Friday Free For All: The Last of Us-Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture

We all know that movies based on video games are uniformly awful (even though I have a soft spot for the first Resident Evil, personally). But if any game can successfully make that transition, it’s Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us”…the thing is practically a movie anyway.

Sony dropped the bomb today that such a movie is in development, and its being written by the same guy that made the game (Neil Druckmann), and produced by horror icon Sam Raimi. Even better, it’s rumored that Arya Stark herself, Maisie Williams, is a strong contender for Ellie.

That sounds like a great casting choice, so fingers crossed if it’s true. If it is, they just need to find their Joel. Lots of people have mentioned another Game of Thrones alum, Nicolaj Coster-Waldeau, and, well, see for yourself:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joel, The Last of Us
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones
Ellie and Joel in “The Last of Us”

Not a bad likeness at all, yeah?

If there’s an element to all this I’m iffy about, it’s Sam Raimi. I love this guy’s movies as much as any horror buff, but his movies tend to lean toward the goofy. He’s only a producer, and I think he’s the kind of guy who knows when to respect¬† the source material. Only time will tell.

Now, to play the cynic: why does The Last of Us even need an adaptation in the first place? The game itself is an excellently told tale of horror and loss, with a great cast in Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker. People have even cut all the cut-scenes together and posted them on YouTube. And there is just something about actually PLAYING the game that adds an extra layer to it all, like you’re actually making the journey with these characters, that’s a unique element to games as a storytelling medium.

In any case, here’s hoping they make a damn good movie.

Friday Free For All: The Last of Us-Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture

Friday Free-For-All: Pill-Popping Ninjas, The Last of Us, and Really Big Books

Yeah…so with Person of Interest done for the season, I find myself at an impasse for content. I guess I got a bit too dependent on having something given to write that I let it sneak up and bite me in ass.

So.

What shall I do? I know! I’ll come up with another semi alliterative faux-column title and use it to riff on whatever the hell I’ve got on my mind.

I just saw this story on the local news about a guy who broke into a Walgreens, dressed like a ninja. I don’t know how to feel about this. Houston apparently has a ninja problem now, and that can’t be good. On the other hand, Houston has a ninja problem now, and NINJAS ARE AWESOME.

Okay, so he’s not really a ninja. For one thing, a ninja would have left no trace. This guy left a huge hole in the ceiling. They had to call the fire department to find the hole, but the hole was found.

Also, I doubt ninjas are in business of stealing painkillers from local drug stores.

***

Naughty Dog’s Last of Us is on track for release next month. I’m a huge fan of the Uncharted series, but like many others, I found the disconnect between the Everyman Nathan Drake was supposed to be versus the unstoppable Murder Machine he turned into during game play to be quite jarring. Last of Us will no doubt be brutal (It’s garnered an ‘M’ rating versus Uncharted’s ‘T’), but the previews are saying that violence is rare, and often avoidable.¬† I like to play non-lethally whenever I can (recently completed pacifist runs in Dishonored and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and did the same in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, once upon a time); not because I have an aversion to violence, I just find it more rewarding.

***

I recently discovered a science fiction and fantasy bookclub/ podcast called Sword and Laser. I picked up the book they’re reading now, called Wool, by Hugh Howey. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in the middle of Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE, which despite being quite enjoyable, doesn’t seem to want to die. I swear to god, I’ve been at the half way point for a month now. It’s like two pages take the place of every one I read.

I started it about a year ago, read half-way through it, and then stopped because of school/waning interest/wanted to finish Storm of Swords (another book I put down at the halfway point, but found much easier to get back into).

In the meantime, I’ve been listening to older episodes of the Podcast that deal with books I’ve already read (like Neuromancer), or don’t care about. They talk about quite a bit more than just their selection for the month, so check it out if you’ve never heard of it, or are looking for something interesting to read.

Friday Free-For-All: Pill-Popping Ninjas, The Last of Us, and Really Big Books