July 5 2009

Asteroids And View-Master Coming To Your Theater

hollywood signI’m not sure what get put in the Hollywood water system, but it seems to be some really, really good drugs.

Just when I think Hollywood can’t get any more desperate for movie plots, they go one step further to a point that reaches such absurdity that it boggles the mind.  It was announced earlier this week that the 1979 Atari video game Asteroids would be made into a movie.  This was followed up by a possible joke, but no one is yet sure, that the View-Master picture viewer would also be getting a movie.

… are you kidding me?

Asteroids was a vector-based video game where you flew a triangular ship around, shooting at incoming asteroids.  Occasionally a UFO would fly through and shoot at you to spice things up a bit.  That was the entire “plot” of the game?  Don’t believe me?  Play the official Asteroids online game to see if I’m lying to you.  There was absolutely no story behind this game, but yet someone in Hollywood thought it was worth to buy the licensing rights to it.

View-Master was a device that came about in 1939 as a way to view stereoscopic images.  It wasn’t until the 1960’s that it became a child’s toy when they started manufacturing picture discs for things like Star Trek and Disney.  This movie came to light thanks to Brad Caleb Kane, a write on the TV series Fringe.  It is thought it may be a joke as he works with the writers behind the two Transformers movies, but I wouldn’t put it past Hollywood.  I can actually envision this movie being, “Kids find a magic View-Master that transports them to another world where they learn to love one another and appreciate their parents” type of film you see typically in the summer movie season.  Doesn’t mean I hope it doesn’t happen, but I can see it.

asteroidsAsteroids on the other hand just totally blows me away. This was way back in the infancy of video games, before they went through the trouble of giving them characters, a plot or anything more than “shoot this” type of concept.  Is it going to be 90 to 120 minutes of a spaceship just flying around shooting rocks?  Maybe they will try saying the UFOs control the asteroids?  I don’t know, it just screams stupidity to me, but what else do you expect from Hollywood these days?

It seems every movie has to have a product tie-in any more.  Where are the movies like Die Hard these days?  A great action movie made just to be an action movie.  No products to be sold, no big name actors (at that time), just plain fun.  Sure it was improbable, but who cared?  It was engaging and a good time!

So, in order to help Hollywood down this new path of theirs, let me suggest some other possible arcade game based films they can start looking in to:

Centipede – A movie about giant bugs?  Come on, Hollywood, how have you not already optioned this?!?

Frogger – He’s a rural frog that’s come to the city, but he learns his momma is sick and has to get back to the lily pad to help her save their family home.

Pac-Man – Totally a stoner film.  Come on, he eats pills!

Pong – Kind of like The Karate Kid where a young boy learns from a Pong master after he has been beaten up by Pong bullies.  In the end he becomes the Pong champion and they go on to make some mediocre sequels.

See?  Any old video game could be made into a movie with little to no imagination!  Get to work, Hollywood execs!  You can have these ideas gratis!

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