MovieBob Talks Mario Movies, Game Journos, and the State of the Industry

Logan Westbrook

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MovieBob Talks Mario Movies, Game Journos, and the State of the Industry


Bob doesn't care what Hollywood thinks, a live-action Mario movie could work.

If you've ever wondered Bob "MovieBob" Chipman - of Escape to the Movies [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies], The Big Picture [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture], and Game Overthinker [http://gameoverthinker.blogspot.com/] fame - thinks about the videogame journalists, or what his perfect game would be, then wonder no longer. Speaking to Examiner.com [http://www.examiner.com/video-game-culture-in-new-york/interview-with-bob-chipman-moviebob-game-overthinker-escape-to-the-movies], he shares some of his thoughts on these topics, and more besides.

As someone who critiques both movies and games, it's rather fitting that his dream project would be a fusion of the two. Bob says that he would love to get a shot at making a faithful Super Mario Bros. movie, and prove all the skeptics wrong in the process. Mario did actually make it to the big screen in 1993, but the movie - which deviated quite significantly from the source material - received mixed reviews and was a flop at the box office, and moviemakers haven't touched the franchise since.

But despite the reluctance of Hollywood, Bob thinks that a Mario movie could work, if done properly. "I'm sick of hearing that series top the list of games that can never be movies," he says. "It's obscene that flash-in-the-pan stuff like Hitman or Uncharted keep getting the movie treatment while the most iconic game characters of all time are denied their shot."

Bob's love for the mustachioed plumber runs deep, starting with Super Mario Bros. on the NES and persisting to this very day. He actually credits the game with getting him into games in the first place. "I was over a buddy's house, he'd just gotten an NES, and showed me Super Mario Bros. That was it for me, love at first sight ... I desperately, desperately want to meet Shigeru Miyamoto - the creator of Mario. He's the #1 spot on my 'famous people' list, games or movies, doesn't matter."

But as much as he loves Mario, Bob acknowledges that the special place that the character - and others like him - can sometimes muddy the water when it comes to the gaming press talking objectively about them. "Gaming is young. The majority of professional game writers are fans who only just reached pro level, and there's always going to be an element of bias, however minute," he says. "I don't think it's possible to get a 100% unbiased review of, say, a Zelda game because everyone has an opinion of it and for the vast majority it's not just a game but an institution."

He also thinks that gamers need to decide exactly how they want videogames to be viewed by the general public, and actually be consistent with it. "You cannot say 'take us seriously as an artistic medium!' when you're railing against Roger Ebert; but then turn around and go 'oh, lighten up, it's just a game!' when people point out that Resident Evil 5 might be a little bit racist."

This will change with time, though. Bob points out that Hollywood revolution of the 1970s occurred because a collapse of the old studio system allowed new blood to get into the business. He adds that similar situations in the videogame industry - notably Sega bowing out as a hardware developer and Nintendo needed to recover after the relative failure of the GameCube - has allowed new players, in form of Sony and Microsoft, and new ideas, such as motion controls, into the industry.

And if Bob could make his own game? He'd made something that played like a Western game, but with Japanese visuals. "I'd assemble a team where the majority of the programmers and gameplay-designers were from the 'Western School,' but the majority of the art design and story department were from Japan," he says. "My only direct orders would be on the lines of 'dropped health and power-ups instead of regenerating health' and 'if I see an earth tone there'd better be a damn good explanation.'"

Source: Examiner [http://www.examiner.com/video-game-culture-in-new-york/interview-with-bob-chipman-moviebob-game-overthinker-escape-to-the-movies]









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Logan Westbrook

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The Hitman and Uncharted franchises are just a 'flash in the pan', eh Movie Bob?

That's the most obscene thing I've heard all week. Not that I should be surprised, Bob does love to flame bait.
 

Catchy Slogan

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I've never played a Zelda game in my life. And to be honest, I'd don't really care about what a movie is based on, as long as it is good.
 

Vibhor

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Sober Thal said:
The Hitman and Uncharted franchises are just a 'flash in the pan', eh Movie Bob?

That's the most obscene thing I've heard all week. Not that I should be surprised, Bob does love to flame bait.
I guess you didn't know. Games that have stories other than "save the princess"(or anything nintendo,really) can never be good movies.[/sarcasm]

The only reason they are flash in the pan is because......they are? And threads were being made praising his reasoning.
 

