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The Dungeon Masters
The Dungeon Masters
Actor: n/a
Director: Keven McAlester
Genres: Drama
NR     2010     1hr 27min



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Movie Details

Actor: n/a
Director: Keven McAlester
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: FilmBuff
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/03/2010
Release Year: 2010
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Director Keven McAlester's love-letter to his darkest impuls
Tevis Fen-Kortiay | Bloom county | 08/06/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The ostensible subject of this film is three role-playing game enthusiasts. In fact, the real focus of the film is director Keven McAlester and his borderline sociopathic compulsion to convince a few mild eccentrics to trust in him so he'll be in a position to publicly humiliate and scapegoat them. McAlester, never onscreen himself, comes across as something between Shakespeare's Iago and Jerry Springer.

Richard Meeks reports in online interviews that when the director and producers first approached potential subjects at GenCon, they secured cooperation by claiming their goal was to portray Dungeon Masters "as normal, everyday people" - to CORRECT the insulting way role-players are often misrepresented in the mainstream media. This pattern of approaching vulnerable people who were abused and/or traumatized as children or in marriage, telling them "I know you've been abused in the past, but I'm here to FIX that abuse, to HELP you! You can TRUST me!," being welcomed into their homes and lives for months at a time, then betraying that very trust -- it's not just the everyday dishonesty of politicians and television commercials. It's profoundly abusive. It's cult-leader abusive.

Some examples of McAlester betraying trust/bending facts:

* The documentary opens with subject Scott Corum describing why he loves role-playing. Then, after he is clearly under the impression the filmed interview has ended, after we see him walk off-camera, we hear him ask about dinner plans. Corum clearly believes that filming has ended and does not intend his dinner question to be part of the film, but McAlester not only leaves it in without his subject's awareness or permission, he uses it as the definitive tone-setting moment immediately before the film title. And it does set the tone: taking advantage of people's trust to have a laugh at their expense.

* In real life, Elizabeth Reesman only wears her Drow makeup for the rare convention or live-action role-playing, but at the director's unrelenting urging, she eventually agreed to wear it extensively for the interviews filmed in her home. In her interview at [...], Reesman expressed surprise and anger that McAlester represents HIS idea that she dress up for the interviews not only as HER idea, but seemingly as "evidence" that she is emotionally dysfunctional and unable to cope with reality. He even used the Drow-Lady motif as the iconic film poster. Reesman further expresses dismay that McAlester wouldn't lay off questioning her on subjects she repeatedly told him were off-limits, like her ex-husband; seeing the final film, it became clear this was in support of McAlester's prefabbed agenda to (inaccurately) portray Reesman as freakishly incapable of a healthy relationship due to a weak grasp on reality.

* Richard Meeks is shown in a photograph with his 3 step-children when they appear to be between the ages of 8-12; in the same moment, we hear a voiceover about how Meeks abruptly abandoned them and their mother. In reality, Meeks didn't leave until the YOUNGEST child was 20. Director Keven McAlester knows this (later we even hear a so-quick-you-might-miss-it mention by Meeks that he was a fixture in his youngest son's life till age 19), yet intentionally paints Meeks as a man who abandoned young children. Richard Meeks is hardly likely to win any "Father of the Year" awards, but the implications of this film are simply a lie. Were Meeks to sue Keven McAlester for defamation of character in a court of law, what defense could McAlester possibly muster for this unambiguously intentional, defamatory misrepresentation?

McAlester reports in interviews that this film has hugely advanced his career. Enjoy your 30 pieces of silver, you exploitive parasite. If any of the subjects of this film would like help making a documentary about Keven McAlester being successfully sued for defamation of character, please contact me via the comments section."
I don't know about the details but I liked it
Paul Gifford | Maryland | 05/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It's been 30 years since I played Dungeons and Dragons and I certainly haven't kept up on all the changes over the years. Thus I approached this movie not as a study of of the rules and gaming but as a look into the lives of three people who also happen to be dungeon masters. On that level I think the movie succeeded.

On one level I could relate to the characters, not because I used to play D&D (and have played World of Warcraft) but because, like most people, I know what it's like to not fit in. I've always had respect for those who can get their geek on without worrying what everyone else thinks.

I really liked this movie - I found it entertaining. It was amusing in parts, touching in others. I think the movie is between a rock and hard place with viewers though. Many people not into role-playing games might not be able to get past the geekinees and just think "losers" when they watch the movie. Those into gaming may get caught up in the details (as seen in other reviews) and not be able to appreciate the movie as a whole. If you fall in between those two categories then give this movie a try...I think you'll find it worth your while."
Terrible Image of Gaming
Jarvis Mishler | 08/29/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The documentary features the absolute worst of gamers and gaming. Watch The Gamers: Dorkness Rising for a much more educational, honest, and entertaining movie about role-playing games."