" While, granted, it isn't the best thing we've ever seen, it's a good piece of fandom with a message of life beyond the DM's Screen. "
Title: Gamers by Sideshow Productions
Format: Geeky DVD Movie
Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters
The Hype: If you've been frequenting the 2006 game cons or hanging out on the hard core fan forums, then you've heard of Gamers. A little indie production that managed to secure some big (if not dated) names, Gamers is as close to going legit as a serious geek project has come recently. But does it live up to the hype? Read on, my monkeys, and find out.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Acting: Gamers
is a mockumentary about a group of gamers who are about to break the all time
roleplaying record, having gamed at least twenty hours a week for more than
twenty six years straight. But as their holy grail looms large in the horizon
they are suddenly besieged with complications, as internal strife, midgets with
attitudes, parents, women, and the rigors of their mortal lives get in the way.
It's a quaint, if predictable, tale that is surprisingly un-geeky in its execution--with
a script that is designed to be story driven, rather than genre-fan dependent,
and features far fewer "in jokes" than similar movies that have come before
As a matter of fact, the movie is remarkably mundane in its depiction of our kind. Yes, there are some of the classic stereotypes many of you will recognize (and fewer of you will admit to being), and there's a plethora of tried and true jokes about the players living in their parent's basements and having no social lives, but all in all it's a story more about obsession and priorities than it is about dweebs with dice.
Not that I want to make it sound like this flick is main-stream or high-brow, since it constantly mixes inexplicable set-ups--including killer parrots and pointless MILFs, and chaotically crude humor--including horse semen and lactation jokes, to produce a movie that will likely only be enjoyed by people twisted enough to be geeks in the first place. But the fact that it tries to be a real movie, instead of just a collection of roleplaying jokes, is certainly noteworthy.
Also noteworthy is the inclusion of a number of once A-list stars, including Beverly D'Angelo, Kelly LeBrock, and John Heard…but, as you might expect, they, along with their much less known co-stars, don't really have their hearts in these roles. After all, Shakespeare it's not.
But is it a good movie? Well, honestly, no. Not really. The script rambles and takes some inexplicable segues, the story is under-developed, and the characters are poorly defined.
But it is fun.
Playing out a bit like a student film gone awry, the movie makes a good effort and works hard to set up plot points for jokes in advance, keep the three essential parts of a good story, and generally deliver more than just jokes about nerds not getting laid. 3.5 out of 5
Visuals and Directing: Just as the script plays out a bit like a student's senior thesis, so, too, does the directing. Exclusively shot from text-book angles and in a very dry style, it is more than a bit milktoast in its presentation. But, that said, it is also technically proficient for the most part and so, despite the occasional serious lighting issue or badly framed subject, ends up feeling like a bigger budget flick than it is. 3.5 out of 5
DVD Extras: Sadly, the extras on Gamers are sorely lacking. Including little more than a collection of cast interviews and some deleted scenes, there is none of the nitty-gritty serious fans would want to see. There's no making of, no bloopers, no discussion of the writer/director's inspiration…all of which should be critical to a dvd like this. 2 out of 5
Value vs. Price: Let's face facts: if you're buying this movie you're just doing it to enjoy some good, old fashioned, geeky fun, and for it's $15.99 price tag Gamers definitely delivers. If you buy it you'll watch it at least twice, once by yourself, once again with your gaming group, and that gets you your money's worth right there.
|Fun, and often funny, Gamers is a success not only as a genre movie, but also as an attempt at legitimate film making. While, granted, it isn't the best thing we've ever seen, it's a good piece of fandom with a message of life beyond the DM's Screen.|
The Good: Often funny and technically proficient.
The Bad: A little drawn out and meandering.
The Overall Ugly: If you're visiting this website you should probably see this movie.
What it's Worth: Market