Monday, September 7, 2009
I think it, you do it!
Hi, I'm the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, than I will. As you can tell by now there is something NEW right below the poster. I decided to tape the day I saw Gamer to give everybody an idea of a day when I go and see a movie. Hopefully it sheds some light on my weekly routine. Speaking of which my routine is going to be off slightly because I will be leaving for Hawaii on Thursday so I probably wont see any movies till I get back on the 19th. Hopefully this doesnt put a damper on my site because being away for 9 days can be pretty hard. But to make it up to everybody I plan on seeing a movie the day after I get back and maybe even do a review/recap to show you EXACTLY what are my Top 10 movies of all time.
But onto the review. Today's movie is the new film from Neveldine/Taylor (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor) who we all may remember as the director of the Crank film series. Now if anyone has ever talked to me then they would know that I hate this film series. I'm not trying to be picky or prissy but those movies were terrible. The story was interesting enough for me: Video game designer/hitman Chev Chelios gets a chinese poison that will kill him if his heart rate isnt kept up...(Crank 1) or gets his heart removed and replaced with a battery that he needs to keep charged (Crank 2). That sounds like a nonstop action movie right? Like Speed but with a person? You would think but instead they made those movies as weird and over the top as possible. Not violently...just...for a movie that was trying to be a nonstop action flick, there wasnt much action and it was oddly funny. You couldnt take the movies seriously. Whenever there was a good scene, it was marred by a either a crossdressing man getting suffocated, a sex scene in Chinatown in front of everyone, or riding a motorcycle and running around...with a stiffy.
But despite my hate for those movies they did create a pretty unique style of making films. Whether or not you like the Crank movies, they had style. Fast cuts, close ups, quick violence, loud music and star driven. Well that formula should have worked for Crank but it didnt. Now they have a new movie to try it out on: Citizen Game...er....Gamer. (Seriously it was titled Citizen Game for a long time)
Gamer takes place "a few years from right now" in a world run by technology and gaming. Ken Castle (played by Michael C Hall...of Dexter and 6 Feet Under fame) is like Bill Gates, except creepier, crazier and smarter. He creates a neurological nanotechnology (Haley knows what I'm talking about) that replaces and replicates brain cells with a remote output from an outside source. Simple terms: Nanotechnology brainwashing...with another person controlling you.
Castle started first with a game called Society. A simulation game, it lets you take control of a human being to do whatever you want. And the people who ARE controlled? Destitutes, junkies, criminals or people who need money. Society is like The Sims plus Playstation Home...except skankier.
A year later Castle introduced another game. This game was called Slayers. Slayers is a FPS where you control a death row inmate. If they survive 30 sessions then they are set free. Except there is one problem...nobody makes it past 10 usually. The only person ever to do it is Kable, one of the first Slayers who is controlled by gaming superstar Simon. This movie focuses on the story of Kable, his imprisonment, and his journey to get out and see his wife and kid. But Castle is a corrupt SOB and he wants EVERYONE to join in on the festivities. But one group is smarter than the rest. They are known as the HUMANZ, a group of truth spreading hackerz.
Thats it for story (that I'll say) but it sounds like a decent enough story right? Well yes and no. It has a good premise but the movie at times seems a lot like a carbon copy of the matrix and death race, with crank's style. Thats not a bad thing, but when a character sits in a chair and "jacks in" it starts to feel a little familiar. The thing that really improves the story however is the acting.
Ive said numerous times that Michael C Hall is one of my favorite actors and Dexter is one of my favorite shows on TV. So it came as a surprise to me when he said he would do this movie. Mostly because he doesnt really do many films and will only do a part if it "challenges him as an actor". Well it certainly does and he does great with it. Castle is the antagonist early on and doesnt hide it. He is about as close to a moustache twirling, black wearing villain as you can get! But what puts him over the top (in a good and weird way) is his dreamscapes he is always sitting in when he talks that change rapidly as well as a song and dance number he has later on in the film to a Frank Sinatra song. Its a little Crank weird, but Michael C Hall does a great job at making sure it feels rooted and semi realistic. A good performance from him.
You also got Gerard Butler, famous for being Scottish, ripped, and a surprisingly good actor. Everyone will always probably remember him in 300 (SPARTA) but Butler has some really good acting chops. He doesnt talk a lot for the first part of the movie but when he does finally get going he does a great job, plain and simple. It's by no means Academy award winning but its a really good job all around.
I cant say the same for the supporting cast however. John Leguizamo seems out of place in the movie with his bit part providing nothing to the cast. Terry Crews seems like a missused character, playing a ruthless killer with a really twisted side. He is introduced as a rival to Kable but for most of the film, you dont see him, they dont really talk all that much, and the fight scene they DO have is like 30 seconds all together. Its a huge letdown. All of the Humanz (besides Ludacris) are wasted actors who are about as interesting as paint drying. Ludacris however more than makes up for it with his charisma and delivery of his lines. Pretty much besides Kable's wife and Ludacris, the supporting cast....sucks.
Essentially though, this IS the kind of film that Neveldine/Taylor SHOULD be making. Its a decent action movie with a decent story and great acting. If you're looking for an action fix or are fans of any of the actors than this is a good movie to see.
MY VERDICT: RENT IT