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Angry Video Game Nerd: the movie

The Video Gaming Nerding
ROSSMAN

I have to start off by saying that I love the Nerd. I have loved James Rolfe's alter ego of the Angry Nintendo Video Game Nerd since I first saw his shtick back in 2006.

Rolfe is an online video game reviewer who's always pissed off at the really shitty games he plays. He also beats the shit out of Bugs Bunny in the best and most dragged-out fights I've seen outside of John Carpenter's They Live, and he's always drinking his beloved Rolling Rock as he seems to get more and more hate-plastered as his reviews tend to go on. I also have to mention just how goddamn lucky that the hard working fucker is in order to make an actual living doing what he enjoys most: making reviews about shitty things that drive him crazy. I'm still waiting for Entertainment Weekly or Newtype to call me up to make me a deal. I have 5 operators standing by, waiting to take any call that comes my way right now! (Call me at 1-800-867-5309.)

Anyway, the AVGN is laugh-your-balls-off hilarious about 90% of the time (an amazing record for a comedy series in my opinion), but back in 2011 he put his video reviews on the back burner and focused most of his attention on making a real actual movie. It took him years to film and edit, and over $300,000 in crowd-funded cash to make it, but Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie is now complete and ready to be seen by the general public.

AVGN: the Movie is all about the Nerd, his token black friend Cooper (that he only made up for the flick in order to be more marketable), and hot, ginger, video game executive Mandi teaming up to find the truth behind the whole urban legend revolving around Atari's shittiest game ever made (that'd be E.T. - The Extra Testicle), and how it was so bad that Atari had millions of unsold/returned cartridges that they had to get rid of, so they buried them in a New Mexican landfill just before going bankrupt.

See, the Nerd doesn't even want to touch the legend or the game, but is being pressured to review the piece of fuckshit Atari game by all his rabid and semi-retarded fans. Cooper is all spastic like Urkel that the legend is true, and he wants to see the Nerd's rant over how shitty the game is since it would make the internet explode. Mandi is helming the production of the Eee Tee 2 video game for Cockburn Entertainment, and she wants the Nerd's rant on the '82 game to go online before her deliberately dog-anusly sucky sequel comes out in order to gain some free publicity for her company. Oh, and the government wants to shut them all up because of, well, I don't want to say it's aliens... but it's aliens. And Area 52.

AVGN Shit BunnyThe Nerd, Urkel, and Amy Pond travel from New Jersey to the American Southwest to get to the bottom of the whole Atari/E.T. story, and the Nerd promises that if they actually find any old cartridges in the landfill that he will not only review the old game that destroyed an industry back in 1983, but he'll gladly review Eee Tee 2 for Mandi (whose company is funding the whole endeavour). Shit goes South pretty quickly though, and soon some pissed off, wheelchair/wheeltank-bound Army general with a vocabulary even more foul than the Nerd himself starts coming after the gang because his security cameras see them talking about aliens and Area 52 or somesuchshit, and then a giant chase begins which pulls into play a crazy old scientist with a penchant for tinfoil, the actual maker of Atari's1982 E.T. game (Howard Scott Warshaw), and Mt. Fuji (and the evil that lies within). It just goes everywhere, typically all at once.

So, what did I think of Angry Video Game Nerd: the Movie?.... Hmmmmm. It... It was pretty ambitious for a flick thrown together on a relative shoe-string budget by a guy who typically makes funny game reviews in his own cramped basement, and it is genuinely funny about three-quarters of the time, but it's overly long (almost 2 full hours long), and it seems to try way too hard to be hilarious and campy most of the time. It's a strange mix. It's like having that one coworker of yours who's kind of funny most of the time, but when he gets too many chuckles in response to his silliness one day he just goes overboard with assumed power, thinking that he's the next George Carlin. But strangely enough he does nail his juvenile jokes most of the time too. So you cringe so as not to encourage him, but you still can't help chuckle at his over-the-top insane mind as he just gets more and more drunk as he goes on. Oh yeah, he's a heavy drinker. But like I said, it's a strange mix.

The Nerd often tries to bring his Nerd rantings and view of the industry into play, but when he does this it doesn't seem to work quite as well in a feature length motion picture as it does in a 8 minute YouTube review. For example, early in the movie we see that the Nerd works in a GameCop store, and his boss orders him to sell the shitty new X-Box game that just came in. The Nerd (who hasn't even played the game) goes on an incensed rant over just how shitty the game looks just from its box art to a customer while his ugly, evil boss watches from the security video feed. The Nerd then proceeds to hawk a very large loogie on the game, but before the irate boss can open the door and bust the Nerd's ass, the mongoloid customer gleefully grabs the box and buys it "because the Nerd hates it and spit on it."

