Category Archives: Movies

Ocean View Studios’ The Wargaming Stories is Now Up on Kickstarter

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The Wargaming Stories

Ocean View Studios‘ anticipated series, The Wargaming Stories, is live on Kickstarter.

Each episode will focus on a single individual or company as the series dives into their lives, contribution, and passion for wargaming. There are EIGHT confirmed stand-alone episodes to date, with a run time of 60-150 minutes per episode.

The Wargaming Stories features extensive interviews with Rick Priestley (creator of Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000), games designer Alessio Cavatore (writer of The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game), legendary sculptors Alan and Michael PerryYoutube sensations MiniWar Gaming, and in-depth episodes with game manufacturers Warlord Games and Mantic Games, plus many more. You can find an expanded list on the Kickstarter page.

There are numerous options to support the project including just a few episodes, the entire series, and even a limited edition bust or “producer” title.

The campaign has a $40,787 goal and runs until November 4, 1:03 PM EDT.

Miniature Wargaming: The Movie Teaches the History of the Hobby and Shows Its Heart

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Miniature Wargaming: The Movie

The world of miniature wargaming is massive. Today, it’s a multi-million dollar business that spans the world. I myself have been a miniature wargame player for about 25 years. I began with Warhammer 40,000 just as the second edition launched and to this day have the first miniature I purchased (an Ork Goff Nob). I consider myself well-versed in the industry so went into the documentary Miniature Wargaming: The Movie intrigued with what I might learn.

It’s an interesting documentary that does an admirable job in condensing the massive industry and vast amount of games into a 1 hour and 46 minute film. And, impressively, it does it quite well.

What’s interesting about the film is that it has a clear thematic arc in the various phases of miniature wargaming, pre-World War II, Post World War II to Games Workshop, Kickstarter/e-commerce, and then YouTube. There’s a fantastic focus on not just the world but also how the time impacted the industry.

But beyond an overview of the industry, the games, the publishers, the film also dives a bit into the “scene”. Two individuals plan for a tournament they’re attending. Another two individuals talk about UK Games Expo that they’ll be exhibiting at. While much of the movie is an overview, its these segments that deliver a bit of heart, especially as one developer struggles to get his board game to audiences. There’s also some dips into what the games and community gives back to individuals. Some interviewed hint at dark times in their lives and that gaming helped get them through it by connecting with others.

And that’s the unexpected thing about the film.

There’s a focus on how this fun hobby has members who struggle and it’s the hobby that helps them get through that. The first half of the film gets you caught up about the world but the latter half brings the heart. It’s a pivot that hits viewers as it creates a human element to the film. It takes what is a documentary about a commercial venture that one can argue is superficial, and shows that it’s anything but. This is a hobby that means so much to so many and it’s a hobby that involves connections with others.

What starts, and was expected to be, a documentary about the miniature wargame community turns into something so much more. It’s a touching film about a community brought together through a shared love of something. There’s highs and lows… and a lot of heart. It doesn’t attempt to do much. There seems to be a recognition you could do a full length film on any of the topics it touches upon, so it doesn’t attempt it.

Miniature Wargaming: The Movie is an impressive introduction to the hobby but it’s so much more. It brings a human aspect to it all. It brings emotion to an industry ruled by rules. While not a perfect film, I walked away knowing more about the industry and its history and also recognizing why the hobby means so much to me as a player. It’s something I’ve struggled with during the pandemic and general isolation for the entire time. Miniature wargaming is an escape from the stress of things. That can be the modeling aspect of it, getting immersed in the world, learning new rules, or playing the game. Any and all of those achieves that. It’s a way to connect with others over a shared love of something. Most importantly, it’s a way to have fun.


Rent or Own: AmazonGoogleApple TVVimeoVudu

The Dungeons & Dragons Film is Set for 2021

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Paramount and Hasbro announced a slew of films that’ll be coming out over the next few years. Four films in total will be released in 2020 and 2021 based on Hasbro properties.

Of particular interest to games will be Dungeons & Dragons which is set to be released July 23, 2021. An untitled event film is set for October 1 the same year.

Before that, we’ll get G.I. Joe and Micronauts in 2020.

The new G.I. Joe film will come to theaters March 27, 2020 while Micronauts will bring the toy line to the big screen October 16, 2020.

“Game Night” is board games done by the makers of Horrible Bosses with a side of David Fincher’s “The Game.”

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game-might-movie-2018-posterIt’s Horrible Bosses meets David Fincher’s The Game.

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are a mostly happy married couple living in the suburbs whose highlight of their week is a game night with their friends. But when Max’s much more successful and wealthy brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) comes to visit, awakening Max’s sibling rivalry and competitive streak to the next level, Brooks decides to take over their game night by replacing it with a kidnapping / murder mystery. The twist? Brooks is actually kidnapped, and our group thinks it’s just a game. And. . . hijinks ensue.

What could’ve been another mundane comedy actually has some good laughs, including when it’s using its R-rating to the fullest extent it can. But more than that, it relies on building its characters and a great supporting cast to keep it interesting. Normally this premise might have worn itself thin, but there are a couple of twists and turns that keep it enjoyable. However, it’s never too much and the script never takes itself too seriously or thinks it’s smarter than it is. Overall, it’s what we expect from the people who made Horrible Bosses. 

