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Going into it, I probably shouldn't have expected a lot from a movie
entitled "Noobz." I was shocked, however, at how blatantly offensive
this movie is to anyone who considers themselves a part of this
culture. Nobody who starred in, with the exclusion of Adam Sessler, or
wrote this movie has any idea how gaming culture actually works. They
wrote this film based off the false perception that "bros" and
over-protective, "video games bring Satan" types of adults created.
This film is woefully inaccurate and has wildly missed its mark in its attempt to capture gaming culture.
That aside, how good was the movie? If you're the type that finds pointing out sexual orientation, making racist stereotypes, your mom jokes, or jokes about vaginas funny, then you will love this movie. Every line of dialog has to consist of at least one "bro" and one derogatory statement towards either women, gays, gamers, or some ethnicity.
Noobz is the story of four gamers and their path to LA and the
Cyberbowl Video Game Championships. Of course, there's the usual trials
and tribulations that come with such a trip. Written and directed by
relative newcomer Blake Freeman, the central four of the film are
played by Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, The Tripper, Todd
& The Book of Pure Evil), Matt Shively (Paranormal Activity 4), Moises
Arias (Hannah Montana, Nacho Libre) and Freeman himself. Along the way,
there's comedy, romance, break-ups, gaming rivalry and Casper Van Dien.
The film starts off by showcasing the rivalry that is now more popular than ever between online games. Gone are the days of one man sat in his room, bashing his joystick on his own. Now said joystick basher has the chance to test his wits against other like-minded people across the globe. Even better than that, there are now gangs/clans that games can join up with in order to take down other clans via the joys of the worldwide web.
We're firstly introduced to three friends; Cody (Freeman), Andy (Mewes) and Oliver (Shively). They play Gears of War 3 online in a four-man clan alongside their cyber-friend 'Hollywood', supposedly Casper Van Dien, but in reality Moises Arias. All four are obsessed gamers, with them calling a halt to all other activities in their life when there's the chance of an online match - jobs and relationships firmly take a back seat early on in the story. We also quickly learn about their mortal enemies; the 'Black Assassins' clan. The film is set up as a buddy movie of sorts, with some smutty and sexual humour thrown in for good measure.
First thing's first with a comedy like this, is it actually funny? To this, I say, an unequivocable 'at times.' The film starts off well, with the principal cast and the basic plot all introduced quickly and thoroughly enough. It's sometime during the second act that the film starts to lose its appeal. At first the jokes are fine, even funny a lot of the time, but they just seem to repeat themselves the longer the film goes. The humour is toilet humour at best. Luckily, I'm a fan of toilet humour - I just prefer it to be a bit funnier than the majority of what's on show here.
Whilst the characters are all supposed to be flawed in their own individual ways, I didn't find myself feeling any attachment to any of them. Now, I'm a gamer as well, so I could relate to that part of the story, it's just that the characters, particularly Cody, feel hollow. There's just nothing there to care about. There's the unravelling of an apparent love story featuring Mewes and Zelda Williams' Rickie, yet you never really buy into it as it's not fleshed out enough for you to even care about, especially when the film reaches its finale. You're left thinking, 'what was the point?' with that subplot a feeling that you'll have to become familiar with if you're to see Noobz through.
The film isn't entirely horrible; there are some funny bits. The funnier scenes seem to stem around young Sklyan Brooks' Chomamma; the leader of the rival 'Black Assassins' clan. It's just a major shame that the majority of his scenes tend to come in the first half of the film, meaning that the better stuff is out-of-the-way early on. I also quite look the comical usernames that the main characters have, with RumPULL4Skinz being a favourite of mine. There's also some decent performances, mainly from Matt Shively and Moises Arias. There's even a nice subplot involving Jon Gries' distant father to Arias' Hollywood. Gries is great in his role as a world-famous retro gamer, with Frogger being his game of choice. He's almost an exact replica of the real life Billy Mitchell, as featured in the brilliant 2007 documentary The King of Kong. As well as Gries, it's also nice to see an appearance from a personal favourite of mine, Lin Shaye. It's just a shame that her role is brief and relatively unimportant. You also feel as if Jason Mewes is trying to his best with the role, yet he seems to be facing a constant uphill battle. His character is often funny, yet sometimes a bit too forced, with the character just coming off as Jay-lite for those familiar with Mewes' appearance in various Kevin Smith films over the years. Mewes is better than this.
The concept of the film is quite nice in principle, but the execution is sloppy. The film takes elements from films such as Fanboys, Detroit Rock City, Role Models, Sex Drive and the aforementioned The King of Kong documentary, yet it fails to live up to any of those. Flat, hollow, lifeless and unfulfilling are just some words to throw at Noobz. It does have a Casper Van Dien cameo though.
