Halloween Scene: Gamebox 1.0 (2004)

After watching Halloween: Resurrection and enjoying it more than I should have, I decided to try my luck with Gamebox 1.0, a movie I thought was positively reviewed on Horror Movie A Day, but apparently wasn’t. I should really have my memory looked at. Anyway, I didn’t write about it yesterday because I was busy with a few other things, plus, I’m not really sure if I would classify this as a horror flick. See, it’s about this dude named Charlie who gets sent the titular video game system which is basically virtual reality. You snap pictures of your friends, people you love and hate, then put a helmet on and you’re in the game. As things go, though, the game starts taking over Charlie’s life and really starts messing with his head. The concept is very Twilight Zone, which I liked, but it had more of a sci-fi thriller feel to it than horror. Honestly, the most intentionally horrific thing about the movie is that awful DVD cover.

I just went back and read the HMAD review of this movie and am now completely baffled why I added it to my queue. Maybe I just recognized the title and added it? Ah well. I understand all of the complaints listed there, but I benefit from not having seen nearly as many “inside a video game” movies. The special effects are terrible, let’s just get that out of the way right now. The game looks like N64 or PS1 era stuff. Oddly enough, I watched this one on Netflix Instant and on the occasions when my service bars dropped down and everything got all boxy and pixelated, it actually looked kind of neat in the context of the film.

But that’s a goofy point. The movie follows Charlies as he goes in and out of the game losing his mind, partially because of the real life murder of his girlfriend by a crooked cop. What did she do? She walked through a chained fence and the dude shot her. Later he tries to frame Charlie for selling drugs and beats the shit out of him. Oh yeah, he also got off scott free for the murder of an innocent girl. It’s one of the more flimsy movie premises around, by far.

So, why did I like this movie? Honestly, I miss the idea of virtual reality. It used to be everywhere! Heck, I remember an episode of Murder She Wrote that had a guy dead in an experimental VR game. I’m sure there are better versions of this movie out there and definitely want to watch Brainscan, which was mentioned in the HMAD review. I also have an undying crush on Danielle Fishel– who plays the girlfriend in reality and the video game version–thanks to her playing Topanga on Boy Meets World.

I’m guessing this is kind like seeing Deep Blue Sea and liking it well before actually seeing Jaws, you know? You like the good elements because they’re from a better movie, but also notice all the bad parts. At the end of the day, Gamebox 1.0 was a pretty good effort by some (I assume) low budget filmmakers who probably should have set their movie a few years in the past thanks to the limitations of the technology available to them. It won’t blow your mind, but it was an okay way to spend a little over an hour.

Casting Internets

My buddy Zach Oat did a pretty great list of the best and worst virtual realities over on Television Without Pity. Go check it out! My wife and parents are huge Disney freaks, but I’m a little burnt out on the place. But, if they do ever make The Museum of the Weird, I’ll gladly go again. Also, I love reading about never-produced Disney theme parks and abandoned ones. (via LATimes)

Tom Spurgeon digs some Wildstorm books. It’s the usual stuff most people like. Oh man, this is awesome. Check out the Twin Peaks Laura Palmer Bearbrick. The real question is whether it comes wrapped in plastic or not. (via Super Punch)

Kevin Smith gives some advice on turning passion into a career. While I’m getting a little tired of his self effacement (we get it, for some reason even though you know you don’t suck you feel the need to address the fact that others might think you do), it’s good advice. On a recent episode of Diggnation, Alex Albrecht mentioned that people in my generation have been doing this to a greater degree than previous ones (essentially, taking what you love and turning that into your job instead of taking a job that may or not be related). It’s pretty interesting, especially when you’re living it. I guess homey wasn’t done dispensing the advice.

I haven’t had a chance to read all of Tom Spurgeon’s interview with Joe Casey, but I  did read the excellent paragraphs my buddy Sean Collins extracted over on Robot 6. My recommendation for his theme song if he’s looking for one is Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One.” Video NSFW for explicit vocals, but damn that’s a good track! Ooh, or maybe “Off That.” I guess it depends on which part of the quote you/he likes better.

This is where my people (mom and grandma) come from. Southern New York’s got nothing on Ohio when it comes to winter weather. (via IHC)