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MJW vs. video games

Chud.com, the premiere C.H.U.D. fan websight, posted this video earlier today that they believe is some kind of “proof of concept” or something for a new MORTAL KOMBAT movie. Mr. Faraci explained some reasons why he believed this wasn’t just a fan made video like that one where Batman fights Predator, but one very good reason he left out is that the video stars Michael Jai White. In a later update he claims it was made by Larnell Stovall, who did stunts in URBAN JUSTICE, BLACK DYNAMITE and BLOOD AND BONE and was the fight choreographer for (the MJW-less) UNDISPUTED III.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think applying the BATMAN BEGINS pseudo-realism approach to this movie/video game is a really stupid idea, the kind of really stupid idea that I like. As long as they get MJW into that tournament and shoot the fights in a more Isaac Florentine manner this could be a fun time at the movies. I just hope “realistic” doesn’t mean they can’t get back into the funny ninja costumes when they fight.

Trivia: MJW was originally cast to play that same character in MORTAL KOMBAT PART 2, but then left to do SPAWN instead. Some things in life are neither good or bad, they just are.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 at 1:22 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

96 Responses to “MJW vs. video games”

  1. Never gave a shit about MK before seeing that. Wow.

  2. According to Moriarty this was directed by the guy who made the “Fame” remake. Considering his background as music video director for acts like the Pussycat Dolls, it explains the cheesy Platinum Dunes look. Because face it, that’s exactly the kind of guy Platinum Dunes would hire.
    And yes, I don’t like the “realistic” approach either. “Realism” becamse such a cliche during the last few years, that it out-cheesed “cartoony” IMO.
    Apart from that it’s pretty good. Though I don’t buy Seven of Nine as Sonya Blade.

  3. They’re gonna need a better Johnny Cage, too. I would say Scott Adkins if he wasn’t gonna just die at the beginning.

  4. wish i could watch youtube at work.
    if anyone has a non-YT link please post.

  5. It’s not safe for work anyway. Pretty gory at times.

  6. if it’s on youtube it’s ok for here.

  7. I entirely agree, Vern! If you can give him a good part Scott would make a great Johnny Cage.

  8. I watched it and I can’t shake the feeling that this is one of those things which would be dull and unpleasant to sit through if they made the whole thing. It wants so bad to be twisted and hardcore but I’m not convinced the folks they’d get for this have enough imagination to create something that worked on both an action and a horror level. It’s kinda a fun video to watch but I think I would tire of something like this that took itself seriously at about the 10 minute mark.

    I’m with CJ on this one, “realism” worked for DTK (ok, so we diverge there) but generally speaking I’m against the trend of taking pulpy silly shit and giving it the ponderous self-serious treatment. Especially since “realism” seems to just mean hard light, ugly sets, and pretty generic-looking 30-somethings playing 20-somethings with some spray-on-sweat. Yeah, the Platinum Dunes look.

    On the other hand, if they do bring back MK it might indeed be wise to dip into the darkness a little. if done by some people with a little imagination and humor, it could be gold. I got no problem with serial killers instead of demons as long as they don’t try to pass it off as though it isn’t completely ridiculous — IE, as Vern says, let them wear colored ninja suits. That might just be fun. Just don’t sell me Mortal Kombat (with a K, yes, a K.) and pretend its SEVEN — especially if you want to marry it with action and fight scenes.

    Did we learn nothing from Seagal’s two goes at fighting serial killers?

  9. Isn’t Baraka the Brazilian guy from UNDISPUTED 3 and isn’t Sonia Blade from one of them STAR TREK shows?

  10. Gwai=You are correct on both.

  11. Sweet. Can I have Devin’s job now?

  12. That Brazilian guy has an awesome fighting style. I’m assuming it’s capoeira? His first fight in UNDISPUTED 3 was the tits.

  13. Hey you know who actually might be able to take this concept and make a good movie out of it? The Spierig Brothers, who did DAYBREAKERS. From that film I got the sense that they might have the ability to take a silly concept like this and take it seriously while still knowing how to milk the fun from its pulpier concepts. Its a fine line to walk but it’s the only way something like this could really work for me.

  14. What I love is that the comedy comes from how goddamn serious they’re trying to be. It could be on purpose for all I know. Everybody is immoral and edgy. Everything is dark and horrible. This is going to be the best movie ever.

