Not entirely successful


While this was too slow to get going, it did finally engage my interest a bit and it was OK... Despite the American locations, some stylish camera work and a good soundtrack, I got the distinct impression that the budget was small... Did we ever see Sam Houser using a computer..? For a computer game developer, he seemed to spend surprisingly little time playing computer games or even just at a computer... I do like Daniel Radcliffe a lot. But, I didn't really think this rôle suited him... I suspect they were rather hoping this would be a sort of British version of "The Social Network" and the Open University's involvement suggests they wanted it to be somewhat educational... Of course, it shares certain themes with "The Social Network", but it's much less successful than that excellent film... Educational..? Well, it does sort of complement the recent edition of "Horizon" on whether computer games are bad for us or not... On its own, I suppose it could maybe provoke a discussion or two on the subject of violent computer games... As I said, I thought it was OK. But, it could have been better.

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Some things they did seemed hasty and cheap. Like the recreated TV segments and radio bits about GTA. The lawsuit, complaints and investigations were real so there must have been actual footage they could have used. Even BBC news must have covered this at the time given that Rockstar is of British origin. I felt like because of the trademark lawsuit that Rockstar brought, they were prevented from showing as much of GTA and the Houser story as they would have liked, so we got much more of Jack Thompson.

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Hit the nail on the head.
It really really wanted to be the social network. But it just didn't have the chops.

Bill Paxton was so wooden it felt like he was reading off screen cue cards.

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There's only 2 people you ever see playing video games in this film. The murderer and the modder. Both are depicted as playing GTA hours on end. Highly concentrated, never blinking. Very emotionless, only ever making a slight smirk at the carnage going on. It's a depiction of a gamer stereotype. Dangerous, mind being filled with filth and being desensitized to it. In the case of the murderer, playing GTA is all we ever know about him. It's very clear the filmmakers want you to believe GTA caused his actions because we aren't given any other information about him that would lead us to speculate otherwise.

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