Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

24 May 2008

Word Wars: Tiles and Tribulations on the Scrabble Circuit, dir. Eric Chaikin & Julian Petrillo (2004)

NIKKI says:
Competitive Scrabble might not be as nail-biting as competitive Donkey Kong and crosswording, but it's still fascinating, especially when viewed from the perspectives of the four unlikely challengers as depicted here.

The players are reigning champion Joe Edley, down on his luck comedian Matt Graham, Marlon Hill from the projects, and phlegm-laden "GI" Joel Sherman. The film follows the guys in the lead up to the 2001 Scrabble championship in San Diego. It chronicles the bizarre friendships between Matt, Joel, and Marlon, and their competitive dislike for Edley.

We watch as each of these men secures his place at the championship and we see how they fare as the event takes place. It's a surprise to see who gets where, and how they deal with their wins and losses. The film is funny and sad, and details the strange havoc Scrabble wreaks on these mens' lives. A majority of them don't work in any sort of full-time capacity, instead living on the bare bones they take home from Scrabble comps. They also seem to have trouble connecting to people, and often live in cluttered homes, filled with word books. Only Edley is different from the other guys, with his Tai-Chi and trumped-up opinion of himself as more a metaphysical Scrabbler than your average word-freak using the circuit as a means of survival.

I enjoyed it a lot -- especially Marlon, who I really wanted to take home the big prize. I think, though, that it lacked the emotional depth of like films, Wordplay, Spellbound, and King of Kong. It didn't hit me on the same level as those films, didn't glue me to my seat, and have me questioning everything about the obsessions in my life. It was a bit more of a surface look than those other films, but certainly worth watching.


No comments: