I heard about this movie a couple of years ago, thought the idea was cool, especially being a big River City Ransom fan, having bought it when it first came out), and the poster was neat, and I meant to order it when it came out. Well, I finally decided to order it. I got it, and now I've I watched the movie and all of the extras. And I can definitely say it was worth the price, for sure.
But you definitely have to enjoy it for it what it is, not what it isn't. It's not a Hollywood production - there's no make-up or lighting that would give it that artificial coating that all Hollywood movies have. The movie looks like a well produced student film. So there are things like actors who look like they're trying hard to stop from laughing (I think Moose was the worst one for that). But when you accept the limitations, it's pretty good. Heck, it's a film about student gangs terrorizing the city, so it's kind of appropriate that it looks like a student film with minimal budget.
I do have to say one, though, it is really hard to accept one thing - the sound balance. The film was edited digitally, I assume, so it would've been relatively easy to balance the audio a little better to correct times when the dialogue changes between normal, to quiet, or really loud, at each camera cut, and make it more uniform throughout.
Anyway, the movie definitely captures the plot (such as it was) of River City Ransom really well. And the mood is really well done - the loose change on the street, the little taglines at the bottom for "Rocko's Turf" or whatever, the learning of moves at Merlin's, the Sauna. Like most people it seems, the highlight of the fillm was the Benny and Clyde fight, but there's lots of good moments throughout, and overall, the plot moves pretty well, has tension, conflict, growth of the characters (I was really surprised at the scene after the Thor fight where Jill berates Alex and Ryan for fighting) - I wasn't expecting that type of plot development. I did find myself cringing at the Transformers: The Movie references though, especially the surprisingly long one in the Thor fight.
But my biggest beef with the plot (apparently I'm not the only one, based on the commentary) was the end of the Dragon Twins battle. I would have been much more satisfied if "that" hadn't happened. I'm not sure I should go into it, because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who might be interested in the film, but suffice it to say, I think I was so into the protagonists' struggle at that point that to end it that way was really unsatisfying. I can understand the gag that was being attempt though. Oh well.
Anyway, whatever, the movie was still kind of fun. The acting of the two main heroes improved pretty quickly. And I enjoyed it for what it was.
The extras on the DVD were REALLY good (well, maybe not the commentaries, but commentaries of even "Hollywood" movies generally suck, so just the fact that there were 2 commentaries is pretty cool in itself). The outtakes were good, the music video was funny (especially the end). And that MagFest 2.0 documentary was great. Really well done, and a lot of fun to watch. It's hard to describe why. Being a video game geek (why else would I buy a movie about a cult-classic video game), it was a blast to watch all of these people really enjoying video games and video game music.