After our lively discussion last week, I started envisioning other board game adaptations helmed by famous directors. While none of these are actually in production in these iterations, it’s still fun to dream.
Set in a not too distant future, a few solitary and unknowable syndicates wage an an all out battle between the different factions of what’s left of the world, utilizing entire continents in their thirst for world domination. While individual members of the armies attempt to stand up to empire control, the horses and cannons drown out their pitiful cries for individuality and freedom.
Directed by Michael Bay
Game of Life
Directed by Woody Allen, four separate vignettes of affluent white couples as they attempt to navigate different stages of their lives, from filling up a minivan to avoiding bankruptcy and finally ending up in Millionare Aces. Allen plays a husband who finds himself very down on his luck indeed, with too many kids and not enough money, who sees his son decide not to go to college and instead become an athlete. This decisions tears the family apart, but the four couples cross paths unexpectedly in the end.
Now, now, now, Life, now that’s a game. That’s something you’re not expecting, you know? It’s a very funny thing, you think you’re playing but turns out it’s playing you and it’s winning. - Woody Allen
Audiences find the story depressing and confusing, but it is critically acclaimed. The Game of Life goes on to be nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay.
As we’ve established before, Monopoly would be a four hour documentary that follows the playing of a single game between four players with everything to lose. Narrated with great aplomb by Werner Herzog, the game follows participants as they cycle through the stages of grief, as they struggle with greed and finally, offers up a devastating introspective monolog about the abuse of power and the desperate evil of human nature.
Directed and Narrated by Werner Herzog
Two step kids are forced to befriend one another when their parents become engaged, and find they have more in common than they initially thought, including an obsession with the game of Connect Four. The two start a fan club and a website devoted to the game, and end up hosting the first ever Connect Four championship tournament in the days leading up to their parents wedding.
Directed by Wes Anderson, the film is criticized for being overly on-the-nose and stylized.
After a building that he designs collapses, killing his wife and children, an architect (Steve Buscemi) is forced to confront his deepest fears as he struggles to rebuild his life and the building that destroyed it. After another collapse threatens to end his professional career, the architect must either accept defeat or continue to reach towards the sky.
A dark comedy directed by the Coen Brothers
A wild, decadent journey through the depths of a literary mind as a librarian (Scarlett Johansson) falls deeply in love with a crossword puzzle expert (Lee Pace). With words as their greatest love and their greatest adversaries, the two embark on the process of dueling novels that gain attention within the literary world, eventually leading up to a final wordsmithing game to establish who is the finest wielder of the English language.
Directed by Sofia Coppola
A stirring 1960s medical drama starring Danny Huston as a psychopath who has rigged different parts of the human body to explode if a trained surgeon, played by Clive Owen, performs operations incorrectly. As time runs out, the two remain locked in an intricate dance, with the lives of hundreds of patients, and the surgeon’s wife, Nicole Kidman, at stake.
Directed by Tony Gilroy
Operation was initially green lit in 1998 and was to star Greg Kinnear and Kevin Spacey, development hell took over and the film languished for a decade until Gilroy took it on and turned it into a period piece.
Two shy, mute artists meet in an airport and must draw pictures in order to communicate. When they are torn apart by circumstance they find themselves desperate in their search to find one another, each creating entire gallery shows on different coasts, intimate portraits of their brief time together. When they do find one another after many years, they play out the remainder of their days by drawing together, daily, images of the world around them and sights as of yet unseen.
Directed by Won Kar Wai, the film is moving and elegant, but far too little seen despite critical attention.
Settlers of Catan
While fans are initially excited to see their beloved Catan up on the big screen hoping for kind of a “Big Fish” feel to things, Burton brings Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and his whole madcap crew along for the ride, and Brick, Ore, Wool, Grain and Lumber all become actual characters, replete with musical interludes and strange Danny Elfman soundtrack.
Thought Kathryn Bigelow was initially set to direct with an entirely different spin on things, Tim Burton took over.
An animated wild adventure that follows the story almost exactly, a group of kids trying to make their way home, instead getting lost and making their way through Candy Land, encountering the various characters such as Lord Licorice and Queen Frostine. When they finally arrive home, they wonder if it ever occurred until one of them is sucked back in. Candy Land 2?
Directed by Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore.
The film is harangued by Wreck-It Ralph fans, who suggest that Candy Land is far too similar to the sugary sequences in their beloved Ralph. The film is initially scorned by eventually finds a second life in the DVD and overseas markets.
Chutes and Ladders
A jungle fantasy that finds adventurers hot on the trail of ancient treasure as they attempt to scale a mountain by any means necessary, including an ancient system of ladders and avoiding the venomous snakes that populate the mountainside. As one adventurer after another begins to fall, the mountain begins to play intricate tricks on the remaining adventurers.
Directed by Terry Gilliam, the film is a huge cult hit but is strange and confusing at times.
The startling story of an amnesiac (John Krasinski) and a criminal mastermind (Emily Blunt) who meet by accident on the Subway and fall in love. When the amnesiac witnesses a crime and must attempt to help the police with a difficult case, he finds himself caught between his lady love and the law, forced to pick the criminal out of a huge lineup of possible suspects.
Directed by Gus Van Sant