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What’s Next For Board Game Movies?

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"What’s Next For Board Game Movies?"

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Real Steel, otherwise known as Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots: The Movie, is in theaters now. Battleship, otherwise known as “there’s no way this alien navy movie had to justify itself by claiming to be based on Battleship,” is out next year. Transformers already stunk up the joint, not once but three times, and don’t even mention The Smurfs. Obviously, there’s a vogue for toy and board game movies, probably due to Gen-Xers getting a taste of adulthood and concluding “there is no *(&#%*@ way.”

So what other films should we be expecting in the next few years? I’ve got some ideas. You can have these for free.

Mousetrap. In this Saw-style torture porn, a soft-spoken psychopath (Mark Ruffalo) ensnares three studious young women (Olivia Thirlby, Amber Tamblyn, Lily Collins) inside a fiendish device of his own invention. In order to survive, they’ll have to shed their inhibitions to roll, flip, and swing at his command. But what’s the final goal — their liberation? Or some more nefarious plan?

Uno. Uno (Viggo Mortenson) is the protege of mob boss Gianni “Crazy Eights” Gambino (James Gandolfini, DUH). When his friend “Skip” (Giovanni Ribisi) suggests that he could hasten his rise to the top, Uno is dubious — until Skip starts taking matters into his own hands, and Uno’s rivals fall like a pack of cards. But reversals and double-crosses mean Uno doesn’t know who to trust.

Chutes and Ladders. Evangeline (Lena Dunham) is at ease in her suburban life with her much older husband, Perry (Jeff Daniels). But Perry believes he will lose his wife’s interest if he doesn’t keep endlessly climbing — corporate climbing, social climbing, and finally clambering onto the roofs of their subdued exurb in the middle of the night. Will Evangeline be able to convince him that she’s satisfied before he seriously pisses off the neighbors by sliding down their gutters?

Magic 8 Ball. In this emotional and comedic heir to Bridesmaids*, Georgina (Mindy Kaling) is convinced she can clean up her life with the help of a psychic (Rashida Jones). Georgina’s relationships with her boss (Catherine Tate), landlord (Scott Adsit), and ex-boyfriend (Cheyenne Jackson) improve, and she reconciles with her stupid-hot brother (Sendhil Ramamurthy, just because I like to look at him), despite lingering recriminations after their parents’ death. But her best friend Penny (Amy Poehler) doubts the psychic’s abilities and sets out to unmask her. Will her meddling undo everything Georgina has gained? With Alan Cumming as Georgina’s personal trainer.

* This just means “comedy that passes the Bechdel test,” as it will for at least the next 12 years.

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