    The fight work is great, too. I love the bit where Johnny Cage catches Lateef’s punch and locks his legs around it IN MID AIR. If they really make this movie, I’m going to see it the day it opens, theater or video.

  15. Mr. S – That’s a good suggestion. I also throw Peter Hyams into the hat. Not him literally, just his name.

    MORTAL KOMBAT the movie was a lousy movie, the sequel finding ways to be even worse.

    Really how the fuck did Paul W.S. Anderson keep getting work after KOMBAT?

  16. I’m exactly the opposite. I thought that was awesome and I would pay to see that movie. That fight in the apartment was excellent stuff. That fight was more exciting than anything I’ve seen from any Mortal Kombat movie and tournament movies.

    You know, I haven’t seen Undisputed III yet. Other than Bloodsport because it’s JCVD from my childhood, are there any good martial art tournament movies. I’ve heard Fatal Contact is pretty good. It’s just, when I see a tournament movie I expect to see a lot of great fights. However, almost all of them have shitty fights. Anyway, what are good tournament movies based on the fights?

  17. I was leaning more towards this just being a promo thing for a reboot of the video game, rather than a trailer for a movie, given the timing with E3. The little flash at the end of the video by the way is this:
    http://sarcasticgamer.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/MK-skorpion.jpg
    And it looks more like a cgi/concept art piece than an actor, so I was just going with it being for a game, if I didn’t then find there was rumours of a movie reboot at the beginning of the year, so I don’t know now. Just because it’s live action though doesn’t rule out a game, as that’s done sometimes.
    Something you might not know about Johnny Cage btw: in the first game, which used real actors, they wanted JCVD to play Johnny Cage, since they based the characters look and moves on his Bloodsport character, but he was busy with other things. If they’re doing Johnny Cage as an aging former megafamous action movie star, who better to play him NOW?

  18. Okay, I just found out that Johnny Cage is played by Matt Mullins, the guy from the final fight in Blood and Bone. Fuck re-casting, they should just keep that guy.

  19. My memory of the games is a little hazy, but didn’t MJW’s character ‘Jax/Jacks-on’ have bionic arms? And can they get the bodybuilder with the four arms back, explain him away as some kind of HUMAN CENTIPEDE experiment? That’d be nice.

  20. And did anyone else think that in that photo, Shang Tseung (sic) look a tiny bit like a certain sex-slaving, Energy-drink promoting, aikido-practicing, wine-appreciating sheriff’s deputy? But with no pony-tail?

  21. holy shit, considering how Godawful the second movie was that was SHOCKINGLY cool, completely exceeded my expectations

    I’m game for this movie, say it with me now, MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!

  22. also, unless I’m mistaken isn’t none other than Drew McWeeny one of the screenwriters?

  23. Drew and his partner wrote a script years ago but I think it’s been through a bunch of versions since then. I know at one point mink (director of Seagal’s INTO THE SUN) was attached to direct and I think I asked him about it and he didn’t know if any of their draft was still in what he was using.

  24. oh, I see

    thanks for the answer Vern

  25. CrustaceanHate

    June 8th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Are we sure this isn’t a parody of grim’n’gritty, “realistic” reboots? Because it sure seems like it. Just the idea of a super-serious movie called MORTAL KOMBAT makes me laugh. Why bother making a MORTAL KOMBAT movie if you’re so ashamed of how silly it is? Actually, why bother making a MORTAL KOMBAT movie at all? MORTAL KOMBAT has always sucked, especially the story and character designs.

  26. I was Jr. High chums with a guy who saw the original MK movie 15 times in the theaters. He’s dead now. What does that tell you?

  27. This short hits the exact right mix of cheesy, gory, and awesome for me. If this were ever expanded into a feature film, I would be absolutely heartbroken if Michael Jai White as Jax was not the lead.

  28. Johnny Cage was my favorite player in the game so seeing him lose to a this tool version of Baraka was sort of disappointment, the only disappointment of such. Also Johnny Cage was pretty lame in this too. Why not bring Linden Ashby? What’s Ashby been up to? Michael Jai White is the perfect Jax, the new Sonya is pretty hot. This all said and done I would love to see this made into a movie.

