Thursday Movie Picks: Video/Arcade/Board Game Movies

Alright, so continuing with the general theme of games this week (last week it was toys), the focus is on video, arcade and board games. Now, I struggled with this a bit because I had one recommendation in my mind but past that, I had to think really hard. And alright, I had to go through my Letterboxd list because I couldn’t think of any. But in the end, I did it, and I actually have an extra special recommendation for a movie that won’t come out until 2018!

1. TRON: LEGACY, 2010

Part of me would like to recommend the first Tron movie, but I haven’t seen it, and I think part of the Tron: Legacy appeal was lost to the fact that I was a little unaware of it being a sequel. But I still enjoyed the movie to some extent. It has a pretty strong connection to video games, being a movie that takes place in the virtual world. This movie is not perfect, I knew that going in, but it was fun and it was entertaining. And I mean, the visuals are great, and worth a watch alone!

2. WRECK-IT RALPH, 2012

Not going to lie, I had almost forgotten about this 2012 animation that brought together all kinds of games, old-school included. It has so many characters that have a connections to arcade and video games, that it is the most obvious choice for this category. I don’t even know why I didn’t think of it immediately, because I don’t really have anything bad to say about it. It’s great fun, it’s funny and it has such a great message.

3. JUMANJI, 1995

I left the movie I thought of immediately to be the last recommendation because I didn’t want it to shadow the other picks. Jumanji is a well-known family adventure movie featuring one of the greats, Robin Williams. I remember watching it as a kid and thinking it was a little scary, yet, over the years, I have started to appreciate it’s bold story telling, the element of action, and the underlining fear of seeing this board game having some serious rules. It’s one of my favourite movies, and I don’t talk about it enough!

* READY PLAYER ONE, 2018

I was a little surprised when this week’s topic brought to mind an upcoming movie, but I have read the book it’s based so, so it’s not that surprising after all. Ready Player One is being directed by Steven Spielberg, and its entire plot revolves around video and arcade games. If it’s half as good as the book, it’s going to be a great sci-fi movie in 2018, and hopefully it manages to capture the spirit of the book. So keep your eyes open for this one, guys!


THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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13 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Video/Arcade/Board Game Movies”

  1. I’ve not seen Tron: Legacy but I did see the original Tron when it was out originally. It was so cutting edge at the time but I’m sure it would look hopelessly dated today. I enjoyed it then since both Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner worked hard to give their characters some texture beyond being trapped in a video game. Not sure why I’ve never gotten around to the sequel.

    I put off Jumanji for years since I was unfamiliar with the game but finally got around to it last year. It was fun and a decent time passer but I don’t think I’ll be watching it again anytime soon.

    Haven’t seen Wreck-It Ralph.

    I’m not a video gamer in the least and while I enjoy board games movies about them are usually terrible so this was a tough week. I thought of one right away that I really enjoy, it’s my second title, but then was stuck to the point I had to stretch the rules on my last and chose the only other game film I could remember liking, a TV movie. However my first film’s inclusion should not be construed in any way as a recommendation.

    Battleship (2012)-What lunkhead came up with the script for this exercise in inanity? Obviously written by someone who has never played the board game which is all about strategy and should have led to a film along the lines of “They Were Expendable” or “The Cruel Sea”. What the hell are aliens and extraterrestrial flying objects doing in a movie called Battleship? Really quite stupid.

    Clue (1985)-It’s a dark and stormy night when Mr. Boddy welcomes six guests-Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Mr. Green (Michael McKean), Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn) and Col. Mustard (Martin Mull)-who he has been blackmailing. They’re a colorful lot in more ways than their names and when Mr. Boddy is murdered they set about trying to figure out which one of them did it while the bodies pile up. The best board game adaptation out there, not a high bar admittedly but this is a fun film with Madeline Kahn an absolute scream as Mrs. White.

    Mazes & Monsters (1982)-Five college friends all are devout Mazes & Monster players. To have more freedom in their play they move the board game to a local cavern where one of them, Robbie Wheeling (Tom Hanks), begins to slip away from reality and into the fantasy of the game. This TV event movie was Hanks first lead, based on a Rona Jaffe bestseller which itself was based on actual events.

    1. Battleship…. I think I will never watch it. I’ve seen Clue being recommended a lot this week so I added it to my watch-list but who knows when I will ever get to it. My watch-list is quite big!

  2. I haven’t seen Wreck It Ralph but I’ve seen the other 2. I liked Tron but wasn’t quite understanding it all. I did like Jumanji and wish I could play the actual game

    1. I didn’t get Tron that much either but I think a lot of it was, like I said, lost to the fact that I didn’t see the first one. Have you seen the first one?

  3. Wreck-it Ralph is all sorts of fun. Love that movie. Jumanji, I like well enough. Tron Legacy just didn’t work for me. Then again, I’m not that big a fan of the original.

    1. I would have liked to recommend something instead of Tron but I just couldn’t think of any..and I wasn’t going to recommend the unspoken sequel to Jumanji either.

  4. I’m looking forward to Ready Player One planning on reading the book first. It seems to be shaping up.

    I saw Tron Legacy first before Tron and thought it stood out by itself. And aw Wreck it Ralph this does get forgotten.

    1. I’m a little excited for the remake but then again, I think since it has such a sentimental value for so many, it isn’t that promising. I mean, remakes rarely work.. only if the source material isn’t as well loved as Jumanji.

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