Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Little Caesar

Okay, so. Edward G. Robinson. If you recognize his name at all, you probably think of Bugs Bunny suddenly having big lips and saying "Listen here, you mugs! Mnnnyaaahhh, see! Mnnnnyaaahhh!" Police Chief Wiggum sounds a bit like him. I'm a bit ahead of the game because I've seen him in a couple of movies, like Double Indemnity. But I'd never seen him in the iconic gangster roles that made him worthy of Bugs Bunny. Hence Little Caesar, which played as a double feature with Public Enemy, in which James Cagney made being a sociopathic gangster look awesome.

Well, it turns out that Edward G. Robinson is pretty cool. He's more of a sociopath than Cagney's character, to the point where the other hardened gangsters are a little creeped out by how willing he is to whip out his gat and start gunning down anyone in his way. He's not quite as magnetic as Cagney, but that's just because he looks, well, weird. Really weird.

The other reason I wanted to see this movie was because it ends with "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?" I've heard that line a lot and always thought it sounded really odd and forced. In context, it turns out that it sounds just as weird. Huh.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising

I liked the original The Gamers movie by Dead Gentlemen Productions (which is a little difficult to locate since there are several movies with that title and they're all about role-playing gamers), and I was delighted to learn that they were making a sequel. I learned about it kind of early because I work at the company that makes Dungeons & Dragons, and in fact work with one of the stars of the movie.

For that matter, I'm actually in this movie. There's a scene set in an office building and they needed extras. So if you look carefully, you'll see me. For example, here I am as a blurry figure in the background:



In that scene, I'm only visible for about three seconds. But on the plus side, I have a line of dialogue and someone says my character's name. That's not bad, right? It makes it a real character if you ask me. Then later on, I'm at a desk in the background during a ninja fight:



That's me on the right of the screen. I think. It probably is. As a bonus piece of trivia, I'm actually updating my old blog while the scene is being shot. So if you've ever watched a movie and thought "I wonder what that extra is typing," the answer is here. There are behind-the-scenes photos, too!

Okay, anyway. About the movie. I liked it a lot, and not just because I was in it. There are a lot of bits that are extremely funny if you've ever played D&D. And if you've played more RPGs, it's terrific. There are two references to Flying Buffalo products, which I assure you is an impressively narrow joke target.

It's a more professional operation than the first The Gamers. The sound is good (in that you can hear all the dialogue!) and the characters are well developed. Or at least exist. Look, if you're a gamer, you'll like it.