I was really hoping for a lot more from this film, yet I was massively disappointed. It's not without its charms, it's just that they're few and far between. I give Noobz a bland and boring 4 out of 10 stars. I do quite like the tagline of 'Regular guys, virtual heroes' though.
I almost died laughing a few times while watching this. I admit I
really only looked into this flick because I like Jason Mewes and
followed the Jay and Silent Bob/Kevin Smith flicks. I wasn't expecting
much after the reviews but this movie was friggin hilarious. Being a
very occasional gamer I thought that this movie would be interesting..
but was put off by the reviews posted.. but I gave it a chance. Glad I
There were moments that I thought I was gonna die laughing. The whole movie, start to finish was really well made.. and very funny.
I think to say, if you liked Jay and Silent Bob, you'll like this movie.
I watched this as part of the Fantasy Filmfestival in Germany. It's not
exactly fantasy, but the Festival is known for their diversity, which I
like. And the movie has really good intentions. Anyone familiar with
the word "Noob" and those that will learn the meaning of it, might like
it's definition. I'm not so sure they will like the movie though.
It's hard to be mad at the guys too of course. Casper van Dien has a nice cameo, where he makes fun of himself. Jason Mewes is as energetic as always and some of the jokes really hit home. But overall there is a sense that the movie is too aware (in a bad sense) of what it tries to achieve. While not completely achieving it. Hits and misses all over the place, make it impossible to dislike (for me), but also impossible to like (have seen better).
I decided to check this one out thinking it can be the next "grandma's
Boy" but it turned out to be a dull movie. It really does show it's
effort with the very small production value, but it's just not all that
creative or funny. The story is about 4 gamers going on a road trip to
enter a "Gears of War" competition. There is some weird and love
interest scenarios, but it has all been done before and better. Most of
the humor come from the 4 guys constantly making random dumb remarks
and it's just not funny. Even when it comes to the competition, nothing
made it immersive or entertaining to watch. It just constantly just
shows the competitors reactions while not even showing what strategy or
tactics they use to beat each other. This is a pass even for audiences
that are gamers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First things first; the greatest bit in the entire movie centers not on
a main character's awakening, an incredible bit of timing for a classic
joke or a tongue-in-cheek gamer orientated joke. In fact, none of three
happen within the 90 minute time frame that Noobz 'gifts' to the
viewer. The incredible bit is a young girl with amazingly impressive
dialogue and even more amazing acting. The bit itself happens within 20
minutes of the movie's inception and hits home to one of the character
who in the opening of the movie got fired and then split from his wife
who seems attractive without real reason, even wearing a low cut shirt
as if to point this out. Pointless. However, despite the rawness from
this girl, the character himself still spends the majority- no sorry -
the whole movie moping and whining about everything.
This is the writer/director Blake Freeman and his acting comes off as stiff at the best of times and his character, despite being flawed in his own right, makes no effort to climb from his hole. In fact, all of the characters have their own quirks and failures but none of them transcend these barriers that they've made themselves. Not one character is likable at all with perhaps the exclusion of 'Armgreggon', a veteran of con-op games, ala Billy Mitchell who is going for the Frogger championship. This subplot seems sloppy and way too much scene time focuses on Armagreggon which, as the movie nears to the end; feel tired and tacked on for the sake of stretching the already tired and clichéd plot.
It could be called unfair to have a problem with the characters since this is an indie movie aimed at gamers and gaming culture itself but in reality, most movies have a 'lesson learned' or characters discover something about themselves and Noobz could have easily put these in and tie the movie up tightly, rather than leaving it open ended and annoyingly clichéd. The gaming culture itself in the movie makes no sense. I say this as a person who games every so often and while I do not game that much, I understand the culture and friends who are more into it than me. This is cringe-worthy if Freeman thinks the movie is catering to us.
Jason Mewes' character is loud, abrasive (made more so by his voice) and repeats himself that often it borders on being ridiculous. The slang is equally silly and unnecessary with 'good calls' being rewarded with fist bumps and cheers. Too many times I found myself saying 'what' in exclamation. I couldn't understand this humour and why it was funny. Some might find it funny, amusing on a slapstick and silly level but the movie is almost poking fun, making the gap between gamers and non-gamers even wide, rather than thinning the gap that it tries to achieve.
