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Review:Wing Commander

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the avoid-it-like-the-plague dept.

Movies 306

Every now and then Hollywood really amazes me. They produce a complete bomb. Not Insurrection bad (you guys already know what I felt about that cespool), but Insurrection had had the whole legacy of Star Trek to embaress... Wing Commander only had a few awesome video games (the latter of which already featured bad acting and a cheesy plot). Hit the link to read my review. Or save yourself the time and just don't bother reading the review or seeing the movie.Never one to miss a Sci-Fi blockbuster, I lined up opening night despite hearing very little positive feedback about the movie. I did know the rumors that the Prequel Trailer B would probably be shown (it was: it was amazing. Almost worth the admission to the movie) so I figured I'd drop the cash and see the trailer and catch the movie as well.

Chris Roberts created a really innovative video game way back when. It was fun, entertaining, and had great graphics and a plot that was mildly entertaining. Sure, I only had 1 meg of RAM and a 286 at the time, so I didn't get to see the superfluous animation in the cockpit. And I didn't have a sound card, so I missed out on the voice samples that really made the game fly. But it was a fun game, and I played through it. Sometimes with cheats, and sometimes without. But without fail, the first thing I would do is kill my wingman.

The reason was simple: they were annoying. They had little messages that would bother you. And they would occasionally kill Kilrathi. A Kilrathi that Paladin or Angel or Maniac killed was one less that I could kill. Killing my wingman made my flight more fun, less interupted, and gave me a higher score.

You can't kill your wingman in the movie. But you'll want to. All of them. Christopher Blair, Maniac, Angel. You'll want all of them dead. But only some of them die. The cheesy acting is easily on par with the traditionally terrible sci-fi fare. The writing is bad. The jokes are bad. Many of the FX are amazing, but I spent most of my time staring in slackjawed amazement at the terrible acting and not marvelling at the really excellent asteroids, and the better-than-average space ships.

The kilrathi are poorly handled. Shot usually in green (very reminiscent of the viewscreen from the games) surrounded in fog. They don't look good. They look like big rubber suits. I mean, in the game, Hobbes was a badass. That's a Kilrathi. Not these cheesy looking big dudes in crappy suits. The subtitles are cleverly handled (they are shown in their native symbolic language, which is overwritten in English. I actually kinda dug that).

Whats wrong with the flick? It feals like MTV. The now-standard intense credits (which were probably the most interesting part of the movie) are quite raw. The charachters are really extreme- especially Maniac (who really is well done. You'll him with a passion. Probably the only believable charachter in the movie, although not after he falls and love and goes from somewhat believable jerk to completely fake guy-in-love). But so many scenes are designed raise our sympathy for charachters, but the acting is so flat that I just wanted to smack everyone.

Hmmm... so great visuals, bad acting. Its pretty much like all sci fi I guess. Not as campy as Lost in Space. LIS knew it was camp. Wing Commander thinks its cool. It just isn't. I'm glad I saw the prequel trailer.

And Chris: I loved your games. Make more. Maybe a Linux Port? I never got to play WC4. Make another movie too, but lose the pretense of being "cool". Just create a fun and interesting universe. Thats what made your games work. Porn Stars and Mark Hamil were just icing on the cake.

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Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981492)

Proofread your articles! You left out key words from a couple sentences.

Go back to school, Rob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981493)

"Superfluous animation?"


Wasn't the animation the core of the game? I trust you mean fluid....or super-fluid....or something....

It wasn't *that* bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981494)

It was good that you saw it with 6 guys? How does that help...

In Agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981495)

Saw Wing Commander last night, mostly because of the trailer #2 rumors, and I'd have to agree. We made fun of two guys who left right after the trailer, but after watching the movie, I wonder if they really made the better choice.

Jagged_Edge (from work and forgot my password) :)

Amazing FX????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981496)

OK, some of the effects were cool, but every time the fighters would fire, it sounded like they were shooting machine guns.

Blah blah blah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981497)

-funroll-loops -pedantic

Blah blah blah blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981498)

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Best Game to Movie Conversion Ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981499)

No, not WC. Not Mortal Kombat(s) (all of which have cool soundtracks). No, the best cinematic translation of a video game is Super Mario Brothers.

Yeah, it flopped at the theater because smart people thought it was for stupid people and stupid people didn't get it. But with Dennis Hopper and and John Leguizamo to back up a decently humorous storyline that had little to nothing to do with the actual games, it was really an entertaining comedy.