The real gem of the movie, though, is Jesse Plemons, who plays a creepy cop neighbor who really wants to get invited back to their game night. Plemons is one of the best actors working today, and he is perfect, even if a little over the top at times.

But his performance, like so many elements, actually make sense as things wrap up and you see the entire film for its totality. For instance? There are all these shots of various neighborhoods from above that somehow look like tiny scale models rather than real life. . . is it all part of a (gasp!) game? Make sure you stay through the first part of the credits for some specific payoff.

The other enjoyable part of this film is just how well it’s put together. An earlier comparison to Fincher is not just hyperbole– there is some artistry in the cinematography and directing here. For instance, a scene three-fourths of the way through the film during which a Fabrege egg (really it’s just a mcguffin– go with it) is used in a game of keep away in a gorgeous mansion as baddies chase our protagonists around– up and down staircases, in and out of rooms, swooping up and down giant open rooms with balconies above — all done to look like a single take.

It’s almost as much fun to watch as Plemons enjoy the heck out his character.

The biggest weakness of this film is it happens to be released amongst other films that will overshadow it at the box office. Can I recommend Game Night? Yes. Can I recommend you go see it instead of Black Panther or Annihilation? Well. . .

But if you are like our protagonists and are seeking some fun time with adult friends — and especially if you can go to a theater that will sell you adult beverages to go with it — and you just want to laugh and have a good time without thinking too much? This will scratch that particular itch. Otherwise, this is a definite recommend for watching at home with friends, with adult beverages, and perhaps with board games, especially if the game includes betrayal and murder. I highly recommend pairing this with a good game of Betrayal at House on the Hill or Werewolf.

(Rolls a d6 to determine overall score)
(Adds +2 Jesse Plemons)

3 out of 5 stars

(via our sister site Graphic Policy)

Enter the Battlefield, The Magic: The Gather Pro Tour Documentary

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Enter the Battlefield is a feature-length documentary that follows the stories of seven Magic players across a season: Reid Duke, Owen Turtenwald, William Jensen, Shahar Shenhar, Patrick Chapin, Melissa DeTora, and Chris Pikula. While their goal for every game is to defeat their opponent, their life on the Pro Tour is about personal goals. More than anyone, they compete with themselves.

Streaming debut on Twitch.tv/Magic on April 25.
Released on Netflix and YouTube on April 26.

Achtung! Cthulhu… the Movie!

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achtung cthulhu movieModiphius Entertainment has announced they are working to bring their tabletop gaming universe Achtung! Cthulhu to the big screen. The company has signed script writer Dirk Vandereyken and director Raine McCormack to work on the film adaptation.

The Achtung! Cthulhu setting uses the writings of H.P. Lovecraft – arguably the most influential horror author ever – and the events unfolding just before and during World War II as source material to unveil the horrific secret history of what was actually going on behind the scenes. It presents a nightmarish alliance of science and the occult, frightening inhuman conspiracies from the depths of time and unbelievable war machines created just as much by the infernal ovens of the German factories as by dark incantations chanted by a select group of immoral, Cthulhu-worshiping Nazi researchers. It also features the heroes of the time, flawed but courageous human beings making a stand in the idle hope of postponing the inevitable demise of humankind foretold in antediluvian manuscripts tucked away in hidden corners of the world’s greatest museums.

Many of the characters, villains and creatures in the film are drawn from the pages and inspirational graphic art of the critically acclaimed Achtung! Cthulhu books and will also be making an appearance in Dark Tales, an anthology of short stories set in the same universe, whilst Modiphius has just launched a large range of collectible miniatures based on the universe.

Modiphius Entertainment was launched in 2013 with the Kickstarter hit for Achtung! Cthulhu, a tabletop roleplaying game, raising over £200,000 in funding, and unlocking 11 books and over 2000 pages of storyline inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. A subsequent Kickstarter by Paris-based Devil Pig Games this Summer raised £150,000 for a licensed boardgame based on Achtung! Cthulhu which showed the brand has huge potential and Modiphius has also raised £150,000 for the reboot of the massive 90’s gaming brand Mutant Chronicles. Modiphius recently announced a co-operative boardgame based on the Thunderbirds license with designer Matt Leacock at the helm.

The team is already in talks with film investors and have begun preliminary casting. Achtung! Cthulhu – The Secret War will be following the usual process for feature film funding, with  shooting slated for Summer 2015. Modiphius is considering a Kickstarter in the Spring of 2015 to top up the budget as well as funding a series of roleplaying supplements and other games tied in to the storyline of the movies. Achtung! Cthulhu is envisaged as a series of films following the exploits of various characters through the Secret War and will be accompanied by a special web series for fans.

Those Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope Heroclix

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This July Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope gets a combo DVD pack with some HeroclixStan Lee, Joss Whedon, Harry Knowles and Morgan Spurlock get immortalized in the game/toys.  The limited edition combo-pack will be available at comic shops and specialty stores in time for San Diego Comic-Con 2012, with a number of the sets being sold at the show itself at the NECA booth.

You better believe I’ll be picking this up and I’ll let you know how their battle with Batman, Superman, Avengers and X-Men goes.