Sunday, October 23, 2016

Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie review (With Update!)

By Nico Beland
Movie Review: **** out of 4
Originally reviewed in August 2014
(From left to right) The Nerd, Cooper Folly, Mandi, and Dr. Zandor on a journey to the New Mexico desert to review the worst game ever made in Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie

            Everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed, Rolling Rock drinking, game shitting Nerd is back and this time, he hits the big screen in the long awaited Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, based on the hit Cinemassacre Angry Video Game Nerd web-series. As far as independent films go, this may very well be my favorite in the category, the project was put on Kickstarter and die-hard fans of the Nerd donated money to bring James Rolfe’s dream to the screen.
            And no, it isn’t an hour long review of a video game nor is it a compilation of reviews leading up to the feature presentation, no it has a story, and a very clever one to boot, homages to pop culture (video games, zombie movies, Japanese monster movies, etc.), very likable characters accompanying the Nerd, and many cameos, references, and gags that will make you laugh HARD until you puke Rolling Rock, it’s basically the perfect movie for a nerd to enjoy.
            The film follows the Angry Video Game Nerd (James Rolfe) trying to get over his phobia of playing a certain video game that many people have considered the worst game ever made, the Atari 2600 video game based on the Steven Spielberg classic, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. After a customer at a video game store that the Nerd works at informs him about the Atari landfill in the New Mexico desert, when the Video Game Crash occurred and several unsold copies of Atari games were buried and became a national icon.
            So after so may requests from his loyal fans, the Nerd sets off on an extraordinary adventure to New Mexico to find the landfill of buried games and perhaps finally getting around to reviewing the E.T. video game. However after a misunderstanding, a top secret military force monitors the Nerd and his friends, Mandi (Sarah Glendening) and video game store co-worker, Cooper Folly (Jeremy Suarez) and thinks that the trio is looking for extra terrestrials in Area 51, and what follows is all the chaos we can expect from the AVGN and plenty of surprises.
            Overall, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie is a very welcoming film to have this year, especially after all the big budget CG Hollywood films that keep coming out. Granted the film did have some CG effects but a lot of the effects were practical, animatronics, models, and guys in rubber suits that resemble a giant monster.
            The film knows exactly how and when to use its many effects and the majority of them get a big laugh. Besides the over the top effects, the humor and gags themselves are absolutely hysterical, of course we have the Nerd’s traditional rants about shitty games and laughably intense reactions, not to mention there are several gags and jokes that pay homage to popular movies and video games, most notably E.T. and Godzilla. Plus a certain joke that references the 1993 movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, I won’t dare give it away, but if you see the movie, you will laugh your ass off.
            I guess my only issue with the film is that James’ long time companions, Mike Matei and Kyle Justin aren’t involved in the film very much, though it is nice to know that they were put in the movie, but it makes sense since we have our new protagonists.
            The new characters Mandi and Cooper are very likable companions for the Nerd on his big journey, they’re both very funny and are loyal friends to the Nerd who will see it to the end. Not to mention there is a madhouse of cameos throughout the film like Pat the NES Punk, the late Justin Carmical (better known as Jewario), Lloyd Kaufman, the creator of The Toxic Avenger, and the Nostalgia Critic, to name a few.
            This is like the Guardians of the Galaxy of independent films, but it’s a shame that it only has a limited release in theaters, so if you’re a fan of “The Fucking Nerd” and happen to have access to a theatrical screening of the movie, definitely check it out, you will not be disappointed, but if you don’t have access to a theatrical showing, do not worry, you will be able to pick up the movie on DVD by the end of the month, trust me, whether it’s in theaters or on DVD, watch this “Nerdy” blockbuster of a great and refreshing movie about an internet celebrity reviewing a shitty game.

Time for an update, shortly after reviewing Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, I e-mailed a link to the review to the Angry Video Game Nerd himself, James Rolfe. I was not expecting a response, but he wrote me back:
Hi, thanks very much, glad you liked it! And thanks for the review. Very much appreciated.

He also posted the review link under the AVGN Movie Reviews list on his website,, it really meant a lot to me. I recently met James at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in Portland, OR. I saw him in the lobby of the convention center the day before the full expo started and talked with him a bit, attended his panel and signing, spread the word of the Psychopath to the Nerd, and of course the pictures:

It’s amazing how much I paid homage to this man on my blog as well as my social life, a lot of inspiration for my reviews and character came from the Nerd. Having my review of his movie available on Cinemassacre and seeing him in person at a Con, it really means a lot to me and it’s a sign that I need to continue doing what I’m passionate about.

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