    In anycase this sure as hell beats anything in Annhilation. I still like the first movie a lot though, it’s a good kung fu movie that wussed out a little on the gore but had great action. It’s the only decent movie in my opinion ever adapted from a video game.

    Also it should be noted…Whatever happened to Robin Shou? I mean Linden Ashby, Christopher Lambert and obviously Cary Tagawa show up still in various movies and STV flicks but Shou just made MK 2 (after Beverly Hills Ninja) and he was just gone.

  29. How can you forget Robin Shou’s stirring performance in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li?

  30. The guy playing Johnny Cage is Matt Mullins, who MJW faced off with at the end of Blood and Bone.

    I love the look of this. When the original Mortal Kombat game came out it was very violent for its time and garnered a lot of controversy in the UK. Glad to see this re-imagining has recaptured that spirit.

    And if anyone can convince us that Jeri Ryan can fight, it’s Larno Stovall!

  31. I am against this. If for nothing else, then for the fact that Baraka has stupid dreadlocks, and became some kind of mega fighter because he, “couldn’t handle being a failure of a doctor” or whatever that voiceover said. Are you kidding me? Baraka was one of the creepiest and scariest characters in the series, and this is what they have to offer, in their creepy scary take on a Mortal Kombat movie? It’s no good.

    Basically everything in this was way way too “on the nose”. Sonya walks in? Have Jax say “Sonya Blade…” just to make sure everyone knows.

    I don’t know man the more i think about it the more i think this sucks. It’s bad not in a good way.

  32. oops…that’s Larnell…

  33. caruso_stalker217

    June 8th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I don’t understand why the serial killers practice the martial arts.

  34. It CANNOT be worse than MK: Armageddon. That would require that the producers of MK: A hire some stupid bastard to come to my home and spill soda on me while I suffer thru the a sequel shitfest. Yeah that happened to me and against all odds, the woman who went to see MK: A with me is my wife and actually never brings up that I made us go to THAT movie. Not even when we’re fighting.

    Roles reversed I probly woulda divorced me by now just on MK: A grounds.

  35. I feel sorry for MJW having to say out loud some of the rubbish they have written down for him. If Devin thinks this looks quite good it baffles me why he liked Undisputed III. UIII was actually a great movie that threw out all the kinds of stuff they are doing in this teaser, such as contrived reasons for a fight tournament, crazy explanations for why the combatants are there etc. This is a 7 minute trailer for a fighting movie based on the game Mortal Kombat that is boring and mostly features a man speaking to himself in a room. Only in Hollywood can someone produce something like this.

  36. Whether or not anyone should be making another Mortal Kombat (and, in the face of Undisputed III, any kind of Tournament movie ever), at least they are going about it in a respectable manner – utilising pedigree screen fighters and a choreographer/fight co-ordinator who is going to
    utilise minimum wire-work. Plus, by taking out the more fantastical elements and giving each character a
    grounding in reality (ableit a FRINGE-type reality), it will hopefully mean a lack of OTT CGI fx.

  37. Jai White Vs Killer Croc?

  38. I likes Mortal Kombat 2 more than Mortal Kombat. It was pure pulp fun.

  39. I could be wrong but I don’t think this is a teaser, I think it’s more like a demo reel to explain their new take on Mortal Kombat to convince studio heads or investors or somebody that it will work. So yes, MJW has some terrible exposition dialogue there but I assume if they made an actual movie it wouldn’t all be crammed in like that.

    And they sure as hell better get him in some fights.

  40. I think it works as proof of concept and as long as before Johnny Cage dies he does the splits and punches a guy in the balls. It needs a lot of work but give it 90 minutes and I’d see it. At least this is the rare franchise where they can change the story all they want and no one will mind as long as the basic stuff is there. The MK story line goes from simple to convoluted beyond all repair by like game 3, so why not chuck it? If these guys want to make their cool serial killers vs ninjas tournament movie and dress it up as MOooooRTAL KOMBAaaaaT! (this thread has burned that song into my head for at least the next 3 days) then more power to them.

    Also: Bridget Wilson-Sampras was a much hotter Sonya.

  41. CrustaceanHate

    June 9th, 2010 at 2:29 am

    I wanna see someone apply this same treatment to Super Mario Brothers.

