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Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 D-Bag Awards Round One: Hollywood vs. Video Game Companies

Hollywood vs. Video Game Companies

2013 became a colossal year for Entertainment Industry screw ups.   Some of the most anticipated events turned out to be colossal fails and in both camps.  2013 simple became a challenge of who wanted it more, the video game industry or Hollywood.

Hollywood had a lot riding on 2013.  They went into the year still smarting from the fail that was John Carter, with a new plan.   Let’s rely on those that have brought us big wins in the past.

The Lone Ranger was supposed to be the Cowboys and Indians equivalent to audience’s love of Pirates.  After all, you have Johnny Depp playing Tonto.  The problem was that audiences were beginning to suffer from Depp-ression after Pirates 4 failed to wow them.  Yeah, it grossed over a billion worldwide but the loss of three key components to the series, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightly, and director Gore Verbinski, made for a rather anemic plot and quite frankly, continuing the series after the confusing At Worlds End was a bit of rum soaked head scratcher.    One would think it would make perfect sense to shift the action to dry land and dig up an American icon, The Lone Ranger.   But in the overly sensitive world of being, um, sensitive, folks were angered at Depp’s portrayal of Tonto, of course they were mostly white.  Native American’s fell on both sides of the fence, giving some concern over Depp’s possibly stereotypical “Injun” portrayal, but others commending him for at least attempting to speak Comanche and not seem like an Indian and more like a Comanche American.   Yet, the film failed.  Too much action, not enough Western nostalgia.  It was simply Pirates of the Old West.

Other flagrant d-bag moves by Hollywood?  How about we look at the remakes like Carrie, Evil Dead, and Oldboy?  Each one did not need to be remade.  Carrie was ridiculous, Evil Dead was Cabin in the Woods played straight, and Spike Lee whitewashing Park Chan-wook’s 2003 film just to make a buck made for a stupid moves on an industry that is already losing out to home viewing.  Case in point,  I took my kid to see Frozen over the holiday and the cost of the tickets were less than the concessions.   Granted, the prices were a bargain price during a matinee, but still, theaters don’t make any money off of the films anymore, just concessions.   Hollywood needs to start putting a better product out and stop being idiots if they want to bring people back for the prices they charge.

Not to be outdone, the video game industry had its share of moments.  Let’s see…
Microsoft reveals Xbox One and says, “YOU HAVE TO BE ONLINE TO PLAY!”  Oh, wait, they took that back.
EA launches Sim City 5 and they insist that you have to be hooked into the Internet to play it. On top of that, it crashes because they didn’t anticipate the server demand.    What part of a single player game, do they not get?  We play Sim City because we want to control the world, not share it.  That’s like giving someone a solitaire game and making it multiplayer only.

Last of Us debuts and it’s really good and frustrating and then Ellen Page gets all huffy because she thinks the main character is too much like her.  Maybe because she’s going to be in her own game called Beyond: Two Souls and doesn’t want there to be a conflict between the two when people buy it?  Who knows?    Then there’s Battlefield 4 and Devil May Cry and a slew of other idiocies that make you scratch your head.  Add in a bunch of broken consoles for PS4, the “Don’t install the GTA V disc while playing” for Xbox One, and the debate over DRM in the gaming this year and you rack up a lot of points in the win column for the gaming industry.

So who won? HOLLYWOOD!
This one is basically a tossup, but I’m going to go with Hollywood.   For all their faults, the video game industry is still heading in the right direction with things, but Hollywood has just become so out of touch with the audience that I don’t ever see them regaining their credibility.  After all, Justin Bieber had a movie open on Christmas called Believe.   That says all you need to know. 

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