of Golan and Globus’s official participation in the project. Sure to be a fest favorite, Hartley’s docu should also spur much Cannon revivalism on the repertory and cinematheque circuits.
Cannon is irresistible fodder for Hartley, whose previous cinephile docus “Not Quite Hollywood” (2008) and “Machete Maidens Unleashed!” (2010) showed he was drawn to exploitation movies like Charles Bronson to a pack of street thugs. Like those films, »
- Scott Foundas
For the past two months, viewers have been disturbed and unsettled by Richard Sammel's performance as Eichorst, the Nazi concentration camp guard turned vampire apocalypse facilitator, on FX's "The Strain." Playing both the human (but inhuman) Nazi version of Eichorst and his steely, arrogant contemporary incarnation, Sammel has given very different monstrous shadings to his role. That's why it's a bit funny to Skype up with the smiley, voluble Sammel and have him immediately cackle in pleasure at being able to identify my mogwai avatar from "Gremlins," before he very politely asks me to switch on my webcam so that we can see each other as we chat. Sammel is in a good mood because it's the first sunny day in Paris for a while. Or maybe he just genuinely enjoys talking about his part in the FX vampire drama, which was recently renewed for a second season. "I »
- Daniel Fienberg
There’s only one director who can claim to have introduced the world to Nicole Kidman (in 1983’s BMX Bandits) and directed two Leprechaun films (1995’s Leprechaun 3 and 1997’s Leprechaun 4: In Space). That director’s name? Brian Trenchard-Smith.
The latest film from the prolific auteur and Tarantino favorite is the action-comedy Drive Hard, which stars John Cusack as a criminal who robs a bank run by criminals and Thomas Jane as an ex-race car driver he coerces into becoming his reluctant wheelman. How did the project come about? “Well, I’ve never met a green light I didn’t like, »
- Clark Collis
With a heist in mind, a mysterious American called Keller (Cusack) arrives in Brisbane needing a getaway driver. Rather than recruit one from the local underworld, he tricks a driving school instructor, Roberts (Jane) into taking the wheel.
Keller chose well, Roberts just happens to be a washed out Formula-One driver. Chased by the cops and the mob, Roberts is forced to use his racing skills to evade pursuit on a Hard Drive that takes the two along the Gold Coast of Australia. »
- TFH Team
Everything we know, we learned from the movies of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, and Seagal...
Teachers? Professors? Lectures? Pfft. They don’t know anything. You don’t learn things from books. You learn things from hanging out of a helicopter blowing up a small army. That’s real life experience. Unfortunately most of us have jobs, responsibilities and the like stopping us from going on our own violent adventures and escapades, so we have to turn to the pantheon of great action stars to educate us. Here, in one handy guide, are some life lessons to take from the work of Arnie, Sly and the rest.
There are two key traits that we can gather from Schwarzenegger’s body of work that we should emulate. The first, and most prominent, is to always have something cool to say, especially after an act of violence. Try to make it relevant to the situation. »
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