  42. So according to Jeri Ryan (Sonya) this is “not a game trailer. Actually was made for the director to sell WB on his vision for a reimagined MK film.”

    http://twitter.com/JeriLRyan/status/15752179609

  43. I thought about it more. I think one of my main problems with this is that it reminds me of Street Fighter: the Movie. Remember how they tried to cram in “realistic” explanations for all the characters? Such as Blanka being a soldier who underwent evil experiments, etc.? Most unbelievable of all was how Dhalsim, in the movie, was no longer an Indian fellow. No, he was a regular old white guy who was a scientist who happened to get exposed to some chemicals or an explosion or something which turned him bald and burned his skin a brownish color. Those necklaces and braclets were actually just shackles that he had been locked up with. Basically he was not Dhalsim, just a character created to look similar to the character Dhalsim from the game. In other words, his existence was pointless. Much like I think this movie will be. Why even have Baraka if he’s not Baraka? If you’re going to go to the trouble of making up some nonsense “realistic” backstory that has nothing to do with the original character for why Baraka is the way he is (and even then still give him stupid dreadlocks..), then why even bother making it Baraka at all? There were reasons for the original character to look the way he did. When you create a new character with new reasons for him to look “similar” to the old Baraka, then it’s condescending and stupid and insulting. Looks likely to be that way for all the characters, making this a pointless movie. name it something else.

    What’s next? An Oscar Mayer Hot Dog movie where the main hot dog mascot isn’t actually a hot dog, but rather an unfortunate guy born with a birth defect that makes his body look like a hot dog (while still being a strictly flesh-and-blood human being based in reality)? It’s pointless and stupid

  44. I liked the fight scene. Besides that, the trailer for »Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World« looked much more interesting. I don’t want to go through minute after minute of nihilistic gore and goofy dialogue to watch three or four good fights scenes without a main character or story I care about.

  45. From Wikipedia

    “Baraka is the leader of the fictional horde known as the Tarkatan working for Shao Kahn and was responsible for leading the attack against Liu Kang’s Shaolin temples. He helped Kahn in making Earthrealm warriors come to Outworld in order to start a tournament against them, but they would be defeated later on. During Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Baraka has no affiliation but by Mortal Kombat Gold, he joins forces with the sorcerer Quan Chi and the army of Shinnok to conquer Edenia, but they are defeated by the Earthrealm warriors. At the time of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Baraka forms an alliance to the risen Dragon King, Onaga, in whose strength he had great faith. Freeing Mileena from her prison, Baraka recruited her to Onaga’s ranks. She posed as Princess Kitana, using her position to misdirect the Edenian forces into combat against the Tarkatan raiding parties well away from Onaga. This was intended to give the Dragon King the time he needed to complete his schemes.”

    Or why not just make him a guy with piercings and dreads?

  46. that was fucking awesome, gritty realism is fantastic.

    and sean, dhalsim was an indian.

  47. CrustaceanHate you mmight hate the nolanesque take, but I think a plumber named mario who has to fight north korean mercinaries in the sewers while trying to find a kidnapped daughter of the president would be awesome.

  48. edc, that just sounds like 24 where Jack Bauer has a tache.

  49. How did a regular doctor become a serial killer AND a kung fu expert? And then he implanted knives in his arms? I’m glad this is so realistic.

  50. It’s as least as realistic as The Legend of Chin She (or whoever she was). At least!

    Honestly, it seems like a way to cheap out of having awesome fight scenes PLUS (expensive) high fantasy plotting. Why bother with appealing to name recognition and then throw away what the name means?

    I forget who I recently read who said this (I thought it was Rob Bricken’s hilarious review of Revenge of the Fallen at toplessrobot.com, but I checked just now and it wasn’t): but if someone is going to write a story where Bruce Wayne is a homeless bum who dresses up as a bat in order to be a peeping tom at windows (or just about anything other than fighting crime), maybe they should write a story about that if they feel like it’s worth doing and _not_ promote it as “Batman”.

    (Was that you Vern?? I’ve visited several sites this week…)

  51. “How did a regular doctor become a serial killer AND a kung fu expert? And then he implanted knives in his arms? I’m glad this is so realistic.”

