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Noobz Review: Does This Movie Truly Pwn or Suck?
Noobz is the first feature length movie from writer, director, and actor Blake Freeman. It promises to take us into the world of online gaming. Since going to the theater and paying money (my parent’s money not mine) to see The Wizard, I have been both excited and ashamed by the portrayal of gamers on the big screen. I was excited because I was, and still am, a gamer. I imagine it’s the same feeling sports fans get when another feel good underdog sports film is released. I’m ashamed because rarely, if ever, do gamers get portrayed in a positive light. From the hackers in Hackers to autistic Jimmy Woods and asshole Lucas Barton of The Wizard, gamers in movies are never normal people.
What does that all have to do with the movie Noobz? Well, Noobz features a cast of four average, everyday, non-extreme Gamers. GASP! I know, right? Noobz follows the Reign Clan as they attempt to become the Cyber Bowl III champions of Gears of War. The members of the Reign Clan are irritable Cody Thomas, aka RumPull4Skinz (Blake Freeman), Andy Clifton, aka Pr3daTurd (Jason Mews), Oliver Francis, aka Fraggett (Matt Shively), and a Hollywood actor who may or may not be Casper Van Dien of Starship Trooper fame. Along with the desire to become Cyber Bowl champion, Andy also wants to go to L.A. to meet a female gamer named Rikki. In another shocking twist, the females are good gamers and not just sex symbols. The trip to L.A. proceeds like any good road trip movie with plenty of hilarity. The gameplay is handled exactly like an actual Gears of War tournament, which was a satisfying surprise. Along the way to becoming Cyber Bowl Champions, they learn a few life lessons, but nothing heavy handed or out of place. In fact, a touching scene near the end of Noobz teaches us more about growing up then any number of coming of age stories could.
You are not seeing things, they spelled their clan name wrong!
Humor wise, Noobz is a very funny movie. However, many of the jokes lose their punch after the first viewing. Hidden amongst the more obvious jokes are several small jokes that only true gamers will get. Among these jokes is the portrayal of Greg “Armagreggon” Lipstein by Jon Gries. If that name doen’t sound familiar, allow me to say the following…Uncle Rico. That’s right, the oddball uncle from Napoleon Dynamite brings Armagreggon to life as an obvious Billy Mitchell parody. Even if you have no idea who that is, you will love the character and his out of touch behavior.
I’m not saying Noobz is on the level of Citizen Kane, but it is rather enjoyable. Additionally, it is available for free as a part of your Netflix subscription. So, if you’re bored on a Sunday night and are looking to unwind then I whole heartedly suggest you flop on the couch and watch Noobz. You won’t be disappointed.