Last summer, I wrote about how Hollywood has never really been able to make a great movie adaptation of a video game despite decades of trying.
The live action "Super Mario Bros." movie from 1993 in particular was so bad that Nintendo just stopped licensing their characters out Hollywood until very recently. That hasn't stopped movie studios from trying to tap into the video game industry's popularity by bringing game franchises to the big screen.
Two of gaming's biggest franchises will make the leap to the big screen for the first time (at least in live action) this year and they look to be on different tracks.
First up is "Pokemon: Detective Pikachu," the first live-action Pokemon movie. I've never played a Pokemon game, including the wildly successful mobile title "Pokemon Go," and I've never really had a desire to pick one up. I know they're well made titles and the people who love the games REALLY love the games but the story and gameplay didn't really seem for me.
When I heard they were making a movie based on the "Detective Pikachu" spinoff I was really confused and blew it off as another video game movie that I could skip and not be upset about. But the marketing for the film, especially the first trailer, have been brilliant in selling the film. It's using a smaller story focused on the search for a kid's missing father to introduce the wider audience to the entire Pokemon universe. And it doesn't hurt that Ryan Reynolds is voicing Pikachu.
It's now one of the movies I'm looking forward to the most this summer. I never would have imagined it, but I think "Detective Pikachu" has a chance at being the first great video game movie.
The other big video game movie coming out this year is "Sonic the Hedgehog" in November. The first trailer for the movie was released on Tuesday and it unfortunately looks just as bad as I thought it would. The CG Sonic looks off. He has the blue spikey fur and red tennis shoes you would expect, but he looks creepy.
But the film looks like a generic kids movie with an "edgy" CG character interacting with real actors like the "Woody Woodpecker" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" movies.
And did I mention that Sonic looks off? Hard pass on this one.
Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently playing "Star Wars Battlefront 2," "Friday the 13th: The Game" and "Cuphead." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID, DustRAG316.