This week's box office is a haul of six movies. Right up front has to be the exclusive released of lurppis' never finished "lurppis 4" which he has kindly donated for readers of 'Gaming at the movies'. There's also some very impressive CPM editing in the form of "The Contenders 2" and a new minimovie featuring zet. The classic pick from the past this time focuses on a famous name leaving the SK Gaming community this month but whose name was launched by this movie and will likely always live on thanks , in part, to it.
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Name: lurppis 4
Released: 2010 (work abandoned early 2006)
The fourth movie in the series starring former wings/serious/hoorai/69N-28E/Roccat and EG captain lurppis. Until today this movie had never been released by lurppis has kindly decided to allow it to be released as a christmas present for readers of this review feature.
The first matter to be gotten out of the way is the soundtrack for this movie: there isn't one. Since the movie is unfinished in terms of editing lurppis had not applied any soundtrack to it yet. So when it comes to reviewing it I took two approaches: firstly I watched it with no sound and then I watched it with music of my choice playing in the background. Now before anyone makes the suggestion that the latter scenario means for any movie in which I don't like the music I should/could do the same, replacing with my own choice, and then review it this is not the same type of situation.
After discussing the lack of music with lurppis he could easily have opened up vegas and thrown any tracks behind the movie and released it. Since they wouldn't be synched in any way and also would be from a later period of time than the actual movie itself, by the better part of 5 years, we instead decided it would be better to leave the movie without music and let people select their own soundtrack.
With all of that out of the way we can now move onto the actual review. This a pretty nice movie and had it been released lurppis' stock would have risen, both then and likely right up to even now, as a knock-on effect of all the good kills featured. The most impressive thing about this movie is that not only does it feature a lot of really good sequences but the vast majority of the movie is against top tier teams and players.
The victims you'll see in the obituaries are the who's who of competitive Counter-Strike back in 2005-2006, and not just limited to the continent of Europe either. You'll see wNv, coL, fnatic, SK.swe, Lunatic-Hai, MiBR... the list really does go on and on. Another huge bonus for fans is that a lot of this footage comes from scrim/pcw demos so it's footage which has never been seen and would never have seen the light of day if lurppis had not released the movie now.
The frags are not without some flaws. This is a movie where it's quite apparent to me both in terms of the level of the really good footage and the running time that had it been tightened up by removing the least good sequences then it would have become an even better movie, possibly even a great movie in terms of kills. The kind I'm talking about are some of the less spectacular completion kills where we see the last guy being killed despite the fact all the energy and excitement was wrapped up in the other kills of the round. Likewise there are sequences and kills which themselves are not as good but for the fact they are against big names. These are not so much criticisms of the frags themselves, there are so many which are good against good teams that the lesser ones pass you by quickly enough, but rather pointing out areas which could have been improved to bring the movie on the whole to a higher level.
There's no editing for this movie, no soundtrack and it's almost 5 years old. Yet it's still a pretty good movie with moments where it's really good and the potential to have been a very good movie.
Thorin Rating: 7.5/10
Name: Marcus ' zet ' Sundstrom
A minimovie featuring kills by former NiP, SK and MYM player zet.
While the experience of being let down has jaded me a little it's still the case that any time I see a movie released starring a top tier player I get a little jolt of anticipation. Whether the movie ends up being good or not it's the knowledge that if the player is skilled and exciting in his playstyle then the chance is there that the movie could be good or even amazing. This movie is neither when all is said and done. All the same it's not a bad movie either, it's just quite flawed and ends up being enjoyable in spite of itself.
This movie reminds me of the "SpawN'n'HeatoN" movie I reviewed back in the third edition of this review feature in as much as I like the players involved, there are some kills which are entertaining, the music is decent enough, there is some editing which helps glue pieces together and also there is a nice energy created which carries the movie along.
