Five Reasons To Just Say 'No' To 'Noobz'

Noobz The Movie

New video-game movie Noobz hits theaters this weekend, so make sure you’re absolutely anywhere else.  Pry open a manhole and spend the day pretending to be a plumber in the sewers if you have to: it will be more fun and have more in common with video gaming. We’re always excited to see new independent filmmaking, but this looks more painful than sitting on a joystick.

Filmmaker Blake Freeman (Gawd Bless America) writes, directs, and stars in this movie about competitive gaming, and based on these trailers, he's no Ben Affleck. These clips do the exact opposite of what they're meant to do: instead of making me want to see Noobz, they've proven invaluable at helping me compile a list of five reasons why this Dodgeball should be avoided:

1. Jason Mewes

Mewes is best known as Jay from Clerks, Jay from Mallrats, and Jay from everything else Kevin Smith could wedge him into. He’s made a career playing the archetypical stoner you knew in college, and unfortunately he’s still playing that same guy two decades later. Even though his character's name is "Andy" in this picture and not Jay, he hasn’t learned anything new, and his brainless shtick, which used to be so funny, is now desperately depressing. Fully five percent of the trailer consists of him shouting “Bro!” in the most annoying possible way.

If you can make it to 0:35 without wanting to punch him, Captain Kirk wants you back on the bridge so Captain Adama can shoot you, you Vulcan robot.

5 Reasons To Avoid Noobz

2. Nerds and Women 

Along with the trailers, this poster pretty much bludgeons you over the head with the second reason you should say 'No' to Noobz: it's going to be yet another Revenge of the Nerds-meets-Dodgeball-style comedy that relies on the tired conceit that gamers are...awkward around women!  Huge chunks of the trailer are based on the gamers going to a strip club. Are you chortling to yourself about the zany madcappery that's hinted at in these clips?  I didn't think so.   Another scene has Blake warning a woman not to use her "vajayjay" to destroy his team's gaming chemistry. That's so 2007.

It looks like Moises Arias gets to play the asthmatic gamer geek most terrorized by the female of the species and, if the movie proves to be as predictable as I predict it will be, he'll ultimately end up in the sack with a woman who's either incredibly beautiful or incredibly freaky. Probably both. Arias, who played Juan Pablo in Nacho Libre, does have some comic chops though, so he could be the sole redeeming performance in Noobz. If he's not, check him out in Toy's House when it's released.  He's laugh-out-loud funny in that movie.

Another sophisticated sexual theme of this movie appears to be that fat women are funny. I'm afraid that's pretty much it.  Chenese Lewis plays "Milkshake," a plus-sized stripper who apparently almost kills one of the gamers by sitting on him.  It's an odd role for someone whose Wikipedia page describes her as a "positive body image advocate," a spokeswoman for the Binge Eating Disorder Assocation and past chairperson of the Love Your Body Committee.

3. The Closeted Gay Stereotype: 

Oh yeah, here's another cutting-edge plot point to anticipate: one member of the gaming team, Oliver (Matt Shively) is sort of gay. You know this because in one of the trailers, Freeman's character's angry girlfriend curses him out for having a closeted gay friend and Jay later points out that Oliver is wearing lipstick.  Oliver also says "Put that in your pipe and suck it," instead of "smoke it." I don't want to make to make too much of an assumption based on the trailer, but the actual gaming world has such real and terrible problems with homophobia that I'd hate to see a movie validate them for cheap laughs.

4. Zero Videogaming Knowledge

5 Reasons to Avoid Noobz

Noobz's Facebook page claims that it's “an indie film comedy that is the first realistic look at competitive gaming.” Which is weird, because an Amish preacher could probably demonstrate more knowledge than the stuff shown in the trailers.  The only gaming detail visible in any of the trailers is “you hold a controller”. And the poster doesn’t even get that right. The left thumb should be on the upper stick, or at least on the center of the D-pad.

There’s a passing mention of Frogger, but the only gameplay footage from the fictional Cyberbowl video gaming championship is based exclusively on Gears of War 3.  While it's clearly a form of product placement, it's a bizarre choice at that: Gears of War 3 isn’t a championship level game by any means (especially with the atrocious host-advantage issues in multiplayer).  The product really doesn’t benefit from the association.

More worrisome: there isn’t any knowing gaming humor in the trailers. (Remember Wreck-It Ralph ?)  Much of the movie seems to be road-trip scenes, which could just as easily be applied to nerds on their way to a mathematics Olympiad, or a Warhammer tournament, and when they finally arrive the scenes are based on the players being assholes to each other while holding joypads — rather than anything to do with actually playing the game.

5. A Tragic Waste of Casper Van Dien

5 Reasons to Avoid Noobz

I can't tell you how much it pains me to see a screaming Casper Van Dien using up the last of his Starship Troopers credibility to play the competition's hard-ass announcer.

He's gone from a cult classic movie that featured a brain-sucking bug to a movie that looks like it just plain sucks.

Luke McKinney loves the real world, but only because it has movies and video games in it. He responds to every tweet.

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  • Andrew K says:

    "Fat women are funny" - isn't that the same type of "humor" that made Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson, otherwise two actors not particularly funnier than most, suddenly famous? But I'm sure someone will come along and tell me what great 'spirit' and 'sincerity' they have or something else...

