Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Better Sequel

I watched The Dark Knight Rises today, it was amazing. I was awestruck after that movie, Christopher Nolan made comic book movies incredible, he probably singlehandedly legitimized them as serious movies. I was struck the most by how good the story was and how uncompromising his vision was to the trilogy he forged. I don’t often get that feeling with video games, I’m passionate about them but they don’t always instill passion in me. 
The Dark Knight Rises had the highest grossing non-3D movie weekend. 3D is the movie industries newer, better, graphics equivalent to video games. They hold 3D like it’s the Holy Grail and why not it makes them a lot of money they wouldn't have made otherwise. There's a whisper though from a few in the movie industry, wondering if the new 3D craze won't hurt them in the long run, that the 3D they're putting forward isn't good enough, that it isn't true 3D.

There’s urgency for the new generation of consoles out there. You may have heard the head of Ubisoft talking about next gen and new intellectual properties but what it really seems to come down to is new shiny graphics. I’m not dismissing the idea that gamers are more ready to accept new IP at the start of a generation. Look at Mass Effect, Assassins Creed, and its ilk. Mass Effect had a fairly bland E3 showing but since it was a RPG at the beginning of Microsoft’s cycle, people were willing to play the wait and see game. It also didn’t hurt that Microsoft had a dearth of RPG’s in the original gen Xbox.

While I’m not necessarily a fan of sequels, I don’t particularly knock them either. The fact of the matter is that most new IP’s crash and burn spectacularly, even if they weren’t one shot affairs which they can often be. It’s dangerous and risky for companies to have new IP’s and as we’ve seen this generation that hasn’t particularly worked out for a lot of studios that have either been bought and then self destructed or have been thrown out in the cold by their publishers.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that the industry needs more The Dark Knight Rises and less Katy Perry movies. I want this industry to grow old with me; I see no reason that it shouldn’t. Maybe we’re just as stuck on sequels as the movie industry but when I see the final Dark Knight movie I see a trilogy stand triumphant in epic scale. Sometimes it feels like the industry isn’t really comfortable in its own skin. A sequel doesn’t mean that you can’t innovate, can’t be great, can’t be magnificent; truth is perhaps we simply lack the imagination. Each Dark Knight movie was better than the last and the world did not end, perhaps instead of new IP’s what we need are better sequels.

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