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Zero Charisma

3.6 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As the strict Game Master of a fantasy role-playing game, Scott (Sam Eldson) leads his friends in a weekly quest through mysterious lands from the safety of his grandmother s kitchen. But his mastery of his own domain starts to slip along with everything else in his life when cool new guy Miles (Garrett Graham) joins the game, quickly winning over the group with his confident charm. When Scott is finally dethroned by an unexpected coup, he realizes he must roll the dice and risk everything to expose Miles as the fraud he believes him to be. A darkly comedic fable of epic proportions, ZERO CHARISMA is an ode to nerds from every realm.

Review

. . . a consistently entertaining, character-driven comedy . . . --Variety

Raw and affecting . . . a breakthrough in the portrayal of geek culture on film. --Village Voice

Fascinating . . . A compelling portrait. 'Clerks' meets 'Curb Your Enthusiasm. --Indiewire

Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Eidson, Anne Gee Byrd, Brock England
  • Directors: Katie Graham, Andrew Matthews
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2014
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00H0EN934
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,489 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
No spoilers: It's worth a watch for any D&D player. The film attempts to show us the difference between "old school" nerds and the new breed of hipster nerds. Sadly neither the protagonist or antagonist are even remotely like-able characters (though they may be relatable). I feel the movie ends to early, without much redemption for the protagonist, except that fact that he might have proven his point. The comedic parts of the movie will let you chuckle, but its just a little too dark without resolution for me to enjoy it further.
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Normally, movies like Unicorn City, Knights of Badassdom, The Gamers, Dungeonmasters, and a slew of others I shy away from for two reasons. They either present RPGs and other similar hobbies in a stereotypical negative light or have the message of "give up your hobby for the girl".

Zero Charisma did fall a tad into the column of having a negative light on the subject matter but rang true with many of its points. The hipster "villain" was spot on. We all know this guy. The guy who has his fancy website, micro-brews, edgy tattoos and clothes, etc. He says he loves gaming but really, he is just in it because it is "hot or in at the moment". A person who defines himself as a gamer have roleplaying games as their lifeblood. His representation in the film is the best. I actually had the sad experience of playing with a group of these folks. The entire night barely involved any dice rolling. The night consisted of discussing their favorite micro-brew, existential and moral gaming debates that reeked of college-age pretentiousness, and lame jokes that when we did try to play ruined the game. The character of Miles was that in a nutshell.

The protagonist Scott, was a good character. He loved the game and treated it like a true gamer. One who is really passionate about his hobby. Granted he took it too far to a degree, but his speech at the gaming shop really resonated with me. The game, while yes it should be fun, does require significant work and shouldn't be treated lightly. Scott had many problems. A overbearing and conniving mother who abandoned him, an ailing grandmother who understands and yet doesn't understand her grandson, a cruddy job, a slightly enlarged ego, and wishy washy friends who are easily enticed by the "cool kid".
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The production values are really excellent, and the acting is not bad.

The story line does nothing to promote gamers though.

I picked this gem up, because I like B-Grade films (check) about gamers (check), and appreciate movies that are written by folks that understand gamers and games (check) and tend to portray them in a humorous or positive light (BZZZZZZZZZZZZZT)!

There are a couple of funny scenes. The Gary Gygax doppleganger is funny. The scene where he punches a hole through the wall only to find that the poster he moves covers another hole is also funny.

Beware for spoilers follow ...

Our protagonist has zero charisma. He is a gamemaster who developed his own game system, but no game manufacturers are willing to produce and sell it.

The main star is a total ass and social blight.

He sponges off of his grandmother and is abusive to nearly everyone around him.

He cannot hold down a job.

You find yourself smiling as a scene develops and then, you cringe as it rockets into very uncomfortable areas.

There are two subplots in the movie. The protagonist's mom comes to visit granny and her son with her new fiancee, and we see her utterly humiliate the son (our hero) that she abandoned to join a "sex cult." You kind of hope that she either leaves quickly or changes. (No such luck.)

The second involves a new player that our hero invites to join his gaming group. The new player is wildly successful in nerd culture, but he holds all of his geeky acquaintances in loathing. He breaks up the gaming group.

The movie comes to a climax when the hero goes to a party that the popular guy is holding and assaults him physically.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was NOT what I was expecting at all. I had thought it would be like "The Gamers" but it had sum serious stuff going on. As a 35 year experienced gamer, I ahve met every character in this movie at least once!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this mockumentary of gamer/role playing geeks rings true. we all know people portrayed in this most excellent movie that is both hilarious and tragic at the same time. what happens to these nerds when they hit 50? do they still live in their parents basement? still work at dead end mcjobs if indeed they work at all? i know people like these, and they are sad specimens of humanity as you will ever not want to meet.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
A daringly stark drama with a remarkably specific concern; it lays out and revolves around a question that seems impossibly specific in 2013: how much should a table-top GM compromise his vision? For this protagonist, that question is bound up with his identity and everything else, but it is genuinely the form of his dilemma. And it is a dilemma: he accommodates his antagonist up to the point that doing so would shatter the internal-reality of his created universe. Yes! This is actually a film where the integrity of a table-top campaign 'verse forms the central crisis! I don't know if I'm reading this movie against its creator's intent or with it, but you have to respect our hero: everything is loaded against him & he has already sacrificed his friends & life's work when he is outright *told to compromise* by the world's best GM. Now (with his career on the line too!) he stays true to his vision of "shared story telling"... I was 100% with him then (I would have cheered) despite the accuracy of the movie title. It's also amazing that this is all the movie gives the protagonist - aside from a moral revelation that doesn't materially improve his fate, we follow an ugly horrible character to ignominious humiliation at the hands of an essentially flawless & charming nemesis (I didn't see anything wrong with the hipster having two or more sets of friends & interests, and didn't see him as a tourist - to me he came off as a good guy who took nerdlife seriously but not seriously enough for the old-school-RP vision of our GM).
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