It’s such a simple idea. Nintendo’s Mario Brothers, Mario and Luigi, are Italian. They fight to save Peach from a formidable organized mob. Put two and two together and you have The Brothers Mario, a 4 plus minute trailer that takes the familiar Super Mario Bros. story and reimagines it through the violence, graphics and game play of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series.

Directed by The Country Club, Nathan Kitada and Aaron T. Umetani, not only does this video include all of your favorite Mario references – coins, mushrooms, one-ups, etc. – but even throws in references to several famous action and gangster movies. We’ll let you discover those for yourself. You’ve got to see this video after the jump. Read More »

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When the 3D animation company, Image Metrics, showed a promo video entitled The Emily Project at last month’s SIGGRAPH conference in L.A. it was only a matter of time before the buzz spilled online. As impressively demonstrated in the clip here—you see, Emily isn’t “real”—the company’s patented “Markerless” 3D facial animation technology is being touted as quicker, cheaper and altogether superior to the traditional motion-capture method used in many Hollywood films.

When we first started working on Emily, our goal was to create an exact replica of the real actress Emily O’Brien. Why? Because there was no other way to determine how close we had come to reality if we did not replicate a “real” person.

Unlike motion-capture, which uses “marks” on an actor’s face and body to produce an avatar as seen in numerous special features over the years, this process uses pre-recorded video and simply maps over it. At present, the company has worked primarily on video games, notably MGS 3, GTA IV and other Rockstar titles, but its interest and presence in feature films is on the increase (see 2007′s Harry Potter installment).

Let us know what you think of the video and the technology. For more videos, visit YouTube.

via Trend Central

Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto PosterBecause everyone has been wondering, Nikki Finke explains why Hollywood probably won’t make Grand Theft Auto: The Movie.  In its first week, Grand Theft Auto IV sold approximately 6 million copies worldwide and grossed over $500 million, more than most movies make theatrically. So it seems only logical that Hollywood would be interested in bringing the the controversial video game series to the mainstream. As it turns out, Fox Atomic actually owns the rights to “Grand Theft Auto”, but not a film based on the game. Atomic is developing a remake of the Ron Howard directed / Roger Corman produced film with the same name from 1977. And by “developing”, we mean that it is one of hundreds of projects that Fox Atomic has sitting around waiting for a screenwriter.

And I’ve never heard this before, but Finke claims that a legal settlement dictates that Fox can’t make a video game out of the Ron Howard film, and more importantly, Rockstar isn’t allowed to make a feature film based on their video game series. And as much as fans of the game would love to see a big screen movie, I’m not sure that it could capture the free-roaming magic of the game. Besides, many aspects of the game series are closely inspired by the classic mob films. I even remember reading interviews with Rockstar where they admit this obvious fact. What’s to stop a big screen adaptation of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City or Grand Theft Auto 4 from feeling like a Scarface rip-off?

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Liberty City’s Vlad and Niko are (predictably) not siked right now. That’s right, Slashfilm’s original, indefatigable voodoo child, Uwe Boll, recently confessed to Vulture that he’s the perfect manimal to helm Grand Theft Auto: The Movie. Moreover, Boll said he would choose to direct a “very brutal” $30 million adaptation that would absolutely destroy Michael Bay’s $150 million PG-13 version that exists, yep, only in Boll’s well-protected brain! As of 6 p.m. EST, Rockstar Games had suspiciously chosen not to comment on this non-rumor. Here’s Boll…

“Grand Theft Auto would be super interesting for me, and I think I would actually be the right guy to do it, because my movies are all bloody and violent and I don’t have a problem with action scenes. But look, they will go, in the end, with a Michael Bay or a Brett Ratner, and it will be a PG-13 movie made for $150 million. I think it would be better to make a $30 million, very hard, brutal movie without compromising, but I’m not optimistic.”

Well, I’m sure GTA x Boll becoming a reality will come down to the performance of Postal, Boll’s latest video game adaptation finally opening in the U.S. on May 23rd. Peter says it’s his “best” movie thus far, but not his, you know, Bolliest. However, in the film’s defense, Boll did admit to forcing tiny Postal co-star Verne Troyer into a suitcase….and then he closed it! WTFBoll!

“[Verne] said, “Don’t close the suitcase completely, please.” And we said, “Look, it will be quick,” and then we promised him we wouldn’t but then we closed it anyway. But we opened it right away.

And was he upset?

A little, but then he was okay.

As with all things Boll, it gets better. Save your talk about alternative fuels, world, because Boll wants to convert ubiquitous Internet fanboy hatred into terrible Boll cinema. What a concept! Specifically, Boll wants to turn you and me into bloodsucking zombie extras in his upcoming Wii-adaptation Zombie Massacre.

“I have the rights to [Wii game] Zombie Massacre, and maybe we should do that movie with all the gamers and Boll haters, and people who signed that petition anti-Boll, or pro-Boll, we all meet in a big, small city – somewhere in the Midwest. And we all shoot Zombie Massacre together; they all play zombies, and they’re there and can give me advice if they think they can do it better than me. …I could have the biggest movie ever, basically for free! Because they would definitely all be there.”

Ladies and gents, the Internet is Boll’s sandbox, littered with sharp obscenities, petitions, and gum. The only question that remains is…

Discuss: If Boll makes Zombie Massacre will you cuome? Oh, and well, should Rockstar Games allow Uwe Boll to make a GTA short film, advertisement or just turn him into a death-attracting avatar?

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Has Tony Stark met his match? With grosses expected to be as high as $360 million in its first week alone, Grand Theft Auto IV, the long, long awaited sequel to Rock Star Games‘ classic video game franchise, will no doubt out gross Jon Favreau‘s Iron Man. That is not the showdown alluded to in the headline. These two stunning pop culture goliaths will duke it out for fanboys’ dollars and attention spans at the same time, with GTA IV dropping on Xbox and PS3 worldwide on April 29th and Iron Man on May 2nd domestically, with remaining global territories set both before and after.

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One has to wonder how much consideration Paramount Pictures and Marvel have and are giving this worldwide clusterf**k of awesome. Should they be worried? You guys and gals tell them in the comments. Over at GameDaily, an analyst named Mike Hickey, who works for GTA‘s distributor, Take-Two, is quoted as giving a big “Duh!” Hickey says GTA IV could be bigger than Halo 3, and we all remember Hollywood execs’ eyes watering in awe when Bungie Studios opened up the skies to rake in torrential fanboy moolah back in September…

“We anticipate the video game release of GTA IV on April 29th could dampen the potential from Iron Man‘s theatrical release on May 2nd,” said Hickey. “The domestic box office’s first week of May release schedule includes Iron Man, Made of Honor, Redbelt and Son of Rambow. The last significant video game release, Halo 3, generated over $300 million in sales from its first week in the market. Halo 3 was released on just one platform, the Xbox 360, and attached nearly 50% of the installed base.

GTA IV will be released on both the Xbox 360 and PS3, which have both significantly increased their installed bases since the release of Halo 3. A GTA IV 25% attach rate to a combined Xbox 360 and PS3 installed base at its April 29th release would imply 5.8 million units sold or roughly $360 million in retail sales the first week of the game’s release.”

With a budget around $200 million, not counting considerable marketing costs et al, Iron Man is obviously a huge investment, and thankfully everything we’ve seen and heard from the film thus far is aces. But this showdown will definitely be interesting, and perhaps even set precedent for cinema versus video game pissing matches for years to come.

Discuss: Should Paramount and Marvel be worried? Will you be holed up exploring a vast and violent GTA New York City, too busy watching and rewatching Iron Man, or (I know, it’s crazy) both?

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