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Director Sam Balcomb and Nerdist regular Jessica Chobot take to the live-action arena for a short-film based around Nintendo's popular action property, Metroid. The film clocks in at 11 minutes and features some really spiffy special effects.
You can check out the video below called Metroid: The Sky Falls from YouTube channel Rainfall Films.
That ending sequence was a perfect homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It also seemed to show some similarities to the tone of Prometheus. The old grainy film gauze filter actually helps improve the quality of the production, because it makes it look gritty and real.
The whole thing is expertly directed, although the writing could do with a few improvements. Nevertheless, the special effects are most certainly Hollywood tier (maybe even better since it's hard to tell the CGI from the practical effects in some sequences) and the potential scope of the film seemed a lot larger than it seemed like it should be.
There is a minor downside to this short-film and that's probably with the lead, Jessica Chobot. She just didn't scream space bounty hunter to me, and she didn't really seem to take the gravity of her situation seriously. I would have loved to have seen someone like Katie Sackhoff in the role, bringing some maturity and an edge to a space bounty hunter who has been to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and faced some of the most hardened and dangerous aliens known to mankind. In a way, Samus Aran needs to be able to tell a story about her life without saying a word.
Of course, that's some nitpicking on my end with the casting choice. The actual production itself is a great tip of the hat to the Metroid franchise, much more-so than the fan-panned Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Even more than that, the short-film manages to add some depth and intrigue to the story that actually makes me believe that Metroid could make for a great, feature-length space opera.
Previously I was always leery about a film about the series because it seemed to in the weeds, but Balcomb's style matches Nintendo's property perfectly... in my opinion.
There have usually been a lot of off and on talks about Metroid becoming a movie but nothing has ever properly come to fruition. The closest thing we had was a few live-action commercials that sparked a lot of chatter that eventually fizzled over time.
Video game movies are oftentimes tough to project to the big screen if the writer, director and leads don't respect the source material. The cast and crew working on this short-film definitely seem to respect the source material and attempted to tell a short story within the confines of Nintendo's property without camping it up or turning it into a mockery. Then again, we've also had a few Max Payne short-films that showed the same level of dedication and enthusiasm from the directors, but when it came time to do a big-budget Hollywood flick one of the easiest games to translate into a movie turned into a massive pile of crap.
Anyway, if a Metroid movie really does become a reality, maybe the executives should at least give Rainfall Films a look-see before heading to the other bigger budget production studios.