Daily Archives: 12/02/2011

Reboots I don’t want part 2,347 – “Starship Troopers”

Look - sweaty men with tennis balls on sticks! Kill 'em all!

I seem to remember writing something about this not too long ago, but it seems that cooler egos have not prevailed and we must yet again suffer the ideas of fools with more cash than smarts – “Starship Troopers” is being rebooted.

Producer Neil Moritz – he of the hilariously ill-named production shingle ‘Original Film‘ – proposes a new version of Robert Heinlein’s classic slice of reactionary military SF, this time written by the fellows who brought you “Thor” and one of the drafts of “X-Men: First Class”.

My snark aside, there is a reason to do this – and it is, of course, financial.

Director Paul Verhoeven’s gloriously icky, gruesome sci-fi bug hunt cost a lot of money to make in 1997 and made a pittance back in return.  In the ever-predictable world of Hollywood, the brand recognition of a high-concept (can you get any higher concept than the title “Starship Troopers”?) means that much of the hardest work is done and it’s time to go back to code and see if a second swing at the book can treat it more seriously and get rid of all that pesky European satire and  nudity and NPH as a psychic Nazi (NSFW arachnid bug-busting at the link).  The good stuff, in short.

This, to me, is one of those remakes that really doesn’t need to be pursued.  The original movie has its flaws and may have slightly dated effects work but its core satire is still undeniably effective, the cast of blank-faced young things spouting fascist justifications for their genocidal actions can’t be improved upon (terrible actors, yes, but terrible actors expertly directed to give a human face to some fairly repugnant ideas) and the tone of the film would probably be summarily jettisoned to make a crappy, ideas-free shoot-em-up for the Taylor Lautner generation.

No NPH? No sale.


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Filed under Films, Geekery

The shooter’s lament…

Have you tried talking about your issues, nice man with grenade launcher?

Well, it’s an interesting perspective, at least.  Kotaku and Eurogamer today reported on a recent panel discussion at a Geneva Red Cross conference which discussed our beloved shooty-shooty games and the impact that they have on society as a whole.

More specifically, how many times have you run merrily amok through a round of your favourite military FPS game online and given any thought to how your actions mesh with International Human Rights laws?

Yep, thought as much...

I’m being facetious, naturally.  To any reasonable mind, these are questions which should be asked about the game worlds which we inhabit, even if it’s only after the fact.

To get us to the point as a games community where we do think about these human rights issues whilst we’re playing games would probably require a game that’s more “Mass Effect” or “Skyrim” than “Medal of Honour”, I would vouchsafe.

Even though most games in the “CoD” franchises are fairly linear, directed experiences which don’t give the player a great deal of wandering room, it still seems to me that an RPG (no pun intended) is a better venue for discussing or depicting the kind of human rights during conflict scenario that the Red Cross panel talk was dealing with.

Let’s be honest – most of the military FPS games that we see are more comfortable operating in the realm of James Bond spy-fi fantasy than they are when being forced to contemplate the real world consequences of the action sequences which are these games’ stock-in-trade.   When “CoD” reaches for anything more resonant than congratulating the player on their in-game avatar’s command of a silenced pistol, the previously hidden barrier between game and real life abruptly falls pray to what the youngsters might term ‘epic fail’.

I’m sure that some erstwhile indie dev could bash out something in Unreal Engine which addresses some of the concerns expressed in the Eurogamer piece but it’s not really that hard to imagine that dev teams like Infinity Ward and Danger Close are happier letting the bullets and destructable environments do the talking for them.

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That new “Doctor Who” movie? Cease your worrying…

Everything's cool. Like bow ties.

Perhaps seeking to calm the nerves of the great Whovian hive mind (Recently set a-wittering by the prospect of a big-screen outing for the Galloping Gallifreyan), current “Who” honcho Steven Moffat has reassured us via the Twitters that everything’s going to be OK.

No, the film won’t reboot the TV series and ignore what has gone before – it’s going to be part of the “Who” canon.  The actor playing the role on TV will play the Doctor in any film version – but will that still be Matt Smith by that point?

Imagine his slightly bemused features on a big screen. Fairly warms the cockles, doesn't it?

The cynical side of me still expects the film project to stall at some stage and rob us of the chance to enjoy some big screen “Who” adventures, but positivity rules in this bit of the blogosphere, so let’s look forward to seeing what the 50th anniversary of the show (and the years beyond) brings us, eh?

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Filed under Geekery, TV