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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Gamer



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12 replies to this topic

#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted January 21 2010 - 04:14 PM

As in each of the former incarnations of this particular premise, Gamer follows a wrongfully convicted man fighting to earn his freedom in the bloody confines of a globally televised sport called Slayers. Here, the man is Kable (Gerard Bulter), and he, like all his fellow gamers, is mind-controlled by game players – serving as an avatars in a war game, armed with machine guns, knives, and explosives, and at the mercy of civilians who have paid for the ability to control a flesh and blood death-row inmate in an effort to survive 30 battles. The creator of Slayers is Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), who became the globes wealthiest man after creating a real-life version of Sims called ‘Society’, where people strapped for cash allow themselves to be controlled by people with obviously too much, granting strangers permission (an obese, greasy pervert is one such individual) to move, contort, smack, and sexualize them any way they see fit.
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, Gamer contains a surprisingly rich cast, with Gerard Butler (300, The Ugly Truth) playing the requisite gruff and grit role of the soldier well enough to counter an unfortunately weak script. In the role of corporate computer genius is Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under), playing the young, handsome, cocky multi-billionaire with a barrelful of charisma (perhaps too much). You’ll also find Kyra Sedgwick (TNT’s The Closer) as a perky talk show host, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges as the leader of the antagonistic anti-Slayer group, Humanz, and a never-more-built Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris) as the unleashed killer sent to end Kables life. A slew of guest appearances by the likes of John De Lancie (Star Trek TNG’s Q), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), John Leguizamo (Spawn), Keith David (Pitch Black), and two stars of USA’s Psych, Maggie Lawson and James Roday, continue to surprise as the film unfolds. But much of this quality cast is wasted. Terry Crews especially is unleashed merely as a growling, muscle-flexing machine of a man from left-field to serve as a spoiler to Kable’s success, but isn’t really developed in that capacity nor used congruously. Despite the pleasure of seeing these, and other, faces through the short running time of this actioner, Gamer ends up being somewhat disappointing.

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
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#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted January 21 2010 - 04:24 PM

It's a mindless popcorn film, bent on nothing but entertaining, and it exceeds at that. I gave it a rent last night and had a blast watching it, very fun action packed movie...and it's nice to see a rated 'R' movie have some "infatuation with erotica, while all mainstays of teenager boy fantasies" thrown in, something rated "R" films have lost over the years...sadly.

As for your comments on a script, when it comes to films like these, I don't even bother looking for one, if you do, you won't find it, so why even bother looking?

This one is on my to buy list, very enjoyable.

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#3 of 13 OFFLINE   George_W_K

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Posted January 22 2010 - 06:50 AM

This one is definitely a movie I've been wanting to see, but haven't had time to rent it yet.  As whacked out as they are, I liked both Crank movies and since this is made by the same guys I have a feeling I'll like this too.  Just wondering though, is it as whacked?

It'll be nice to have something new to give my system a workout.  :)

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted January 22 2010 - 08:09 AM

Yes and no. 'Yes' in the way they move the camera and some of the silliness they slide in, and 'no' in that its more serious in tone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by George_W_K View Post

Just wondering though, is it as whacked?
 


"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
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#5 of 13 OFFLINE   David Deeb

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Posted January 22 2010 - 02:17 PM

Have mercy if you don't have yet one more firmware update.    I suppose that's what it takes.  I thought I was up to date, but maybe not.

I had to restart my BD player 3 times before I could finally get the thing to show me the "buttons" on the main menu.  All this needless Java and fancy effects.  I just want to watch the damn movie.  

And of course each time you restart your BD player, you have to suffer through the endless loading & gazillion trailers Lionsgate puts on their BDs.  

Finally - I got it to play.  Then at the 45:00 or 50:00 minute mark, it simply freezes up the entire BD player.  Turn it off.  Another 10 minutes of loading, more wrangling with the main menu.  But can't get it to start playing the movie at all!    

The hell with it.  I turned it off.  I have hundreds of BDs and hundreds of DVDs that do work.