Frybird

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"And if Bob could make his own game? He'd made something that played like a Western game, but with Japanese visuals. "I'd assemble a team where the majority of the programmers and gameplay-designers were from the 'Western School,' but the majority of the art design and story department were from Japan," he says. "My only direct orders would be on the lines of 'dropped health and power-ups instead of regenerating health' and 'if I see an earth tone there'd better be a damn good explanation.'"
Yea, great instructions, i'm sure that's how you make a GOTY.

He also thinks that gamers need to decide exactly how they want videogames to be viewed by the general public, and actually be consistent with it. "You cannot say 'take us seriously as an artistic medium!' when you're railing against Roger Ebert; but then turn around and go 'oh, lighten up, it's just a game!' when people point out that Resident Evil 5 might be a little bit racist."
Uhm...do we?

In film, things like Taxi Driver, Transformers, The Godfather, District 9, Scary Movie 3 and The Godfather can and do coexist too....
 

Logan Westbrook

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Sober Thal said:
The Hitman and Uncharted franchises are just a 'flash in the pan', eh Movie Bob?

That's the most obscene thing I've heard all week. Not that I should be surprised, Bob does love to flame bait.
Things are like that are to be expected from him. Heck one of the main reasons he gave once for 'Other M' being better than 'Metroid Prime' was 'it isn't an FPS'. Also, if you dislike 'Other M', one of the very likely reasons for that is that apparently you're a 'Japanophobe'...

I will give him props for actually caring about mobile gaming though, I personally believe that it doesn't get as much attention as it deserves.
 

Frybird

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draythefingerless said:
Resident Evil 5 racist? No.

Stereotypical? Yes.
To be fair, while the original claim ("You are white and only shoot black zombie-guys!") was kinda stupid, and the reaction to it was too ("Let's add some white zombie-guys and a female african partner for coop!"), it still kinda felt racist.

At least at that part where you are visiting tribal villages by boat, rob the straw huts of the tribesmen of valuable ammunition, gold and diamonds, and then shoot them in thier faces when they come attacking you with a spear. Because it's okay, they are zombies or something, even if we say they aren't.

Sheva's unlockable tribal outfit didn't help much either.


But honestly, i wouldn't ever accuse Capcom of being intentionally racist, just of being really...thick and naive.....
(The whole thing is pretty much like that South Park Episode with the racist city flag)
 

Casual Shinji

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Sober Thal said:
The Hitman and Uncharted franchises are just a 'flash in the pan', eh Movie Bob?

That's the most obscene thing I've heard all week. Not that I should be surprised, Bob does love to flame bait.
And the funny thing is that he's never even played Uncharted.

Such a professional Bob is.
 

Logan Westbrook

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Sober Thal said:
The Hitman and Uncharted franchises are just a 'flash in the pan', eh Movie Bob?

That's the most obscene thing I've heard all week. Not that I should be surprised, Bob does love to flame bait.
I think that he means they're flash in the pan compared to Super Mario Bros., that's all.
 

Azex

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A LoZ or Metroid movie would be pretty cool...

Tho Metroid might be dam hard since its 1 person alone for 90% of the time
 

draythefingerless

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Frybird said:
draythefingerless said:
Resident Evil 5 racist? No.

Stereotypical? Yes.
To be fair, while the original claim ("You are white and only shoot black zombie-guys!") was kinda stupid, and the reaction to it was too ("Let's add some white zombie-guys and a female african partner for coop!"), it still kinda felt racist.

At least at that part where you are visiting tribal villages by boat, rob the straw huts of the tribesmen of valuable ammunition, gold and diamonds, and then shoot them in thier faces when they come attacking you with a spear. Because it's okay, they are zombies or something, even if we say they aren't.

Sheva's unlockable tribal outfit didn't help much either.