In interviews before the movie's release, Freeman spoke about the movie being a positive movie with gamers but he would have to be mistaken; the movie, while it had potential, leaked everywhere without considerable end or means. The movie started nicely and Freeman's directing isn't that bad, but towards the end the movie took a dive. The Gears of War battles were short with split screens and went too quick to even have any real meaning or feeling like a real victory. The groups competing were also clichéd and rather boring. One group is a muscle bound gang, another is made up of only attractive girls.
Discussing Gears of War, it should be pointed out; that if you're like me - a Gears enthusiast and are watching the movie to see Gears of War in a movie then you're going to be let down. Aside from posters of the game and Jason Mewes' character wearing Gears clothing there isn't much else to see. These 'best of the best' players at Gears of War are to put it plainly, poor. They single-handedly mess with the mechanics of the game, the screens show players standing in the open firing and taking damage and getting angry when they die. The final shot of the tournament is an insult to Gears players because it doesn't take the game into consideration at all. If this was a cross promotion movie, I would have thought they'd put more effort into it. All of this is nitpicking however, the movie itself is just not enough to make this seem like nothing.
Whole scenes occur without substance, jokes are toilet based, clichéd and unfunny. Characters are stiff, dialogue is 'bro-this' and 'bro-that' with homophobic remarks, vagina jokes, fat stripper jokes and there's even a huge plot twist that's not actually a twist at all that involves a new relationship but this doesn't develop or even have any real meaning. The end of the movie has the classic picture of each character and a paragraph of text to show what happened after the movie. This bit is not funny, maybe to an untrained brained but it literally makes little to no sense. Particularly since one obliterates a sub-plot evident in the movie which makes it not only redundant but the ending of the movie even more so.
There is no happy ending which I found incredibly frustrating, why would you create a movie designed for gamers and then still paint them as losers without any sort of transition? Why doesn't Cody who got divorced wake up to himself? Unfortunately there are more questions to be asked and little answers to be had. Noobz is a movie that tries too hard for humour and falls drastically short. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. It falls flat in every regard. Avoid. If someone recommends this to you or gives it to you as a gift then they're trying to tell you something.
As I've grown older I'm certainly spending more of it at my home
computer doing things like writing this review. But it's a changing
world when so many younger than I spend hours devoted to playing video
games. As many don't ever meet in real life you can choose some real
interesting cyber monikers for yourself betraying your own fantasies.
Noobz concerns for such who've formed a team of sorts Richard Speight, Matt Shively, Jason Mewes. and young Moises Arias who are on a road trip to Las Vegas to win the gaming championship and it's $100,000.00 grand prize. And since this Las Vegas we're going to have a great old time doing it.
I guess I'm not into computer games so the whole world escapes me. When at one point one of these characters says that they are the new athletes of the 21st century I'm stunned. Just think how someone like Michael Jordan or Cal Ripken feels.
Casper Van Dien was one of the producers and wrote himself into the film as himself. Casper, you should have done another sequel of Starship Troopers.
I literally love this movie! its not only funny & makes you laugh but its a good movie for us video gamers out there. I personally recommend this movie to every gamer who loves a laugh :) Some people just take the first review and don't watch it, but if actually read down there is reviews from people who love to laugh & play video games. The characters in it are stupid but funny and show what they call the average gamer with a twist. This movie actually wants to make me join a clan, go to gaming expo's and everything like that. So for you gamers & people who love a laugh, actually watch it then judge it but I think you will enjoy it. Watch the movie & enjoy it :)
Noobz doesn't try to be something it's not. Saw the film during the E3
convention in Los Angeles. Looking at the budget listed here, it is
obviously an independent film. I can respect the scope of the world
they achieved at any level outside of a studio.
Noobz does a good job capturing the gaming culture, without the usual "nerd trying to get laid" stereotypes. Identifiable characters along with above average acting, sets this film apart from its predecessors.
For what it is, not an art film nor an Oscar pitch, it's the best video game movie made so far.
My score is based on the fact that it is a gaming comedy and not a comparable film to ARGO.
I loved this film! I saw it at the world premiere of the film at E3 in
June and frankly wasn't expecting much. I thought it would be another
lame gaming movie. But I was blown away by how funny it was and how I
could relate to the humor as an avid gamer.
I highly recommend the movie to all gamers, and to anyone in general who like a good buddy comedy flick. Think of it as a "Road Trip" type movie about gamers. Blake Freeman is going to be a breakout star, and I love Jason Mewes, who is at his "Jay and Silent Bob" like best. Casper Van Dien also has a nice cameo in the film and Zelda Williams (daughter of Robin Williams) is very convincing as a sexy female gamer.
In summary, if you'd like a good laugh, this is a great film to rent or VOD, but if you are an avid gamer - this is a must own!
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