Wednesday, May 8, 2013


As gamers and gaming in general become more socially accepted there are more and more video game themed movies being released. Sure not all of them get a theatrical release, but at least they’re getting made. Noobz is the latest entry into the gamer themed flick sub-genre.

Basically die hard gamer Cody (Blake Freeman) loses his job and his girlfriend because of his Gears of War 3 addiction that he shares with his friends Andy (Jason Mewes), Hollywood (Moises Arias) and Oliver (Matt Shively). In order to cheer up his best bud Andy takes it upon himself to enlist his clan in a gaming tournament where they could win some big bucks.
If you take Clerks, Swingers, Free Enterprise, a generous handful of The Guild and a dash of The Wizard, mix them up and spit them out you would end up with Noobz. None of it is original in the slightest, but it does take a somewhat honest look at the gamer lifestyle. Writers Blake Freeman (who also directs) and Marvin Wilson obviously are gamers themselves and poke fun at not only modern day gaming but the 80s as well. I especially liked the fact that the Reign Clan’s (the main characters) nemesis was a group of 14 year old smack talkers. If you’ve ever played an online multiplayer game like Halo you know just how annoying that can be.

Out of all the games out there to have these nerds latch onto they chose Gears of War 3. I’ve never played the multiplayer mode in that game because I prefer the first person shooters myself. I do like the Gears of War games, but all the whoring of it here made my head hurt. It makes me think that the filmmakers managed to convince Epic Games to contribute to the budget as long as they advertised their latest entry in the popular sci-fi action series prominently. Clever.
In the director’s seat is star and writer Blake Freeman. In this department he lacks in the extreme. While he manages to coax a decently grounded performance out of the usually crazed ex-druggie Jason Mewes he cannot seem to direct the other major cast members to be anything other than annoying as fuck, especially himself. Sure he managed to assemble a decent cast, some noteworthy cameos (Bill Bellamy, Lin Shaye, Casper Van Dien) and impressive licensing, but he lacks basic filmmaking fundamentals. In the writing department it’s creating characters that are likable. In the directing department it’s keeping things focused and getting good performances. In the acting department it’s every single time he’s on screen. This dude is a horrible thespian and somehow managed to get me to absolutely despise his role as the lead since he has zero redeeming qualities and acts like a selfish asshole for the entire runtime.

Surprisingly Jason Mewes is the “normal” one in the group. He still has his random cuckoo moments, but manages to not be a complete spaz and convinced me that he really is an avid gamer and would do all these epic things, like organize his pals to compete in a multiplayer tournament in the name of friendship. I really, really liked him in this flick. He’s coming into his own as an actor.
Unfortunately the movie, while successfully catering to gamer culture in many aspects, just isn’t all that funny. Yes, the characters have dirty online handles (RumPULL4Skinz, Pr3daTurD, and Fraggett for the closeted gay dude), there are dick and fart jokes and everyone has a horrible potty mouth. I’m sorry, I rarely laughed at anything in this dry ass flop. Only some of the cameo jokes made me giggle (Lin Shaye’s “Give Mommy a little hit!” when attempting to suck on her son’s oxygen supply and Casper Van Dien being a gold digger) and some of the random video game references elicited a chuckle here and there.

There are also serious pacing issues. I’m talking long spots where nothing of note is going down and is strictly filler (the drinking scene), Mewes’ character is obsessed with a barely legal girl from the internet and the lame subplot about an aging Frogger champion from the 80s (played with lots of enthusiasm by Jon Gries) who is basically a failed attempt to parody Billy Mitchell (the arrogant Donkey Kong player chronicled in The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters). Virtually nothing works in this flick and that's kind of sad.
Lots of missed opportunities ruin what could have been an entertaining and funny movie for the gamer set. Too much garbage filler and ineptitude behind and in front of the camera stops it in its tracks. If you want to watch a good movie about gaming, albeit the tabletop RPG variety, just watch The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. With a tenth of the budget Noobz had they accomplished everything Blake Freeman attempted and then some.

I give this flick the red ring of death.

1 out of 5

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