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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
Opinion Editor

My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

‘Gamer’ both entertains and annoys

As a person who counts down the days until “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” comes out, the movie “Gamer” is a hilarious vision of the future of gaming. This movie’s sole purpose is to show the evolution of violence in video games. The first game I ever played was Nintendo’s “Duck Hunt” and it really felt like I was shooting ducks. The last game I played was “Call of Duty: World at War” in which I gun downed Nazi zombies with numerous types of machine guns. Needless to say, the line was crossed a long time ago, but what does the future hold for a media that has no boundaries?

The movie “Gamer” is set in the year 2034, where pro sports have been replaced by the world’s deadliest video game. “Slayers,” an online war game where death row inmates are controlled by regular people from the comfort from their own homes. If the inmates survive 30 rounds as a talking pawn piece, they are given complete freedom. One of the contestants, Kable (Butler), accomplishes the impossible and makes it past 27 rounds, at which point the game begins to change. Kable must “cut his strings” and do what it takes to escape the sadistic game.

Butler’s first action film since “300” fits him well with minimal dialogue and plenty of over-the- top action scenes. Kable’s broken wife, Angie (Amber Valletta) is a hilarious character that shows the dark side of the other game “society.” Ken Castle, played by Michael C. Hall of Dexter fame, plays an evil version of Bill Gates, with the intention of taking over the world. Hall does an admirable job as the diabolical genius behind the world’s obsession with “Slayers.” With rapper Ludacris and a modestly talented supporting cast, this movie is easy to enjoy even though the dialogue is very cheesy.

While there is controversy that the plot is a complete rip off of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1987 film “The Running Man,” this is a completely original movie. With a humorous take on society’s obsession with technology, this movie contains some disturbing images of our future. The most compelling being “society” a parody of “The Sims” that real people use to whore their bodies out to the highest bidder. Instead of trying to be an overdone artistic image, this movie succeeds because it doesn’t take itself seriously. That being said, this movie contains some very tasteless scenes of useless violence, but that’s what makes this movie amusing. The only other problem I had with this movie was a surprisingly dull climax, but the events leading up to it make up for the film’s lackluster ending.

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Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor bring their extremely fast paced style, similar to their previous “Crank” films, to a new level with “Gamer.” The action scenes are cut and distorted to a sometimes nauseating level, but manage to keep you watching as cars and people explode across the screen. The camera is irritating during some of the film’s slower scenes with constant changing of focus but these moments are short lived. The score by Geoff Zanelli and Robb Williamson brings an eerie digital feeling to the movie, while Marilyn Manson’s “Sweet Dreams” sets the pace for a fun escape sequence. The special effects bring this movie to life with outstanding visuals that make it shine.

From the gratuitous nudity to the extreme scenes of action, this is a guy movie in every possible way. The idea of this movie seems ridiculous but its grim vision of the future is undeniably clever. This movie succeeds where many other modern action movies fail; it’s simply there to entertain. If you can turn off your brain for a few hours and watch some fun action sequences then you can’t go wrong with “Gamer.”

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