Film: The Gamers 2: Dorness Rising
Production Company: Dead Gentlemen Productions
Writer: Matt Vancil
Director: Matt Vancil
Staring: Nathan Rice, Brian Lewis, Carol Roscoe, Christian Doyle, Scott Brown, Jen Page
At last we have come to Dead Gentlemen Productions most recent film. This film has a larger budget, as well as larger ambitions than all previous DG films. I waited impatiently for many others while DG struggled to find a distributor so they could release the film.
This film was worth the wait.
Simply put this is DG's masterpiece. The Mona Lisa of Gaming movies. It outstrips even its predecessor, the original Gamers, in all respects. The story is very solid here is a mostly spoiler free plot summary...
Lodge is a struggling writer with a problem. He has written an adventure, but it is unfinished. To finish writing it he needs his gaming group to get through it, something they had been unable to do. After a few failed attempts Lodge decides to shake things up by introducing two new characters. One played by himself (Yes, the dreaded GMPC!) and one played by (Gasp!) a girl!. With these changes the group sets off again in an attempt to succeed where they have previously failed. They face goblins, demons, peasants, and chickens on their way!
That's as detailed as I want to get because I don't want to ruin the film for anyone who hasn't seen it.
This film truly is Gamer subculture on parade. If you pay close attention to such gaming favorites as Munchkin, Nodwick, and Knights of the Dinner Table. There is even an ode to the much beloved creator of Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax.
True gamers will fall in love with this movie almost instantly... but what about non-gamers? The original gamer film gave insight into our hobby to those on the outside, but it didn't really stand up for them as a true film. For example, if one of them watched the original Gamers with no gamer there to explain things they would have been quickly lost and shut off the movie. Matt Vancil, the writer of both Gamer film understands that. So what does he do? He introduces a new player to the table. Any non-gamers watching the film learn along with her. This makes the movie so accessible to the non-gamer crowd that I know some people who have never slung dice in their life, but love the movie and bought it. This is a master stroke by Vancil to open his product up to people beyond the niche audience that forms DG's base.
The rest of the writing in this film is just as good. These are not one dimensional characters we see in this film. Yes, experienced gamers will see some gamer sterotypes, the rules lawyer, for example. But that isn't the only side of the characters that on display. We see them both at, and away from, the gaming table. We are given a view into their lives, hopes, and ambitions. I've written previously that Vancil has a lot of potential as a writer and director, here we see that potential realized. The quality of work is really beyond anything I would have thought possible a few years ago.
The acting is similarly much improved. Once again it is Nathan Rice who is the star of this movie, but the difference is that he doesn't have to carry the film. The others actors in the film are capable of keeping up with, and playing off of, Rice. And the end result is beautiful to behold. All the main cast are solid and have their great moments throughout the film. Flynn, played by Scott C. Brown always gets the most laughs. Brown does a great job, Flynn has some of the best lines, and the plot around the Bard is nothing short of hilarious. Honorable mentions should go out to the team of Christian Doyle and Jen page who share the character of Luster. With the combination of their comedic timing and so very clever writing Luster is a character will quoted for many years to come.
As for the rest of the film, music, scenery, costumes, etc, they are all excellent. The scenery especially really blew me away at times. The inn at Westhaven was one set in particular that I knew a little bit about ahead of time. Writer/Director Matt Vancil built the set for the inn in his garage, but you would never know it. That is how immersive the sets are in this film. It really makes me wonder what Dead Gentlemen Productions could achieve with a normal film's budget.
Overall Rating: 9/10 - This is one of my faovite movies, and is a must see for any and all Gamers!
Here is the trailer for Dorkness Rising... Enjoy!
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