Going About This All Wrong

So the people who make movies are making a movie about Doom. Forgive this brief digression but I must get something off my chest. Have you downloaded the trailer(s) for this movie? Here is the QuickTime file for the second Doom trailer (25 MB, 640×352, SVQ3 video, MP3 audio). What I would like to draw attention to is a feature of the movie that is prominently showcased in the second trailer:

FPS Movie

Why does this irk me so much?

I have a lot of experience with multimedia hacking, software collecting, and studying/categorizing the multimedia used in entertainment software. Easily the most obnoxious trend I have observed is the interactive movie game genre. This is when game developers think (or thought) they could produce a commercially viable video game by plugging a video camera into a hard drive, recording a bunch of video, and pasting the scenes together with some basic program code, sometimes written in Visual Basic (not trying to slam VB, it’s just that one does not usually associate the language with high performance video game engines). These are 2 of the more irritating interactive movie games I have encountered in my research:

The Psychotron

Daedalus Encounter
The Daedalus Encounter

So what does this have to do with the Doom movie? Because the movie, based on the trailer sequences, looks like nothing more than a hyper-realistic first person shooter game (FPS). One medium rarely translates well to another. This has long been the case for translating between movies, books, television, and even radio. Certain types of media expresses certain things better than does other types of media. Books are allowed to have pages upon pages describing a landscape; a movie takes the picture-worth-a-thousand-words approach and cuts straight to the chase. I can’t believe that this Doom movie will take a chance on replicating the feel of a video game on the big screen. Movies do not work as video games and I do not think that the reverse will work either.

But at the end of the day, it’s their money and they can make the movie however they want. And the general movie- and game-loving populace can assign it to the same category as so many other movies based on video games (my personal favorite bad movie based on a video game was Double Dragon: The Movie, if only for the “Now who’s the boss?” line when a villainess captures Alyssa Milano– it must be heard to be believed).

Maybe this trailer was just throwing the gaming geeks a clever bone with those FPS sequences. But here is the final scene in the trailer, involving a chainsaw: