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Game Changers

Score: 67%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Candy Factory Films
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 90 Mins.
Genre: Drama
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English

Game Changers follows a couple of characters who have been close for most of their lives, but as one tries to regain his past glory, the other starts to realize that they now have very different goals.

Bryan (Brian Bernys) and Scott (Jake Albarella) grew up together, and when they decided to start competing in videogame competitions, they found they were not just good, but good enough to join a pro-gaming league and rise to stardom within the sport.

Fast-forward 15 years and the boys are now in their mid-20's and both work as tech support for Bryan's father's company. Bryan is dating the vapid head of HR, Natalie (Andrea Andolina), while Scott finds himself living a quiet life that's mostly focused on his work (especially since he has to frequently cover for Bryan) and spending time with his few close friends.

Both Bryan's and Scott's lives would have continued to go on this way if it weren't for two events. One is a new employee named Kim (Sara Marioles), a woman that seems to have a similar taste in comics and entertainment as Scott, and the other is that Bryan's father has brought in an external consulting team lead by Jake (Barry Williams), a man Bryan has recently met under less above-the-board settings.

For Bryan, this sparks a desire to relive his glory days and try to break back into the pro-gaming scene. He convinces Scott to join him in recruiting fellow top-level gamers in the hopes of being the team that takes out the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion's bosses before anyone else as an in to get Bryan's (and Scott's, of course) name back on the lips of those that matter in the pro-gaming circuit. Bryan and Scott pull in their friends which include co-worker Alan (Dominic Luongo), and the butt of Bryan's jokes, Gus (Matt Chavez), as well as a newcomer named Cameron (Jacob Kahn), a person who is starting to get his own WOW reputation.

As the group puts in more and more hours and Bryan starts to blow off more and more time at work, Scott finds himself in a really tough situation. Scott has a strong sense of loyalty, both to Bryan and to his job. Because of this, he finds himself not only pulling all-nighters with the team, but also taking on extra responsibilities at work covering for his friend's increasing absences. Throw in his growing interest in Kim, and Scott, the ultimate nice-guy who doesn't want to stand up to anyone for fear of making waves, starts to get to a breaking point and has to make some hard decisions, especially when an amazing business opportunity presents itself.

Game Changer's story isn't bad, but it has some major failings that makes it a hard film to watch. For one, the acting is stiff and doesn't feel natural at all, but probably a bigger fault is that many of the characters aren't likable. Either they come off as stereotypes or flat out assholes. Of the two main characters, one is a character that is willing to trample over his friends in order to get what he wants and you spend the entire film hoping the other finally grows a spine. For Bryan, even when his character grows and realizes what he's done, he still doesn't seem to try and better himself, and while Scott grows a lot more, it's after a lot of mental punishment that isn't fun to watch. As a result, the movie gets an overall meh feel about it and it is really hard to recommend.

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#GameChangers | @candyfactory411

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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