When it comes to movies, one called Gamer is probably the most applicably titled for Futuregamez readers, and indeed the entire movie is based around a Deathmatch styled game where humans control other real-life people in a battle that often ends in death for the participants. Starring Gerard Butler (300, The Ugly Truth) this is a bloody and quite brutal movie, but at the same time is quite entertaining. For one reason or another it was never released into Australian cinemas, and perhaps the modest theatrical gross of $US38 million in other countries around the globe scared off the Australian distributer from releasing it. Whatever the reason the movie is out now on Blu-Ray so we can all check it out...
Gamer is set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments. One called "Society" is a social place for interactions and love, but a second environment called "Slayers" is a brutal game where the ultimate penalty applies - death. A star player known as Cable (Gerard Butler) has become world famous due to his ability to survive almost 30 battles but is looking to regain his independence while taking down the worlds richest man and the game's mastermind Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall).
Ultimately Gamer feels a bit like a cross between The Running Man and the more recent Death Race. This is a game of life or death to the end with prisoners on Death Row and indeed the deaths in this movie are pretty brutal with plenty of blood and dismemberment. In fact, it's this over-the-top brutal action that gives much of this movie its appeal - and we know that it won't appeal to everyone as a result. The movie also has quite a bit of nudity in places which all contributes to the deserved MA15+ rating.
Admittedly Gamer isn't one of the best movies we've ever seen, but those that spend a bit of time playing shooters, or living in virtual worlds like Second Life or Playstation Home may notice some "parallels" to real life and a potential future. As an actual movie the storyline is decent enough with some entertaining moments and it's one we recommend to action fans.
There are no other audio tracks on this disc and only a single English SDH subtitle track which was accurate to the dialogue from the samples we took.
Gamer comes to Blu-Ray with quite a few extras which was a pleasant surprise although some content has been dropped off from the US release including a 17 minute look at the Red One digital cameras used for filming.
Audio Commentary with Witer/Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and Actors Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman and Terry Crews.: This is quite an entertaining commentary which may be a bit light on technical details but provides a fun look at making the film.
iCon Mode - The Making of Gamer (HD): This is a PIP styled commentary where the filmmakers comment on the film and occasionally pop up, pause the film to point out things or branch out to behind the scenes footage. It's a fairly entertaining look at the making of the film which adds about 38 minutes to the runtime overall.
We now move onto the second disc in the set which contains quite a bit more content...
Inside the Game - Controlling Gamer (1:19:35/HD): This is basically a making of documentary with plenty of interviews. This is actually very well put together and details how they came up with the story, casting the actors, filming, and working on this movie at the same time as Crank 2 which is from the same screenwriters and directors.
Review By: Dave Warner