Hollywood Goes Gaming



7:10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10
Starz Cinema

Anyone old enough to remember playing Pong when young might have a mind-set about movies that needs changing.

Welcome to the explanation of that change: an exciting documentary on the way the video game industry has exploded over the decades and is now symbiotic with the movies.

As one interviewee in Starz Cinema's "Hollywood Goes Gaming" puts it: If you have a blockbuster, you have to have a video game right after.

This picture, which gets fast and furious in no time, tells us just why Angelina Jolie is a creature of animation as much as a flesh-and-blood actress. Hollywood product and video games have blended for good. "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is great video game fodder. So is "E.T.," "Super Mario Bros." and many more big moneymakers.

Video games now boast the conceits of good filmmaking. They have cutting-edge production values, including innovative camera angles and fast editing; huge, sweeping musical scores; even grandiose themes. Sound like a recent movie you've seen? That's the kind of mimicry that spells huge audiences and big bucks.

Video games are interactive to boot. The player can choose the way the story goes and can determine its outcome. This documentary from exec producers Gregg Backer, Michael Ruggiero and Christopher Black doesn't shortchange on the excitement. It's a swift ride into the heart of what makes video games and Hollywood blockbusters such great mates.