Mike Binder's Reign Over Mehas an unexpected co-star -- or, rather, theme -- as Adam Sandler's grief-stricken Charlie Fineman retreats from grief into a world of pop-culture trivialities -- live shows, iPod-as-narcotic listening habits and a near-obsession with the video game Shadow of the Colossus. Watching Reign Over Me, I thought it was a neat bit of corporate synergy -- Columbia Pictures released Reign, while Shadow is a Sony PS2 game -- but it also worked on a nice symbolic level as well. Turns out that while the corporate synergy is a coincidence, the symbolism isn't.
In an article that serves as a brief demonstration of how permeable the walls between movies and video games are becoming -- on both a creative and corporate level -- the gaming website Koatku has a terrific piece up explaining how gamer and friend-of-Binder Jeremy Roush not only brought Shadow of the Colossus to Binder's attention as a game with thematic links to Reign Over Me's ideas, but also taught Sandler and Cheadle to play for the movie. The piece also contains an interesting theory about why comic books make it as movie references and video games don't, as well as Roush's own resonance with Reign Over Me's theme and characters, and how Roush's Vietnam vet father had a similar obsession with James Cameron's Aliens. It's an unexpectedly good read, and a very different perspective on the movie making process.