38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2010
Gerard Butler with dirty muscles and a machine gun, need I say more? Seriously though, I think people are overthinking the premise of what is largely total fiction. If you take it for what it is which is 90 minutes of light entertainment where there is eye candy and things get blown up, alot, it is not a bad movie! I have never understood people who look too deeply into what is essentially an action movie..... What more do you want from it?
44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2010
I could give a synopsis of the film but there are plenty so far. So I'll fill in where the other reviews seem to lack.
Gamer is filmed in basically 3 different settings: SLAYERS game world (think call of duty style first person shooter, very dark), SOCIETY game world (The Sims/Second Life type world, very colorful), and reality (which is nowhere near as dark or bright as the gamer world, no suprise).
In my own opinion, I think this was a gamer's game. Why? Because, first and formost, this is like the future wave of gaming, true 3 dimensional gaming (don't believe me, go look at Project Natal by Microsoft or the type of gaming Xbox envisions in the future-- THE ISLAND quite blatantly shows xbox's projections)
Yes, you had the "gratuitous violence" of SLAYERS that you would expect if it was real humans participating in the game, because that's what it is. You have the perversity in SOCIETY that is rampant in SIMS and SECOND LIFE if they could get away with it (come on, who doesn't try to get the Sims to make WooHoo at least once, be honest!) and the creepy 500lb guy pretending to be a hot young chick that EVERYONE hears about on the online world.
You have a genius human being who is a little power mad and more than just a little crazy and self absorbed. Which isn't bad until you try taking over the world. You have a hard yet loving hero who was wrongly accused. A wife from who everything was ripped away from her and lives a life of destitution and prostitution. There's even a small group of people who rebel and fight the system, trying to overthrow "the man". And there's the gamers, from the kid controlling the hero to the really creepy fat guy who play games for different reasons: fun, control, getting their kicks. But all are desensitized to the games and the fact that these are real actual people they controlling and forcing to do what they (the gamers) wish while (the gamers) themselves are safe and comfortable at home. And yes, there were some cliche moments and the side stories weren't ever really gone into exhaustive detail about. Much like cut-scenes in a video game actually. It was furthering one story line, one hero, one main plotline, to defeat one mega-boss at the very end. Try not to kill too many civilians on the way there.
It was horrifying at points. I'm not going to lie, I was seriously disturbed by SOCIETY. But isn't that what humans do? I'm not saying everyone or even a majority, but some people in society are obsessed with situations of a sexual nature and it's represented in video games (often rated M for Mature, but some slide under the radar or be easily perverted) and in real life as well (the booming porn industry). And the violence in society was that much more horrifying because the actors couldn't even protect themselves from it and the gamers controlling them didn't even bother protecting them. SLAYERS? It was pretty gory and gruesome, but the horrifying part there wasn't the slayers themselves, it was all the non-fighters who only had to survive one game for freedom. They didn't have a player to control them, couldn't defend themselves or break away from their programming. None of them ever survived or made it.
This was filmed in with RED ONE cameras, which are just freakishly amazing in the fine details (digital stills instead of 35mm, ). So visually, content aside, the shots were so detailed and amazing. One reviewer did mention about the tatoo on his arm at the beginning of the film which you couldn't read until nearer the end, but it seemed more of an intentional focus issue, as when they defocused on John Leguizamo's face severely in the jail, because he was a dead man. When the tatoo was next really shown on, it was focused on severely so that you could see and appreciate the message later on. Yes, the fact that the makers of CRANK is evidenced clearly in some scenes, so if you suffer from seizures or epilesy or anything like that, do not suggest.
And the dance scene was perfect for the character who did it by the way! Because all of it truly WAS a game to him. He didn't care about anything but seeing things happen that he wanted to see happen. (sorry, had to mention it)
If you refuse to play violent video games, avoid morally disturbing images, or wondering if this is something you want your 15 year old to see, don't. Just NO, don't watch it, don't rent it, have nothing to do with it because you will end up back at this review page leaving a bad review and you are not the intended audience (no offense).
I don't like morally disturbing images (I was kinda doing the horrified peeking-through-fingers before ducking behind my hoodie at some parts), don't really play uber violent games (I like multiplayer First Person Shooters but don't really play the campaigns or the GTA series), and I haven't been 18 for quite some time.
Who was it that said you could judge a society by the games we play? Isn't it true, at least to some degree? Or by the internet sites we visit, the people we interact with in life, and what we choose to do with the knowledge we have? Does that not have any bearing on that judgement?
I think it was an excellent movie. Not because I agreed with everything that happened in it or thought the characters/acting was superb (though the actors did a very good job in this video game of a movie). But this movie actually makes one, especially the intelligent gamers out there, think for a moment about how far we are willing to go for our entertainment. Definately worth watching.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2010
The true test of any work of satire is how many people it upsets at a fundamental level. In that regard, "Gamer" is glorious! I can't remember the last time I saw a sci-fi movie that seemed like such an accurate prediction of our future, warts and all. The "game" worlds displayed -- Society and Slayers -- are ridiculously over the top while still feeling very possible. In the future, we will not only be enslaved by a digital totalitarianism, we'll gleefully slap on the chains ourselves.