#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted January 22 2010 - 06:43 PM

Bad disc maybe?

I have a PS3 (and while those stand alone Blu-ray player guys may cringe and laugh) I have yet to put disc in that machine and have a problem.

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#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Martin Henry

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Posted January 24 2010 - 03:32 PM

I found Gamer to be anything but a dumb action movie, but rather a delicious satire on online gaming and online societies in general. Taken at face value, it's easy to be turned off by it, but it's a hell of a lot cleverer than most people give it credit for.




#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Holer

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Posted January 25 2010 - 01:00 AM

I agree! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and thought it was a nifty little sci-fi flick. They definitely dialed back the relentless craziness of the Crank movies, but they're still pushing the envelope in the way they use HD to tell their stories visually.  These guys are way out of the box and I really hope they keep their edge. Props to Lionsgate for cutting them loose and letting them do their thing.

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   EricW

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Posted January 30 2010 - 06:52 PM


Quote:
I found Gamer to be anything but a dumb action movie, but rather a delicious satire on online gaming and online societies in general. Taken at face value, it's easy to be turned off by it, but it's a hell of a lot cleverer than most people give it credit for
 i would have to disagree.  what's so clever about it?  that a fat slob is controlling a hot girl in a pseudo-virtual reality?  that the avatars are death-row inmates playing a dangerous game?  that there's a live-action PS3-Home like environment?  name-dropping Bill Gates as being toppled by the antagonist, wealth-wise?  like that's all something only a brilliant writer would think of?  the movie makes no sense, but i guess it doesn't have to.  what were those floating orb things, cameras?  they were shown in only like 2 minutes out of the entire movie (there were about 4 previous in-game battle scenes where they were nowhere to be seen).  they were there only to lead up to Gerard Butler shooting one.

still, the PQ and AQ were very nice.  and the battles scenes were pretty good.  

"now, if that's a fact, tell me... am i lying?"

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   David Deeb

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Posted January 31 2010 - 04:55 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by EricW View Post


 i would have to disagree.  what's so clever about it?  

still, the PQ and AQ were very nice. 
Agreed with you on those 2 points.  Above, I mentioned problems I had w/ playing this movie and it would crash halfway each time.  

To be fair, I did (yet) another firmware update and it played fine.

I'm glad I did the firmware update.  But I'm not glad I finished watching this movie.  It was very bad.  Juvenile writing is the biggest problem. Lots of gutter language used by every single character.  If I was in 7th grade, I still wouldn't have enjoyed it.  The writing is terrible.  

Characters all had the same sneering, tick-offed attitude which somehow is supposed to be seen as cool.  I think it's fairly pathetic.  

Every scene and shot if effected and stylized so much, it just becomes ridiculous and tiresome.  Nothing can simply "be".  It has to jiggle or vibrate or rotate or something.  It's like every button was available in post, so every button was pushed. 

But one good thing: this BD looks & sounds great though.  






#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Brent M

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Posted January 31 2010 - 06:21 PM

I can't believe the sound didn't get a perfect 5 out of 5. This might be the most dynamic audio track I've heard on Blu-Ray yet and that's saying something with the great lossless tracks out there. This is pure reference material and probably my demo disc for a very long time.

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#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted February 26 2010 - 03:58 PM

Just rented this, and would have sworn it was a direct-to-video feature. It has all the hallmarks -- mediocre action sequences, half-baked anti-establishment rhetoric, a vast conspiracy that serves as a metaphor for the way we live our lives, etc. I happen to be a fan of that particular flavor of crap, so that was fine by me. What surprised me was the vast assemblage of b-list talent they brought together for this picture. Usually you might get one or two names of has-beens that need the paycheck, but a staggering number were willing to slum it for this. Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Kyra Sedgwick, Alison Lohman, Terry Crews, Ludacris and John Leguizamo -- Wow! Not to mention fun appearances by Keith David, Maggie Lawson, James Roday, Michael Weston, Milo Ventimiglia and John de Lancie.


#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted February 26 2010 - 04:14 PM

Best audio track of 2010 so far..........amazing!