    Yeah my thoughts exactly, we have such an odd definiition of “realistic” in cinema. So it’s all dark and they try and think up some vaguely plausable reason for him being that way and it ends up being more ridiculous than keeping the magic would have been. Also as others have said if you take away everything that makes Mortal Kombat Mortal Kombat, then why even call it that? Why not just write something else with those characters?

  52. Yeah, that’s exactly what makes this modern realism so cheesy. They just let out everything paranormal and supernatural and come up with an enxplaination for it. They don’t even bother with a GOOD explaination, it just shouldn’t have anything to do with fairies, demons and stuff like that.

  53. In theory, I prefer “unabashedly cheesy” to “half-assedly realistic.” But I think “unabashedly cheesy has become “self-consciously snarky” in recent years. Maybe “half-assedly realistic” is the new “unintentionally hilarious.”

  54. Well I thought it looked good. Not amazing but good. I’ll resist any criticism until it becomes a film and i’ve actually seen it. Until then, I certainly think it’s something to look forward to.

  55. Mr M — I can enjoy half-assed realism; its the grim, self-serious, ponderous, unimaginative, and shallow –but technically workmanlike– that I just can’t see laughing at for more than 10 minutes. (Sounds like a recent Metallica album. Oh shit, son, I went there.) If you’re gonna make a movie where combat is spelled with a “K” then have some fun with it, for God’s sake. If you’re going to make something dark and grim and call it realism, at least have something interesting to say. When neither condition is met I tire of it quickly. I can laugh at grim phoniness, but not enough to make it worth sitting through a whole movie.

  56. Mr. S: Normally I’d be with you 100%, but I think the combo of characters “codenamed” Baraka and Reptile mixed with the stone-faced grimness of a SAW movie has the potential for some serious hilarity. This might be the movie that finally kills the SE7EN aesthetic forever. But we’ll see.

    “If you’re going to make something dark and grim and call it realism, at least have something interesting to say. When neither condition is met I tire of it quickly. I can laugh at grim phoniness, but not enough to make it worth sitting through a whole movie.”

    Totally agree. (You were talking about THE DARK KNIGHT, right?)

  57. Sorry, cheap shot. I promised not to mention TDK anymore. My bad.

  58. Jareth Cutestory

    June 9th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Mr. Majestyk: Can you give me a title or two of films that are “self-consciously snarky”?

    Mr. Subtlety: Can you give me two film titles to help me distinguish between “half-assed realism” and
    “grim, self-serious, ponderous”?

    Thanks.

  59. SHOOT ‘EM UP. PLANET TERROR. MACGRUBER. Probably THE A-TEAM. Anything that knows it’s being campy, basically. I have nothing against that type of movie. I fucking love that type of movie, in fact. But I’m always looking for new kinds of retarded, and maybe this goofy blend of Fincher-esque filmmaking techniques and OTT video-game tropes might be it.

    What can I say? I specialize in the ridiculous.

  60. Jareth Cutestory

    June 9th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for clarifying that, Mr. Majestyk. Am I correct in guessing that you would have preferred KICK ASS
    if it was more ridiculous.

    Also: If you put the following epitaph on your tombstone I’ll totally visit your grave once a year: Mr. Majestyk – He never
    stopped looking for new kinds of retarded.

  61. I think KICK ASS was just ridiculous enough. It had me at “jetpack with two gatling guns on it.”

    I just might do that tombstone thing, though. The hunt for new kinds of retarded takes up far more of my brainpower than I’d like to admit, and I don’t see that stopping until I’m on a slab.

  62. Jareth — Half-assed realism would be something like PUSH or the X-MEN movies. Things with pulpy roots that want to be taken seriously enough and are concerned enough with avoiding camp that they self-consciously try to explain how they fit into reality and try to sweep the frothier conventions of their genre under the rug. However, they take themselves only as seriously as they have to, and are still primarily concerned with entertaining and selling merchendise (as all good movies are).

    “Grim, self-serious, ponderous” is more like the SAW or KAOS or the torture-porn world (or, if you don’t think the film has anything interesting to say, TDK), which takes an equally ridiculous concept and treat it as deadly serious, as though it’s making some kind of profound statement. No laughs, little entertainment, but also (typically) almost no actual interesting ideas either, distrubing or otherwise. Something like HUMAN CENTIPEDE doesn’t count because it has a genuinely unique and disturbing idea at its center. Something like UNBREAKABLE might if you think it doesn’t have anything interesting to say (although I think it does).