What really makes this film work is that the writer/director team of Neveldine/Taylor clearly did their homework. Anyone familiar with online first-person shooters will recognize everything from camera angles to teabagging in the Slayers world. Similarly, even a passing familiarity with Second Life (a hive of perversion that they actually toned down for the film) makes the grotesque free for all of Society that much more plausible. This is where the satircal edge of the film comes in -- and it's a razor. You'll never win any friends on the internet by speaking the simple truth -- "Why yes, screwing off for hours on end with virtual sex and ultraviolence IS a disgusting way to go through life," -- so I say God bless anyone who does!
176 of 236 people found the following review helpful
Dear Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor,
We appreciate your recent attempt to create a movie that would appeal to gamers by naming it after us. Really, we do. But now that we've stopped throwing up from all the motion sickness and our pupils have finally refocused from the flash cuts, we thought you might appreciate some tips to help you farm XP faster.
* Stop with the static: Seriously guys. Stop it. Apparently in your version of the future all video games have terrible reception. We have lag, we have crashes, we have all kinds of problems, but the one problem we do not have is static. That's because our video games are not television screens. You'll also notice that our television do not have static either, and haven't had static for about a decade since they invented this thing called cable. Look it up.
* Speaking of Kable: Cable is the name of a time-traveling cyborg in the Marvel Universe. Kable is the name somebody thinks gamers think is cool. Nobody thinks Kable is cool. Nobody believes Kable is the best killer in the gaming universe. You didn't even use 133t speak, so...fail.
* Making Michael C. Hall an evil genius is...a stroke of genius. Go Dexter!
* Stop with the red/blue colors: Ludacris is cool and all, but even his cyber cred is sorely tested by a blurry 3-D image on screen.
* The teabagging gag was funny.
* Your jump cuts suck: We notice when you replace rapid jump cuts with actual fight choreography. It's the movie equivalent of shouting and pointing, "LOOK! A KITTY!" every time a fight starts. You just look stupid and we feel embarrassed for you.
* Dancing convicts are hilarious. Convicts dancing to a Frank Sinatra song is vaguely creepy. But still hilarious.
* Why is there still lag in the future? Bad guys can control other human beings by changing their brain cells into [INSERT STUPID MADE UP NAME] but we haven't solved lag? Is this future made of stupid?
* Evil Villain Tip #58: Next time around, you might want to consider not making the guy who holds your deepest, darkest secret an international broadcast superstar.
* Don't insult us: No offense, but portraying the gaming universe as nothing but "deviants and murderers" doesn't really make us want to watch your movie. Yes, the Internet has a dark side. But since you called the movie "Gamer" and not "All Gamers Are Disgusting Fat Perverted Slobs Who Watch Porn All Day," we'll assume you actually want us to buy a ticket. Please consider this the next time you name a movie after us.
* Thank you for killing John Leguizamo: That's not a tip. But thank you.
We hope that these tips prove useful the next time you level up as directors and writers. Incidentally, multiclassing as both might not be such a good idea.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2013
This is a very dark movie, as in many dark scenes lighting wise!. And like all movies that were converted to 3d and not shot in 3d. The 3d does add depth but not that true 3d feeling in some ways. The exception to this rule are the imax converted films like titanic' etc. But generally on the big screen the conversion is stronger after shooting than doing it for blu ray. This does have depth and the darkness of the movies shots don't make the 3d more apparent. But it is 3d and like all 3d , it's effect is to add depth. So like "I robot' this is not a must have for 3d collectors. But it still looked better to me in 3d than the 2d version. And It is without doubling , like in some 3d films on blu ray. The movie itself is over the top and influenced by the many films in which people watch people battle it out on screens that came before. Only the twist this time is that they replace your brain cells and can control you and use you as a game piece. Michael Hall plays a good villain here as the evil mastermind who wants to control everyone like pupptets. He's not fleshed out , and neither is the cable character , but then this is a pure fast action flick and it's a fun one. Is this a great film? nope, but it's a decent action flick. Of course I miss action flicks with lots of character development and such. But this isn't one of those , it's like a video game , in that it gives you constant action and a indestructible hero. Is that bad? no? Is that good cinema? well it's what it is. For a A movie this would be lumped in the bottom as it's a lot of flash and little characterization but who says movies can't be like this too?. There's a place for these movies of course. What is scary though is that there are some people who can't watch a regular action flick unless it's like this videogame of a movie. which is sad. I like drama action flicks too. But too often we'd here 'that's boring' why? because it's not like gamer" which has constant action. That's so sad. But here it is a decent constant action flick. The ratio is said to be different on this 3d version than the blu ray version. I didn't see it too much , but they did crop the picture some, I guess.