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A Load of Bollocks: Film Director Uwe Boll sets the web ablaze
October 1, 2005 3:08 AM   Subscribe

"If you must see this movie, do yourself a favor and wait until it's in the bargain bin at the video store. If there's any justice in the film industry, one of the main actors will be there to rent it to you." A quote from a review of Alone in the Dark. Dr. Uwe Boll is developing quite a reputation as a terrible film director; and ruiner of valuable intellectual property with his videogame adaptations. Something Awful's look behind the scenes of Alone in the Dark makes for grim reading: "I know English is not his first language, but Jesus Christ, I'm not even sure this man has a first language", but for many the trailer was enough to put people off. According to Wikipedia, "he is currently in a bidding war for rights to Half-Life and Metal Gear Solid, and ... may be after the rights to Fallout and Castlevania as well". Before legions of gamers collapse under the strain, you should know it isn't all bad news. He isn't without fans; and Boll is apparently an active member of online discussion forums including imdb and IGN; so it is possible to tell him that he sucks directly; not that doing so has had any effect thus far.
posted by nthdegx (55 comments total)

 
Is there a new link to the Alone in the Dark trailer? The post you link to links to a 404.
posted by atom128 at 3:28 AM on October 1, 2005


Alone in the Dark trailer.
posted by nthdegx at 3:33 AM on October 1, 2005


Boll's House of the Dead adaptation doesn't have a house in it.

It occasionally cuts to unedited footage of the arcade game, too, for no discernible reason. The man's a genius, and I honestly hope he gets the Half-Life license - the game does such a good job of telling the story in a competent fashion that I'd love to see a really grindingly awful Boll version, just for contrast's sake. And wouldn't a Metal Gear Solid movie be a bit redundant? You could just edit together the interminable cutscenes from all three games, and end up with a film at least as entertaining as a Boll opus.
posted by terpsichoria at 4:08 AM on October 1, 2005


Am I missing something? I probably am, since IANAGP. Still, movie adaptations of video games and people are expecting (pick any that apply) art, cinema, a non-idiotic movie? I don't get it.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:44 AM on October 1, 2005


I'd be slow to blame directors for trailers; few have any control over that aspect of marketing. Even heavy-weight directors bow to non-creative bean-counters here. And these days, it seems like the process it completely ass-backwards. So much money is involved that movies are often greenlighted only AFTER the script is given to some company tasked to extracts the commercial quality "beats" of the story and produce a detailed ad campaign and AFTER a mock-up trailer is story-boarded in excrutiating detail. All this before a single millimeter of film is shot.

This is a recipe for suckage.
posted by RavinDave at 4:55 AM on October 1, 2005


Apple apparently insists that I install iTunes with Quicktime, so it looks like I shan't be seeing the trailer for that masterpiece of movie-making...
posted by clevershark at 5:00 AM on October 1, 2005


Some people I know in my home town decided to make a public service announcement about him.
posted by joelf at 5:17 AM on October 1, 2005


clevershark : Quicktime w/o iTunes.
posted by punilux at 5:28 AM on October 1, 2005


Thanks punilux. I must be going blind in my old age...
posted by clevershark at 5:31 AM on October 1, 2005


joelf, that was a great PSA.
Far Cry? That game lends itself to a movie better than any other game out in the last couple of years.
Half Life would be a crime, too.
Then again, why should video games be excempt from terrible adaptations when books have been subjected to the same since the appearence of talkies?

Alone in the Dark almost had me renting it via Netflix, but Tara Reid outweighs the iota of Cthulhian beauty which might have survived Boll's touch.
posted by Busithoth at 5:56 AM on October 1, 2005


I've always put movies based on games in the same category as movies based on old TV shows. Both types of movies seem like Hollywood being lazy and not coming up with original ideas.

Even without a hack like Boll, I don't think some of the games translate well into film. It isn't a criticism of the game or its fans, but just a fact of life. What aside from the storyline and graphics, what makes a game great is the game play itself. And you can't have that in a theatre full of other people.

If anything Boll's terrible directing may help kill this trend in Hollywood and the studios won't rush to green light a film adaptation of a game based solely on the game's popularity as a game.
posted by birdherder at 6:11 AM on October 1, 2005


We've discussed it before, before.

