This week's box office has seven movies for your perusal. From a Quake 2 movie destined to be a future classic in 'Dav & dud4 - The last round' to a visually fun effort called 'Obaah it's happytime' and more nonstop fragging from fury, a Swedish semi-pro who has always found love on the forums. Of course I wouldn't leave you without one last dose of movie magic for the year and this time I've pulled out one of the most special gaming movies I've ever experienced to close this edition off with a special feeling.
(Note: if the embedded movies do not display for you then disable adblock or click the "Go to video" link below them, the latter also being how they can be viewed fullscreen)
Name: Dav & dud4 - The last round
Editor: Bela Kiss
Originally planned, back in 2002, to be a movie which would show off the playing styles of Hungarian Quake 2 players Dav & dud4 in which Dav would edit and dud4 would recam. When Dav died in a motorcycle accident in 2005 the project was shelved until in 2007 dud4 decided to get the movie finished.
If I'd seen this movie when it was released back in 2007 it would have been a candidate for the 'Classic movie magic' by now but since I only got to see it now it would be unfair to use in that manner. I'd like that selection always be a movie which has stood the test of time and multiple revisitings to know it's really top tier material. All of that said though you should have an inkling to the kind of movie this is.
One other thing I will say before we get to the actual movie itself is that with a movie surrounded by circumstances such as these, loss of a friend, people are, understandably, going to be eager to laud the good things in the movie and suggest it is brilliant at any signs of quality. I really don't like that kind of thing and I can, as far as is reasonably possible, say that I'd have given this movie the same rating had Dav been with us or not.
This is a really good Quake 2 movie, perhaps the best I've seen on the whole. Considering its monsterous running time it doesn't feel like an arduous trek to make it through the whole thing because the viewer is so immersed in the different kinds of sections. The soundtrack is very good and helps set the tone for each different type of action the viewer will see. In the frag parts we get good and sometimes very good kills such as 180 flick rails, air rockets and double rails. Though most of these are single kills with not many sequences of multiple kills. There are trickjumping sections which thanks to how the music ties in still work.
Where frag sections are high tempo drum and bass the trickjumping scenes are more chilled out house in their vibe. This is one of those soundtracks where each segment of the movie embodies the atmosphere and pace of each piece of music. The music holds the move together, drives it when action needs to be fast paced and slows it down when things need to be more relaxed. This helps keep the viewer in for the long haul without feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or bored at any point in time. I'm not a huge fan of third person recams of kills but nearly all of those used here have a solid reason behind them and show off the kills in a new light.
Those who haven't seen this movie have been missing out but can now take comfort in having a treat awaiting them. Certainly a movie which delivers more than the viewer is likely to expect.
Thorin Rating: 8/10
Name: HeatoN - The Real Legend
An entry to the Teamplay movie contest centered around former NiP and SK.swe star HeatoN.
When you're watching a HeatoN movie one thing you should never find yourself doing is questioning the entertainment value of the kills, the guy's play style is what made his name. Yet this movie is actually quite a let down in the kills department. We have a small handful of quality sequences, all of which everyone has seen many times in much higher profile movies, and those are scattered between sequences where are either impossibly laggy or featuring lacklustre anti-eco kills.
This movie does a reasonably decent job of trying to synch with the music and edit between kills and scenes but I really never felt drawn into the movie or like I was being entertained. There was no excitement factor for this one. The soundtrack is pretty played out too, specifically the second track. I sometimes think CS moviemaking attracts the uncreative and borderline retarded because people will knowingly use a track in their movie which has been featured in dozens of other movies, likely where they heard/picked it from, as though there were some kind of shortage of good music out there to use.
Thorin Rating: 4/10
Download: MegaUpload, pldx
Name: Obaah it's happytime
A movie by the creator of 'manne - heartbeats', 'Hyvlarn - let it rock' and 'FYRR73 unstoppable'.
Regular readers will by now be familiar with how enamored I've been with some of the works of rglaf. This movie is one of his least high profile gigs but his editing mastery is on display as usual. This movie really isn't about the frags at all and that's what separates it from his more well known works. That also accounts for the lower score since it's not particularly exciting or enthralling in terms of the pure kills themselves. It is however another enjoyable gaming movie which entertains.
rglaf's editing is quite distinctive in that he correctly uses a lot of the techniques I only see other people misuse. He is the master of transitioning from moment to moment within a sequence or from one scene to the next. That's what makes this a fun movie to watch: he is at all times presenting a visually interesting movie which draws you in and keeps you within its flow. The first section is the most enjoyable, perhaps thanks to the soundtrack, but even in the others we see that consistency of being able to try different things and yet have everything feel appropriate to the moment.
Perhaps you can say it's good fortune that rglaf happens to be on the same wavelength as I am but I'd prefer to say it's because he's a talented editor who has a shrewd understanding of how to present different types of action while blending them all into the overall theme he is aiming for.
Thorin Rating: 6/10
Download: MegaUpload (HQ), MegaUpload (MQ)
Name: Frags Done Satanic: X
The third movie for the Satanic Slaughter Clan, featuring current tVS star Milton.
