Saturday, February 13, 2010


I know that this blog is supposed to be devoted to comics, but I'm guessing if you're reading the thoughts of a fringe comics professional you're probably a pretty big geek, so I thought I'd branch out a bit.

I watched Gamer, which stars Gerard Butler, Kyra Sedgewick, and that scenery chewer from Dexter in something of a modernized The Running Man. From that description I'm sure you're not expecting much, and neither was I. I must admit to being pleasantly surprised though.

The movie's premise is this: Michael C. Hall is a reclusive software designer that has created a means of controlling human beings remotely. He's applied this technology to gaming, creating a Second Life-esque simulation called Society that allows users to control real human beings in a live, interactive environment. The same technology was then lent out to the American prison system for a game called Slayers, a Call of Duty/Gears of War style shooter that allows death row inmates an attempt to avoid their sentence by winning 30 battles in an intense combat environment. Gerard Butler's character, Kastle, and his operator are three battles away from that 30-mark when the movie begins.

While Gamer is certainly not free of the sort of hamfisted storytelling most action films are guilty of, it does offer a slightly more subversive, socially conscious script than other movies of its ilk. Dealing with problems of the near future like the complete loss of privacy and the crisis of identity that will no doubt plague a generation of humans increasingly devoted to life "in the cloud," Gamer plays in a familiar science fiction sandbox that will appeal to fans of comics authors such as Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison and science fiction luminaries like Harlan Ellison and William Gibson.

If that sounds up your alley then I highly suggest you fork over a dollar at the Red Box (no, Red Box does not support this blog in any way...more's the pity) and enjoy this sci-fi actioner.

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