The fighters In WC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981500)

Is it just me or did the Confed fighters look too much like the Japanese planes from World War II???

Par for the course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981501)

On par with Starship Troopers? I doubt it.

Starship Troopers was so bad it was a piece of art. Future generations should put it on a pedestal and gawk.

The only thing better than seeing Starship Troopers is seeing Starship Troopers on a college campus with 900 students. Now that's entertainment!

Sure, take the easy way out and bash Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981503)

I liked insurrection. So could you be wrong about this movie too? BTW, while you're getting fancy with /. - I want to change my Nick, but can't. Why not let me keep the same user number but change the nick?

Make it so, Rob

Go back to school, Rob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981504)

I believe he's referring to the supercool little hand that moved the ship's joystick with your actions. Completely missing from the game unless you had expanded memory.

(And other little stuff.)

This only refers to the original Wing Commander game. All the ones after that really didn't care about systems that weren't top of the line.


Hot guys in the flic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981505)

OK, so I'm gay - too bad. The guys were hot, and the story line was great. Who cares that the action wasn't as intense as Starship Troopers, the graphics were simply amazing. Guess that's getting to be the par nowdays though.

it asnt THAT bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981506)

i saw it at like 10 am so it got in for only 4$

it was worth that. after all ive rented REALLY bad movies for the same amount. but oh well. i defienlly think that the trailer was better than the movie. which is just sad. i thought wingcommander 3 was a decent movie/game. then they make this shit? what happened to charetor DEVELOPMENT. in this short time, blair goes from uknown to us to this last of his race superpilet. it isnt a slow transition, it jsut kinda happens. i dont know. maybe if they gave a little more explanations, and made it longer. the endign was HORRIBLE. i mean did the war end there? did it go on? WHAT POEPLE? what they should have done is just focused on one squadren and not tried to have them cuase the tide of war to turn so drasticly. i mean they should have taken a little bit of of the lives of poeple on the fron line. and maybe introduced history of the war in slowly through breifings, secret plots, idonno. maybe that would have made the movie too long. and why didnt they get mark hammel back? he kicked ass in the games.

oh well. it had entire too many golden parachutes in it to be decent. i can forgive bad acting but not a bad script

Ok for 4 bucks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981507)

Was not as good as Starship Troopers, (which was far from a classic) However with todays options -
I would rather watch a bad sci-fi/space flick than any of the other boring crap that was available.....


Vga history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981508)

I think that King's Quest V was the first commercial VGA game. Can someone confirm this?

Damn sci-fi aliens - It's alien discrimination!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981509)

Just because they use a stupid green glow to illuminate their ship you think that should be bathed it Megawatt Halogens. Let aliens be aliens.
Besides that, you have to keep it dark in movies like this so you don't see the RUBBER SUITS - DUH!!


Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981510)

you know it, foo!

Mitchel and Ebert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981511)

In todays Mitchel and Ebert(Mitchel being Siskel's replacement, real cool guy, has spot on NPR) gave it two thumbs down, way down.

Blah blah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981512)

Thank you, that was hilarious !

special effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981513)

I'd like to know how the special effect is accomplished when there is a freeze frame, and the camera pans around the frozen scene, and then action resumes. Is it some kind of setup with several cameras filming from different perspectives and then using some kind of editing tool splicing all that together? or what?

WC2 was the best. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981514)

damn straight, civ was good as hell. It's fun to save before every battle, so that a bunch of pillagers can beat the crap out of a whole army by using their amazing powers of SDL (sheer dumb luck).

Par for the course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981515)

I think that duckpins is amazing for its budget. Is that pretty much what WC is like?

More movie reviews! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981516)

At least reviews of movies with "Geek appeal" like WC supposedly had. I really appreciate knowing which movies to avoid. The review tells part of the story, the comments tell the rest.

special effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981517)

search the slashdot archives... this effect was discussed about a month ago.

Don't forget the "Alien" movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981518)

Dark, no real lighting, occaisional colored glow. And those were _human_ ships.
Actually, I have a theory. The reason that the aliens have darker ships is because they're more energy-use concious than humans. However, to avoid bumping into things, they have special holographic lighting systems, and all of the ships surfaces are covered in special holographic materials. The lighting systems track eye positions and only send out light at angles so that the rays will bounce directly to the ship occupants eyes. So, from the aliens point of view, they're actually walking around in a pleasantly lit spacecraft.
It's either that, or, like the other guy said, it's so you can't see the rubber suits. I like my theory better though.

