I highly doubt there's a person reading this who hasn't herd of the AVGN, one of the oldest independent game reviews channels on Youtube that's still going if not the oldest (I haven't exactly cross referenced that so take it with a grain of salt, I don't want a repeat of The First Avenger). Primarily focusing on reviewing the awful games of the earlier generations, normally 16-bit and older, the AVGN quickly became the standard for gaming reviews on Youtube, even to the point where people called others trying to get into that market "AVGN clones". While that's not exactly the case nowadays, the channel itself is still relevant, due to the amount of care that goes into each review. So when James Rolfe, the man behind the AVGN character, made a Kickstarter to fund an AVGN movie, let's just say it was successful, which is why I'm reviewing it today. A review of a film which is also a review of a game regarded as the worst game ever made, it's time I "took you back to the past", though unlike him, not "to play the shitty games that suck ass", due to many reasons. Time to look at The Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie.
So what's the plot? First, I'm not making any of this up. Thanks to the failure of E.T for the Atari 2600, along with modern gamers thinking bad is the new good, Cockburn Incorporated (see why I put that warning at the start yet?) has decided to make a sequel to E.T, called Eee Tee 2 (gotta love the dancing around copyright) and make it even worse. Because destroying the gaming industry back in 1983 wasn't bad enough? A quick detour, the exposition dump at the start, minus the part about Eee Tee 2, is actually all true. The production time, the state of the game, the burial (which they found recently) and the crash of the industry, its all true. I recommend you look into it yourself though as I'm not here to talk about E.T, it's a good read.
|Well... Actions speak louder then words...|
So after shooting a review of Xenophobe, the nerd (yes, that is his actual name in this) and Cooper head to work at GameCops (Let's see how many of these we can get, if someone actually keeps a check of them in the movie, I'll review E.T myself, deadline is the end of July 2015). Upon arriving, it turns out Eee Tee 2 (being published by Actifiction and Funsoft, and presented in association with Cockburn... I feel like I'm playing Cards Against Humanity) is about to come out... it really must be worse then before, what took 5 weeks to make a 2D game, took 8 minutes to make a 3D game... Impressive. After saying why he won't review E.T, which I won't repeat here, it'll kill the joke, the boss of GameCops (who rivals Shia le asshole (Bayformers 3) for most amount of yelling in a scene) tells the nerd he has to sell WarDuty 3000, to which he sells it to Andre from Black Nerd Comedy (yes this has a lot of cameos) because he yelled and spat on it. I could keep going on like this but for the sake of sanity, here's the shorthand for the entire movie. The nerd agrees to review E.T if the rumors are proven true (after being chased by zombies), leading to breaking into Area 51, learning the secret of the cartridges, a battle with a giant Godzilla esque monster, and the movie closing with an actual review of the real E.T. Most people would say that the plot is absolutely stupid, and they'd be right, however... its the AVGN style. Its stupid, its over the top, its insane, but that's how the bigger AVGN reviews go. I'm drastically shortening it down, but its to saver the comedy.
|Daww, look at the cute little nukes, aren't they adorable?|
While the camera work is great, the effect, by modern day standards are crap... and yet it makes the movie better. The effects are obvious and the CG is dated, but it adds a charm to the movie. Its using effects I haven't seen in a long time, model cities for Giant monsters, missile silo's and car explosions, puppet monsters, screen behind the car to give the illusion of driving. To a lot of younger people, these would look awful "why are these being used?" would come up a lot, but to me, it adds to the charm. With the rise of CG, real effects started dying, as such, I love it when people use the old effects in new ways, keeping them alive. While yes, there's nothing new here, this movie also didn't have a multi million dollar budget. As I said in the Kickassia, Suburban Knights and To Boldly Flee reviews, I'm more lenient on indie directors on effects, due to the restraints they're working on, and in the case of this, it adds to the feel of the film, thanks in part to all the retro tech, and even in one case, gamer logic. As Zandor said, "only a gamer would jump at nothing to find a hidden block", its how a lot of older games were designed, its why gamer logic exists. The music, while original in composition and theme (in comparison to what I've reviewed already) doesn't stand out well, it mixes in with the movie, helping you focus on the camera work, which I can forgive.
|The Princess better be in this castle|
My one complaint with this movie is the fact that "its an AVGN movie". Now before you take it out of context, let me explain. There are a lot of differences to AVGN material, as such its aimed more for existing fans moreso then new ones, a lot of the humor is going to be lost on people who aren't familiar with his material. To be fair, you can say the same for the three Channel Awesome films, but I think they handle it better then this movie does. I recommend it if you're interested in effects history though, while it doesn't do anything new, you may enjoy seeing those old effects anew. I'll see you on Friday for the start of a mini Opening Impressions Marathon, with Steven Universe.
|This totally isn't foreshadowing...|