I wasn't engrossed while watching this but I did find the time passed quickly and I did get some degree of enjoyment out of watching it. Let's get real though this movie has some serious flaws which prevent it from being more than average. There are way too many eco frags which aren't crazy enough to warrant inclusion. The kind where a player is simply crouched spamming his entire clip while people run through the line of fire really don't do it for me. Plus if you've followed competitive CS then you and I both know there are dozens and dozens of great zet clips which demand movie time over those types of rounds. The worst example of eco fragging is the final clip against PGS which is just crap.
Blurring the obituaries was annoying and meant in some clips you couldn't directly tell who the team/players being killed were. A couple of the train clips were too dark at the back side of the site, a problem also found on nuke at ramp room, meaning you're just looking at someone shooting into a black void and obituaries show up to tell you there was a kill. The worst example of this is the last two kills at B tunnels on dust2 vs. Catch Gamer. All that is is a gun flare animation and obituaries showing up, I'm seeing next to nothing of the actual action. The movie also runs less than four minutes in total.
This isn't a terrible movie it's just an average movie when everything is considered. The second containing the second song was better than the first and felt more exciting/entertaining but even so I'm underwhelmed when I look at the bigger picture. zet is definitely a frag movie kind of player and this is perhaps his best movie to date but it still lacks what a player of his calibre deserves in my opinion.
Thorin Rating: 5/10
Download: MegaUpload, megashare
Name: The Contenders 2
Game: Q3 CPM
A compilation movie of footage from players within the Promode community.
This is a movie which came very highly recommended from a number of people. Right out of the gate let me say that this is a really good movie in many respects. The editing is very impressive and is amongst the best I have ever seen in a frag movie. The synching both on the kills and in terms of using creative solutions to tie moments in scenes into the lyrics of the music is really top notch stuff. That area might be where this movie excels the most. Transitions are innovative and well done to keep the movie flowing along while switching to a new part with its own feel.
A couple of small gripes in this area were firstly that the rocket animation felt a little distracting at times and also that on the quad rail scene I wished I hadn't been shown that the guy shoots a ton of shots before getting to see it in the first person POV. If I'd seen that sequence on its own I'd likely have been pushed to higher and higher levels of excitement thinking it had ended when in fact extra kills were coming. I also found the intro too indulgent in how much time it took for what was a fairly simple joke. Still these are minor complaints as I said, the technical aspects of this movie are great and will impress everyone I'm sure.
I love the soundtrack used. The tracks themselves are good, fit alongside the specific parts of the movie used on and also are distinct enough to give the movie a different feel for different sections. The way the music combined with the editing really elevated this movie and my enjoyment of it. Fragwise there are lots and lots of frags in the movie so there are plenty which are good and even some which are really good or occasionally excellent. That said the frags were one of the areas I felt were a bit weaker and could have been improved. There were some which were single air rockets which weren't that spectacular and due to how good other sequences were I found myself feeling I expected another kill to happen only for the movie to move on to the next kill. This is a movie where I feel shortening it and taking out the lesser kills would have given it a bigger impact on me.
If I took the music and editing of this movie away and looked only at the kills my score for this movie would drop, not massively but it certainly wouldn't be at this kind of an elevated level amongst the great movies. I didn't have that kind of special vibe I get from the great movies where I feel completely enraptured in seeing the next kill or awestruck by how incredible the atmosphere is. Instead this movie felt like a really good movie in terms of the overall package. Top notch editing, a really good soundtrack, good kills and a nice flow. Not a magical experience but damn good for what it is.
Thorin Rating: 8.5/10
Download: pldx (HQ 720p), maverick (HQ 720p), ggowned (HQ 720p), maverick (MQ 576p), ggowned (MQ 576p),
A minimovie made over a weekend by ashr of shaolin productions featuring the likes of Cypher, fox, rapha and noctis.
Had I need been informed of the time frame in which this movie was put together I wouldn't have guessed it was made so quickly. This is a solid minimovie which I really found myself liking quite a bit while watching. The music is well selected and the guitar parts in particular help create an epic almost sacred feeling in me which is an excellent place to watch good Quake frags from as clipquake taught us so many years ago.