Couldn't agree more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981519)

Complete crap. But the SW trailer was FANTASTIC...

One time I blew a wad on my crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981520)

No joke, --

Blah blah blah blah blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981521)

This is fun :)

B Movie?? Ummm yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981522)

You are absolutely incorrect.

Chris Roberts Cameo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981523)

Who was he in the movie?

Wing Commander is *mY* Oscar pick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981524)

Save your pennies gents - Wing Commander is .0001% better than Space Truckers and that's only because it doesn't feature Debie Mazar in a lead role. Rob nailed it on his take of the Kilrathi - you can almost just *see* the SFX guys shopping at Spencer's for the kitty suits. Chris Roberts directs a movie? Hell, judging this film I don't think Roberts could direct traffic.

Oh, and did you know C3PO is really named Cepo? He's just l33t - sheesh, jokes on me.

Your Favorite Inhalant,

Hey! That was me. I want my bit of sneaker back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981525)

Sorry. I am in a humorous mood.

movies suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981526)

Ned Divine was very good. As Good as It Gets was fair. The Truman Show was good (but much too short). Want to go see Life Is Beautiful.

Other than that it has been a long dry spell. Unf. with the studios marketing everything toward teenagers I'm afraid that things will only get worse. That's why PBS was invented.

Par for the course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981527)

Yeah, Starship Troopers was hilarous, a volontary caricature of sci-fi/war films as well as teen-movies (especially the beginning in school). I can't imagine how some people were stupid enough to take the film seriously. I guess some people don't have that much sense of humor...

B Movie?? Ummm yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981528)

They had a budget of liek 14 million dollars. Wing Commander 4 the game had like a 11 million dollar budget.

It wasn't *that* bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981529)

Well there was the mandatory combined bonanza syndrome/goose scene(s). Cliche :)

If only it were Open Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981530)

It would have been a much better movie.

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981531)

That was probably the best movie I have ever seen... Except for those damned trailers at the beginning. Star Wars is old. Let it go Lucas!

If only it were Open Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981532)

Imagine the kick-ass beowulf cluster you could make with this movie!

Chris Roberts Cameo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981533)

He was the Broadsword pilot who picked up Blair and said "Welcome to Sol Sector, sir".

The fighters In WC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981534)

I think it was intentional, to have a World War II look. The Rapiers were actually cannabilized British Aerospace Lightnings.

Repetitive Kilrathi Death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981535)

I thought that sort of thing went out with Battlestar Galactica. You know....(from the right) BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! KABOOM! (from the left) BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! KABOOM!

Sheez Louweeze!

Go back to school, Rob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981536)

I noticed that too.. and let me add that your response was *perfect*

"super-fluid or something" hehahahah

how about melifluous?

movies suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981537)

I don't agree - There have been some really good movies lately - If you haven't seen them, try these: (in no real order)

-Something About Mary
-Life is Beautiful
-The Truman Show
-Austin Powers
-The Ice Storm
-Everyone says I love you
-Saving Private Ryan
-Shakespeare in Love

Add more if you can think of any

Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981538)

He's taking writing lessons from Katz.

Original Privateer was the best game ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1981539)

I had straight A's at midterm when one of my buddies loaned me Privateer. Finished the quarter with a 2.6. Now that's a good game.

special effect (1)

drendite (3) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981649)

Ok, I remember reading a big thread about this special effect SOMEWHERE. (Ask Slashdot?) Basically, you put a whole bunch of cameras in a line/circle, and they all take a picture at the same time. You use computers or other editing effects to make it seem like it's just one camera moving around.

Make sense?

Sure, take the easy way out and bash Star Trek (1)

ximenes (10) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981650)

Ah, but do you have such a desireable number as I? Drool before my 10!

My review: (1)

John Campbell (559) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981655)

The last Wing Commander game was a better movie than the Wing Commander movie was. It had a better plot, better action sequences, and better actors. (I mean, Malcolm MacDowell, consummate bad-guy, as Admiral Tolwyn, consummate bad-guy, instead of... er... some old guy. And Mark Hamill, retired Jedi starfighter pilot, as Colonel Blair, retired Confed starfighter pilot, instead of... er... some young guy.)

