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With hit movies able to surpass the $100 million mark and video games being all the rage, is it any wonder that the two often go together?  Ever since the release of the film adaptations of such games as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, the film world has been searching for that next great franchise.  To help give you a better idea of what’s to come, we have gathered the five video games which were turned into the Top Video Game Movies of all time.

1. Resident Evil
When this horror game about killing your way out of a mansion full of zombies first debuted, no one thought it would be the highest grossing video game franchise of all time.  There are four cinematic film entries starring Milla Jovovich, which have totaled over $500 million in box office sales, and another big screen adventure in the works.  There are also various animated films of the game that are available on DVD.

2. Tomb Raider
Angelina Jolie is perhaps most recognized for her role as Laura Croft from the various Tomb Raider games.  Much like the above, the game often involves fighting your way out of haunted tombs and features a female lead character. The two feature films with Jolie as Croft grossed over $430 million in ticket sales. While they will not be completing a trilogy with Jolie, studios are itching to continue the franchise on the big screen with a new lead actress.

3. Prince of Persia
The old PC game found new life as a movie and in several other gaming platforms.  However, with top notch action producer Jerry Bruckheimer leading the way and Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role, the movie made over $312 million at the box office. This makes it the single highest grossing video game movie of all time.

4. Mortal Kombat
Although the first entry to this film franchise debuted over 15 years ago, it remains one of the top video game films of all time.  The first film made over $122 million at the box office, while the sequel Annihilation made $51 million. This puts its total at over $173 million box office dollars. In addition to the movies, the video game spawned multiple live action series, including a recent web series that starred Jeri Ryan and Michael Jai White.

5. Hitman
While some might guess that big name stars, such as The Rock in 2005’s Doom or Mark Wahlberg as Max Payne, might get the fifth spot, it didn’t happen that way.  This 2007 film starred the lesser known Timothy Olphant as Agent 47, who is an assassin for hire.  The film’s total is just under $99 million and barely beat out 1994’s Street Fighter for the fifth spot.  Hitman has had four video games in its series.


This guest article was written by Sara McDowell. She is an avid Gamer and owns and operates the gaming centric site Video Game Design Schools.

Lets take a look at some of the recent movie news in today’s Pit.

  • Another Tron sequel is a bit closer to happening as Disney has hired David DiGilio to pen the new entry into the classic sci-fi franchise. DiGilio’s past credits include the short lived Aaron Stanford TV series Traveler and the forgettable Paul Walker flick Eight Below. I hope that they move forward on another Tron as there is endless potential within the world set up in the original 80s film and further expanded on in Tron: Legacy. Next year we’ll have Tron Uprising, an animated television series that fills the gap between Tron and Legacy. I wonder how the animated series will help shape the new film entry.
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in talks to fill the army boots of tough guy Roadblock in John Chu’s upcoming sequel to the 2009 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The film is expected to have a rather large cast turnaround and will feature a ton of new characters, while losing a few of the supporting players who were in the original. Channing Tatum is expected to return as Duke and I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a safe bet to return as Corba-Commander. The first one was bad, but in a very enjoyable way. It was a popcorn flick and did its job by being damn entertaining.
  • It looks like funny man Jim Carrey may pull back into his filmography and return to some of his most successful characters. While out promoting his new film Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Carrey dropped that he has been in talks for both a Bruce Almighty sequel and a Dumb & Dumber sequel. While I could care less about another Bruce Almighty (the memory of Evan Almighty still leaves a bad taste in my mouth), I would LOVE to see Carrey reprise Lloyd Christmas along with Jeff Daniels’ Harry Dunne. We don’t get comedies as funny as Dumb & Dumber anymore, maybe lightening could strike twice…
  • How about some more sequel news? Angelina Jolie might reprise her role as action hero Evelyn Salt in a sequel to Phillip Noyce’s 2010 flick Salt. Sony is bringing back the writer of the first film, Kurt Wimmer, to pen the sequel. It is unknown who would take over helming the picture as Noyce as publicly stated that he would not be directing the sequel.
Posted on June 8th, 2011 by ThePit | Comments Off on The Pit: Tron, GI Joe, Salt & More!
Filed Under Entertainment

At first, I thought this category had some pretty stiff competition and would be difficult to predict, but as I saw all the films and the awards season wore on, it was made pretty clear who the front runner is here.