This is my favorite of the terrible review quotes from when this movie was released:

"If you took the 100 worst ideas ever conceived for a science-fiction film, rattled them around in a Lotto tumbler and spilled them out onto the screen at random, you could not produce a more asinine hodgepodge than Alone in the Dark."
-- Colin Covert, MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

There's more where that came from at rottentomatoes.com.
posted by jmcmurry at 6:14 AM on October 1, 2005


What were some good video game movies? I can't think of any...
posted by melt away at 6:25 AM on October 1, 2005


Before House of the Dead came out, I did a preview story for a movie magazine. The producer assured me that the movie was going to be extremely classy, conscientiously made, and true to the George Romero tradition. That was my lesson in movie hype.
posted by johngoren at 6:27 AM on October 1, 2005


....TRON
posted by clubfoote at 6:28 AM on October 1, 2005


Melt--

Mortal Kombat was shockingly good. Doom looks like it'll be a crapfest, but meh.

The fundamental problem is ... well, I had this great thing, but even better to just quote Neil Gaiman (and Joss Whedon's) fantastic Time magazine interview:
"NG: Yes. It really is this thing of executives loving the smell of their own urine and urinating on things. And then more execs come in, and they urinate. And then the next round. By the end, they have this thing which just smells like pee, and nobody likes it."
Amen.

Side note, can we bid against Boll for the Fallout rights? I mean, seriously.
posted by effugas at 6:33 AM on October 1, 2005


Uwe Boll could well be the film version of Derek Smart.
posted by Navek Rednam at 6:54 AM on October 1, 2005


THIS HOLIDAY SEASON EVERYTHING FALLS DOWN
Uwe Boll's Tetris the Movie
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:55 AM on October 1, 2005


Lets just hope Boll doesn't get the rights to ICO.

Actually, it's kind of interesting that the video game of Alone in the Dark was infinitely more thoughtful, emotive and even scary than this film seems to be (haven't seen it). Seeing how bad film can be when put in service of a mercenary like Boll who's only interest is in milking a target demographic makes one realise that perhaps the reason most games are so shit is the economic and cultural swamp that they're currently wallowing in. When game publishers eventually discover that if they keep behaving like Bolls and produce games only for american teenage boys then even that market will sooner or later get bored and drift off.
posted by silence at 7:00 AM on October 1, 2005


God damn, P_G, you win AGAIN.
posted by eriko at 7:01 AM on October 1, 2005


I should be a professional comedian.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:09 AM on October 1, 2005


"Saying Uwe Boll’s Alone in the Dark is better than his 2003 American debut House of the Dead is akin to praising syphilis for not being HIV."
-- Nicholas Schager, SLANT MAGAZINE


I think that's the funniest thing I've ever read.
posted by esch at 7:15 AM on October 1, 2005


The Half-Life backstory is so good and so little covered in the games that it could easily produce a good film. SO I HAVE TOTAL FAITH IN UWE BOLL-WEEVIL
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:16 AM on October 1, 2005


Unfortunately, P_G, someone already beat you to it.
posted by hindmost at 7:27 AM on October 1, 2005


THIS HOLIDAY SEASON EVERYTHING FALLS DOWN
Uwe Boll's Tetris the Movie


"More shocking than 9/11" - New York Times.
posted by Navek Rednam at 7:41 AM on October 1, 2005


Super Mario Brothers was a pretty entertaining videogame movie. If nothing else, it's something... different.
posted by ph00dz at 7:57 AM on October 1, 2005


What were some good video game movies?

Resident Evil wasn't terrible. Not high cinema or nothin', but an acceptable zombie flick, and Milla "Couldn't keep her clothes on if she tried" Jovovich was decent, as was Michelle Rodrih-gweez.

Myself I am waiting for Jerry Bruckheimer's Battleship starring Terry Gross and Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeshell Norris from NPR as two plucky destroyer captains caught in a conflict they never made.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:11 AM on October 1, 2005


"one man stood up to the system, and said 'nein'"

joelf, that was great...
posted by hototogisu at 8:22 AM on October 1, 2005


Any truth to the rumor that Michael Cimino is bringing "Burger Time" to the big screen?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:47 AM on October 1, 2005


clubfoote writes '....TRON'

Actually, Tron was a movie before being a video game, so no cigar.
posted by signal at 8:50 AM on October 1, 2005


Before coming here, I was just commenting to my wife that DOOM was going to suck hard, but Half-Life could possibly be a good movie with the right producer, director and writer.