To start with, they should have cut about half of the sub-plots, starting with all the "Pilgrims" BS. All the extraneous sub-plots left them too short on time to develop the main plot, which led to the main plot being very jerky and forced, with a lot of explaining why they're doing things rather than just showing it, because the time they should've spent showing they spent having Commander whatshisname reading his lines about how Pilgrims are bad.

Which brings us to the second point... the acting. If you can call it that. The secondary characters (the Pilgrim-hating exec leading the list) were truly awful, the main characters merely cliched. The only bright spots were Maniac (and I never thought I'd say anything positive about Maniac), who played a truly believable asshole for most of the movie, and Angel's very first scene, where she came up to Blair and started firing questions at him. Her role went downhill after that, but for a moment I recognized the Angel from the game - always the technical flier, always studying the specs and the odds.

And then there was Blair's response, which brings us to the real problem with the movie. Blair was in it. The problem with that wasn't even the actor playing Blair, though he wasn't terribly good. The problem was that the part was there. Having Angel, Paladin, Maniac - all the old faces - in the movie is one thing. But Blair is something else, because he wasn't just another of the old familiar faces from the game. To all us Wing Commander veterans, Blair is us. We sat in his starfighter cockpit, we wore his uniform, we answered to his name. I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the audience who measured the Blair in the movie up against my own performance in that role, and found him wanting.

Angel shoots a couple of questions at him, he comes back with a couple of lines of macho BS. Meanwhile, my mental filing system is popping out the correct answers, which I learned the hard way in the cockpit of a Hornet. You got two Dralthi on your six? Punch the afterburners, buy yourself some range, then turn and bring them into your firing cone. Head on at them, dodging fire, until they break, then pick one and dog his tail until he goes up. After that, his buddy's easy meat.

His answer to the other question happened to be correct, of course (So there are six Kilrathi lying in ambush... who cares? Put me in a Rapier (or anything but a Scimitar, actually) and I'm not scared of six Kilrathi anything. I've flown missions where I've killed five times that many, solo, because my wingman ran screaming for home halfway through the first encounter.), but he didn't deliver it as a guy who knew that he was capable of taking six Kilrathi. He delivered it as an inexperienced macho twit trying to impress a lady... and the Angel from the game wouldn't have been impressed.

It might have been possible to do the Blair role right, but it would have taken a damn good actor, and some damn good flying, and it still would've left a lot of old Wing Commander hands unhappy with it because they didn't recognize themselves in it.

Speaking of flying... where the hell was it? Wing Commander was a game about the epic space battle between the Terrans and the Kilrathi (and I'm not even going to mention the giant toads they had standing in for the real Kilrathi), so where was all the epic space battling? They had one real dogfight in the entire movie, and even that one was neither very good or very long. It seemed to exist mostly as a vehicle for bringing on Maniac's personal crisis (And, guys, Maniac doesn't -get- personal crises. Maniac -gives- them.).

And then there were the fighters. The entire game revolved around the fighters. Anyone who's played the game knows what a Rapier looks like. And, sorry, it doesn't look like a mutant Zero with a huge gatling gun for a nose. The Tiger's Claw in the movie didn't look very much like the 'Claw I used to land on, either. The Kilrathi fighters (I assume they were supposed to be Dralthi) weren't too bad (in the few shots they actually showed up in), but their capitol ships didn't look much like the ones I used to hunt, either.

And they played the Star Wars trailer immediately before the movie. It got a standing ovation. The contrast just made the movie worse.

One final comment, then I'll shut up: One of my friends pointed out that the ending left things open for a sequel. I don't know whether to be terrified that they might make one, or to hope that it might give them a chance to redeem themselves.

Horrible WC experience (1)

Black Wolf (575) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981660)

The Star Wars trailer was indeed the the first one, and that combined w/the opening sequence and first few minutes of the actual movie were the only thing worth seeing...at least I only paid $4.25 to get in.

Gravity (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981661)

I find it odd how these space movies continually mess up their portrayal of zero gravity. It was especially humorous when they pushed Rosie's crashed ship off the "edge" of the landing area, and it fell off the edge. Where did it "fall" to in zero gravity? Why didn't it just float off?

Wing Commander was the WORST movie I have seen... (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981663)

Posted by DaveCBio:

in a LONG while. The plot was beyond cliched, the acting was so cardboard they might be able to recycle the film and make toilet paper (which would be the best use of this movie). After a whole group of us from work came back from seeing it we sat down and were asked if we could come up with one good thing from the movie. After a minute of silence one of my workmates said, "The explosions were cool.". So, the legacy of a series of good video games is now a flat, lifeless, pathetic film.