Prediction:

Kate Winslet. Her performance in The Reader is amazing and I’m so glad to see it here. If her other performance this year (Revolutionary Road) had been nominated I don’t think she’d have stood a chance.

What Should Win:
Winslet, for sure, though I would have loved to see Hathaway up there as well.

I saw this movie back in October- I was really looking forward to it, as I love Clint Eastwood films, but couldn’t help but feel pretty let down.

Changeling by Clint Eastwood with Angelina Jolie

Based on a true story, Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, a single working mom in the 1920’s. When her son goes missing, she turns to the LAPD who bring back a boy that she claims is not her child. Emotional and upset, she brings the strange child into her house, yet persists that he is not her son. When she begins to talk to a local activist (John Malkovich) who brings her side of the story public, the LAPD begin to slander her.

This film was slow and really quite dull. It looks beautiful, but it needed to be carried by a very strong actress and I think Jolie really underperforms here. She’s incredibly one note and the character feels old and played out. Remember A Mighty Heart? I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between her Mariane Pearl and her Christine Collins. Just replace the word “husband” with “son” and you’ve got Changeling. Which is why I think…

Nominations:

Best Actress – Angelina Jolie
…that this is really a political nomination. The Academy loves to indulge itself in a nomination or two that will attract beautiful people and attention, and Jolie and Pitt’s noms this year seem to fall into that category. There were plenty of other deserving performances this year and this is not one of them.

Best Cinematography
This film looks beautiful and is wonderfully shot, but I think it might lose this one to a film with more sweeping camera movements and majestic scenery such as Benjamin Button or Slumdog.

Best Art Direction
Here, though, I think this stands a real chance. The muted colors and dreary sets match the tone of the film and make it good competition for the similar looking Benjamin Button.

**

Phasekitty and the Oscars

Before I break it down film by film, here are some of my initial, knee jerk reactions to the Oscar nominations this year:

First and foremost, this year has been a major disappointment to me for one movie: The Wrestler. This was by far the best movie I saw this year and it is being largely ignored. Not only do I feel that it should have been up for Best Picture, but more importantly Darren Aronofsky deserved a Best Director nod for it as well. I have yet to watch anything this year that impressed me as much as that film did in directing, writing, and acting. I do believe that Mickey will win and deserves the Oscar, but I’m pretty disappointed in the academy for not giving Aronofsky credit for his best work to date. And what is up with the song category? Did they pair it down to three nominees so that we won’t have to sit through 5 live performances during the ceremony? Because I kind of like the performances. Either way, Bruce Springsteen got screwed out of a nomination and that bugs me.

Despite this glaring omission, I do have to hand it to the Academy for giving just one (deserved) nomination to Revolutionary Road, for leaving Doubt out of the Best Picture and Director races, and for shutting out Gran Torino altogether- all were movies that were overly hyped and really just not that great. The nominations for Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep’s incredibly over the top performances in Doubt are disappointing, but expected.

Let’s talk about supporting actors. I love Robert Downey Jr., but his nomination for Tropic Thunder is out of place. I expect that sort of thing from the Globes, but not the Oscars. While RDJ was certainly the standout performance in that film, I can think of plenty of other actors whose performances deserve this spot just off the top of my head: James Franco (Milk), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), Viggo Mortensen (Appaloosa). There are a ton of performances that would suit this category better than “the dude playing a dude disguised as another dude.” Even if they would inevitably lose it to Heath, it’s still nice to get the recognition.

A few more things:

  • It’s nice to see The Dark Knight get all the technical nominations, even though it didn’t make it into the big categories. Despite how you feel about big, action super hero films, no one can deny the fact that technically, it’s a fantastically made film.
  • I love the surprise acting nominations this year- Michael Shannon brings a brief breath of life to Revolutionary Road and while I haven’t yet seen The Visitor, who doesn’t adore Richard Jenkins?
  • Angelina and Brad’s nods seem like a ploy to keep them front and center, in case anyone forgot that Hollywood adores them. What a waste of two perfectly good nominations.
  • I’m not usually as surprised by the score nominations as I was this year. It’ll likely go to Slumdog, but I also expected to see Changeling and Revolutionary Road in this category. And I don’t recall a single note of Milk’s score- I would have liked to see one of those two movies in its place instead.

How do you feel about this year’s nominations?

Will Angelina Jolie be Catwoman in Batman 3?

