September 14, 2009

The Mondays: Is "Gamer" Good or Bad?

Movie trailers really do influence my opinion of a movie, despite my best efforts to keep an open mind before sitting down to watch one. I'll never see Twilight or Lakeview Terrance because the trailers for those movies made them look cheap, hokey, and utterly predictable. On the other hand, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Eagle Eye tricked me into thinking I was going to see a good movie, or at least a decent one--both Shia Lebeouf films, so go figure.

So, when I see a trailer for Gamer, I wonder if I'll eventually rent--not a theater goer--a good movie with a fair bit of action mixed with satire towards the gaming culture, or a bad movie brimming with hackneyed cliches and cardboard characters.

At first glance, it looks like a budgeted version of better sci-fi action flicks from the '80s and '90s--Demolition Man and Robocop spring to mind. There's this vibe I get from the ads telling me the focus was on man-made special effects rather than plot or character development. Sure, most action flicks don't bother with such things, but the better ones do. The remake of Death Race came out last year, which looked bad in its own right, and Gamer looks to be worse.

Am I off base, though?

The guys who brought this movie to life are also responsible for the Crank series with Jason Statham, an action star I don't mind seeing half the time. I could be dismissing any merits this film has way too early, but it's not like the trailer is doing me any favors. I just see an ad for a film that looks to be one Gerard Butler got conned into making. Sorry, Ger, but you lost the bet, so go make Gamer.

And seeing Ludacris in the movie doesn't exactly inspire me to go see it, either. The last time I saw him on the screen was in a Law & Order: SVU episode, where he played a lawyer in unconvincing fashion. Then there was that horrendous racing flick, 2 Fast 2 Furious. Nope. I need to hear the masses push this one to the moon.

I'd say I'll reserve judgment until after it's done its time in the box office, but that's not a reliable gauge anymore. G.I. Joe won its opening weekend this summer, leaving me to wonder: Why?


  1. Watch the trailer for Shutter Island. I've just read the book and can't wait to see the film. It hits the cinemas in England in October.

  2. I can't tell from the trailer. I like Gerard Butler, so it's hard to say no...but when I brought up the film among friends, no one would commit to go with me. Said they 'heard it was bad.' Then I looked up Rotten Tomatoes, and it didn't get an amazing rating. Better than G.I. Joe, though...

    If I don't end up seeing it in theaters, it will definitely go on my Netflix queue.

  3. @Akasha ... I actually have Shutter Island sitting on my bookshelf, which I hope to read this fall.

    @Celia ... I like Butler in RocknRolla and 300, which makes me wonder all the more who conned him into this movie. :)

  4. Cool concept. The execution, though, leaned on its bells and whistles rather than a solid structure. The pacing was odd, and the final confrontation left me thinking, That wasn't the end. The end is still coming. Except it wasn't.

  5. It looks like an interesting topic and I am a gamer, so it does make me want to see I heard it has a dance number.

    ~ Popin

  6. @nomadshan - Argh. I hate false endings that stick out like sore thumbs. The movie, A.I., immediately springs to mind.

    @PopinFresh - I used to be a gamer too--just watch Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft pull $300+ out of me for a system that will be obsolete in a couple of years. As for gamer-related movies, I recall a terrible one a couple of years ago with Adam Goldberg. Not a pleasant experience.