P.S. - The trailer was worth thr price of admission.

P.P.S. - The Kilrathi in the games looked 100 times better and that is not hyperbole.

B Movie?? Ummm no... (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981664)

Posted by DaveCBio:

This was intended for the big screen from square one. Read the numerous articles in Wired, PC Gamer and other game magazines that talked about it. Not a single one ever mentioned it being a straight to video production. It's easy to tell by the CG that is was meant for theatres. It's not CG's fault that the acting and, what we can loosely call, the plot was more cliche ridden than a made for TV movie about computer hackers.

P.S. - Did anyone else feel like they were watching a high school production of Das Boot with a large FX budget?

You Can Tell.... (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981665)

Posted by Pushkin:

By the crapy commercial, or rather the crappy acting in the hastily pasted together commercial; that this movie is a piece of steaming hot feces. I think i'd rather go watch Prince of Space WITHOUT the help of the MST3k crew than even think about wasting 7.50 (or 9.00 in NY) for this celluliod tripe.

even the fans won't care (1)

Wan (1184) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981670)

I think it's pretty pathetic trying to make a movie out of a game franchise whose heydays were like 8 years ago.

Who cares now? I mean, how many people are going to recognize and smile at the broken fuse box in the cockpit that looks just like in the game? or How about that corny cameo by Chris Roberts?

I was a big fan of the game but I couldn't care less about those in-jokes - not after getting assaulted with "facts" like if you make too much noise in space, your enemy can hear you. Yes, it's true, I didn't make this up, guys..

I'm so glad I didn't drag anyone with me to see this crap...they'd demand me to be their slave for a week!

Best Game to Movie Conversion Ever! (1)

the COW OF DOOM (tm) (1531) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981675)

oh totally. although i have this theory that all movies with john leguizamo are kinda like that.. q.v. The Pest.

plus the part where they're talking about the fact that they're Luigi Mario and Mario Mario.. heh

Go back to Wing Commander, AC (1)

Iffy Bonzoolie (1621) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981677)

In the original Wing Commander, if you had enough expanded memory, it had different explosions, and more animations, and more wreckage, and whatnot...

I had a 286, so I couldn't get expanded memory until I got a 386, at least, not without constricting my conventional memory so much the game wouldn't run. I spent so much time looking for extended->expanded converters that took less memory, and this and that, trying to get my extended memory to work with WC, but it never happened.

Hot guys in the flic (1)

Fandango (2618) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981682)

I've got only one thing to say to that: no co-ed shower scene! Now *that* made Starship Troopers a great movie. :)


Don't forget the "Alien" movies (1)

Fandango (2618) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981683)

Holographic lighting systems? You mean like Bill Gates' house?


Everyone was either Scottish or English... (1)

Fandango (2618) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981684)

Yeah, wasn't that a French Canadian accent the Commodore had?


even the fans won't care (1)

Fandango (2618) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981685)

Umm, if you release too much EMF into space, your enemy *could* detect you. Electromagnetic energy, unlike sound, travels through a vacuum. So "running silent" (metaphorically speaking) makes perfect sense from a physics standpoint.


*Whew* Thanks Rob. (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981688)

I was quite seriously on my way out the door to see WC when I decided to check slashdot again.

As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

MSt3K (1)

RattRigg (4253) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981695)

Its a shame that MST3K is being cancelled. I get the feeling that Wing Commander is a nmovie they could really work with.

Horrible WC experience (1)

Tack (4642) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981697)

Well, I knew WC would suck. But I went mostly to see the Star Wars trailer. So we got a bit of a late start, but decided to stop off at the store to buy some pop (saves us the $12347892 of movie theater pop). Running even later because of that, we hit a damn train on the way there. We could have beat the train except some reject in front of us decided he would drive half the speed limit.

So we waited through the train and floored it to the theater. When we got there, the film was already rolling. We sat through two trailers, none of which were of Star Wars. Then the movie started. Damn! Did we miss the prequil trailer?! Either we missed it, or they didn't play it. I figured we should have just left then.

So the opening credits started rolling. I'm thinking, this looks cheesy. Then there was this really impressive shot in space with asteroids. For about 10 seconds, the movie looked good. And then the acting started. It took me about 5 seconds to realize right away that this was a B-movie. It had B-movie written all over it.

This was supposed to take place 600 years in the future. Did you see the equipment and technology they were using? It looked like Star Trek:TOS. Pathetic.

