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Gamer - a film about gaming in a reality show - triple desensitization whammy!



“Gamer” follows Kable (Gerard Butler), a convict who has signed his life away for the chance to be freed and reunited with his family. Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) is a famous TV producer/engineer who has created two very popular shows. “Society,” which is like a “Second Life” or a perverted “Home,” where you can control real people and carry out whatever sick desires they please. The other show is “Slayers,” in which convicts can sign away their lives in order to be living avatars in a game world where 30 wins will earn their freedom. Needless to say, Kable wants out of prison and wants to be reunited with his family. We soon find out what Kable wants, Kable gets.

Gerard Butler is quickly eclipsing Clive Owen as the actor who is just so cool, you are compelled to watch. In “Gamer,” Butler does more or less the same thing as always, but the action and violence suits his fans and satisfies. Fans of “Dexter” can enjoy Michael C. Hall in his usual shtick as the psychotic Bill Gates of mixing TV and tech to make himself supreme ruler of the nerdiverse. Amber Valletta is the wife who has had to make some hard choices in Kable’s absence. Terry Crews plays a mean mo’ fo’.

The direction by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (from Crank fame) is entertaining, but talk about camera work only a mother can love. The film is overshot to hell. At first, you think it’s just to set up the action-packed nature of the film, but you’ll soon find the whole film is twitchy and seizure-inducing. An audience member fell to the floor twitching at one point, but since we, the audience, were made up of gamers and desensitized little shits, we just left him there. Because a movie about gaming must be far worse in making people not care about the welfare of others than either one by itself.

The story is well written for what it is, a pretty mindless action film. There is nothing really worth noting. There are even moments where it tries to be something more than it should, but as far as this author is concerned, it could have all been about revenge and that would have been fine.

Lighting in this movie was a mixed bag. Usually this is something that isn’t really worth mentioning, but there are moments that are too bright (could be the choice in colors) and others that are too dark for too long. It must be a nightmare to rig lighting for a couple of directors that love handing the camera to an epileptic.

All in all, it is a good popcorn movie. You are entertained the whole way through, get a good dose of T&A and a body count that reminds one of the great (read: cheese) action movies of the ‘80s. The movie evokes “Johnny Mnemonic,” which was unexpected, but welcome. Of course, there are only certain reminders of “Johnny,” otherwise give him a Tony Montana dose of coke and you’ll be a little closer to a good comparison. Prepare to be entertained, but also to forget what movie you saw within a week.



Official website:



Directed by: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Written by: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Cast: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Amber Valletta, Terry Crews

Source of the Bitter: JAS

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