Article Archive

The NL issue 892 - DragonBall movie, Street Fighter movie, Sonic RPG

Author: Geoff Larsen
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
It is generally considered that anime and video games don’t make the real world adaptation transition too well... Ever since 1993’s Super Mario Brothers where Mario Mario and Luigi Mario went off to stop a turtilian Dennis Hopper or something, we have learned to be skeptical over any type of real world ‘homages’ to our preferred form of entertainment.
The Year of our Nerd 2008 is bringing a flaming dragon fistful of these conversions to the big screen… Will they spawn a renaissance of these film adaptations or will they commit seppuku, their blades of change plunging into the bowels of mediocrity-


Turning a long-running animated series into a live action movie is a difficult move to pull off. Making a live action movie of an anime series where the characters shoot megadeathbeams out of their fingertips, die frequently and have colour-shifting gravity defying hair is just plain insane. James Wong, director of Final Destination thinks he can pull it off, in what will undoubtedly be one of 2008’s most interesting releases.
Based on the final episodes of the original DragonBall series, Dragonball will follow a young Goku, played by Justin Chatwin, on his quest to gather the seven dragon balls in a race against time with the evil Piccolo. The film, at this point, seems to be making a few creative changes to the plot of the original series – however fans will be happy to know that Bulma, Goku’s team mate, will be retaining her blue hair. Dragonball will be blasting into theatres in August.


The most precious memories of my childhood were of me pumping precious allowances into a Street Fighter II arcade machine (that and getting punched in the groin by Bree Denstopa in the third grade… I blame my sexual incompetence on you Bree!) so when schoolyard chatter brought forth rumors of a live action movie starring the universally accepted badass that was (past tense) Jeanne Claude Van Damme the hype was more powerful than Bison’s Psycho Crusher. Adding to the anticipation, six months before the movie hit we were blessed with Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie which, 52 minutes into the film, showed Chun Li’s breasts… not that I noticed it or anything.
Finally, in early 1995, Australia got a look at a real world Street Fighter story. Van Damme was joined by Kylie Minogue in an epic clash that featured Raul Julia’s last ever appearance on film. Fans quivered in expectations as the curtains separated… and then sat through 102 minutes of the most pungent effluence ever to be excreted onto film.
Over a decade later Director Andrzej Bartkowiak is attempting to bring justice to the original material by making Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li. The story reportedly follows fan favourite character Chun Li on her mission to take revenge on Marshal Bison for killing her father. Kristen Kreuk of Smallville fame has been cast as the Chinese crotch-kicker, which is a strange choice considering the actor suffers from scoliosis and would be unable to participate in action scenes whatsoever. Personally I would have liked to have seen Zhang Ziyi don Chun Li’s skimpy qipao but whatever, no one listens to me. My sexual fantasies aside, Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li will be lighting kicking its way into theatres late 2008 / early 2009.


Every four months or so Sega announce a new Sonic game and make the promise that the new title will break the mold of all recent Sonic games and not be crap. The next installment in the series has been announced as a role playing game and promises to break the mold of all recent Sonic games and not be crap! WOW!
The title is being co-developed by Bioware who recently put out the award winning Xbox title Mass Effect and is set to follow the standard JRPG formula of the original Final Fantasy games. The game will feature 11 recruitable characters and turn-based battles. The idea sounds all well and good however it remains to be seen how well the final product will play.
Bioware, while having an excellent track record, are new to both turn-based RPGs and portable systems – couple that with the curse of Sonic games and you have a potential recipe for disaster. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wanted it to succeed however – Sonic was one of my first loves, with his bright blue fur and dazzling speed. My love for turn-based RPGs is just as deep… My heart often skips a beat when I see the words ‘Critical Hit’. A union between these two has the potential to bear a child of indescribable beauty… but will most likely turn out as a malformed demon spawn we all have to chain away in the recesses of our memories.