What did it for me was the Kilrathi. I mean, it was so bad it was actually funny. I chuckled at least a dozen times because of have corny it was. I think they used the same cut for each Kilrathi death. It looked like one of those lifesize cardboard cutouts that was just knocked over. I'm not exaggerating either!

Taco liked the alien subtitles ... I thought that was corny too. I mean, alien subtitles. Think about that -- what's the point?

The game had better special effects than the movie did. The movie is worth seeing for a) the prequil trailer, and b) a good laugh. If you're expecting a good sci-fi movie with decent fx, don't waste your time.


It wasn't *that* bad (0)

sinnergy (4787) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981700)

I mean, it could have been worse. It might have helped that I was watching it with 6 other guys. MiSTing it wasn't that hard, either... a few choice lines and numerous opportunities to take jabs at it. Good stuff. :)

Another Anonymous Coward Embarrases his Family (1)

Uche (6766) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981707)

Now we all know who really needs to go back to school: to re-take reading comprehension 101.

Good review, Rob: saves me the jing. Then again, seeing Prequel Trailer B on the big screen is tempting, not to mention the memories: I beat WC I and II without cheats, which took a while, and I too remember being annoyed by most wingmen, except the brilliant Hobbes. I never bothered with the latter 2 WCs. I heard about all the cinematic tripe they were concocting, and begged off.


Ok, the movie sucked, but Saffron Burrows is HOT! (1)

ragnarok (6947) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981709)

Well, the movie sucked. I loved it when they were hiding the ship and everyone had to be real quiet so the enemy ships didn't hear them... huh?

But, on the plus side, Saffron Burrows, who plays Angel, was imho incredibly hot.

(pissed cuz I got there too late for the star wars trailer...)

Bigotry (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981712)

If I see one more sci-fi movie that manages to sneak in some moral statement about bigotry edgewise, I'm going to vomit. Pilgrims my ass. It's about time the industry moved on to any topic that hasn't been beaten to death.

And throw scientific realism out the window. We can now fly around gravitational singularities, and plot courses through hyperspace with our brains. Anyone with a brain would program a computer to do it. A computer can do it faster.

*sigh* But the special effects were good.

Right On, Rob! (1)

LabRat (8054) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981713)

I just finished posting a similar, if abbreviated, view on the IMDB. The movie sucked. I really wanted to like it...but just couldn't. But like Rob said, seeing the trailer on the big screen was almost worth the money by itself, so I didn't feel *too* cheated.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah (1)

prijks (9686) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981720)

yes it is... chances are tho, that someone will do this at the same time as me. let's see...

OH YES IT WAS!!! (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981725)

Even though I'd seen the Phantom Menace trailer like 20x on quicktime, I found myself standing in front of a theater on Friday thinking "What the hell.."

The trailer was good. Ever notice how sometimes CG shots look a little grainy? The whole trailer had that grainy look that you couldn't really see in Quicktime. I hope the whole film isn't like this!

Then Wing Commander started.

This is the biggest piece of shit I've seen this year. It makes Lost In Space look like 2001.

After about 15 minutes, most of the audience was laughing at it and yelling lines at the screen.

How much more explicitly can I warn you all: It was a huge tub of crap-- from the star wars ripoffs ("I fought with your father in the XXXX wars") to the star trek rip offs ("Half-breed!" they call the half-human, half-"Pilgrim" hero) to the cheesy, flat acting, & horrible generic sets... The editing was INEXCUSABLE. The CG special effects were ok technically I suppose, but not outstanding and mostly consisted of the same type of shot over and over again-- the kind you're used to seeing on Deep Space 9. (If I see another zoom-from-a-spaceship-into-a-window shot again I'll kill myself. This movie does it like six times)

You should see the submarine-like space fights-- no, they're not "proton torpedoes" They're ACTUAL spece torpedos and they suck!!! Maybe they're from the game, but in the film the sub thing looks ridiculous, esp. when the enemy is "pinging" at them and they all have to be quiet so that they can't be found while they're hiding in a crater.

Ugh. After seeing this film I had a headache that lasted three hours. This film ruined my Friday night. The old Buck Rogers & Battlestar Galacticas on TV are more dramatic and had more interesting plot and characters than this.

Oh, and there's a crazy French guy in this film, who for some reason has to have his face two feet from the camera lens in every shot.

You've now been warned. Proceed at your own risk.

