If Lips is Microsoft's Singstar, it's not too hard to see where this camera-based, mini-games extravaganza draws its inspiration from. To be fair, however, You're in the Movies does have one brilliant idea that's all its own. First, you plug in the supplied Live Vision camera, check focus and lighting, then let it analyse your room without anyone in the frame. You then stand in the position marked by a halo, and the game cleverly cuts you out from your background. Up to four of you can then play through a series of silly mini-games, and at the end the game captures the footage, puts the cut-out footage of you against some pre-rendered backgrounds and then assembles the lot into one of a range of entertaining movie trailers that show you battling giant lizards or getting involved in superhero antics.
To be honest, the actual gameplay is a bit hit and miss; there's a lot of running, punching objects, splattering mud and dodging obstacles, but the mini-games veer between pitifully easy and practically impossible, and none stick in your memory like some of the better EyeToy efforts. It's fair to say that there's a lot of repetition. On the other hand, the segments where the game asks you to perform a specific action or emotion are a hoot - possibly more for those watching than those doing.
The highlight of the game is the final movie. Watching you and your nearest and dearest engaged in cheesy movie trailers is a real laugh, and the game has a substantial and varied selection of different movies which you can unlock as you go along - plus the option to make more when you get far enough. It's not the kind of game that you might become obsessed by, and it's not as good a movie-making game as Lionhead's under-rated The Movies, but it's fun. Like Wii Sports or Wii Fit, it's the kind of thing that any family member from 5 to 75 will get a kick out of.
Unfortunately, there's one whopping great big caveat to be aware of: the above only applies when the technology works. In my living room with light walls and decent outdoor lighting, plus everyone wearing clothes that contrasted against the walls (similar colours are an obvious no-no) we had decent but patchy results, and you need quite a lot of space to make a movie with multiple 'actors' on the set at any time. Waving arms around caused chunks of the background to seep through, and there were times when the game glitched its efforts to mix captured footage and video game imagery on the screen - 'look, my CGI trousers are a good foot away from my waist!' In a room with strong, even lighting you might do better; in a room without you'll definitely do much worse. Bear this in mind. You're in the Movies has the makings of a great family game, but you can't help thinking that the technology isn't really there quite yet.
The ideas are Christopher Nolan, the technology and execution Uwe Boll. You're in the Movies needs a reshoot to put it right.