Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review: Gamer DVD


Staring Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall Amber Vallentta, Logan Lerman

Gamer unabashedly lets you know that you're about to watch a science fiction movie based at some point in the near telling you. Oh yeah, I almost shut it off right then. What...we are to damn stupid to know the difference?!

So that aside, the movie opens with what appears to be the ultimate in massive online role player first person shooter. We are treated to ultra violent shooter plenty of blood and guts and people blown up and graphicily dismembered. My first HUH? moment comes with how the game is depicted. Grainy, washed out color, and almost constant data drops and latency. Now excuse me, it would seem that any uber gamer with ultra bandwidth and graphic processors up the ying isn't going to put up with what would be poor performance by today's standards.. Nope they lost me on that one.

Anyway we find out quickly that the "avatars" are in fact real people being controlled by new nanite technology that allows you to control your player in "real time". Also we are introduced to online communities that are based on the same premise.... real people as avatars.

But in this stylized world not every one is happy! What's more there seems to be an underground group bent on "exposing" the game. Plus it would seem that the tech and therefor the game itself has been developed by shadowy group that doesn't seem to have the welfare of humanity as a priority. Oh no, tell me it aint so! And the sad thing is that we have seen these very same plot devices in science fiction movies before...what's worse other than a few tweaks it was all done MANY years ago. Johnny Mnemonic comes to mind, Total Recall or Eraser, Robocop or if you want to delve a bit deeper, Logan's Run. Its not just "tech is evil" which is very pervasive in movies but the "Business involved with new tech is evil" which has become even more prevalent in recent years.

It would seem that Gamer wanted to set itself apart by grounding it's tech into easily recognized online experiences today, but also the shock value of first couple of minutes with the over the top violence mixed with a liberal dose of four letter words and gratuitous nudity. I am sure this is nothing that you haven't seen or heard, but believe me, if you haven't seen the movie yet, i can attest to the physic body blows.

So, after basically dismissing the movie at first blush, this next statement is a bit odd. I would recommend the DVD. Why? The added features. Yeah, the first time I have said that too. The movie is a bit over the top and out of control and so is the commentary reel in the extras. Directors and actors join together to do what can best be described as a kegger. Not that they were drinking, but the whole affair was a party. Full of inside gags, bad jokes, trading insults, being non PC, busting on the movie at the same time letting you know that they had a great time making it. The comments/voice over is really better than the movie and I laughed all the way through. I don't know why they added the making of short, because everyone had a great time just telling the listener how things were done and inside scoop. It really is the best commentary that I have seen. I would give the movie a 7 but the extras a 10 so that what 8.5 average?

Add it to the library.

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