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Noobz (DVD Review)

27 Jan, 2013 By: John Latchem

Street 1/29/13
Big Air
$14.95 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for language including some crude sexual references.
Stars Jason Mewes, Blake Freeman, Moises Arias, Matt Shively, Zelda Williams, Casper Van Dien, Jon Gries.

While the video game culture has become pervasive in society, attempts to depict its ubiquity have not exactly been a priority of Hollywood.

Sure, there was The Wizard back in 1989, but that was essentially just an overlong Nintendo commercial, and horrible enough as a film to set back the genre for decades. Then there are the films based on the games themselves, which haven’t been much better.

Noobz circumvents these issues by focusing on the gamers themselves, making the games more of a plot device than the driving force of the film. It’s by no means a perfect film, but it’s more often than not a funny one, and even a little sweet. This is a much better movie than you would think just from looking at the box art.

A seamless blending of the gaming acumen of Web series “The Guild” with the comedic sensibilities of Clerks, Noobz focuses on a team of four gamers known as the Reign Clan, who engage in a series of misadventures en route to Los Angeles to participate in a Gears of War 3 tournament.

Front and center in this motley crew are newly unemployed Cody (Blake Freeman, who also wrote and directed) and game-store manager Andy (Jason Mewes, best known as Silent Bob’s buddy in most of Kevin Smith’s movies).

Mewes takes a step back from the intensity of his Jay character, still loud and impulsive but a bit less obnoxious and more insecure. He’s the driving force with getting the team to L.A., where a $400,000 grand prize awaits the winner. He also wants to hook up with Rickie (Zelda Williams), who plays on an all-girl team and hopes to take their relationship beyond mere chat rooms.

The film certainly hides its meager budget well by getting its bona fides in order. That includes cameos by famed gaming expert Adam Sessler as the tournament host, Bill Bellamy as an announcer, and Casper Van Dien playing a fictionalized version of himself, who may or may not be the anonymous fourth member of Reign.

Extras are light, but if you enjoy the film the commentary with Freeman and Mewes is worth checking out. Rounding out the disc are short-but-sweet interview clips with other cast members.

About the Author: John Latchem

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