Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where on Earth can she be?

I love Carmen Sandiego. I played the game on old-school floppy disks on the APPLE II-E, and I even have a segment of her math edutainment game on the Wii. As a kid, my fanon was that she briefly dated Don Flamenco (Punch-Out) in the 1980s (he had referenced a "Carmen" in-game), thus making her more awesome.

Luigi tried a similar geography edutainment game as his debut solo outing (Mario is Missing), but it didn't work out, so he had to wait until the Gamecube era (Luigi's Mansion) to break out as a star in his own right.

Carmen Sandiego (Broderbund), Oregon Trail (MECC), and Number Munchers (MECC) were the holy edutainment gaming trinity back in the day. (Yes; I'm (35 years) old--deal with it.)

Carmen had two game shows on PBS, and a cartoon show with one of the most EPIC theme songs the 1990s had to offer:

Thus, when MovieBob noted a link to Hollywood Reporter about a possible Carmen Sandiego movie, that perked my interest. Jennifer Lopez will produce the film, and may use it as a star vehicle.

My thought is that Hollywood has produced WORSE video game movies with better actors (Super Mario Bros.: the Movie), so I doubt that Jenny Lopez could damage Carmen's brand.

Besides, if Battleship--a board game with NO CHARACTERS to center a plot around--got a film, then Carmen sure as hell deserves one.

And to the writer of this movie: I strongly recommend a cool retro anime called Lupin III, as well as any number of good heist movies, to get a feel for the proper pacing.

This is an easy film, and it should be a good film for kids and parents to enjoy--a kids' film done right, with a ton of merchandising rights to sell when it makes back its budget. (That sassy red fedora and trenchcoat alone will make a mint--many little girls will want that outfit.)

Don't disappoint me, Hollywood. I forgave you for Super Mario Bros.: The Movie. I overlooked Street Fighter: The Movie. Neither of these games lends well to live-action film. But if you, Hollywood, manage to fuck up a movie based on a video game based on a genre that Hollywood does well (cat and mouse heist film)--especially after Hollywood finally made a decent film with Prince of Persia...

...just. Don't. Disappoint. Me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Captain Planet is *not* my hero.

No. Just no.

No Captain Planet and the Planeteers movies, Hollywood: PLEASE.

A cheesy Hollywood movie based on good ideas can still entertain an audience (as the three Transformers films and numerous bad video game films have proven; the game films at least make for good snark bait, and there's an actual audience--like it or not--for the Bay films).

A cheesy movie on a rotten premise will just be BAD. Adolescents, without adult supervision, fly around in an advanced solar vehicle to save the environment. Surely there are better environmental film concepts than the environmental movement's BIBLEMAN.

Think for a moment: five teenagers with magic rings (based on the four classical elements and "heart") given to them by the deification of planet Earth, use said rings to summon a powerful golem superhero...who is weakened by dirty water, smoke, garbage, nuclear waste (which is the only one that makes sense for a superhero), or Hitler glaring at him. The writer coming on board to a putative CAPTAIN PLANET movie would have to keep Ted Turner far away in order to make it good; otherwise, any fans of CAPTAIN PLANET will get their equivalent of Battlefield Earth.

Okay: I concede that any idea, no matter how horrid, could theoretically make a good movie; that is to say, I agree with MovieBob that there isn't actually such a thing as a "bad" movie premise. Some ideas are just nigh-impossible to execute competently with the current focus-group controlled culture entrenched within Hollywood.

The series itself was mildly watchable, if a bit out of its depth regarding the issues it preached about (particularly the AIDS virus). The main reason this series receives my ire is that this dull, preachy show was considered good by Ted Turner; yet a show I--and scores of other people--loved and enjoyed, Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron, was cancelled by Mr. Turner because it depicted character deaths onscreen.

Mr. Turner is entitled to his opinion and beliefs. I'm also entitled to hate the idea of a Captain Planet movie--especially when there are better "save the environment" movies that have already been made.