The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (19)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (17)
| Rotten (2)
Joins the ranks of movies like Hoop Dreams and Murderball as one of the great documentary dissections of how Americans play.
By approaching the subject without a sense of ironic distance, Neel and Meyer get at something elemental, a variation of the American Dream at work, in which everyone can live out their life as they see it, even if that's as a medieval elf.
Eloquent and occasionally touching, Darkon is haphazardly photographed but unfailingly generous toward subjects who exhibit an astonishing degree of self-awareness.
Neel and Meyer approach their subjects with open minds. Running around Baltimore in medieval armor isn't everyone's chalice of wine, they seem to be saying -- but who are we to judge?
There should be plenty of material here. But all we see are average men and women looking for an escape from their boring jobs and disappointing home lives.
Empowered as they are, it's hard to take this motley crew seriously when they spit medieval maxims with soccer goals in the background, but the filmmakers approach their subjects with humanity.
It might sound ridiculous, and occasionally it is, but there is also something deeply moving about people's desire for experience that is bigger and more thrilling than ordinary life. Valour! Passion! Glory! Giant foam swords!
First-time documentarians Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel avoid what might have been the obvious tact here of making fun of these folks, which is a treat...
The film perceptively addresses the intertwining of fantasy and reality, which eventually seems so pronounced that one senses players are acting out their dreams of either being, or striking back against, bullies.
How can you not like a movie where a guy says, completely without irony, "During my third campout, I was assassinated seven times."
This low-budget documentary by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel spends three years chronicling Darkon, a medieval role-playing group whose members dress up in homemade costumes and chase each other around fields in suburban Baltimore.
For all its hipster appeal, it's hard to imagine anyone who would not be charmed by this ode to nonconformity, a humanistic, thoughtful, and entertaining film that won this year's SXSW Film Fest's Audience Award.
Somewhere there is a Trekkie Dentist who feels really good about themselves.
An average doc about the world of LARPing. I would have liked it to cover more of the world of LARPing but it sticks to just one group and it's struggles. There are a few people covered but one more than the others. You get interested in the story but I would have liked to see more of the others.
They do get a little carried away but I think the whole thing looks fun and I wouldn't mind trying it out.
I did not know this culture existed and this film provides a very interesting glimpse into the world of outcasts shunned by other outcasts. Check out the HULU page discussions on this for a thorough exploration of the piece.
It's startling to actually see the amount of creativity, time, effort and preparation that these men and women put into their hobby. The way that these people totally commit to something that most adults would look down on requires an odd type of courage that many of the rest of us probably lack.
Some of the participants view role-playing as an enjoyable diversion, while others draw courage and catharsis from their alter-egos. Each of these groups are handled well and fairly by the documentary makers, and I never felt like they were being exploited or mocked. Watching them practice their swordplay or listening to how they feel more comfortable in the fantasy world than in the real one never felt uncomfortable or embarrassing. It's a good thing that these people have the world of Darkon, where each of them can be who they really want to be, even if it's only for a weekend at a time.
This is a great film for anyone who is curious about LARPing, or who simply would like to watch a novel and entertaining documentary.
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