This is funny... (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981726)

The official wing commander [wcmovie.com] site links to reviews of the film, including this one [cinescape.com] which begins as follows:

Remember that scene in A Clockwork Orange where the government tried to modify Alex's brutal behavior by forcing him to watch those ultra-violent film reels? It's possible that a similar approach could deter computer or video game designers from directing movies--just make them watch the extremely lame Wing Commander, an embarrassing effort from first-time helmer Chris Roberts, the same man who created the CD-ROM on which the film is based.

This is the ONLY actual review of the film (the other articles are about the film coming out...)

If nothing else, THIS outta tell you something!!!

Everyone was either Scottish or English... (1)

krafter (10695) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981727)

What I thought was pretty funny/ironic was that the actor, Jürgen Prochnow, that played Commander Gerald, the guy that started out as the second in command of the ship, is also the actor that played the captain of the U-boat in Das Boat. You can check for yourself by looking at The internet movie database [imdb.com] and search on either movie.

Every time he was giving orders all I could think of was Das Boat, which is a great movie. This made the movie somewhat bareable.

WC 4... (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981738)

From what I've read and been told, you apparently didn't really miss very much by not getting to play WC4. Even Mark Hamil couldn't save it (or so I'm told).

WC3 rocked very very much, though. Wish they'd based the movie on that, using the same actors...

It's funny... (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981739)

...but as I've seen in IMDB's "user comments" area, and now here, no matter how crap a movie is, there will be some (sometimes a lot) of "I liked it" and "it wasn't that bad" reviews...and no matter how awesome a movie is, there will always be somebody yelling SUCK!!!

Someone should come up with a formula relating the number of each type of review to the other to figure out just how good movies really are... :)

Everyone was either Scottish or English... (1)

Gog_Magog (14833) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981740)

Everyone was either Scottish or English, with a few exceptions. :-)

Was this a British film? It seems to have gone overboard on the "Naval-Submarine" imagry. In the US, our Space Ships seem to be more Pilot-Airforce related, while this movie was all about Submarines, torpedoes, and such. I felt like I was watching a really bad WWII sub flick.

P.S. Why in God's Name did they make cool computer animation, but make the Kilrathi out of cheesy foam rubber?

why not enjoy a movie for a change (1)

oracleofbargth (16602) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981750)

it seems like everything i've read about this movie has been knocking on it pretty hard. I watched it, and enjoyed it. some of the acting may have been mediocre, and they should have spent more on the kilrathi, but it was a decent movie over all.

remember, the bad parts just give you a chance to practice imitating tom servo. (mst3k)

Par for the course? (1)

dedalus (16766) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981751)

A friend and I "went for the trailer, stayed for the movie" last night, and really, it wasn't *that* bad. When people ask how it was, I tell them it was about on par with Starship Troopers. Lots of great CG, a badly translated plot, and a mediocre cast. Which is what I expected - I can't say I left the theatre disappointed, because what I saw is about what I expected.

I'll admit I was disappointed with the Kilrathi as well - they're supposed to be cat-like, which implies a certain feline grace. The aliens in the movie reminded me more of hairy frogs.

As movies based on computer games go, it was pretty good, especially given the budget (heck, for any movie it was amazing given the budget!).

Damn sci-fi aliens (1)

SpaFF (18764) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981764)

Why is it that alien ships are always dark with no lighting except for a feint greenish glow? I mean come on, they need to see too. And why is it that they always speak with this deep "pig sounding" dialect. You figure one of these movies would finally make some aliens that had somewhat human living environments and speech patterns.

man funk that


me and my 3 friends made up about half of the audience on opening night...it was funny though after the star wars trailer some guy got up and said he pissed in his pants

Yes! Go Civ!! (1)

SeanNi (18947) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981765)

Finally! Other people who think Civ kicked the tar out of CivII!

Oh yeah, I loved beating the crap out of mech. inf's using militias by the SDL method!!
- Sean

B Movie (1)

Stalke (20083) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981770)

A lot of people don't know that this is actually a B-movie. It was meant to be straight to video. But then one of the actors was in a big movie and they decided to try and scrape a little of the credit from that movie. Then star wars was comeing out so they wanted to get more of another movies hype. I like what one review said, it was like Starship troopers except not as creative.

Here's some advice. Avoid movies who's trailers have more shots of total cg (without any people in it) that shots with people (some of these shots might include cg). The one and only time I've seen the trailer for this movie it reminded me of Lost in Space. Way to much cg for a trailer = 1 big peice of (sensored for viewer discression).