Now I wish I hadn't said that. :P
posted by Foosnark at 9:14 AM on October 1, 2005


I am forced to conclude that Uwe Boll hates video games, and wants to see the entire medium destroyed.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:17 AM on October 1, 2005


Faint of Butt: Penny Arcade suggests that reason as well.

Also, this and this are good sendups of Boll.
posted by tweak at 9:38 AM on October 1, 2005


Dear (deity of your choice), please... no...

Not Fallout...

Please...

No...
posted by Samizdata at 9:42 AM on October 1, 2005


terpsichoria: "Boll's House of the Dead adaptation doesn't have a house in it."


Yes, it does. The house is just very small and under-used. Almost an afterthought.
posted by o0o0o at 10:39 AM on October 1, 2005


compulsory viewings of The Wizard are in order.
posted by hypocritical ross at 12:04 PM on October 1, 2005


I haven't paid attention to sports in twelve or thirteen years, but when I first heard who was directing House of the Dead, I immediately thought, "Whoa, Uwe Blab is a director?"
posted by gramschmidt at 12:05 PM on October 1, 2005


Resident Evil wasn't terrible

Actually, i thought that the first Resident Evil was pretty damn good. i thought that Paul W.S. Anderson's direction made for the best video game to movie that i have seen thus far. Even if you completely ignore it's video game heritage, it's a bad ass zombie flick in it's own right.

Resident Evil 2 however, just sucked.
posted by quin at 12:34 PM on October 1, 2005


The Alone in the Dark trailer linked above is nothing like the one that got its own post. The old trailer brought tears to my eyes, truly. Tears of pain. But alas, all traces of it have been removed from the internet.
posted by Sibrax at 2:14 PM on October 1, 2005


I had always had higher hopes for DOOM the movie than any Uwe Boll project. I guess I will get to see if I was correct now.
posted by The Cardinal at 2:49 PM on October 1, 2005


Doom at least has Mr. The Rock in it. So whatever else happens and however horrible it is otherwise, Doom will have, at its core, a little kernel of grace and charisma.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:08 PM on October 1, 2005


More "Alone in the dark" here: (rating: 9. Extreme dislike or disgust.)

Entertainment Weekly:
"The film on your teeth after a three-day drunk possesses more cinematic value."

NYTimes: "This horror film, spun off from an old Atari video game, is so inept on every level, you wonder why the distributor didn't release it straight to video, or better, toss it directly into the trash."

Who's to blame for dr. Boll's movies? "A loophole in German tax law that is supported by contributors and actually rewards movies that perform badly, via a writeoff at the end of the year." Profiting on movies that actually lose money...sounds familiar.

However, according to the Wikipedia article: "It has been recently reported that the loophole in German tax law has been revised. Starting January 2006, contributors to failed films will no longer be able to profit from failed films through a tax writeoff at the end of the year. This may well result in an end to Boll's film career, as it would make it impossible for him to capitalize on films that fail at the box office, resulting in a loss of investors."
posted by iviken at 3:12 PM on October 1, 2005


Lets just hope Boll doesn't get the rights to ICO.

Way to make sure that I wake up in a cold sweat every night from now on, silence.
posted by kosher_jenny at 3:53 PM on October 1, 2005


That Final Fantasy CGI movie was decent, if a little too Uncanny Valley
posted by Sullenshady at 3:58 PM on October 1, 2005


Wasn't My Dinner with Andre based loosely on Pac-Man?
posted by condour75 at 4:06 PM on October 1, 2005


Alone in the Dark was indeed shit. But it wasn't nearly as shit as I assumed it was gonna be. I shut it off after about 30 minutes, unlike, say, Dreamcatcher, which I've watched 3 times all the way through because it is so fucking awful that it's one of the better comedies of the last 20 years. Trixie is another film that was far, far worse than Alone in the Dark.

In fact, my friends and I refer to movies like this:

"How bad was it? Was it Trixie-bad or Dreamcatcher-bad?"

"I Dudits!"