But honestly, i wouldn't ever accuse Capcom of being intentionally racist, just of being really...thick and naive.....
(The whole thing is pretty much like that South Park Episode with the racist city flag)
and again, you fall in the same contraptions i am verily trying to dismiss. that is not racism. that is being stereotypical. a lot of africa IS like that. you can find, amongst the more arid and poor countries of it, many tribes as such. that is not racism. you people are just overtly sensitive to anth with black skin. i agree that it is not the most civilized way of portraying them, but racism is the consideration of someone as inferior to you due to skin, culture etc. there was no such attempt. simply a stereotypical portrayal of african population. wich is someone people forget, that Res 5 IS IN AFRICA, AND QUITE A CHUNK OF AFRICA IS LIKE THAT.

still the tribal outfit was more a exotic piece of ass showing.
 

Frybird

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draythefingerless said:
Frybird said:
draythefingerless said:
Resident Evil 5 racist? No.

Stereotypical? Yes.
To be fair, while the original claim ("You are white and only shoot black zombie-guys!") was kinda stupid, and the reaction to it was too ("Let's add some white zombie-guys and a female african partner for coop!"), it still kinda felt racist.

At least at that part where you are visiting tribal villages by boat, rob the straw huts of the tribesmen of valuable ammunition, gold and diamonds, and then shoot them in thier faces when they come attacking you with a spear. Because it's okay, they are zombies or something, even if we say they aren't.

Sheva's unlockable tribal outfit didn't help much either.


But honestly, i wouldn't ever accuse Capcom of being intentionally racist, just of being really...thick and naive.....
(The whole thing is pretty much like that South Park Episode with the racist city flag)
and again, you fall in the same contraptions i am verily trying to dismiss. that is not racism. that is being stereotypical. a lot of africa IS like that. you can find, amongst the more arid and poor countries of it, many tribes as such. that is not racism. you people are just overtly sensitive to anth with black skin. i agree that it is not the most civilized way of portraying them, but racism is the consideration of someone as inferior to you due to skin, culture etc. there was no such attempt. simply a stereotypical portrayal of african population. wich is someone people forget, that Res 5 IS IN AFRICA, AND QUITE A CHUNK OF AFRICA IS LIKE THAT.

still the tribal outfit was more a exotic piece of ass showing.
Did you really read what i wrote?

I dismissed the pre-release claims as slightly rediculous, but i called out how the game let's you MURDER ENTIRE VILLAGES of "bushmen". For hardly any other reason than to steal thier stuff. And with hardly any justification other than "they are monsters or something".

I'm giving Capcom the benefit of doubt that they weren't actually aware of what they are implying there, but they still kinda do.

That there are still tribes like that in africa only makes it WORSE.
 

draythefingerless

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Frybird said:
draythefingerless said:
Frybird said:
draythefingerless said:
Resident Evil 5 racist? No.

Stereotypical? Yes.
To be fair, while the original claim ("You are white and only shoot black zombie-guys!") was kinda stupid, and the reaction to it was too ("Let's add some white zombie-guys and a female african partner for coop!"), it still kinda felt racist.

At least at that part where you are visiting tribal villages by boat, rob the straw huts of the tribesmen of valuable ammunition, gold and diamonds, and then shoot them in thier faces when they come attacking you with a spear. Because it's okay, they are zombies or something, even if we say they aren't.

Sheva's unlockable tribal outfit didn't help much either.


But honestly, i wouldn't ever accuse Capcom of being intentionally racist, just of being really...thick and naive.....
(The whole thing is pretty much like that South Park Episode with the racist city flag)
and again, you fall in the same contraptions i am verily trying to dismiss. that is not racism. that is being stereotypical. a lot of africa IS like that. you can find, amongst the more arid and poor countries of it, many tribes as such. that is not racism. you people are just overtly sensitive to anth with black skin. i agree that it is not the most civilized way of portraying them, but racism is the consideration of someone as inferior to you due to skin, culture etc. there was no such attempt. simply a stereotypical portrayal of african population. wich is someone people forget, that Res 5 IS IN AFRICA, AND QUITE A CHUNK OF AFRICA IS LIKE THAT.

still the tribal outfit was more a exotic piece of ass showing.
Did you really read what i wrote?

I dismissed the pre-release clames as slightly rediculous, but i called out how the game let's you MURDER ENTIRE VILLAGES of "bushmen". For hardly any other reason than to steal thier stuff. And with hardly any justification other than "they are monsters or something".

I'm giving Capcom the benefit of doubt that they weren't actually aware of what they are implying there, but they still kinda do.

