If you find yourself wanting to claw your eyes out after Dragonball Evolution and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, let The Escape From City 17 calm your game-adaptation addled brain.
Directed by the Purchase Brothers, The Escape From City 17 is a short film series set in Valve’s Half-Life 2 universe. Originally envisioned as a field test of post production techniques, and something to spice up their resume reel, it has since blossomed into an episodic series of short films, supposedly “filmed guerrilla style with no money, no time, no crew, no script [with] the first two episodes made from beginning to end on a budget of $500.” The quality will either make you marvel at how much they were able to do on such a shoestring budget, or mourn at how little Hollywood is able to do with the millions of dollars at their collective disposal.
Though decidedly Gordon Freeman-free, this first installment of The Escape From City 17 has everything you could ask for in a five-minute Half-Life 2 movie, including a Combine soldier receiving his just rewards – the business end of a crowbar. Guy just Mary Poppins that thing out of nowhere.