Movies and games enjoy a curious relationship. Video games have inspired movies and vice versa, and real-life sports matches have helped produce some of Hollywood’s most inspirational big-screen stories. But not to be dismissed are board and card games. After all, there are so many different variations; we’ve seen everything from a murder-mystery in Clue, fantasy-adventure in Dungeons and Dragons, all-out action in Battleship, and horror in Ouija. Let’s have a look at how movies have been inspired by our love of more traditional gameplay.
“Gathering to play board game” (CC BY 2.0) by daveynin
Rounders arrived on the cusp of poker’s dramatic rise in popularity thanks to the internet’s numerous platforms and the prevalence of tournaments on TV. Still favored as one of the best movies about Texas Hold’em thanks to its dramatic in-game action and the performances of Matt Damon, Edward Norton and John Malkovich, director John Dahl’s effort still resonates as poker remains a predominant feature of the online casino. Rounders’ focus on Texas Hold’em, the internet’s biggest poker format, is another reason why it’s recognized as one of the game’s best big-screen outings.
Increased accessibility since Rounders came out in 1998 has driven competition with sites aiming to take advantage of poker’s spike in popularity, so there are plenty of online casinos to choose from each offering different kinds of welcome bonuses. Having a tool such as a Bonus Finder to find the best deals saves all the legwork and ensures customers get the best value for their money.
For younger viewers, Jumanji is a film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and an old video game console. But cast your mind back a few years to the Robin Williams version and this movie was about a magical board game. One of the most entertaining films to be inspired in this way (in this case, a fictional game), Jumanji is a wonderfully warm-hearted and funny fish out of water adventure.
Blackjack, the card game which pits the player against the house, is a popular casino game and one that famously appears in James Bond from time to time. But in the film 21, we see the true story of a group of MIT card counting blackjack players who use memory, strategy and analytical skill to anticipate cards and influence the outcome of the game. It’s an eye-opening drama.
“Poker!” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Viri G
One of the most delightful comedies of the 1980s, Clue takes its inspiration from the murder-mystery board game Cluedo to tell us “whodunit” after Mr Boddy turns up dead. The cast – each taking the names of the characters from the game – have a comic energy that dazzles. The combination of the game’s investigative thrills and assortment of colorful characters is perfectly captured by British director Jonathan Lynn who has shown throughout his career a penchant for ensemble comedy. Tim Curry, as the Butler, is the stand out though; a distinctive sharp-toothed deviousness cutting through a lovable, manic exuberance.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The Harry Potter films thrilled multiple generations with millennials growing up alongside their heroes on screen. Throughout the films we see an assortment of games played amongst the major characters but it’s the oversized chess battle in Sorcerer’s Stone that’s worth a mention here as Harry, Hermione and Ron must win the game in order to prevent sinister teacher Quirinus Quirrell from stealing the Philosopher’s Stone and being able to provide Lord Voldemort with a potion that grants immortality.
It isn’t all console game adaptations and sports matches, board games like Clue do and chess, and card games like poker and blackjack, have also had an impact on the movies.