James Ronald Whitney

James Ronald Whitney

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Games People Play Review


Terrible
A reality TV show (of sorts) for those who don't watch reality TV but would still prefer to feel above it all, Games People Play bills itself as the pilot episode of "America's most uninhibited game show" but seems to have pretensions of being a film that people would pay money to see. Please don't.

The filmmaker, James Ronald Whitney, doubles as the host for this game show, which picks a half-dozen contestants (three women, three men) from the hundreds of hopefuls who answer an ad for "completely uninhibited, attractive" actors who want the chance to win a $10,000 prize. (As far as I can tell, this is all on the up and up -- it's a real game show, with real prizes, not a mockumentary.) The selection process is a serious grind, with contestants made to go up and tell their most painful memories in detail to the group, act out an erotic little playlet, and do everything possible to show how uninhibited they are. Even though the film tosses around the word "uninhibited" as though the filmmakers were earning a commission on how many times they could use it, none of the contestants who are chosen establish any sort of rapport with the camera, and no amount of getting naked (and there's a lot of it) or crying about their tortured childhoods (a suspicious amount of this, as all six conveniently have a horrific story to tell) makes up for that fact.

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Just, Melvin Review


Weak
The trouble with reviewing a documentary is the inherant difficulty in making a case for a review. You work in narrative film, you watch narrative films at least once a day, every day, for years on end, and you write about three or more reviews a week on nothing other than narrative films. Then someone sets films like Spring Forward, Spectres of the Spectrum, My Dinner with Andre, or a documentary in front of you and all of a sudden you are dead in the water.

Documentaries are the absolute worst of this crew. You have a general impression that it was touching, you have a general impression that it was good, and you have no specific points beyond this. Your standard weapon for the biopic, that it is playing the sympathy card by being "based on a true story," is taken away. You have a dilema: how do you insult the true story as being exploitative? Is there a point that truth every becomes sensationalistic?

Continue reading: Just, Melvin Review

James Ronald Whitney

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Games People Play Movie Review

Games People Play Movie Review

A reality TV show (of sorts) for those who don't watch reality TV but would...

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