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If you liked what Christopher Guest did to dog shows (Best in Show) and folk music (A Mighty Wind), and you really liked what Trekkies did to ... Trekkies, then odds are you're just enough of a geek to enjoy Gamers, a very amusing piece of mockumentary silliness that takes firm aim at the world of "role-playing gamers," and gets a little bit nasty along the way.
The skimpy plot deals with a group of grown-up nerds who've been playing the same RPG every weekend for about 23 years, and they're about to break the world record for "Demons, Nymphs & Dragons" gaming. Needless to say ... these are not exactly ladies' men.
Gordon (Kevin Kirkpatrick) is a clueless public access videographer who loves to "tilt and zoom."
Paul (Scott Rinker) is a sweet-natured call-center drone who used to have an unhealthy obsession with Ronald McDonald.
Fernando (Joe Nieves) is an Argentenian "horse specialist" (you figure it out) who (somehow) has a beautiful (pregnant) girlfriend.
Reese (Dave Hanson) is an outrageous mega-nerd telemarketer who is deeply mourning the loss of his newest love: an RPG Valkyrie known as "Farrah." Also, Reese really sucks at DND.
And "Dungeon Lord" Kevin (Kevin Sherwood) is the all-powerful bastard of the bunch. He's in charge of the game -- and he loves nothing more than torturing Reese.
Individually and as an onscreen team, these are some pretty funny guys. For every joke that doesn't immediately fly, there are four or five that do -- some of 'em are big set-pieces, while some of the best giggles come from throwaway bits of raunchy conversation. (Reese's desperate tirade into a phone is a standout.) Also along for the ride are a bunch of familiar faces in cameo roles: William Katt plays a boss who loves "the franchise mode on Madden," Kelly LeBrock pops up in a flashback, and John Heard and Beverly D'Angelo play parents too obsessed with their swinger lifestyle to notice how desperately geeky their son is.
Jokes and cast members aside, what I liked best about Gamers is that it displays some real affection for these goofballs -- but that empathy doesn't prevent Folino & Co. from coming up with some pleasantly nasty material. It's all done in fun, of course, but hey -- if you're going to tease a bunch of geeks, you may as well do it aggressively and with much enthusiasm.
Plus, anyone who's a hardcore RPGer definitely has a sense of humor about their hobby. And those folks will have a ball with Gamers. Non-geeks (probably) need not apply.
Video: The widescreen transfer is actually pretty solid, all things considered.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 no-frills, but it gets the job done. No subtitles.
The goodies kick off with a pair of audio commentaries, one with writer/director Chris Folino, producer Jennifer Stechman, narrator Michael Bell, and actors Dave Hanson, Ben Messmer & Kevin Sherwood -- and the other with executive producers Fernando Velloso & Roberto Blasini, and actors Joe Nieves, Scott Rinker, and Kevin Kirkpatrick. Whew! These chat-tracks are pretty much what you'd expect from this sort of comedy indie crew: lots of silliness and chuckling, with just enough space set aside for a few production tales.
Also included are seven cast interview segments and a quartet of deleted scenes. All in all, a solid set of extras for such a goofy little movie.
You have to know a subject pretty well before you can accurately poke fun at it, so I'm guessing Folino's crew knows more than a little about 12-sided dice and +5 Enchanted Swords. Gamers has a twisted sense of humor, some really solid production value (for such an inexpensive flick), and a bunch of funny "no-names" who might be seen again soon.