||[Feb. 13th, 2008|12:51 pm]
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.
View the Original Post Here