Nothing I've ever seen is as bad as either of these movies. And I've seen a lot of bad movies.
posted by dobbs at 4:19 PM on October 1, 2005


I saw the trailer for DOOM before SERENITY this afternoon, and if there is any justice in the world it will force the Rock out of filmmaking and into next year's Houston Texans open tryouts. There aren't enough Alan Smithees in Hollywood to take credit for it. Half the trailer -- half! -- is comprised of FPP shots that fairly scream "OMG, it's just like teh game, this r0x0rs!!!1!!11! LOL!!1!!!11!!!"

Presumably we'll be getting QUAKE next summer.
posted by aaronetc at 4:30 PM on October 1, 2005


Dobbs: Totally off-topic (er...off "video game movies by Uwe Boll suck" topic, that is, but on "bad movies" topic): I agree that Dreamcatcher was just plain painfully bad, and I haven't read the book, but from what I read somewhere, the dumb shit in the movie actually makes a bit of sense in the book: Dudits has the power (unconscious) to make what he dreams come true (though, not being a lucid dreamer, he can't control it). As such, all the weird shit that happens is actually a result of his dreaming of a situation that would bring his childhood friends back, as they abandoned him in their middle age/due to his leukemia (can't remember exactly), and it gets weirder and weirder just because he's dreaming deeper and deeper. So he's the "hero", but only by dint of the fact that he's the one who dreamed the whole damn thing into existence in the first place.

But, no, of course, that doesn't in any way vindicate the movie. I'm not sure Jesus and Buddha together could do anything to vindicate that movie.
posted by Bugbread at 4:35 PM on October 1, 2005


I watched the Doom trailer online and while I won't pay money to go see it in the theaters, I hope for those that do they do not use the horrid first person game like shots anymore than the collective time in the trailer. I can just imagine people falling in the aisle throwing up from motion sickness. That or screaming out, "Why didn't he IDKFA!!11!"
posted by Atreides at 5:09 PM on October 1, 2005


Wasn't My Dinner with Andre based loosely on Pac-Man?

More of a pastiche, really. Wallace Shawn's character, for example, was an amalgam of the red ghost, Donkey Kong's Mario, and the oddly angled blip that zooms around the outer rim of the geometric grids in Tempest.

Also: Great line.

Any truth to the rumor that Michael Cimino is bringing "Burger Time" to the big screen?

If Christopher Walken gets cast as the pickle, I'm there, dude.
posted by gompa at 5:58 PM on October 1, 2005


Too bad Uwe Boll is overshadowing the 1982 slasher movie, Alone in the Dark, which featured some enjoyable scenery chewing from slumming future Oscar winners, Martin Landau and Jack Palance. I mean, how many 80s slasher movies had good enough casting to have not one, but two future Best Supporting Actors?
posted by jonp72 at 6:03 PM on October 1, 2005


how many 80s slasher movies had good enough casting to have not one, but two future Best Supporting Actors?

Wait, I know this one. Is it the same as the number of 80s sci-fi/action flicks that starred two future governors?
posted by gompa at 6:06 PM on October 1, 2005


From the review that made me want to see Alone In the Dark:

As I sat through that scene, and the rest of the jumbled mess that followed, I began to consider the film contextually, and I came to the conclusion that it’s developmentally disabled. In high school I worked with retarded adults, and many of them would develop habits that they learned from people around them without understanding them. Alone in the Dark is like that. It sees how other movies act, and it tries to be like them. But there’s some critical circuitry in its pointy little filmic head that isn’t wired, and it just becomes a shambling mockery of what we know as cinema. I mean, it has all the requirements that make it a “movie” – still images are projected in rapid succession, creating through the persistence of vision the illusion of movement – but nothing else about it would indicate that it was anything more than a hallucination, perhaps brought on by ingesting way too many hot peppers.
posted by brundlefly at 12:03 AM on October 2, 2005


A Castlevania movie would never be done the way I would want it to be anyway, but if Uwe Boll gets the rights, I might have to hunt him down and make like Simon Belmont dispatching Dracula.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 8:21 AM on October 2, 2005


bugbread, I also haven't read the book but on the extras for the DVD, screenwriter William Goldman says (paraphrasing), "It was a very hard book to adapt. I took out everything that wasn't cinematic... and they Larry Kasdan put it all back in." He sounds miserable when he says it. And then they cut to Kasdan saying *exactly* the same thing but in an upbeat way as if it was pure genius to put everything uncinematic back in. :)
posted by dobbs at 9:33 PM on October 2, 2005


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