Thursday, March 5, 2015
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Finally watched the Angry Video Game Nerd Movie. Much like Kooky, it's a filmmaker's movie, meaning it's more of an exercise to show off what the filmmakers are capable of. If it happens to be watchable, that's all the better. AVGN the movie is watchable, though not perfect.
The acting is decent, the special effects are surprisingly numerous. A lot of it is deliberately cheesy, while quite a bit more is superbly well-done.
The story is pretty clever, too. The Nerd takes a trip to prove the great myth of the landfill of Atari E. T. games is false, and the timing of its release couldn't have been better, with the real life digging of the landfill and proving the myth of the Atari E. T. cartridges "burried" (:-)) in a landfill was true this whole time. I enjoyed that half of the story.
But there's a second half of the story that kinda muddles the whole thing. Apparently there's some supreme deity named Death Mwauthzyx trapped inside of Mount Fuji, and he is released and starts destroying stuff. What did that supreme being have to do with anything? I still don't quite get why that monster was there, or what it had to do with the E. T. game. Its presence seems unnecessary, as if the whole thing was included just to spend the movie's budget.
I think the story should have focused on the quest for the truth behind the Atari E. T. game instead of trying to justify why this giant robot thing is in the movie. I kinda wanted to see more of Area 51 and the significance of the floor plan being built into the game. From a story perspective (because that's how I look at everything), it needed to focus on that, as it was far more interesting. From a special effects perspective, however, I can see how Mwauthzyx would be more interesting.
I liked the little references to some of the bad games the Nerd has reviewed over the years, and I think the bad game logic could have been used in the real world to more comic effect. The Humvee being stopped by plate glass, and landing the Top Gun plane for example. More game logic in the real world, please! The movie could have done so much more with that, but it seemed to settle halfway between lampooning bad game logic and referencing B-movie logic. It works well enough, but it could have taken both so much further.
So is it perfect? No, but after all the time and the long wait, I didn't expect it to be. I think the story could have been stronger and more focused, but story isn't really the point of the film. This was James Rolfe's coming out as a filmmaker, and what an entrance! His first theatrical movie, and it's an action comedy with a special effects shot in almost every scene! Watching the VFX before/after feature is astounding--how many VFX went by and I didn't even notice! A tremendous amount of work, and story issues aside, I am still impressed! I don't regret buying it, and I'm happy to support him.
I will say that I think the Nerd has probably gone as far as he can go. James' reviews as the Nerd have been getting calmer and tamer as the years go by, which tells me he's outgrowing the character. If this is the Nerd's farewell, it's a good sendoff. I look forward to whatever he comes up with next.
Available on Amazon.