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“Monopoly” Movie Finally Passes Go, Collects 200 (Million) Dollars!

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movie-screenLike board games? Like movies? If you answered “yes” to both these questions, you’ll still be flabbergasted to find out that Universal has decided to greenlight a film adaptation of “America’s Favorite Boardgame,” Monopoly. Are movies based on Disney World rides just too bougie for some people’s taste? Variety reports that Ridley Scott (yes, Oscar-winning director Ridley Scott) will direct, hoping to give the movie a “futuristic sheen along the lines of Blade Runner.” While it’s true that “dystopian society” is usually the first word that springs to mind when landing on Ventnor Avenue or B&O Railroad, I’m still in awe of most major studios’ willingness (nay, compulsion) to pander to the lowest common denominator. Is this culture? Perhaps appropriately for Scott, we seem to be closing in on Brave New World territory here; the day “Animals Close-Up With a Wide-Angle Lens” wins the Oscar doesn’t seem far away.

Not all hope is lost. Last week Columbia Pictures reported a live-action adaptation of Preacher (one of the best comic books like, EVER) to be directed by Sam Mendes. The movie will be based on what’s known in the industry as a “story” (not to be confused with “colored board spaces”) and should appeal to audiences not five-years old and/or illiterate. Of course, we should probably view projects like Preacher as an aberration. American film seems destined to keep spiraling into abject mediocrity, and we’d do well to accept the situation for what it is. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few synopses of other board game adaptations I found online.

Candyland

candylandIn a Village loft, Brady Tremain wakes up with a brutal hangover to discover condom wrappers and half-eaten Tootsie Pops all over his floor. Unsure of what (or whom) he may have done the night before, Tremain grabs Sugar Daddy, his trannie neighbor and best friend, and sets out to retrace his steps. What begins as a diverting Saturday quickly morphs into a psycho-sexual odyssey. Who wants candy? Only by shedding his wrapper and embracing the sweetness of his body will Brady find what he’s looking for. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Opens 12/25 in New York and LA.

Don’t Wake Daddy

pic62705_md“My Father… was a strict man.” So begins Francis Morton’s harrowing, heartbreaking memoir of child abuse, soon to be made into a feature-length film by writer-director Devon Clarkson. “It’s rough stuff, for sure,” says Clarkson, who admitted he was only able to read the book in short spurts to avoid “overdosing on nightmare images.” “There are parts of Morton’s memoir… that I can’t in good conscience recreate on screen. Even for a seasoned actor like Tim [Robbins], it’s too much.” How, then, to translate to film? “What I want is to get at this story – this monstrous story – from a unique psychological perspective. Surrealism… dreamscapes… there’s a way to tell it that doesn’t involve sheer physicality.” While committed to making the film as independently as possible, Clarkson is already feeling pressure from Sony Pictures Classics to increase mainstream appeal. “They showed me a preliminary one-sheet design that says ‘Daddy Wakes Up, Spring 2009’ and I nearly vomited. This picture can’t be released to John and Jane Multiplex.”

Be sure to check out IMDB’s pages on Battleship and Chutes and Ladders (and their intended sequels), too!

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15 Responses to ““Monopoly” Movie Finally Passes Go, Collects 200 (Million) Dollars!”

  1. Tian Xie Says:

    Your best post thus far Henning. Though I must admit, I am somewhat disappointed that you did not comment on the upcoming film “Sorry”, the intelligent thriller about four deceitful, cheating, back-stabbing brothers as they compete for their father’s throne.

  2. JES Says:

    Okay, I’m reading this with a straight face. Or pretending to.

    You may enjoy this thread on a forum at Ain’t It Cool. E.g., “Alfred Hitchcock’s secret lost cut of Stratego to be released” and “‘Domino, m*f*r’ a Spike Lee joint.” The latter presumably starring Samuel L. Jackson, at least in the trailer.

  3. Jean Says:

    But…the Clue movie was excellent. And the prevailing box office wisdom seems to be “if it worked in the ’80s, it’ll totally work now!” So I’m not surprised.

  4. Henning Says:

    Tian – Thanks, buddy. I felt the Force yesterday… responding to ridiculousness just brings out the best in me, I guess. I figured “Sorry” didn’t merit a write-up given the fact that it’s just a re-make of “Getting Into Trouble,” itself already an update of King Lear. Doesn’t anyone have any more original ideas?

    JES – I read Ain’t It Cool religiously (probably shouldn’t) and caught that thread right after posting. The possibilities for board game movies are endlessly awesome and could probably fill five more posts. Maybe part two comes somewhere down the line…

    Jean – I’m not surprised, either (isn’t a “Karate Kid” remake in the works?), but there’s just nothing in Monopoly that lends itself to anything coherent. And don’t tell me it could be some “futuristic real estate thriller” or “commentary on America’s class/color distribution.” Or a “funny jail break romp.”

  5. Nick Says:

    Heard about this – it’s incredibly ridiculous. How would this even work in a movie!?!?

    It makes 0 sense. Maybe they should get the Monopoly man from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls to play mr. moneybags haha

  6. Tian Xie Says:

    This made me think about you Henning ~ <3
    http://playthisthing.com/candy-land

  7. Tian Xie Says:

    To quote:

    “As such, it is a metaphorical representation of the fundamental ideology of the United States; the past is no constraint on the future, and each individual should strive resolutely for personal advance despite whatever the past may hold.”

  8. Henning Says:

    That’s supposed to be bone-dry, right? What do they have to say about ‘Pretty Pretty Princess’ – that it’s designed to indoctrinate young girls into classic modes of fantasy, thus suppressing their inevitable disappointment at a life filled with hardship and a distinct lack of prince-like male figures?

    … I hate deconstruction.

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