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Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie by Bear McCreary (Review)

posted Sep 3, 2014, 10:30 AM by Koray Savas   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 10:31 AM ]

James Rolfe, via Kickstarter, has brought his popular web series to a feature-length film. Rolfe's series is based upon reviewing old, often excruciatingly terrible video games and blasting them for their shortcomings and poor design. Kyle Justin wrote the series' theme song, but for this film, Rolfe has turned to the always experimenting Bear McCreay to score. The movie is set up around Rolfe finding and reviewing the infamous E.T. video game, which sold so poorly that Atari dumped its excess stock in a New Mexico landfill. Not much else needs to be understood about the style of humor and tone of Rolfe's persona. It's over-the-top and ridiculous, and so is McCreary's score.

The music is an absolute joy from start to finish, and is truly one of the most unique things I have ever listened to. McCreary custom sampled synths from actual NES, Super Nintendo, and SEGA Genesis consoles and fused them with a full orchestra. The result is a tailor fit glove to the film that is unlike anything else composed for the medium. The only thing comparable is Nigel Goodrich's score for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, but McCreary goes above the occasional 8-bit sample and really turns it into its own section of the orchestra. The album lacks a solid structure, but the sheer energy and purpose of the music in this context forgives it. "The Nerdy Hero" is the score's highlight, a 10-minute tour-de-force that effortlessly builds into a bursting rendition of Justin's original theme. It reminds me a lot of McCreary's "The Pursuit Of Vengeance" from SOCOM 4 in terms of the timing and progression within the music. Not many composers can successfully write a 10-minute climax, but McCreary is one of them. Moreover, Brendan McCreary contributes two original songs with his band Young Beautiful In A Hurry, and their Black Sabbath-style sound fits nicely with the heavy metal chord progressions in Bear's music.

Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie is in all likelihood not everyone's cup of tea. However, for fans of the AVGN web series, gamers in general, and those that appreciate Bear McCreary's wonderful talent and knack for inventive instrumentation, the synth-orchestra mash-up is a fresh and exciting experience that should not be missed.