Gamers (2006)…let me elaborate.

So I’ve had a couple of stressful days away from this film, and I have a few more things to ad. 

My biggest issue with this film is how very crappy the characters are as people. We’ve got (and I’m stealing most of this from the sparse tvtropes.org page):

  • Paul: A telephone relay operator who lives with his parents. 
  • Gordon: A low-level public television employee who lives with his parents.
  • Kevin: The GM. A musician (in the loosest sense of the word) who rents a room from his grandparents. Kevin insists on never fraternizing with the players outside the game.
  • Fernando: Sent to America from Argentina after he embarrassed his family by sucking at “the soccer”. Fernando supposedly learned English by playing DND. Lives with his girlfriend but suspects correctly that she is cheating on him. He jerks off horses for a living.
  • Reese: A late addition to the group who none of the other players much care for. Fills just about every stereotype of the annoying and creepy gamer. Lives in a one bedroom apartment with his mother.

These characters gave me nothing. NOTHING to care about. They’re either losers, creepy weirdos, or jerks (see what I did there?). They don’t even seem to like each other. Why should I care about them, or their gaming streak, or any of the weird, stupid stuff that happens to them? I’ve got my own problems, that involve real games. 

I may have issues with GamerZ ( which I’ll get too soon, i hope. Also, can we decide on something DIFFERENT for a gamer movie title from now on?), but at least I thought the characters were interesting, if not likeable. They were strange, but they were strange in a way that made you WANT to see what happened next. Gamers started right away with the gags and crappy jokes, and gave you nothing. I payed for this movie, with real money. Don’t waste yours. Or do, I’m not a cop.

Diceroller Flicks: Gamers (2006)

This movie sucks. I was originally planning on saving my negative reviews for video reviews, But I don’t have too much to say about this one.

This movie pisses me off. The cover is really presumptious. “5 out of 5 stars” says efilmcritic.com. “Old School funny” says John Gaudiosi of AOL Games. Based on the capitalization, I’m assuming they mean the Will Ferrel film? But the real doozy of a blurb is on the back. “Funnier than Knocked Up and Superbad combined”. I’ll let that speak for itself.

But the cover isn’t done name-dropping. Kelly Lebrock of Weird Science fame. William Katt, the former Greatest American Hero. John Heard. And Beverly D’Angelo. So a bunch of has-been cult icons and the dad from Home Alone. They’re top billed on the box (not even mentioning the main cast), and they’re all cameos.

The movie is shot documentary style and is about a group of losers in their forties, they live with their parents (or grandparents, as it may be). They’re all maladroit weirdos who care waaay too much about DND (Demons, Nymphs, and Dragons. Thanks copywrite!). They’re about to break the record for Longest Continuous Campaign, at 74,558 hours over twenty years.

If you’re a fan of dick jokes, you might like this film. If you’re a fan of homo jokes, you might like this film. If you’re a fan of gross-out humor, you might like this film.

I did not.

“Funnier than Knocked Up and Superbad combined”? Sure, if you took out all of the charm, and the likeable characters.

Portrayal of RPGs – 2/5

There ARE RPGs in this movie. They aren’t really looked at too closely. There are dice, and character sheets, and people sitting around a table.

The Plot – 1/5
To be fair, there IS a plot. It’s not that important to the movie.

 

It baffles me that it got as much as a 41 percent on rottentomatoes.com, and a 7.1 on IMDB. I had more fun listening to the answering machine gag on the main menu screen of the DVD than I did watching the film.

If you thought differently, I don’t hate you. If you like this film (available on amazon and the iTunes store), let me know. Leave a comment.

Proper Party Put-together.

I’d like to make this little impromptu post to address a concern I’ve had. As you may know, I’ve been slowly growing weary of D&D. I don’t WANT this to happen. I love D&D. I love the stories I get to tell, the decisions I get to make. It’s amazing. But I’ve had to deal with a lot of…interesting players. It seems to be a growing trend that players always fall into one of three categories: People that build characters for versatility, People that Build characters for their Special Little Snowflake (SLS) status, and for the purposes of this article, the people who do it “right” (remember folks, cum grano salis I’m only one man). Here’s my issue. At it’s core, D&D is a game about creating a team that works well together, has adventures, faces dangers, and generally cracks skulls. 

When I see a party that ultimately looks like this:

I say to myself “What’s the point?”. You’re all basically playing the same character. There’s little variation, there’s no real stand outs. Everyone is functionally the same. You can all do magic, you can all use magic items, and you all have a lot of points in Dexterity.

And when I see a party that looks like THIS:

Just…Are you freaking kidding me? It creates a case of “If everyone is special, then no one is.” They probably bicker, because each player has so lovingly created a unique and tormented backstory that strives to dominate the narrative. And believe me. This game will be narrative heavy. All the players will talk in character in low tones, growling at each other.

“But Goblin!” I hear you saying. “This type of party can totally work well together”. In a perfect world, yes, sure. But we live in a world of selfish, broken people who have a hard time empathizing with others. If you didn’t want to deal with this type of person, you’re in the WRONG hobby, Dave.

Here’s my argument. D&D is a team game. A good team is made out of individual pieces that work together. checks and balances. Not everybody is going to be great at everything, and not everybody should. Playing with different strengths and weaknesses means you actually have to do this crazy little thing called relying on others.  The best part of playing a more traditional party, doing it “right”, is that each archetype, those being stuff like Cleric, Fighter, Thief, Wizard, all have dozens of interpretations, each one with its own bailiwick of abilities and outlooks on life. Simply amazing opportunities for role-playing. Try them out next time, instead of making that CN Dragon-blooded half-demon Hadozee soulknife-necromancer you’ve been thinking about, consider seeing what kind of mileage you can get out of an Elven Wizard. You may surprise yourself,