    But mostly there’s a million wannabe-hardcore films out there which look pretty much like the MK clip we’re considering here. They want to be taken seriously as dark, brooding, and disturbing, but they just don’t have the imagination to be anything but grim, ugly, and dumb — no fun, in other words. But they’re so asenine and absurd they have nothing to say about reality, either… So they just end up being bloody and set in grimy, low-lit places. I got no problem with dark films, but if you take away the fun you’d better put something in there to take it’s place, which I can’t imagine something like the above would be able to do. But maybe Mr. M’s right and its just finally a concept so patently ridiculous that taking it seriously will be impossible not to love.

  63. Jareth Cutestory

    June 9th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I like your distinction between “serious ideas” and the more empty-headed variations that feel they can coast on style. I’ll use that distinction to defend MILLENNIUM with Lance Henricksen against charges of “grim, self-serious, ponderous.”

    Does BAD BOYS 2 have elements of “grim, self-serious, ponderous” in there among the crappy jokes and car chases, or is this kind of film an all-or-nothing classification?

  64. There is nothing grim or self-serious about BAD BOYS 2. This is a movie where humongous dead fake hooker titties are an important plot point. When it came out, I had definitely found a new kind of retarded.

    Actually, Michael Bay is good at that. Both Transformers movies introduced brand-new strains of retarded that modern science had never recorded before. He must have found them deep in the Amazon jungle, growing on the back of a tree frog.

  65. Yeah, but what I like about this is that it’s so NOT realistic, but pretending to be. Bonus points if the filmatists truly believe they’re making it plausible, because the straighter faced it is the more enjoyable it will be. I’d agree with what you guys are saying in some other cases, but in this one I disagree with the notion that they’re taking all the fun out of it. They have Lateef Crowder playing a disgraced doctor who gives himself home-made Wolverine claws to murder a famous movie star who’s actually an undercover cop so now Michael Jai White has recruited a deadly ninja assassin with glowing eyes (who willingly put himself in prison but can leave at any time) to fight in a secret underground martial arts tournament. There’s at least seven different types of fun just in that run-on sentence there.

    Plus, I like movies where everybody automatically knows kung fu.

  66. Jareth Cutestory

    June 9th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks, Mr. M. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve been Bay-free since ARMAGEDDEON. And I dive under a table and sob whenever the Aeosmith song from that movie plays. Based on the way people talk about how hateful the movie is, I had confused it with grimness.

    Also, following Mr. S.’s description, HANCOCK would be smack dab in the middle of half-assed realism. Is that right?

  67. Yeah, Mr. M is right — BAD BOYS is at least trying real fuckin hard to entertain, and has no modesty whatsoever about its complete lack of substance. Whatever he’s doing, Bay has at least no pretensions at all that there’s anything of even the slightest weight in his movies. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say I think they are a particular kind of creative, at least to the degree that they are willing to film shit so stupid that no one ever dared to try it before. On the other hand, there’s a persistent constituency of internet nerds who loudly state that they want everything to be more “hardcore,” and would like it if Bay would make films more similar to the MK clip — ie, humorless, brutal, dark, nihilistic. Of course, Bay’s films are already prodoundlt nihilistic; its just that his brand of filmatic nihilism isn’t what he’s selling; its just who he is.

    And you don’t have to defend Millenium to me!

  68. I’d like to nominate “dark” reimaginings of shit for Defining Cliche Of The Decade

  69. I mean I like The Dark Knight and all, but what are 8 year olds gonna do for entertainment now that 30 year olds have stolen superheroes from them?

  70. Anaru – giant fighting robots?

    Latex costumes aren’t the only game in town.

  71. “BAD BOYS is at least trying real fuckin hard to entertain,”

    So should we give Baynito Michaelini a gold star, A for effort?

    Sorry but either a movie works. Or doesn’t.

    BAD BOYS ((and its sequel) and any other Bay effort) doesn’t.

  72. the first tmnt movie – dark and gritty.
    the third tmnt movie – light and fun and more like the cartoon.

    I know which movie about big turtles living in the sewer doing karate is better.

