Mington

Free to play: The Movie

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It doesn't measure up to the King of Kong (what does?), but I enjoyed the MInecraft documentary that 2 Player Productions did a few years ago.

 

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I really enjoyed it for what it was. Personally I enjoyed the score more than anything. Not too many films with music the full length of the film.

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I didn't think it was bad, but it was a bit underwhelming and felt dated.

 

It was like half an advertisement for DOTA, and half something designed for people to show their non-DOTA playing friends and family to try to explain what they're doing.

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why is there a 5gb day 1 patch to a movie? I had it preloaded already...

Anyways, should be fun. I'll watch it tonight.

Haha, welcome to the world of Dota. Fire up the game, get your party together, click Find Match, "Game client is out of date. Please close Dota 2 and restart.", @&$#%*!!! Every.Effing.Time.

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As someone who doesn't play Dota I found this movie pretty boring and turned it off after 25 minutes, and I go out of my way to watch most Video game movies. To me what usually makes them charming is that they are made by people who love games and that shines through. To me this was just flat and I wasn't expecting that, it came across like the guys in marketing were trying to summarize what the other people tell them is cool about Dota or something. I will probably try to watch the rest at some point, though, just for the sake of completionism.

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I saw it at the Castro with a mate who got in by pretending to be Chet Faliszek's +1. I thought it was good, although we all felt a bit weird about some parts of it - Dendy's sad story thrown in at the end and then his fishing scene felt super awkward and constructed to us.


My personal favourite thing about it is that since those CG "gameplay" bits were done with Source Filmmaker, they almost certainly started with the .dem recorded demo files from the actual match, and then animated from that. I just think that is cool.

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I had that same feeling of it being too constructed. I don't even play DOTA2, but I didn't really like how they dumbed down the explanation of the same so much as to not explain it at all. I watched it with some friends who don't really game and they had no idea what was going on during the second half of the movie outside of when they explicitly told you who won or lost.

 

To me, the commentaries by Dendi and Fear seemed a lot more honest and respectful in the sense that they didn't present the material in a way that just assumed you wouldn't understand.

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Just watched this movie yesterday with my wife, myself with cursory knowledge of DOTA 2 through podcasts and whatnot and her with almost literally no knowledge about the game. We both felt the mechanics of the game were not adequately explained - I personally felt that way because even the tiniest understanding gives a lot more context to the scenes taken directly from the game with legitimate commentary overlaid.

 

I thought it was unfortunate that the least impactful (in my mind) of the three stories told yielded the winner. When you're dramatizing the documentary implicitly or explicitly through giving more interview time to certain actors in the unfolding events, it's a bit odd that those actors don't end up winning.

 

That's not to say that Dendi's story wasn't emotional or worth covering in its own right, I just felt like he had the least to lose and by association, the least to gain. I did appreciate the final attempt they made to humanize him by revealing his relationship with his father.

 

I have to say that this does make me more interested in playing DOTA 2, but man does it not reduce the intimidation factor of getting into it. I'm also now interested in following The International 4, as I feel like I could actually get an idea of what is going on with my minimal knowledge of the game.

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I have a quesion, when a team calls gg, do they disconnect, or stop playing or bring up a hidden surrender function?

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My impression, from simply watching the movie, is that the team leader calls GG and everyone simply backs away from their stations and lets the enemy have their way to take the throne/crystal/thing.

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I have a quesion, when a team calls gg, do they disconnect, or stop playing or bring up a hidden surrender function?

 

 

At TI 1 they disconnected and the game ends after a few moments, now in a lobby game it gives a warning with a countdown for aborting the GG (10 seconds)

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Was not a fan of this. The choice to skip all investigation of game mechanics in favor of telling these people's stories felt like the wrong one, because they're honestly not that interesting people, apart from being lords of DOTA. The CGI animations were really embarrassing, and basically just looked like WoW commercials and were way more distancing than anything. Compared to other eSports/competitive gaming docs like King of Kong (which is the glossiest most over-the-top sports movie imaginable), Ecstasy of Order (which methodically dives deep into the nuances of NES Tetris) and The Smash Brothers series (which is breathtaking in it's comprehensiveness and small scale), it feels incredibly generic. 

 

I wasn't expecting all that much from this, but I was at least curious to see what a singular company like Valve's first dip into feature filmmaking would look like. Sadly, it just looks like marketing.

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I'm almost afraid to ask those that saw it at the Castro if people turned off their cell phones during the screening.

 

I didn't go because tickets were $25. but I don't think I've ever been at a movie at the Castro where cell phones were going off. I guess it might have been a different crowd though (not that the Castro has a typical crowd).

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 Ecstasy of Order (which methodically dives deep into the nuances of NES Tetris)

 

I DID NOT KNOW THIS EXISTED!  I really want to watch it now, sadly it is not on Netflix yet. 

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I DID NOT KNOW THIS EXISTED!  I really want to watch it now, sadly it is not on Netflix yet. 

 

It's a lower-budget documentary, so it's not as flashy as King of Kong, but (true to it's title) it definitely taps into what makes that game so all-consuming via flow state.

 

EDIT: Also, because it's both such a ubiquitous game and such a tiny competitive scene, the mix of people you get in the contest is crazy diverse.

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Was not a fan of this. The choice to skip all investigation of game mechanics in favor of telling these people's stories felt like the wrong one, because they're honestly not that interesting people, apart from being lords of DOTA. The CGI animations were really embarrassing, and basically just looked like WoW commercials and were way more distancing than anything. Compared to other eSports/competitive gaming docs like King of Kong (which is the glossiest most over-the-top sports movie imaginable), Ecstasy of Order (which methodically dives deep into the nuances of NES Tetris) and The Smash Brothers series (which is breathtaking in it's comprehensiveness and small scale), it feels incredibly generic.

I wasn't expecting all that much from this, but I was at least curious to see what a singular company like Valve's first dip into feature filmmaking would look like. Sadly, it just looks like marketing.

i finished this movie and this is how I felt about it. Even low budget films like King of Chinatown were more interesting to me.

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It wasn't a bad movie, but it was a bad Dota movie. It was well shot and told affecting stories, but there was nothing essentially "Dota" about it. You could make the exact same movie, almost shot for shot, about chess players. Considering Dota 2 is a team game, focussing on individuals seemed strange.

It is nice to see a professionally made games movie where the subjects aren't depicted as sad lunatics. As great as King of Kong is, it really is quite mean spirited in parts. However it does end up seeming to say that the people at the top of the game are either damaged or are damaging themselves, and maybe that's true to a degree (I really hope proper players associations are formed to prevent kids from being exploited if/when esports becomes a real moneymaker). For these reasons I really think it fails as a marketing tool, if that's indeed what it is.

As for the CGI, I actually didn't mind it. Being familiar with the game, I could tell they weren't taking any real liberties with what they were depicting. The little flourishes just captured the mood of what was happening. Dota 2 can be inscrutable when you know what you're looking at. Just showing the in-game footage or going in depth with what was happening wouldn't have been any better.

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