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Gamers (DVD Review)

4 May, 2008 By: Brendan Howard

Street 5/6/08
$24.95 DVD
Not rated.
Stars John Heard, Beverly D'Angelo, William Katt, Kelly LeBrock.

With the insightful documentary Darkon having explored the personal and hobby lives of live-action role-players, these past couple of years are proving an embarrassment of film riches for a community whose strange members and obsessive dedication have too long been ignored for their comic and dramatic potential. Now we have the “unrated, uncensored, unapologetic” version of the independently produced mockumentary Gamers.

This new edition adds some fluff and fat in extras and longer scenes, but even more laughs. It should be the version of choice for RPG fanboys as well as the general public. Audiences will see more of the tale of four players of Demons, Nymphs and Dragons (shortened to DND, get it?) who have played their pen-and-pencil tabletop role-playing game for at least 52 hours a week for 23 years (that's 74,565 hours).

These “four horsemen” (plus the hapless and annoying Reese, who plays the fifth wheel in their party) can pass a group of farmers who have been stalled on their way to the new record by a machinery accident. This cut of the film loses some of the urgency of that record by slowing things down for lengthier comic scenes, but will garner more laughs in the process. My wife, who knows nothing of role-playing games, laughed out loud several times, even as she was puzzled by some of the in-jokes.

Two new commentaries are off-the-cuff and cute: one with writer-director Christopher Folino, a producer, the narrator and three cast members; the other with an executive producer and cast members. There are short post-production cast interviews that include some blooper footage that was some of the funniest on the disc.

Where's the blooper reel? To come in the third edition? The deleted scenes were super short and, as with most, were clearly smart cuts to speed up the pace of the film.

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