  73. RRA – Last time I checked the giant fighting robots were getting stoned, staring down Megan Fox’s top, pissing on John Tuturro, making nutsack jokes and eating fried chicken

  74. RRA – not that one kind of idiocy is superior to another, but at least Bay’s films are easier to laugh through. Doesn’t make em good, but at least somewhat less of a chore than the sort of stuff I’m talking about, given the right mindset. Certainly not meant as a defense of his films, though — just to say they’re a different kind of horrible.

    Jareth — yep, HANCOCK is exactly half-assed realism.

  75. “I mean I like The Dark Knight and all, but what are 8 year olds gonna do for entertainment now that 30 year olds have stolen superheroes from them?”
    Anaru-I don’t that’s going to be a problem in the wider sense with superhero films, and even with the Dark Knight, in Vern’s TDK review, he expressed the same concern for what kids would get out of it, but in Yipee Ki-Ya Moviegoer, adds a footnote to that to say that seeing the movie again, coming out, he saw a kid basically playing as Batman, so it showed the film’s enjoyable for kids too.

  76. Anaru – Or for that matter, how about EMPIRE STRIKES BACK? Hero gets hand chopped off, the rebels get their asses kicked and have to flee for survival. Oh and Daddy issues too. How can the kidz enjoy this darkness?

    Mr. S – Have you ever noticed that one tends to mock bad movies after the fact than necessarily during it? Sure its good fun to shoot the fucker out of the water with buds and fellow survivals like you would with BATTLEFIELD EARTH or whatever. I mean unless you’re witty like MST3K*, its not as much fun to dick the movie during a screening. At least not for me.

    *=And those guys had to watch those (shitty) movies several times to get ideas for jokes and stuff. Yes they willing sat through MANOS more than once.

  77. RRA — actually, depending on the film, I do sometimes enjoy a good MST3K-style roast while watching. Some of Seagal’s DTV films are infinitely more watchable if you’ve got a few friends drinking beers and riffing on the absurdity. You’ve gotta get a few people building on each other though; I seldom get much ironic enjoyment out of watching something alone. Of course, this can turn disasterous if everyone’s not on the same page. Make fun of OUT OF REACH, sure, but if you’re talking over MARKED FOR DEATH we got a problem. So you gotta have some ground rules for where you can talk and when you should shut up and appreciate the awesome.

  78. A curious reaction to the trailer here: http://www.cinematical.com/2010/06/10/mortal-kombat-sinks-to-new-lows-for-its-crass-characters/… Basically, the blogger is sickened by the trailer using real footage of babies with Harlequin syndrome…

  79. Jam — you know, I was wondering about that. It does seem pretty messed up to use stock footage of someone’s real tragedy in your spec video. I doubt they’d try that in a studio movie, but in a viral internet vid they probably figured they could get away with it and pad the runtime with stock footage. I might even be all right with it though if it was a subject even one notch classier than Mortal Kombat.

  80. Yeah, I’m also totally against using real footage like this in a movie. I didn’t expect it to be real, because I know how realistic fake footage can look like these days. I won’t wave my fist at the director and demand a ban or something like that, but stuff like that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  81. I had much the same reaction. When I first watched it, I thought that it was some very decent animatronic effects with clever faux-documentary grading, but part of it niggled, like I’d seen it somewhere it before. And as it turns out, I had: some UK documentary about the disease from a few years ago, which was not for the squeamish (or the empathetic, come to think of it).

  82. »And when he’s hungry, he eats them.« I don’t know why I’m reacting so strong, but I really can’t understand all the positive feedback for the trailer. As I said before, I liked the very good fight scene. If they would have released only the fight scene, I couldn’t wait to watch this movie.
    But the rest? Is this soulless, funless, nihilistic approach everything they have to offer? Are the massive shortcomings in the concept, the one thing the director tries to SELL with this trailer besides his ability to shoot it, »stupid enough to make it good« or even interesting? The terrible dialogue? The moronic pseudo-realism? Does anybody think the writer(s) and the director love their material, their characters? Is this the best you can come up with for a MORTAL KOMBAT movie? Is it enough, because it’s »only MORTAL KOMBAT«?
    If they like the game, they should sit together and play it. If they want to make a movie, they should come up with things like a original idea, interesting characters or good dialogue. Until now, everything I hear is the defensive argument that it’s »cheesy« or »stupid« enought to like it.