That there are still tribes like that in africa only makes it WORSE.
how is it fucking different from ANY other game where you KILL people? you know, 95% of them? soooo many games let you kill people with tached on justification. hell, GTA lets you kill people without justification even. it feels racist because you are fed that bullshit everyday. it doesnt feel racist at all to me. Capcom made a game in africa. A resident evil game( wich of late have al been about killing everyone in sight). what the fuck did you expect them to do there? its africa. its wild. its arid. its poor. its filled with black people. its a game based on inventory system.

the game is shit, but people call it out for the stupidest of reasons. call it out cause its needlessly confusing on story. call it out because the inventory system is one of the worst things ever made. call it out because the characters are paper thin no personality. but racism? :/
 

Logan Westbrook

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Casual Shinji said:
Sober Thal said:
The Hitman and Uncharted franchises are just a 'flash in the pan', eh Movie Bob?

That's the most obscene thing I've heard all week. Not that I should be surprised, Bob does love to flame bait.
And the funny thing is that he's never even played Uncharted.

Such a professional Bob is.
I bet that he have never played Hitman either. You stay classy bobby! OT, i think that Mario would never translade well to the screen. It dosen't have a decent story.
 

Frybird

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draythefingerless said:
Frybird said:
draythefingerless said:
and again, you fall in the same contraptions i am verily trying to dismiss. that is not racism. that is being stereotypical. a lot of africa IS like that. you can find, amongst the more arid and poor countries of it, many tribes as such. that is not racism. you people are just overtly sensitive to anth with black skin. i agree that it is not the most civilized way of portraying them, but racism is the consideration of someone as inferior to you due to skin, culture etc. there was no such attempt. simply a stereotypical portrayal of african population. wich is someone people forget, that Res 5 IS IN AFRICA, AND QUITE A CHUNK OF AFRICA IS LIKE THAT.

still the tribal outfit was more a exotic piece of ass showing.
Did you really read what i wrote?

I dismissed the pre-release clames as slightly rediculous, but i called out how the game let's you MURDER ENTIRE VILLAGES of "bushmen". For hardly any other reason than to steal thier stuff. And with hardly any justification other than "they are monsters or something".

I'm giving Capcom the benefit of doubt that they weren't actually aware of what they are implying there, but they still kinda do.

That there are still tribes like that in africa only makes it WORSE.
how is it fucking different from ANY other game where you KILL people? you know, 95% of them? soooo many games let you kill people with tached on justification. hell, GTA lets you kill people without justification even. it feels racist because you are fed that bullshit everyday. it doesnt feel racist at all to me. Capcom made a game in africa. A resident evil game( wich of late have al been about killing everyone in sight). what the fuck did you expect them to do there? its africa. its wild. its arid. its poor. its filled with black people. its a game based on inventory system.

the game is shit, but people call it out for the stupidest of reasons. call it out cause its needlessly confusing on story. call it out because the inventory system is one of the worst things ever made. call it out because the characters are paper thin no personality. but racism? :/

I call it out because even though it barely has a justification, in the end, it still does have one. And it's not pretty.

Because you are NOT a ruthless criminal, and because how the scene is set up, it carries lots of unfortunate implications with it. Without taking in the whole "color of skin" thing, it still feels like some kind of weird "pro colonization" message because not only you play as a first-world guy genociding third-world tribes, but because (a) You actively attack (and rob) those villages (b) You are the good guy (c) No one ever questions or defends morally what you are doing (d) you are fighting against a specific minority that, in the real world, is often negatively and questionably depicted as uncivilized, "wild" brutes (By wich i mean rual tribes, not "black people").
And unlike GTA 3 that does happen within a "serious" atmosphere and unlike GTA IV you get never called out for it.
Hell, i wouldn't even be questioning this whole thing if Capcom would've had put SOMETHING in there in order to make clear that those tribes are with 100 % certainty zombiefied (since they sure as hell don't look like it until you blow a few heads off) and hostile and unreasonable.

As seen above, i would disagree with gamers having to decide between gaming being mindless entertainment OR high art, but i'd still argue that we shouldn't hide behind claims like "it's just a game", because sometimes, you gotta acknowledge when content is questionable. I don't call for a ban, i still do play Resident Evil 5, i give them the doubt of the whole thing being coincidential, but i still think it's highly insensitive and/or ignorant since it bears a undesirable Subtext in Reality that is very hard to ignore imo.
 

