Level Up: The Movie DVD Review
While stereotypical, “Level Up” will appeal to young gamers.
The pilot episode plot: By day, Wyatt, Dante, and Lyle are high school students who dislike each other. By night, they are MMORPG gamer buds who don’t know inititally know that they all go to the same school (let alone that they know each other). After a laboratory accident releases the evil Maldark from the video game realm into the real world, however, Wyatt, Dante, Lyle (and later non-gamer Angie) are forced to work together in real life to stop this menace from wreaking havoc.
With the overwhelming popularity that video games have on today’s society, I’m surprised we haven’t seen a series like this before. Given the fact that kids play video games more than they watch TV these days, a scripted video centric tween series seemed like a sure thing. Now that it has come to fruition, what’s the show like? Surprisingly entertaining.
While suffering from forced character conflicts and stereotypical characters (the jock, the nerd, the spaz, the non-gamer girl), “Level Up” feels a lot different than most teen shows these days. It’s not a dopey laugh-track ridden teen comedy (which is what we mostly see these days in terms of tween programming). Instead, it’s a “Jumanji” esque series loaded with pop culture references, fast paced action, and more game references than you can shake a stick at. I think I admire the fact that it’s more designed for a certain demographic rather than aiming for a broader appeal. It’s somewhat of a risk in that regard.
Summary: While it doesn’t always work, the “Level Up” movie/pilot is still a pretty fun watch. I don’t know how good the actual series is, but I can recommended the movie for tween gamers.
The widescreen picture quality looks sharp on this DVD release, but I’m a little surprised we didn’t get a Blu-ray release as well given the popularity of the show.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is also impressive. The sound f/x, music and dialogue sounded sharp to this reviewer’s ears.
* “Adventure Time” and “Ben 10” trailers.
* “Level Up” music video.
* An episode from the TV series titled “Wanted.” Definitely not as good as the pilot.
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