Balbulican

Battleship: The Movie

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I read with interest that production of the $200 M. film "Battleship" is underway. It is not, apparently, a sequel to "Battleship Potemkin" (what IS Warren Beatty up to these days, anyway?) or "Battleship Earth" (what IS John Travolta up to these days, anyway?): rather, it is based on Battleship, the Hasbro board game. You know, the one where you sit there and say "J 10", and the other guy says "Miss. C2", and you say "Hit. G 7", and the other guy says "Hit. C3", and you say...well, you remember.

Hollywood has been known to seek inspiration in surprising quarters, and in the few years we have seen films based on Disney theme-park rides, some truly horrible sixties television, obscure Japanese manga, chewing gum trading cards, a restaurant, and an advertising campaign. Films based on games are nothing new - Doom, Mortal Kombat, and Lara Croft all did reasonable box office; and of course Pokemon the Movie holds a special place in all of our hearts.

But at least in games like Doom, people run around, and, like, shoot at stuff and blow shit up. In "Battleship", people sit across from each other and call out numbers on a grid. It's like Bingo, without the the prizes.

Any subject is grist for a true artist's mill, of course, and we shall await the realization of Hasbro's grand creative vision for "Battleship".

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The Warhol Treatment

Open on medium shot of two men, seated, facing each other in a dimply lit room. There is a card table with a Battleship game on the table. No edits: camera remains on wide two-shot for two minutes. Then:

Paul: J 10.

Remain on wide two-shot for a minute.

Mario: Miss. C2.

Remain on wide two-shot for three minutes.

Paul: Hit. J 10.

Mario: You said that already.

Paul: Oh. Uh...G7.

Remain on wide two-shot for two minutes.

Mario: Miss. C3.

(Continues for twelve hours. Score by John Cage, performed by John Cale.)

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The Tarantino Treatment

Open on medium shot of two men, seated, facing each other in a dimly lit warehouse. There is a card table with a Battleship game on the table. No edits: camera remains on wide two-shot for two minutes. Then:

Paul: J 10.

Mario: I can't believe we're f****ng doing this.

Paul: What?

Mario: I said I can't believe we're f****ng doing this.

Paul: F****ng doing what, man?

Mario: Playing f****ng Battleship, man. I can't believe we're playing f****ng battleship. I mean - ANYTHING, man. Cards. Checkers. F****ng cribbage. But f****ng battleship??

Paul: What's that lump in your jacket?

Mario: What lump, man?

Paul: That big rectangular lump. On the right hand side of your jacket.

Mario: (Looks down, confused) WHAT f****ng lump, man?

Paul: Oh, you don't see no lump?

Mario: What you talking about?

Paul: Because I don't see no lump either.

Mario: What the fuck...?

Paul: So I'm thinking, maybe there ain't no lump. And if there's no lump, that probably means that you don't have a f****ng cribbage board in your jacket, is that right?

Mario: Aw, man...

Paul: And if you don't have a cribbage board, and I know I sure as f**k don't have a a cribbage board, then I guess that's why we ain't playing cribbage.

(Medium closeup Mario, lips trembling).

(Medium closeup Paul, imperturbable. He smiles slightly and lights a Red Apple cigarette without breaking eye contact).

(Wide two shot. Hold for several tense frames. Mario sags back in his chair).

Mario: Fuck it. Tell me again about the time you f***ed Ms. PacMan.

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Battleship 3-D Imax: The James Cameron Treatment

Extreme Wide Shot from Helicopter, flying from stern to bow of the Titanica, largest Earth-fleet Battleship patrolling the waters of Kapuskaprica. The shot circles round the bow and zooms slowly in on Commander DeCaprio, face golden in the setting sun, hair streaming back in the wind.

DeCaprio, exultant: I'm King of the Planet!

Cut to Wide shot of Iceberg, out of sight several miles ahead.

Iceberg (quietly, to self): J-10.

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Crossposted from Stageleft Creative Studios.

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This page contains a single entry by Balbulican published on August 22, 2010 9:11 AM.

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