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.

Food on the Table

Okay, that was weak. I was tired and on my way to work when I wrote that last “update”. Let me try again.

I’ve even got a good topic. Food around the table.

We’ve all heard the Mountain Dew and Cheetos jokes, right? Well, as far as they go, I prefer Doritos, and the Dew? It has to be Code Red. Code Red is my DM fuel, in the most literal manner. I’m currently not of drinking age in America quite yet, but if you want to talk alcohol….I dunno. Ask your parents. I once tried to teach a room of drunk people how to play Munchkin, and it went about as well as trying to put a cat on a vegan diet, with similar results.

I’m well acquainted with snacks, and I’d like to share a few tips and ideas:

  • If you’ve got a fancy-shmancy expensive game mat like I do, it’s probably a good idea to limit the messy foods. stick to small, handful-style foods, like M&Ms, Skittles, pretzels, or chips. No dips though. Expensive game mat, remember?
  • These will probably get me laughed at, but if you’re of a healthier bent, then nuts, raisins, trail mix, and my personal favorite, dried fruit (pineapple especially, but trust me when I say that eating more than a pound of the stuff in one sitting? Not a great idea.). IF you spill any of these, you probably won’t ruin any character sheets.
  • If you want to get a little more creative, you can tie in the foods you eat into your game. Smell and taste are your major memory trigger senses. If you’re running the game, and the PC’s are traveling over a long distance, serve them up something that might be a part of their rations, aside from the dried fruit and nuts mentioned above, people tended to take foods that wouldn’t spoil on long journeys, and this meant preserved foods like pickles, dried meats like beef jerky and smoked fish (As a former Alaskan, that means salmon). If your PCs are in a tavern then you can try simple stuff like cheese and bread and pickles (a cheap plowman’s lunch). If you want to put in the effort and make it a party, meat pies still might be a little messy, yet historically accurate.

Fun fact: in D&D or one of the spin-off video games, you might have seen an item called an “Iron rations”. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, assuming it was something like beef jerky or something else with a high iron content, but after looking a little into it, Wikipedia tells us:

The first attempt to make an individual ration for issue to soldiers in the field was the “iron ration”, first introduced in 1907. It consisted of three 3-ounce cakes (made from a concoction of beef bouillon powder and parched and cooked wheat), three 1-ounce bars of sweetened chocolate, and packets of salt and pepper that was issued in a sealed tin packet that weighed one pound. It was designed for emergency use when the troops were unable to be supplied with food. It was later discontinued by the adoption of the “Reserve Ration” but its findings went into the development of the emergency D-ration.

Sounds less than appetizing to me. Why, you ask, is something  that was invented in the 20th century found in a medieval fantasy setting? Remember, the first D&D players were wargamers, people who studied the culture and tactics of wars throughout history. Gygax, a huge wargamer himself, probably borrowed a little something from that to add to his games.

If you’d like to share your typical gaming fare, leave it in the comments below. Until next time!

Diceroller Flicks: Hello from the goblin!

I’m creating this blog for a few reasons. I love movies, I love pen-and-paper RPGs, and I love movies about pen-and-paper RPGs. Hopefully I can use this blog to catalog the good and the bad of gamer flicks. The movies I hope to cover soon (in no particular order) are:

  • THAC0
  • Gamerz
  • Unicorn City
  • The Gamers
  • The Gamers 2 Dorkness Rising
  • Tripod vs. The Dragon

If you have any you’d like to see discussed, Leave a comment and I’ll take it under consideration.