Saturday, June 6, 2015
ATARI: GAME OVER (2014)
Directed By: Zak Penn
Cinematography By: Eric Zimmerman
Editor: Andrew Seklir
Music By: Stephen Endelmann
Featuring: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline, George R.R. Martin, Mike Mika
The history of the Atari landfill and the documentation of digging it up to see if the legend is true. --The best film (Screenwriter) Zak Penn has worked on and associated with much better than his previous documentary/mockumentary with Werner Herzog INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS.
What really works about this documentary is that going into it you think it will be all about the video game voted the worst videogame of all time. Then as the story goes on it really take you back to how huge videogames were in the 70's and 80's, how it laid the groundwork for video games and the systems of today. As well as being an expose on the foundation and fall of the Atari system and business.
It also tells the story of game designers. Especially the designer who made the game and how it supposedly destroyed Atari and thus his career. How he took that failure and slowly made his way back to success.
It’s devastating, yet brief and makes you feel proud to a degree as you see the outpouring of emotions and obsession of geeks and how much this game and how much video games have helped shape them, their interests and lives.
This all takes place while we watch to see if an urban legend is true about Atari dumping all existing copies of the game in a landfill and burying it deep. While we watch the dig we are given information about the history of Atari and eventually the game. The film also allows a brief history of video games especially Atari brand ones in the framework of the search or this elusive game. While also highlighting the entrepreneurs and designers behind the scenes. Allowing for a overview of the heyday of early video gaming. Which is properly nostalgic for many.
Though at first it seems like a gimmick, it quickly develops into a down home feeling that everyone present has a passion for and is giving their all to help make.
The film has a sense of humor but also deals with serious subjects. It stays light throughout. Though manages to captivate you with very little. Yet stays entertaining throughout