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Laurion

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Really? Monopoly? [Feb. 13th, 2008|12:51 pm]
Laurion
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Ridley Scott is apparently making a movie based on the board game Monopoly.

I kid you not. See here.

Ok, of all the dozens of questions clamoring to be asked, a few are louder than others.

First, why Monopoly? Scott claims it to be the most popular board game in the world, but that smacks of a half-truth to me. It might be the most popular board game in the sense of the most well-known commercial board game in the world, but I'd be willing to press the issue and compare it to chess, checkers, go, or even tic-tac-toe (although that last one is arguably not a game, or at least not a board game).

Continuing the why rant, why should being the most popular make it good material for a movie? It's a terrible game, with no good plot options leaping out at me that haven't already been explored by such classic comedies as Trading Places, The Money Pit, and Airplane (because I often muse to myself after a game of Monopoly that I picked the wrong week to quit huffing glue). I would find more movie material in Risk, Stratego, Mouse Trap, or even Trivial Pursuit. Not to mention the hundreds or thousands of contemporary, but lesser known, games.

Which brings me to question two: Why does he try to sound like this is such a novel idea? I mean, yes, granted, he is reversing the typical formula. Usually after a popular movie is out, they make a bad game based on it, and many times the bad game is a copy of Monopoly with movie stills pasted on the squares with Elmers glue and shipped while the buzz is still high. (Tanga is selling Pirates of the Carribean Monopoly if anyone is interested.... ) In no way, however, is he being original. There's a freaking musical based on Chess. There are plenty of movies made where the central element is a gambling game (Maverick, Wall Street [Tell me the stock market isn't a gambling game...]). Fer crying out loud, he isn't even being original in making a movie based on a board game. Little movie called Clue, remember it?

Thirdly, why now? If you were going to make a Monopoly movie, wouldn't you make it in the 80's? When American games really were about Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, and Trivial Pursuit? I know the writers have been on strike, but that's no excuse for the lamest movie premise ever. Does he *want* to suck right now? Has he developed an inoperable tumor that impairs judgement? Either this will be an atrocious comedy, or an even more atrocious attempt at serious social commentary. I'm picturing Christopher Walken as old Uncle Pennybags. Speaking of which, does anyone remember Uncle Wiggily? That would be an awesome movie. Or not.

Alright, time to back off the ranting, and save the rest for game night. Maybe we should have a ritualized burning of my extra monopoly set. (I bought it for the paper money... what does that say about the game?) Here's hoping he and Mr. Crowe don't screw up the Nottingham movie, because another good Robin Hood telling isn't a bad idea. Given the obvious mental infirmities of the director, I won't be getting my hopes up.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: hazeleyedfae
2008-02-13 06:12 pm (UTC)
You should totally chat with my friend runrobotrun about this... I can't believe Monopoly would be any good whatsoever unless it was a dark comedy, and even then--slim chance.
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[User Picture]From: paladin_of_gaia
2008-02-13 06:14 pm (UTC)
Maybe he figures since he's got Bladerunner and Alien on his dossier that at this point he can just screw around and pull random crap out of his ass without fear of sullying his reputation. As vapid, uninteresting, and utterly banal as this sounds, in a world of Underdog remake films and American Gladiator revivals, I wouldn't be all that surprised to see "Hungry, Hungry Hippos" coming up next. Hell, I thought it was funny when they had the idea on Robot Chicken, but at this point, it might well be a reality. :-P

The standards of what the American public is willing to swallow for their entertainment have become increasingly minimal. I have to say this sound rather uniquely ludicrous in its conception, but I hesitate at this point to assume the bar is set anywhere other then about fifty kilometers beneath Hades' asshole in the deaths of Tartarous somewhere. Every time bullshit like this crops up, somewhere, a serious piece of film isn't getting funding, and its a shame. We're getting the media equivalent of bookstore's shedding their literature and science fiction sections in favor of racks upon racks of Daniel Steele.