This movie is for my money the best of the series though it is not a straight up pure frag movie and more of a mixed bag. The running time is long and that accounts for a lengthy spoken intro and some real life footage towards the end. The fragging section is good, not unbelievable but solid and in places pretty nice. This accounts for about a third of the movie. Ignoring the intro/outro which takes up around a third on its own the other third is basically a bloopers reel. Most bloopers reels aren't that good but this one is pretty good. Each blooper has an explanation on screen to provide context to what you should be looking for and each manages to be funny or entertaining.
Not a fragfest of a movie but an interesting enough pot purri of different sections around a well known clan.
Thorin Rating: 6/10
Download: satanicslaughter.com (HQ), satanicslaughter.com (LQ)
The second movie in the series featuring former Begrip player fury.
fury 3 was a movie which approached the ceiling of what has been done in CS frag movies in terms of the pure fragging. The second movie in the series is not as good as that in as much as the lack of in-game sounds and average at best editing leaves it so that the frags are the only reason to watch this movie. That said they are a good enough reason to. fury does his part and delivers a movie's worth of good fragging action. Some clips in this movie can be questioned but there are a good solid bunch which are as good as you'd hope for.
For fans of good aim and lovers of pure frags this is a movie to give a watch. Doesn't score highly or close to its successor because it didn't thrill me anywhere near as much.
Thorin Rating: 7/10
Name: SpawN - Skilled 'n Ready
Another entry for the Teamplay movie contest, this one features former matrix, SK.swe and NiP star SpawN.
This Teamplay contest was a real honeypot for crap to average movies it seems. If there's one CS star who has had his fill of movies by now it should be SpawN, the CS movie world is oversaturated with flicks featuring him. And yet the CS playing public's taste for more movies never seems to be sated. This really is a pointless effort. Fairly crap fare in terms of the kills, numerous three kill sequences where you wonder why no addition kills came and of course crouched eco spraying. It's new and it features SpawN: if that's enough to make you want to watch it despite this review then you really deserve to suffer the consequences.
Thorin Rating: 3/10
Classic movie magic
One of the earliest Quake 3 fragmovies, if not the first. Featuring LakermaN, bl0key, panicore and Blue.
When this movie came out it's almost impossible to exaggerate the impact it had. Here was a frag movie, a rare enough concept itself at the time, which wasn't just one of the first good frag movies but one of the first great frag movies. This was a movie which showed the heights of what was possible and pointed in the direction of what could come in the future. This was a movie which didn't rely on simply having good frags and creating a cool vibe of "awesome" kills and "nice" moments. Rather it showed that a frag movie could be epic, could create an atmosphere which sent chills down the viewers spine and could have soul. In fact this movie could be said to have captured the soul of Quake 3 itself.
Everything good, everything beautiful and everything pure about Quake 3 can be found in this movie to some degree. Those essential elements which make up the truly great frag movies find their seeds contained in this movie which runs barely over 3 minutes long. When you see the first section of movie and its trickjumps it doesn't matter that every Tom, Dick and Harry can pull off the bridge to rail jump on dm6 now, that's not what makes that a great scene. What makes it brilliant is that the speed it is shot at captures the grace movements in Quake can achieve. Evokes a faint feeling of what makes Quake's inertia-based physics so appealling to its aficionados.
Most of the frags in this movie have aged, a lot. That's something that became startingly clear upon watching again. You could even say some are quite average or even fairly humdrum. LakermaN's rockets down onto fatal1ty on ztn really are a non-event without knowing the context of that being the moment when the Swede finally got past fatal1ty in a duel event after months and months of trying. Not all of the frags are past their sell by date though. The panicore air rockets sequence is still excellent and worthy of being watched throughout the ages.
Then there is the pinnacle of the frags in this movie: the Blue dm6 pillars air rockets. Sure there have been crazy frags by the barrel since but these still are great kills and the way they unfold is a big part of what makes this movie so special and memorable. These were kills which truly blew minds when they were first scene and helped build up godlike legend of Blue, one of the most spectacular players to ever grace Quake 3. The genius of this sequence combined with the epic nature of the soundtrack and the use of slow-mo make this ending sequence to the main frag part something which is ingrained in the memories of hardcore Q3 fans and really shows the best of what this movie accomplishes.
This movie really does become a piece of art which communicates intangible feelings about the best of what Quake 3 can be, from the way that opening segment hangs together with editing which wouldn't be out of place in a modern piece as it smoothly transitions in synch with the musical changes. Even after so many years and so many movies in between this movie will always hold a special place in my heart for its ability to create a near spiritual sense of awareness in me when I view it. In that sense it is still able to accomplish soemthing few other movies have ever managed.
That I've scored it as low as I have is a case of honestly acknowledging the good and the bad in the piece without wallowing in nostalgia. Its frags really have lost some of their lustre and it's really a short piece when you get past the main sections. Not the best Quake 3 movie ever, but likely the most important one and still very much one of the all time classics.
Thorin Rating: 7.5/10
What rating would you give each movie? Leave your answers in the comments section.
'Gaming at the movies' will return next Wednesday with another batch of movies to excite, infuriate and entertain you.
@Thooorin on twitter.
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