Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Top 10 Gamer Movies!

Time for a break. How about one of the oldest Gamer Tropes of all time. Top Ten Gamer Movies! Everyone has their list of what is a Gamer Movie, I'm going to go one better and tell you WHY they are great Gamer movies.

This list is in no particular order. This top ten is over all.

1. Goonies - Say hello to your typical gaming group. You have Samwise as the party leader, the tech, the face, the conman, the social introvert, the gamer girls. Honestly, this group could have been sitting around a table describing their actions and I'd still enjoy it. When you think of a bunch of kids acting like the typical adventuring group...there you go. And damn, if they didn't have an exciting time. If anything I'm surprised no one has hit on the idea of kids just being kids as a RPG. Well except for Monsters and Other Childish Things, but that has the whole Monster thing...hmm. They go get Sloth. Man. Nevermind then!

2. Aliens - Game Over Man! Game Over! Welcome to part of the Gamer Quote Trifecta. This movie alone has added 1/3rd the best gamer based movie quotes. It doesn't help the squad mentality is there, the machismo, the bad ass lady with Riply and all the Alien shooting gun love. Hudson, Hicks, the whole gang is insane. Also, the underlying horror element from the movie just works in this case. And hell, I think it spawned a huge number of movies with other gaming groups seeing if they could do better.

3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Number 2 in the best gamer quotes of my trifecta. While this movie was pure comedy gold, it's also a great example of what I call party banter. Take the various chatter back and forth between the knights, the role of Arthur and the "you're arm's off" "only a flesh wound" mentality that comes up which mirrors how gung-ho gamers feel during some fights and events that it's just encapsulates the bizarre metatable behavior of gamers so perfectly.

4. The Princess Bride - Number 3 in the trifecta of quotes. While the group dynamic in this movie is broken until the end it does however illustrate almost perfect in character dialog. The way Wesley quips, Inigo Montoya broken record of vengeance, the simple but just SLIGHTLY intimidating statements by Andre the Giant, and damn. If you wanted an example of a TALK focused game going right. There you are. That and it really plays with your expectations but also allows you to enjoy light fantasy.

5. Lost Boys - Monster Hunting done right. What is with Corey Feldman being the patron saint of monster hunters? Goonies, this movie, AND Gremlins. That man got a round. But this movie was better than Monster Squad, had way more drama about turning into a vampire, and was just the right mix of bravado and stupidity to make the boys turned hunters believable. Add that to great banter between the brothers, the vampire 'boys', and the crazy twist at the end and man does this movie not hold any punches.

6. Ghostbusters - The concept of a group of professional Ghost Hunters was so compelling that after this movie came out WEG got the rights and came out with the very first d6 system game using this setting. I'd put it as the honorable mention of top movie quotes if it hadn't lost some favor in recent years. The weird low-high tech gear, the converted firehouse, the shoestring make do gusto of the group also works really well with the MacGyver crowd. You have the munchkin, the mad thinker, the face, and the normal guy in a group. The movie is a perfect example of many a modern gaming group of the era.

7. Sneakers - I AM NOT going to put Hackers on here even though the flashy style and action was a good thumbing of the nose at 1980's Cyberpunk culture. But something has to be said about a team of pros doing a job right. Sneakers is one such movie. Part urban spying, part mission impossible, but with a mature and fun cast. The reason why this is a gamer movie is how the group in the movie out thinks the baddies with clever use of their skills, a good amount of talking their way out of trouble mixed in with a bit of just being plain old sneaky. I love sneaky movies, I really do. Less bang, bang, more skulk skulk. I know there are a lot of gamers who agree.

8. Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven - I put these movies together because one is the original and a VERY period piece of feuding era Japan, the other is a nice and smooth western. Both movies showcase how a group gets together, cooks up a solution to a problem, and finally be badass working together to solve the outstanding issue. (Bandits) It has character death, a good romance plot, more experienced characters mentoring less experienced, Pros from Dover, lots of sword or gunplay. Both movies are perfect. Just know that Seven Samurai is LONG and has a much slower lead in. Akira Kurosawa is the god of gaming movies, you just don't know it yet. (Or you do...)

9. Star Wars - *DROPS MIC, WALKS OFF STAGE*... Okay not really. Do I have to explain this one? You have the classic adventure party, magical powers (force), the princess that all but saves HERSELF, the droids, Darth Vadar gunning for the #1 badguy prize of all time, tight directing and editing, and lord the banter, the BANTER. You can throw the whole original Star Wars trilogy in here. Otherwise, avoid the prequels. However...might I suggest you go see the movie Star War was based on? What's this you say? Go watch another Akira Kurosawa joint called The Hidden Fortress. Just go watch it and did I mention that is also inspired Princes Mononoke?

10. Lord of the Rings - This like Star Wars is another gimmie answer but it fits. Tolkien characters, story telling, world building mixed with Peter Jackson's sense of EPIC just mixes so well. Worth it just to show someone the movies pull out a copy of D&D and say THIS! I'M PLAYING THIS! And keep in mind it's NOT just Frodo's story, is the story of the fellowship broken as it may be. That's important.