Gamer   Leave a comment

Four of us went off to see a movie Sunday afternoon–the action thriller, GAMER.  It was a bit of an adventure.  I started by getting lost in Tempe, Arizona, a place I thought I knew.  Turned out that the movie wasn’t at the theater I thought it would be at–that place has been shut down.  A movie theater shut down right in the heart of downtown Tempe, Arizona’s largest college town–who’da thunk it?  But, a phone call later, I was back on the right trail, and I got to the right theater in time to see the movie.

First of all, I gotta say, Tempe Marketplace right off McClintock and the 202 freeway is a beautiful place.  I want to go back and explore, and hang out there some time.  If I do, I should take money.  It’s definitely upscale.  Now for a quick review—

As usual, critics miss the point of a movie like this.  Didn’t get their payola, I guess. The movie works on at least 2 levels.  On the adult level it’s a satiric commentary on modern society with its fascination with games like Halo and The Sims. On the horny teen age boy level, it’s a kickass action film with all the video game violence, good guys and bad guys, and boobs and bullets a kid could want.  I’m amazed that critics bring no context to the film.  Gamer is the love child of Rollerball and the Matrix.  It explores the theme of the hero versus society.  It also has a nice take on how to conquer the world if you’re just one man. This movie was no worse and no better than The Dark Knight, but Batman got treated a lot better critically because he’s more of a cultural icon. Gamer holds the mirror up to our insane, hedonistic society, and it’s not a pretty picture.  Having said all that, I kind of liked it anyway.

I guess I’m a bit of a prude, but I have problems with the way people talk these days.  There’s just too much fucking profanity in everything.  See what I mean.  However, I realize that is how people talk.  Fucking is part of everybody’s vocabulary.  It doesn’t mean fucking–it means extra emphasis added here.  So, there was some language in Gamer, but about 1/3 of the way through the movie, the story, silly as it was, cancelled out the way people talked.  Gamer is a cautionary tale, and a bit simplistic, but it’s the kind of story I like.  A hero has to go into the underworld to save his family, his life, and  his people.  The 30 battles of the Slayer game are Hell.  If you didn’t know, all the fire should have been a tip-off.

The more I think about the movie, the more I like it.  It had a strange ending though–one of those shallow endings that make you think the hero has triumphed and all will be right with the world.  Except that if you have two brain cells to rub together you know that isn’t true.  One bad guy meets poetic justice.  Corruption is exposed in high places.  But is it expunged?  I don’t think so.  Gamer is a dark warning of what our high-tech world is coming to–a bit over the top, but the warnings are never exactly on the money.  The real world is a lot subtler and more insidious than any 2 hour movie can successfully portray.

And if you don’t like to think about your movies, then it’s a thrill ride pure and simple, baby.  Wheeeeee!


Posted September 21, 2009 by atroll in Uncategorized

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