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Can't even remember when, why or how but just like basically everybody else I did stumble across an Angry Video Game Nerd episode on YouTube at a time. It was the "Superman 64" review that first introduced me to the character and before I knew it I was spending my afternoons and nights watching 'Nerd' videos until I finally caught up and had seen all of them. In other words; I'm very familiar with the 'Nerd Universe', the character and the comedy James D. Rolfe uses within his videos. Am I a fan as well? As being a fan means that you're anxiously awaiting another video by him every week, then yes but I'm still able to see some of the flaws and recognize the inconsistencies and repetitive elements within his videos as well.

Having said that, he clearly still is among the best, most entertaining and creative 'YouTuber's' that are around nowadays. Throughout the years he has managed to maintain and master a certain style and type comedy, without ever trying to really change- or ever forcing anything by going overboard, which all are thing that I admire and respect about him.

Is any of that relevant for this movie and my review of it? Not really actually. The movie differs quite a lot from any of the Nerd-episodes, in terms of style, story and even character and comedy. This undoubtedly is also part of the reason why some fans aren't very fond of this movie. But it at the same time also makes the movie perfectly accessible for those who aren't familiar with the character or the comedy. Sure, there are some 'inside' jokes and cameos by people most casual moviegoers won't recognize but as a movie it really stands on its own and does its very own thing, without constantly winking into the camera or taking the easy road with things, by being nothing but an extended and a more elaborate and expensive Nerd-episode.

It's really more of a streamlined and mainstream movie in that sense, that features a real story with a beginning, middle and end in it, supporting characters besides the Nerd himself and more 'normal' and 'serious' type of dialog than we are used to from anything involving the Nerd. And again, maybe all of these things are part of the reason as well why not all Nerd-fans are fans or lovers of this movie as well. It's not a movie that's all about the Nerd and it's not a movie in which all he does is sit around and play video games, that anger and annoy him, which results in him spewing his hilarious hatred toward it. You therefore also really shouldn't see this as a 'Nerd' movie but more as a movie that just happens to feature the Nerd character in it instead.

To be honest, I really wasn't expecting this movie to be much good. James D. Rolfe's past, more serious, attempts at making movies never impressed me much and didn't look appealing in the slightest to me. Besides, the first trailer for the movie didn't impress me very much and I also pretty much lost all interest in, especially after hearing people say how terrible and disappointing the movie was to them. I nevertheless decided to eventually give it a go and I must say, I didn't regret it for a single moment. I was pleasantly surprised. The movie is extremely entertaining and fun to watch but perhaps more importantly; it's a pretty well done and solid movie, which is a real accomplishment for a low-budget, crowed funded movie, made by people who had never made a full length movie before.

The movie has a great and very professional look to it, making use of both practical- and 'modern' computer effects. It also shows Rolfe's love for classic movies and cinema in general. He has a passion for movies and for making them, ever since he was a young boy and it really shows. Movies like this, that shows the love for the project from its creators and lets their passion for it shines through, are always great to watch in my opinion, even when the eventual movies are absolute garbage. It's also a reason why I actually love watching Ed Wood movies for instance. They are worse than terrible but Wood's love and passion for them still always shines through, which in a way makes them really irresistible and fun.

Having said that, this movie is obviously better than all of Ed Wood's movies combined (Yeah, put that on the poster!). It sounds like a backhanded compliment so maybe I should rephrase it; It's a pretty darn good movie!

The story feels a bit random at times and so does some of the comedy but is that really such a bad thing? I mean, cartoons are pretty much random like that as well and so are some of the very best '80's comedies for instance. Randomness can really add to the fun and adventurous aspects of a movie, as it does as well in this case. Having said that, the movie does get a bit TOO random and messy to watch toward the end though, when the movie is tying too hard to be as crazy as possible. It's a real shame, since I really was loving the movie up till that point but still it's not all bad enough to ruin the movie for me as well.

It's funny how just about every review that I have read for this movie has been positive but the general consensus among the average moviegoers seem to be that this actually is a pretty terrible movie. And while I also still see some flaws and weaknesses within this movie, I in this case couldn't disagree more with some of the negative things that already have been said about this movie but I can still understand why some people have said it and think that way.

The things I see as 'bad': While the story is decent enough, it at the same time also is a very simplistic one, with some far too random moments in it. The dialog isn't the best either and comedy-wise there are some hits and misses. The acting also isn't solid across the board, especially that by some of the movie its extras (seriously, the average movie extra is just as good at acting as a volleyball, Wilson not included of course) and some of the special effects are fake looking, though most of this seems deliberate, which admittedly works well for the movie at parts and the overall tone of it but the combination of different type of effects also made the movie somewhat inconsistent and it didn't always worked out too well, such as the use of miniatures.

All of this, combined with the fact that it differs from the average Nerd-episode and the Nerd himself isn't always the central character and isn't constantly doing or saying the type of things than we are accustomed to from the Nerd, makes the movie hated by some of the Nerd-fans and regular moviegoers. And sure to be honest, I would have liked to see some things being done differently as well, keeping the movie more in tone with the Nerd-episodes but it's obvious that Rolfe wanted to do something different and 'bigger', which is his good right of course. And yes for me- and for most other people who review movies on a regular basis, it worked! I was genuinely impressed with how well put together the movie was, even down to some of the smallest details. Things such as costumes, sound, sets are all incredibly professional looking and sounding and helps to make this movie into a good and fun one to watch. However I can understand how for some people, who are not accustomed to seeing low-budget productions, this movie may come across as cheap, lame and disappointing movie. I'm not saying that the movie reviewers are all right and the nay sayers among the general public are wrong for not liking this movie but I'm trying to explain the differences in perception and opinions of this movie. For people who watch hundreds of movies each year, such as myself, including some independent and very low-budget ones, there is absolutely no denying that this movie is one of the most impressive and entertaining low-budget independent movies that you could ever watch.

So while maybe this movie may not be for everyone, I absolutely enjoyed it and was genuinely impressed and surprised with the overall quality, though it's obviously not without its flaws as well.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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