  83. The height of mock-profundity, or a sly, surrealist joke on Robbe-Grillet’s part? How did the tension between his intent and the final work as realized by Resnais result in something neither of them could have anticipated? And what WAS the significance of those missing shadows?

    Oops, sorry! Wrong board.

  84. Mr. Subtlety-
    “It does seem pretty messed up to use stock footage of someone’s real tragedy in your spec video. I doubt they’d try that in a studio movie”
    Didn’t the opening of RAMBO use actual footage of the Burma situation?

  85. Andreas — Im pretty much with you. I don’t know how something that looks so mean-spirited could really be fun for me. Vern almost convinced me that the concept is so patently ludicrous that it might just be amusing on some postmodern l

  86. ah crap, fail.

    (continued)…evel but I just don’t see how even then it would be much fun to sit through more than these 10 minutes.

    Stu — don’t personally know if that’s true or not, but I don’t doubt it. In retrospect, I think we can probably cite a number of movies which use stock footage like that to add realism; that’s why I note that the particular sleaze of its application here is what kinda pushes it over the line for me. Yes, RAMBO is classier by an order or magnitude. If you even have one small point to make you can probably justify using it; for something this ugly and idiotic and willfully nihilistic… just feels pretty dirty and exploitative to me. I’m sure the filmmakers didn’t mean any harm and I know its hard to mount a production like this, but that’s probably a line they shouldn’t have crossed, IMHO.

  87. to be fair, it doesn’t seem any more nihilistic than the previous movies, and the games were really mean spirited, it seems less mean than them and only as ugly and pointlessly downtrodden as fincher.

  88. Mr. Sublety – I think using this kind of stock footage for realism in a movie isn’t a good idea. If it is important for your story, you can recreate it, nobody in the audience will recognize the difference – especially with the possibilities of modern technology. You don’t have to use images of real suffering people to create an disgusting serial killer who »likes to rip the heads of his victims bodies«. Do they know what they’re doing?
    To a lesser degree I have the same problem with the some of the violence in this trailer. He rips the heads of his victims bodies – and when he’s hungry, he eats them? What am I supposed to feel in this scene? Did they try to create a intense horror scene? Then they failed. Or should I enjoy this as a badass introduction for a crazy serial killer? Or laugh about the ludicrous concept and dialogue? You can’t simply throw violence and nihilism on the screen, talk as much as you can to explain your overly complicated background stories and hope you get atmosphere and suspense.

  89. Well, this looks stupid. I mean – sure, it’s Mortal Kombat, so any film pulled up from that source is going to be a little mind-numbing, but isn’t the entire point of the game that it’s like a fighting tournament steeped in pseudo-Eastern tradition? Why are they trading that in for all of this gritty, non-realistic over-stylization?

    Silliness. Seems like Occam’s Razor would apply here, in some sense or another – game was patterned after Bruce Lee’s films, particularly ‘Enter The Dragon.’ So, any film drawn up from it – ignoring the ‘why’ question – should probably look to those movies for at least partial inspiration, right?

  90. filmatist, your ninja turtles avatar is grim and realistic.

  91. hey kids, here’s an interview (in the NY times of all fool places) with the director of this thing. He actually seems like a really nice, thoughtful guy and actually says a couple things which make me feel more enthused about this goofy project, including

    a) it was leaked onto the net, and was not originally meant for mass consumption (sounds like bullshit to me, but if its true I think it makes things like using real footage of Harlequins disease much more forgivable)

    b) He doesn’t envsion this as a “realistic” project, and in fact imagines it will aquire fantasy elements as the plot progresses (he says he stuck to realism for the short because of budget constraints) even though the tone will be dark.

    c) He talks about the tragic death of Brandon Lee and the need for an up-and-coming Asian action star (apparently Actor Ian Anthony Dale, who plays Scorpion, fits the bill for him). He also talks about Micahel Jai White and says he was his only choice for the role (all the actors worked for free, apparently, so kudos to MJW!).

    Here;s the link:
    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/mortal-kombat-reloaded-a-directors-quest-to-remake-a-game-to-movie-franchise/?hp

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