“I think that this franchise has shown that it doesn’t have to bring back characters. I mean, there’s still Catwoman. I’ve heard Angelina Jolie really wants to do Catwoman; I think that’s a fantastic idea. I’ll be a happy audience member this time.”

AICN’s Beaks talked to Aaron Eckhart at the press junket for Alan Ball’s “Towelhead” and he had some very interesting things to say about both his character Harvey Dent/Two-Face and some possible details on the next Batman film.Have you heard that Angelina Jolie wants to be Catwoman in Nolan’s next Batman film? Because I hadn’t heard that. Sounds like some insider info to me. And while I absolutely hate Jolie, I think she is perfect for the hooker turned criminal turned crimefighter who wears some very tight spandex.

Read the rest of the mini interview for all of Eckhart’s comments here (spoilers for “The Dark Knight”).

Believe it or not, I somehow managed to rifle through tons of mandatory literature in high school and college without hitting this epic poem. So I picked it up right before I went to see the movie and was surprised at how easily I got through it. To see my thoughts on both the book and film, read below.

The Book:
This story about a hero and his battles and accomplishments was far more straightforward than I expected it to be. Granted, I likely would have benefited from a professor’s detailed notes and discussions to accompany the book, but as a standalone piece I was surprised at how much I grasped up front. It generally takes me at least two reads to really get what’s going on in Homer, or even Shakespeare. This story, however, is very simple. Beowulf is a hero, born and bred. He comes to the aid of King Hrothgar, whose mead hall Heorot is being attacked by the monster Grendel. After a fierce battle with Grendel, Beowulf incurs the wrath of Grendel’s mother, whom he confronts in her lair. Finally, the third act picks up Beowulf’s story fifty years later when his kingdom is threatened by a dragon. Overall, the story depicts the life of a selfless hero, who simply desires to protect and serve for the greater good.

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The Movie:
There have been many adaptations of this story to film in the past, but this one was not only the largest, most anticipated, and heavily promoted, but by the trailers it appeared to be the truest to the source material. Mostly it is, with the exception of incorporating Wiglaf into the story from the beginning (which I found an inspired way to avoid his sudden appearance that occurs in the third act of the original story), until the end of the second act. The film sticks to the books three-act format, however changes something major in the fight between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother in order to weave an underlying plot that is constant through each part and leads up to a twist ending.

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The results are far more detrimental to the film than may have been intended: Beowulf’s character is transformed from a selfless hero to a selfish, corrupt, and pretentious warrior. It also succeeds in changing Hrothgar, Queen Wealthow, and possibly, thanks to an ambiguous ending, Wiglaf into despicable versions of the original characters. Plus the dialogue’s stab at modernizing the ancient poem often makes for unintentionally laughable lines (“There have been many brave men who have come to taste my lord’s mead.”) All in all, the movie is only worth seeing for the stunning visual effects in fantastic 3D.

What’s Missing:
Since the poem is relatively short, there’s not a lot missing, just a lot that has changed. Beowulf no longer returns to his homeland Geatland for the third act, but stays in Hrothgar’s kingdom. Also, instead of introducing Wiglaf in the third act he is introduced from the beginning as Beowulf’s most trusted warrior. In the poem, Beowulf’s most trusted warrior, Eschere, is killed in the second act and Wiglaf is introduced in the third act as the only warrior who stays by Beowulf’s side as he faces the dragon. The introduction of Wiglaf sooner makes for a more relatable, and at times touching, relationship between Beowulf and Wiglaf.

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What’s New:
From the moment Beowulf enters Grendel’s mother’s lair, all the way through the end of the film, there are a lot of new elements to the story. Grendel’s mother takes on a much larger role and is not gone after her battle with Beowulf. When Hrothgar learns the true resolution to Beowulf’s battle with Grendel’s mother, he steps down from his post as king (literally, heh) and relinquishes his kingdom (along with his queen) to Beowulf. Thus changing the third act and some very important details that lead to the circumstances surrounding the appearance of the dragon.

Overall Adaptation:
It’s not necessary to update every story (especially the oldest story in our language) to conform to a typical Hollywood movie. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s out of style. same sites . This story would have been better off left alone, and tampering with it discredited the entire film. By weaving the acts together they have succeeded in making it a Hollywood film, complete with unlikeable characters who lack motivation, sex icons, and heroes with questionable morals.