Gaming at the Movies #1

Name: minet – bulletproof
Editor: z0rgan
Runtime: 6:02
Released: 2009
Game: CS

Description:

A frag movie of Danish player minet during his time in PlayZeek prior to joining up with mTw. z0rgan was the editor behind “karrigan – Welcome to FINNland”.

Review:

The main attraction of watching this movie is of course to see minet in action now that we know him as a player for one of the highest profile CS teams in the world and who has played in some of the great games of 2010. That should be stated since it’s clear from our intentions we might naturally be a little biased since we’re clamouring for good sequences since once players hit the big time frag movies from them become less and less it can seem sometimes.

The frags in this movie are good, sometimes very good but not really great. That in general kind of sums the movie up for the most part. There are some nice sequences of rifle play as minet combines his aim with bursting technique, still an overlooked art, to come up with his kills. The things which work this movie also work against it at times. There are some sequences where the cuts are done really nicely, the train alley spams for example. Those take separate kills and combine them in a way where it actually looks more impressive due to the editing than the whole sequence would have been without cuts.

There are times though where too many cuts take away some of the flow and make sequences last too long. An example would be after the song switch where the drawn out sequence on train sees each kill followed by a third person angle of the opponent’s model dying. On the sequence on inferno as terrorist where he starts out up the T ladder the cuts were interesting, with a T or a CT running one direction as a screenwipe, but the actual action in that sequence wasn’t so hot.

That’s kind of the tone of this movie: at times it’s got nice displays of skill and you get into enjoying the kills but other times kills are more everyday or the editing takes a step too far on a sequence which doesn’t really warrent that much attention. The music is nice enough and does work within the context of the movie, something the editing helps. All in all a worthwhile watch if you follow the top CS players as until a full length movie of minet’s mTw play can be released this is a solid look at his play before he got to the top level.

Thorin Rating: 6.5/10


Name: 3 Years of k1ck-fox
Editor: slvdR
Runtime: 2:49
Released: 2010
Game: CS

Description:

This movie is a compilation of frags from k1ck fox over the last three years, the CS player said to be Portugal’s best.

Review:

This movie really does nothing positive for me. It combines a lot of techniques and movie making decisions which I find irritating and which detract from my viewing experience.

Firstly, and most criminally, the frags are edited in such a way that there is next to no time between them as the action is sped up or cut to immediately move on to the next kill. This is not only disorientating but it ruins the context of the action almost completely. It’s so difficult to appreciate how good a scene was or the degree of skill in a specific shot. It reminds me of when editors will sometimes edit a sequence into the beginning of a movie of a string of the best shots all quickly edited together. It’s like that only this the entire movie, you never get to see these shots at normal speed or within the context of the round.

It also creates a really predictable feeling to the movie where you know exactly when the next kill is going to come and there’s no anticipation of how he’s going to pull it off or how skillful it is, instead it becomes very machine-like as though you were watching a bot sped up. To appreciate a CS scene it’s key to be able to tap into the flow so you get that excitement as the kills rack up and you can really sense the skill being displayed. Just as with music the moments of silence between the notes are important so the moments between the individual kills are in frag sequences.

Secondly the crosshair/center of the screen is seemingly always moving. When the center of focus moves like that it adds unnecessary strain on the eyes as one tries to follow it yet it takes unpredictable turns in direction. This really throws off the experience of taking in the movie and is unnecessarily distracting.

The music was ok, nothing to complain about, though I could never settle in and enjoy the movie as a whole so I never engaged with the soundtrack really. I’ll give this movie 2.5 purely because there did seem to be some good kills in there even if I couldn’t actually experience them beyond these overedited spectres of what they could or should have been. This movie is pretty short, though in this case I’m not complaining about that.

Thorin Rating: 2.5/10


Name: The Gate Keepers
Editor: ZeRoQL
Runtime: 6:56
Released: 2010
Game: Q3

Description:

This movie was entered into a movie making contest tek-9 was running and features a sizable list of legendary or well known Quake 3 players. ZeroQL is best known for QuakeLive movie about fox called “The Last iCE cLIMBER”.

Review:

This might be the best contest movie ever made, if you took the contest intro off I wouldn’t have known or expected that it had been created under such conditions.

Everything comes together in this movie in a way which is beautiful to witness. The soundtrack is excellently chosen and utilised. The music has a very cinematic and, at times, orchestral feel to it and this really fits well with the context of the action and creates an epic atmosphere to surround and envelop the fragging.

The frags are awesome, even sequences from seven or eight years ago still hold up because the truly great players shine in a way which isn’t defined purely by the trends of the moment. They have an extra spark to their play which jolts you the moment you see it. From Stelam’s robot-like machine gun and his unshakeable rail aim at any distance to Mikes’ spiderman-esque reflexes and attacking style. Not only does this movie capture a lot of great TDM runs from throughout the years but it does so in a way which represents well the character of the players in the movie. Even without seeing the names on screen you can feel the difference between a fox or a proZaC or a Mikes sequence.

There are a few short sequences which are mainly the double rail kills but aside from those everything in the movie is a full run with plenty of carnage and bodies flying. There have been so many movies which featured filler frags or a large amount of single kill or two kill sequences that it is really a joy to watch extended periods of play from really good players who are in the zone and firmly on top of their games, often against high level opponents too.