I have no idea what sort of twisted logic would drive a man clearly capable of superb film making to venture into the realms of utter irrelevance, but maybe I give him too much credit.
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[User Picture]From: corkdorkdan
2008-02-13 06:37 pm (UTC)

A+

I think this rant beats out every analysis of this movie that will ever be written.
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[User Picture]From: koboldninja_5
2008-02-14 09:03 pm (UTC)
Hey! I think "Hungry, Hungry Hippos" has potential. I think if you got them moving around and eating things there is a market for it--just like there was a market for Rambo, only this time you won't have to pay Sly Stallone.

To paraphrase from the West Wing, the American public will eat up movies that have gratuitous sex and gratuitous violence, so now I will pose a question: Which of those does Monopoly have?
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[User Picture]From: paladin_of_gaia
2008-02-14 09:05 pm (UTC)
Gratuitous tedium?
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2008-02-14 09:13 pm (UTC)
No, no, this is neither a documentary film nor an art flick. Well, ok, it might be, but that's not Ridley's usual style.

"An Inconvenient Game" comes to mind now.
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[User Picture]From: elenuial
2008-02-13 06:21 pm (UTC)
Clue.
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2008-02-13 06:38 pm (UTC)
Yup. Mentioned in the post.
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[User Picture]From: elenuial
2008-02-13 06:43 pm (UTC)
Ah. Missed that. :)
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[User Picture]From: elenuial
2008-02-13 06:24 pm (UTC)
Or perhaps he wants to take "Monopoly" and make a dark twisted version of it to screw with his audience(s), like Kurt Cobain with "In Utero." Or maybe he's screwing with himself by making a movie utterly vapid (as the person above suggests) to see if it would actually work and sell -- and thus become depressed with his art.
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2008-02-13 06:39 pm (UTC)
Come on, we've already seen National Treasure, and the sequel. I think we've plumbed those depths already. Oh, and Librarian, Quest for the Spear.
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[User Picture]From: neuromancerzss
2008-02-13 07:36 pm (UTC)
I hope it's about the little people being put out of their homes due to a hotel-building cold war and the rising cost of rail transport.
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[User Picture]From: professormortis
2008-02-13 08:47 pm (UTC)
Last time I checked Monopoly was a good game, as far as mainstream games go.
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2008-02-13 09:16 pm (UTC)
Go play Ticket To Ride (mainstream enough to be in Target, and show up in a recent syndicated newspaper comic (Sally Forth)), or Blokus, or Vegas Showdown. Then come back and we'll talk.
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[User Picture]From: v_cat
2008-02-13 11:05 pm (UTC)
does anyone actually play Monopoly? i know everyone owns it for some reason, but its an insanely boring game. I have only played twice, and one of them was in ESL class where I think they were trying to teach us to be real americans or something. my god. I think this will be the year that kills Hollywood
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[User Picture]From: metahacker
2008-02-14 03:46 am (UTC)
Thimble is going to PWN J00 4LL!
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[User Picture]From: alexx_kay
2008-02-14 06:04 pm (UTC)
Nonsense! Thimble can never prevail against the might of Little Scotty Dog!
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[User Picture]From: jducoeur
2008-02-14 07:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, man -- now I *have* to write Red Hotels.

(This is a LARP-within-a-LARP that Walt Freitag proposed many years ago: basically a game about the worst game ever. It was supposed to be the basis of Rekon+10, but they ran out of time so cut that aspect of it. I got his permission to steal the idea about 5-8 years ago, but haven't gotten around to doing anything with it...)
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[User Picture]From: koboldninja_5
2008-02-14 09:09 pm (UTC)
Just to toss out another game to movie idea: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.

Further, while I was looking for games that would make good movies (that aren't necessarily German games), http://www.boardgames.com/anboga.html is what I found.
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2008-02-14 09:12 pm (UTC)
I don't know.... they already made a long running television series out of that game.
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