B Movie?? Ummm yes (1)

Stalke (20083) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981771)

The decession to turn it into a theatre movie was done during production. At that point the scripting and characters stayed the same but their budget increased because it was going to the theatres. How do you turn a B-movie into a theatre movie. Right, you add special effects. Notice how the actors were proabably all paid for cheaply, the sets were paid for cheaply, but not that they have money, they have cool special effects..

It wasn't a Sci-fi.. (1)

Tarnar (20289) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981772)

It was a WW2 movie. Straight and simple. Every aspect of it was, from the way the ships looked and felt to the basic plot itself (Diversion, interception, stolen intelligence). And for that, I enjoyed it.

The classic age of war, and it was very well recaptured. As someone sad earlier in these comments, it was a B movie. The actors, the plot, everything. It was a fun B movie too, cliched and WW2-all-over-again. It's that second genre of Sci-Fi, not like the Star Treks, one where technology and the future in space is all spit-and-polish.

I'd have to say that if you're after another look at sci-fi from another perspective or if you have an interest in the way war was 55 years ago, this is a movie to see.

(And incidently, the trailer was worth the admission anyway)

WC2 was the best. (1)

x mani x (21412) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981773)

WC1 was definately cool, but WC2 was when the game really shined. It was one of the first games to have a truly awesome cinematic intro. Thinking about how much fun I had with the first two WC's gives me goose bumps =)

Other cool games from sorta-way-back (i guess i mean early vga games):

-A-10 Tank Killer
-King's Quest V
-RISE OF THE DRAGON --- play this!!! makes blade runner pathetic
-Battle Chess II
-Golden Axe
-Stellar 7
-4x4 racing(?) : kinda isometric view with tiny trucks, you get to build them up as you win $, and you buy speed boosters called "nitros"... what's the name of this game?
-maniac mansion 2

what other games should be added to this list?

Vga history (1)

x mani x (21412) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981774)

i remember access entertainment (maker of cool looking games like crime wave and mean streets) were making vga games way back. king's quest V was definately not the first vga game (even WC was vga and was released at least a couple years before KQV). one thing i do remember, though, is that KQV was the first game to extensively use digitized paintings as backdrops. graphically it was way ahead of its time, and it pretty much blew everyone away when released.

the worst part about this movie... (1)

Marooned (21804) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981776)

was not the acting (even though it did seem a bit mtv'ish...)
not the plotline (standard sci-fi "we are humans ergo we kick everyone's ass!!")
not even the inspirational music (ala independence day)

it was these stupid teeny-boppers sitting in the theater oohing and ahhing every time freddy prince jr. was on the screen.. and throwing sh*t all over the place (one bit of sneakers or something hit me on the head, and left me with a headache through most of the movie); oh and lets not forget the constant talking and giggleing and other sort of teeny-bopper behaviour 10-14 year olds like to engage in..
the movie could've been better, but it was worth the eight bucks (the trailer being the best part of course).. maybe on a second viewing (when it comes to cable) i'll enjoy it more..

Das Boot, Great Movie (1)

Mechano (21811) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981777)

Rent Das Boot; from what I've read Wing Commander is based on the WWII submarine movie.

Sonar doesn't work in space apparently...

movies suck (1)

[Huntsman] (24266) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981781)

haven't seen a decent movie in quite a while... maybe something about mary? that was funny.. i think "as good as it gets" was the only other decent movie in about 2 years :\

I am psychic... (1)

Dr.Claw (78885) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981789)

For further elaborations visit my comment on the Feb 9th Wing Commander Article where I psychicly predicted it would suck...

nonono, the original WC Privater was the best (1)

Dr.Claw (78885) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981790)

I must admit WC 2 was really cool, but Privater was AWESOME, I mean you had so much more freedom, you could go kill shit whenever you wanted, buy cooler stuff, etc. I did like the WC2 intro tho.. I was so young, I was like "Look, its mouth is moving... AND WORDS ARE COMING OUT!!!! This beats the pants off NINTENDO!!!" Tho D00M still wins in my book all-round.

WC2 was the best. (1)

xHost (93751) | more than 15 years ago | (#1981792)

I think your talking about Ivan "ironman" Stewarts Offroad Racing ... I think I still have that on a 51/4 floppy somewhere : )

Screw all those games, the original Civ is and will always be the best game of all time !!!!!!
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