This movie also captures the feeling of Quake better than almost any others I’ve ever seen. The method of capture provides a really immersive feeling which provides the same kind of speed and frenzy-like quality the one feels when actually playing a competitive game and racking up frags. The editing isn’t excessive which I like a lot, it just sits in the background and pieces things together appropriately. Even the choice of graphics for the Quad pickup is cool.

This is very much modern day capture techniques and intelligent editing combined with great old school frags. What more could a hardcore Quake fan ask for?

Thorin Rating: 8.5/10


Name: Xizt
Editor: SPECTRE
Runtime: 4:53
Released: 2010
Game: CS

Description:

A minimovie of H2k, now Lions.swe, player Xizt playing against a number of well known teams.

Review:

This movie is more enjoyable to watch than many, if not most, I’d give a 6 rating to but some key aspects prevent it from being more than an above average movie. There is a lot of laggy HLTV footage in the movie, not impossibly laggy that you can’t see the kills but enough so that it throws off the impact and effect of some of the kills. There is also some eco fragging which isn’t spectacular enough to demand movie time. The movie runs less than 5 minutes and almost the entire first third is intro/out of game footage before you get to the real action. All of these factors combined weigh down the better aspects of the movie.

The frags in general are pretty good and at times really good in this movie. Some of them are better in terms of the skill it took to make them than the aesthetic ‘wow’ factor a movie goes off but even so the overall standard here is high. That many are against top players and teams is also a nice positive and adds to the atmosphere of the flick. The music is fairly standard but works well enough. This is a solid watch and worth anyone’s time as it is entertaining enough. It’s problems hold it back from being genuinely good or something with a lot of repeat value but for what it is works: a quick compilation of Xizt’s frags over the last few months since he rose to being a known player outside of Sweden.

Thorin Rating: 6/10


Name: it’s pekka
Editor: ahxnxa
Runtime:
8:39
Released: 2008
Game: Q3 CPM

Description: A CPM CTF movie by the creator of Lippu and kicked & removed.

Review:

This is a movie which doesn’t take itself too seriously and is better for it. This movie has a raw quality to it from the config settings similar to what one might expect to see from someone in-game, as opposed to high quality settings more mainstream movie makers use. So we get a high FOV and this combined with the speed of the air movement in CPM really makes this a nice movie to watch with action approaching breakneck speeds at times.

The frags are good throughout and at times there are some pretty wild air rocket and flick rail shots which are really satisfying to see. The type where the player is moving at such a speed or his model is almost off the screen that it feels like the window of opportunity to make the shot is very slim yet it gets made. Those are the kind of frags which deserve to be in a frag movie. There is also a good variety of action from grenade kills to shotgun rampages to pummels.

The music fits the action and keeps up with the continuous pace. A very solid movie of good frags, decent enough music and editing which gets out of the way at the right places and just presents you with what you want to see. If you like fast paced Quake fragging this is a movie worth watching.

Thorin Rating: 7/10


Classic movie magic

Name: davishax 6
Editor: cDAVIS
Runtime: 17:01
Released: 2006
Game: CS

Description:

A compilation of kills by cDAVIS, the sixth in the series. Released in late 2006.

Review:

I’ve often suggested this movie to people I know have seen a lot of CS movies, or at least all the famous and obvious ones, by describing it as the best CS movie they’ve never seen. If that doesn’t grab your attention and elicit your curiosity then I imagine little I can say will.

This movie doesn’t have great editing, it’s very much basic editing anyone learns early on to make their first frag movies. So for zooms and slow-mos expect something of the first half of the ’00s than the second half. The music is not at all original, in fact all of these tracks have been used in other movies many many times and also in some of the most famous movies ever. The entire thing lasts 17 minutes. Add to that that the picture quality isn’t the greatest and you might be asking yourself how this can be a great movie at all. Well what does a frag movie live and die on? The frags of course! And this movie has them in spades. The overall package may be raw and rough around the edges but where it really matters this movie is less a tasty snack and more a sumptuous feast of frags.

There are dozens and dozens of great scenes in this movie. From seemingly never ending sequences of noscopes (quickscopes) to pistol headshots for days this movie has it all. What cDAVIS lacks in sheer tracking aim, the aspect most typically seen amongst great aimers, he makes up for with staggering consistency. Maybe he cheats, maybe he’s online, maybe maybe maybe‚Ķ what can be said is that he’s put forth a hell of a body of work for an unknown player. At no point in the 17 minute running time do I find myself asking when the movie will be over or how far I might be through it. If anything the kills improve in quality as they go on, also a sign of an old school style of movie where someone has put it together in almost chronological order of when they got the kills.

You’re not going to hear the most trendy and exciting music. You’re not going to see the most breathtaking synching and editing. You’re not going to watch perfectly crisp super high quality compressed action. You’re not going to see f0rest-esque godlike aim and technique. What you are going to see is more good, really good and great frags crammed into one movie than you’ve likely ever seen outside of the most famous CS movies of all time. A joy to watch, a genuine diamond in the rough and a movie you won’t regret seeing.

Thorin Rating: 9/10