I like the selection of kills used and the fox plasma gun quad run in particular is incredible. Really nothing to complain about, a fun minimovie I enjoyed quite a lot.
Thorin Rating: 7/10
Download: MegaUpload, QuakeUnity
Name: roboty from outer space
Game: Q3 CPM
The second compilation frag movie from clan leto ( gellehsak, aggnog, nazgul, pez and tl)
This movie is a nice little blast from the past and for anyone who hasn't seen it is going to be a pleasant surprise. It's a movie with a good chunk of kills, the majority of which are good. I especially appreciated the TDM runs as an individual kill has to be really spectacular to sustain excitement and energy in the way a good run can. The runs are the best thing about this movie along with a pretty sweet gellehsak duel rape sequence early on. The first half of this movie is better than the second and it was in the second my interest waned a little from time to time or my excitement level went down a notch or two.
One of the downsides of this movie, in the second half in particular, is overuse of third person perspective replays/previews of kills which are done in slow-mo. These really take me out of the action and don't feel necessary unless it's a scenario where the kill can't fully be seen or appreciated in a first person POV. These are energy and excitement drainers as the viewer waits for the fragging to begin again from the normal POV. The music wasn't amazing but it was interesting and I did find that each sequence took on a distinct feeling depending on the soundtrack.
A relatively old movie but plenty of action you won't have seen in demos and when it sticks to the first person POV you'll be in for a good time.
Thorin Rating: 6.5/10
Download: mirrorservice, quakeunity
Classic movie magic
Name: bröderna Wallenberg
The first in the bröderna Wallenberg series starring former spiXel, NiP and SK player walle and his brother miniwalle who played for spiXel and SPEED-LINK.
With walle's time at SK Gaming coming to an end this month now seems like the ideal time to revisit the movie which launched his name around the CS world. When this movie came out walle was not a star player or even a player known outside of Sweden. He had yet to attend his first CPL with LuLAN and was 11 months from shocking the world by helping spiXel finish runnersup at ESWC 2004. Yet after the release of this movie it spread around the CS world like wildfire and soon players on numerous continents new walle and miniwalle's aliases. When walle then went on to become a more and more accomplished player fans became more and more excited about him as a player knowing what he was capable of from his movies.
This is a movie which was utterly shocking when it came out, that's how good the action was. There had never been a frag movie with footage this crazy from a player anywhere near the top of the scene. Not only that but this wasn't some crazy shots or a few really good scenes but an entire movie of just neverending madness. So how does it stand up after over 7 years? It's still an incredible movie which makes my top 5 CS movies of all time without a doubt.
Going back and watching this movie again what stands out is how great and even how surprising some of the footage still is. There are still sequences in this movie where the kills these guys pulls off shock and impress me. Even the lesser sequences are quickly forgotten because there's just so much wall to wall great footage that it's somewhat mesmerising and you lose yourself in the flow of kill after kill after kill. You could edit this movie down to purely the USP kills or purely the noscope AWP shots and find yourself with a really top level 5-6 minute movie in its own right.
The soundtrack is catchy enough, though I'll fully admit I think it's the incredible footage that let's me vibe with it more than just the tracks alone. There's no editing really but I never find myself calling out for it, except perhaps the one kill where it is somewhat delayed that the guy runs out in the tunnel of B on dust2. This is a movie you give someone where all you wanna show them is great CS frags so they see what the game is capable of. To this day it features some of the best AWP kills ever recorded. For my money the best of the wallenberg trilogy and still one of the best CS movies ever made.
Pure fragging entertainment of the best kind. A player destined for much more, and his brother, thrashing opponents in scrims/pcws online over and over for a quarter of an hour. In 2003 this was the wildest footage imaginable in a movie of this length but even in 2010 it still impresses and entertains.
Thorin Rating: 9/10
Download: MegaUpload, SK Gaming
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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