Eternal_Lament

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The problem with maing a Mario movie (or most Nitnendo games for that matter) is that story is not one of its strong suits. In the case of early Mario there was barely any semblance of a story. There was a background plot of say "Save Princess", "Save Baby Brother", or "Save Kings", but not much else. No other real story to it. It's only really the more recent games such as the Galaxy series, the RPGs, or even Luigi's Mansion that had some story, but realistically like most games Nintendo puts out these stories aren't anything noteworthy or meaty enough to make something out of it.

As such, when making a Mario movie, it's going to have to be one of four things: a) a movie in which there is action and plot, but because of how little story there is in the games the entire thing comes off more as a Michael Bay production, except with less realistic explosions and more Tanooki tails (complete downgrade for everyone, a "GIFT FROM GOD!" for Bob), b) a movie in which it just mentions the basic plot and the rest is just Mario doing his usual platforming in various worlds with no dialogue and nothing else really happening, to which movie patrons are going to be bored of while gamers are wondering why they aren't sitting at home playing this instead of sitting and watching as if someone else is playing, c) a movie in which Mario is actually presented in a darker, more serious tone in which the folleys of this universe and it's inhabitants is examined from a more realistic standpoint (sort of like what "There will be Brawl"), or one where there is still the Mushroom Kingdom where Mario saves Peach, but instead it is all the delusion of Mario, who in the real world is actually some sort of mental patient, both of which could work, but then again unlikely for Bob to do because we all know how he feels about the dark and gritty, and finally d) a movie not to different from example "a)", except less action and more pointless and unfunny injokes, sort of like those "Movie Movies" (or for a better example for Bob, basically the War of the Thinkers final episode, except Bob is seen in his Mario costume wearing a Tanooki tail), which like example "a)" is going to be not fun for everyone except Bob.

Point is that making a Mario movie is hard, but not because "The source material is so perfect that it is just a true challenge to convert it to the big screen" (BTW, it isn't), but because there just isn't a whole lot in the Mario games that would warrent turning it into a movie. A student film perhaps that would only need to be 20-40 minutes would be sufficient, but at this point people would just argue "It's a fan film so it doesn't count, Mario needs to be on the Big Screen!", but the fact of the matter is that there just isn't alot in the Mario games to make an hour-and-a-half to two-hour film, and releasing a 40 minute film in this day and age will only pis people off (then again it could just go the route of the Justin Bieber movie and release as a 45 minute movie and then re-release it with 40 of those minutes gone and another 40 other minutes replaced with it, although that would still piss people off). Fact is that Mario had his chance, and it didn't work, showing that it probably can't work.

BTW, is it just me, or is Bob just trying to start some more fires with the "Flash-in-the-pan" comment? Although knowing him, two series that have spawned a few sequels, have been rated extremely high, have sold tons of copies, and play extremely well would be flash-in-the-pan games if they include any semblance of an FPS. Besides which, a better example for Flash-in-the-pan would've been something like Blood Rayne.
 

Logan Westbrook

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Eternal_Lament said:
BTW, is it just me, or is Bob just trying to start some more fires with the "Flash-in-the-pan" comment? Although knowing him, two series that have spawned a few sequels, have been rated extremely high, have sold tons of copies, and play extremely well would be flash-in-the-pan games if they include any semblance of an FPS. Besides which, a better example for Flash-in-the-pan would've been something like Blood Rayne.
Its not that its "FPS", its the simple fact it isn't Nintendo-made. He does this all the time though, and its one reason I can't really take his "Game Overthinker" crap seriously, because his bias towards Nintendo is so strong that it screws up whatever semblance of a point he has in them. For the most part it isn't an issue, but when it comes time to doing a video that might have something to do with Nintendo, its completely skewed towards the big N's favor.

Hell, if he were to do a Game Overthinker video about the current little "Operation Rainfall" thing going on, he'd be telling us all that we're being selfish and we aren't entitled to every game that's released, because Nintendo does more than a damn good job of bringing over strong titles to all of its systems. Then he'd tell us all to play Metroid Other M, because its such a masterpiece to him.