The Nerd is beside himself since his whole purpose in life is to play shitty games that suck ass so other people don't have to, but the GameCop boss is ecstatic, and he appears to start to menacingly come up with a greedy idea.... But then we never see the boss or the GameCop store again. What the hell did that scene even do for the story? We had just spent 5 minutes with Cockburn Entertainment's Mandi telling us that gamers are stupid and buy games that the Nerd hates. That's the entire point of her storyline: to get the Nerd to play their knowingly putrid Eee Tee 2 game (that they spent $50 and 2 weeks creating) just to make a mad profit on his rage. The Nerd had already previously stated that he's sick of people NOT taking his advice and really wanting to play the crap games that he diarrhea dumps on. Hmm, or if this was the first time the Nerd realized this — I don't recall — it wasn't the last. My point is this thing is kinda bloated, and certain scenes appear to be in it just because they show the Nerd spitting, shitting, or hamming it up, even if they're repetitive and totally unnecessary. That's his shtick, so we have to have it crammed in our faces even if it slows things down.

AVGN BatmanOn another note, the amount of actors and the number of vehicles and sets that they have in this movie (even though most actors and sets are pretty cheesy on purpose) are very impressive, and it is really the best movie ever made about video games. It's better than The Wizard, that's for sure... But that's the only movie about electronic games I can think of at the moment.

I don't want to make it sound like I hated this movie, or that I thought it was beneath me. Far from it. There is nothing that I consider too adolescent or too gross to entertain me. There are a lot of clever and funny bits in this thing: the rectal scanner (even though it went on too long), the Dr. Zandor listening in on the Nerd and Cockburn chick "getting it on," what the E.T. video game was really about, what the alien really looks like, and the general being introduced to the Nerd and Cooper's "the Dude's" separate video review styles. But at its heart this flick is just a thank you card from James Rolfe to his fans, even though they didn't really want it. All we want is more profane and violent reviews focusing on the worst 8-bit Nintendo and Sega games ever made. Please, James, get back to the basics. Or if you're over the reviews, start something new... But keep whatever it is you do to around 10-minute segments. Comedy like this works best in small bites.

So, bottom line: AVGN: the Movie is too long, a bit too self indulgent, is beyond ludicrous (in a good way), has more "F" bombs than any Tarantino movie has "N" bombs, is really funny when it gets it right, has Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch as the voice of a strange little alien, and overall was a good waste of 2 hours this past Saturday for both my friends and I... But I can only recommend it to people who have seen (and liked) at least 3 or 4 of the Nerd's actual game reviews first. It might help to be drunk before you start playing the movie too. I'll experiment on that later.

I have mixed feelings about Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, but I love the Nerd, and had a generally good time watching the flick. I know he put his heart and soul into this production — and you can feel it — but it just wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be. It's a good "Drunk Movie Night" movie, right behind CHUD, Zoolander, and Deep Blue Sea. Oh, but the orchestral version of the AVGN theme was made of pure awesome, I will admit.

Now, Nerd, I hope you got that out of your system and can get back to doing what we really want you to do: review more bad games.


The Confuzzeld JAIME

I have not seen this Angry Video Game Reviewer Nerd before being made to watch this movie. I don't really play video games either, and the last one I think I even tried was some Super Mario game for the Super Nintendo, or that Nintendo 64 back in 2000 or something.

I kind of liked this movie, but it looked like it just tried to be cheap for the sake of not even trying to be a real movie. Did that make sense? It's like it was only concerned with being a new Rocky Horror or something. Like all it wanted was to be a new cult movie and not a real actual film movie.

This Video Game Nerd Movie was too zany and strange for me. The jokes that I got were silly and funny though, but overall it just felt like one giant inside joke that I didn't understand. I guess "you had to be there" in order to fully appreciate it. I don't ever plan to "be there" though, so I'll always be an outsider I guess. Sorry, Nerd! I do think you're kind of cute though!

This movie felt way too much like a grade schooler's summer film project than an actual work of legitimate entertainment. It did make me laugh sometimes, but it's not aimed at anybody who isn't into video gaming or anyone who hasn't seen the web show that the Nerd apparently made before he made this movie. I can only recommend it to people who are already fans, and I'm sure you're aware of the movie and plan to see it already anyway.


The Angry CHI-CHI

The Rossman first showed me some stuff this Video Game Nerd did a long time ago. I think he reviewed Castlevania 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles both for the original Nintendo. I admit it, the potty-mouthed guy in the white collared shirt swiggin' his beer while flipping off the TV screen was a pretty funny bit, but when dragged on for 2 hours in the form of a movie it does tend to wear out its welcome sooner rather than later. I think it was around the 30-minute mark that I started to think of other things... Like grilled cheese sandwiches, or pr0n, or why my checking account was so low.

This movie wasn't bad, but I do think that the movies that the Rossman and I made back in high school for a variety of school projects were funnier than anything that this angry nerd had in his feature film debut. And we didn't have to swindle over a quarter of a million dollars out of our fans to do it.

I admit, it could have been a whole lot worse, but it really wasn't that great a movie. Sorry, Nerd, but I think if you tried a bit harder it could have been gold. Gold, Jerry, GOLD!