    That said, this movie does look atrocious, and the fact that it was done an indie triple threat is something of a head-scratcher, because it really does look like the worst kind of out-of-touch big studio production.

    But wait! You weren't able to offer any other video game movie suggestions? I'd go with The Wizard, personally

  • Jake says:

    Not sure why you decided to single out this movie for ridicule. Hundreds of bad indie films are made every year. Jason Mewes usually ends up in three to four a year. Just look at his imdb page. You won't recognize anything he's been in in the last five years, yet he's been in about 30 films in that time.

    Movie looks bad. Just curious why you decided to rage about this particular film as opposed to a bad film like REPO that also stars Jay.

    I guess you have to have something to write about. But you could go deeper and maybe explore how these newer technologies that allow for good production values to be done more cheaply have created a glut of bad films basically ruining the credibility of almost all indie productions.

    Just a thought.

    - Jake

    • julieincal says:

      Luke you sound so angry. All this based on a trailer? Jake has some good points. I think you need to have a bigger perspective. Your reviews are too focused on the tree (or trailer in this case) wi/o having the forest in mind. Hopefully you will take this as constructive.

    • Andrew K says:

      I think he was mostly singling it out for its presentation of gamer culture.

  • Luke.... as a former competitive gamer for income.... I must disagree with much of this especially the gaming. I still love you though...

    Blake Freeman
    Director noobz

    • Jake says:

      Holy crap. You just blew my mind if you are who you say you are. What game did you play competitively? I've always thought there was room for a great doc about competitive gaming. Personally, I get COD and Halo, but I don't really understand the fervor for Starcraft.

      Anyway, you are to be congratulated for making a feature film. Best of luck. And don't let the haters get you down.

  • MyCouchSmells says:

    Grandma's Boy should be the gold standard for stupid humor video game movies. Jus' sayin. And It seems like Mewes character is supposed to be annoying... and he does a great job... which only makes me not want to watch him. Or this.

  • Bradly Rollie says:

    Holy shit, Noobz is freakin hilarious. I thought this movie was going to be horrific, and was going to show gamers in a nerdy, bad way but i couldn't stop laughing and the lingo is dead on. Luke McKinney, you're an idiot... after seeing this movie and reading your childish rant about it, you've become uncredible and now you just look like a dumbass!

  • land of leon says:

    Nice post! see all of them.

  • Vega says:

    This review sucks, Starship Troopers guy is not an ANNOUNCER in the movie the "announcer" was Bill Bellamy. I understand you may be reviewing a trailer but to bash a movie in 6 paragraphs about 60 seconds of film is ridiculous. I think Blake did a decent job with the movie, although I thought the writing was very reminiscent of Clerks/Mallrats so IMO a tad hackey but this probably done with Mewes in mind and the fanbase he'd draw. I wouldve enjoyed some dirtier jokes.

    I think next time you should watch the movie then review it.

  • Dude, you're retarded. You can't base an opinion off of trailers. There have been movies with excellent trailers that have been complete garbage. This movie is friggin hilarious. It's not sophisticated, but if you're looking for something to make you laugh out loud this movie is a good place to start.
    As a gamer, I thought it was going to be some living in mom's basement b.s. But was pleasantly surprised. Also, as a black woman with some meat on her bones, I found the Milkshake scene to be hysterical.
    I've lost all faith in you as a critic. Shame on you, Luke.

  • Ravy says:

    I just watched this movie twice through Netflix and I found it to be pretty frakking hilarious! And totally relatable as a female gamer watching the Pixies play against Clan Riegn. Oops. I mean Reign. I found some funny bits and I like Jason Mewes in this. Just for the fact he reminded me of his character Jay in the Jay and Silent Bob movies. I do love how a lot of different companies were involved. Specially Play N Trade since me and my fiance stopped going to Gamestop and have been going there for quite some time. Blake did an amazing job with this movie with making it relatable to some gamers. I personally play FPS shooters and been a fan of Gears as well. And the fact it gives an aspect on what competitive gaming looks to be like, glad I don't want to do it. xD

    This review was so stupid because it was based on the trailers. Can you like watch the movie first before you trash it? Mmmkay. Thanks!

  • Josh says:

    This is the most uninformative piece of garbage of a review that I've ever read. This is based on the trailer? I just finished watching the movie on Netflix and it's spot on with gamer culture, it's pretty funny, and it kept me entertained for an hour and forty minutes. Of all the piece of shit, mainstream movies that show in theaters, you choose an actual decent indie film to rip on? What a fucking noob.

  • Did you even watch the fucking movie prick? It is funny as shit AND Casper plays someone they think is a gamer, but it is not. He is just the step dad. WATCH the fucking movies before you attempt to trash talk them.

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  • Linda says:

    LOL this is seriously this dude's last article written on here. I think this was the nail in his coffin..

    BTW... although this isn't the funniest movie in the world, it was enjoyable and I laughed out loud several times - more than I can say for most big budget comedies. Jay Mewes was great, as always (in my opinion) - and this movie was entertaining... the way movies are supposed to be.