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Already making names for themselves with their ridiculously over the top, video game fueled Crank films, co-writers/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor bring us Gamer (which was actually filmed before Crank: High Voltage, but sat on the shelf for quite a while); an action film set in a not too distant future where death row inmates can be controlled by players in a multiplayer death match. The creator of the game is Ken Castle (Dexter star Michael C. Hall), a brilliant technology mogul who has even bigger plans up his sleeve, including ones involving the star attraction of his game, a former soldier called Kable (Gerard Butler), who is close to fulfilling his obligation to get set free and return to his wife (Amber Valletta) and young daughter. While Gamer is jam packed with violent bursts of bloody action and carnage, buried underneath are some thought provoking ideas that could be otherwise used as cautionary tale. Getting there however may prove somewhat difficult, considering most of the action sequences are almost incomprehensible due to the constant cuts, flashy edits, and other elements that are just cliche now for the whole dystopian future genre. Assembled here is a surprising cast though, including Kyra Sedgwick, Alison Lohman, Ludacris, and Terry Crews, along with small roles for John Leguizamo and Milo Ventimiglia. All in all, Gamer is a decent action film with some surprisingly thought provoking ideas that should be checked out for that reason alone, and you could definitely do a whole lot worse than what you find here as well.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2010
Unlike the repetitive, stereotypic, mundane, noncreative, dumbed-down, made-for-money flicks that inundate the Hollywood movie-making business, this directing/writing team has the intestinal fortitude to be different; to be experimental and to be leaders in taking the "action" genre into a somewhat different, novel, thoughtful and creative future. Sure, this is gun-totin' violence; explosions and crashes but you will not feel as if you've seen it done like this before. This movie is simply ENGAGING, particularly for you action and gaming aficionados. And, for the rest of you - just appreciate the film-making artistry.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2010
Neveldine/Taylor Cranked out this Sci-fi action film about a plugged in future and the games they play. Looking and sounding flashy, trashy and rude; it is a slick demo disk with body parts, live and lost. Fun, if you get in the spirit. Shallow, graphic, CGI 4 fun, over the top and under the radar. And it's decent fun... for some.
BD is so powerful; it will make up for any other discs that don't cut it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I don't understand all the negative reviews of this movie. Much along the lines of Matrix, 13th floor and eXistenZ before it is a thought provoking look into a future that might not be as far off as we would like to think.
Don't let the bad reviews put you off, judge for yourself. I believe this will become a cult classic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2010
There seems to be developing a trend in recent years with these films being critical of society and the way it looks to be going. Films such as Live!,Surrogates and now this all seem to enjoy saying the same thing; "This is an image of you society and we don't like it". Ken Clarke's one of the originators of this type of film with his collection of films featuring teenagers getting down and dirty under the sheets. Clarke's films were quite deep, clever and had a serious message to send. "Gamer" - on the other hand - said "we don't like this blood thirsty society, phwoar look at that man's head explode, that was so testosterone pumpingly awesome; now here's a pair of breasts for you to enjoy". I usually like these types of films, as they usually have something quite serious to say, whilst at the same time still managing to be entertaining. "Gamer" was just confusing from this stand-point because, on the one hand it tries to be critical of a blood thirsty society, whilst at the same time being a film that caters to exactly that type of audience.
In the year of the future a maniac by the name of Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) has invented self replicating nanites which allow people to remotely control the movements of others. This technology led to the creation of the game "Society" where fat, spotty, disgusting teenagers would pay to control other people who are paid to be controlled and have them have sex with each other or just be downright depraved without leaving the comfort of your own sofa. It's also led to the creation of convict slaying computer game "Slayer" which allows gamers to control death row convicts in a call of duty deathmatch type game where, if the controlled player, in this instance "Kable" (Gerrard "KING LEONIDAS" Butler), wins 30 rounds they are set free. He just has to rely on the skills of his controller and a computer hacking pro-humanity group aptly called, "Humanz" to get good old "Kable" free to get his revenge on that madman Castle.
It's got enough blood spattered walls and breasts to please any 13 year old, or every adult with the IQ of a goldfish. Let's look at "Gamer" in the context of a relationship. "Gamer" is the dominant one while its audience are the naive loved up puppy just wanting to see someone be blown apart by a grenade. Now and again "Gamer" will give its audience the love and affection it deserves by showing enough nudity and gore to give any red-blooded male a semi; but then "Gamer" has the dark, hidden personality that rears its ugly head in the odd scene and starts abusing its audience. "Look, see this fat greasy scumbag teenager. This is you. I hate you. You're disgusting" but will then realise the harshness of what it's just done, apologise to its loved up audience and promises never to hurt it again, and proceeds with the blood and nudity.
If you look past the self loathing, violent relationship between the film and its viewers, you will be mildly entertained by the mindless action and the - sort of - twist. Michael C. Hall makes me want to watch this film as he's just truly magnificent for every moment he's on screen. You're never sure whether he's, just all of a sudden, going to go slightly mental and start dancing around a sombrero singing la cucaracha while punching a small animal just for the hell of it, as he comes across as that unbalanced. King Leonidas does what he does best which is violently mutilating people while looking intensely into the camera making to worried about whether he's going to punch you just for watching the film. The supporting cast members are forgettable to say the least, as they're merely there to try and give the films plot more purpose and meaning, but just winds up becoming too cliché to bare.
If you do decide to watch this at some point, then you should probably drink a lot before hand.