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Atari: Game Over (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 20 November 2014 (USA)
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2:57 | Trailer
A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s.

Director:

Zak Penn
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zak Penn ... Himself - Narrator
Joe Lewandowski Joe Lewandowski ... Himself - Waste Disposal Expert & Historian
Robert Rentschler Robert Rentschler ... Himself - Former Mayor, Alamogordo
Paul Sanchez Paul Sanchez ... Himself - Mayoral Candidate, Alamogordo
Manny Gerard Manny Gerard ... Himself - Co-Chief Operating Officer, Warner Communications Inc.
Nolan Bushnell ... Himself - Co-Founder, Atari
Seamus Blackley Seamus Blackley ... Himself - Co-Creator, Xbox
Howard Scott Warshaw Howard Scott Warshaw ... Himself - Game Engineer, Atari Inc.
Son Huffmon Son Huffmon ... Himself - Construction Division Manager, Mese Verde Enterprises
Pat Magill Pat Magill ... Himself - Director of Engineering, Mese Verde Enterprises
Mike Mika Mike Mika ... Himself - Game Designer & Preservationist
Susie Galea Susie Galea ... Herself - Mayor, Alamogordo
Andrew Reinhard Andrew Reinhard ... Himself - Archaeologist, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Raiford Guins Raiford Guins ... Himself - Associate Professor of Culture & Technology, Stony Brook University
Ernest Cline ... Himself - Screenwriter & Novelist
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Storyline

A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

32.886668 N, 105.967336 W

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German | French | Italian

Release Date:

20 November 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atari: Game Over See more »

Filming Locations:

Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This documentary can be downloaded for free through Xbox Live. See more »

Quotes

Himself - Narrator: [Discussing the chances that the digging of the dump being successful] You're saying that there's a possibility that this could turn out to be a giant waste of time?
Himself - Waste Disposal Expert & Historian: I think I've said it before: I'll bet the car, I won't bet the house.
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Connections

References Indy 500 (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Documentary Even When The Truth Is Ignored
28 April 2015 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

What's the worst video game ever ? I'm rather lost as to how you'd even go about using criteria for worst video game ever . As someone who plays video games on my laptop I'm often frustrated as to how in-depth they are these days . Where as playing a football management game from 15 years ago such as CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER I could complete a season in about two hours where as playing FOOTBALL MANAGER 2015 I have to sacrifice closer to two days to finish a football season . Likewise a real time strategy game like AIRLAND BATTLE is breath taking in its dedication to units , maps and tactics but by the same token the gameplay and micro management needed to play in order to win on a consistent basis is off putting so it's very subjective as to what qualifies as a bad game . This documentary tells the story of the Atari game E.T which we're told to believe is the worst video game in the history of humanity

Again we're asked to buy in to the S word - subjectivity - and this is where everything falls down . Atari once had an absolute monopoly on video games both in arcades and home consoles . Everyone remembers Pong , a tennis like game involving two players knocking a ball in to their opponents space . Then you had Space Invaders and the likes taking up the market in arcade games and I often remember as a child popping in to the local amusement arcades in Rothesay watching patrons play these games wishing I had the money to play . When I did arcade games had moved forward slightly and grown more intricate and visually better and just all round more fun . It wasn't until I consulted Wikipedia that I found out something important which GAME OVER fails to mention and that is how very few games in the mid 1980s arcades were Atari games . And this means this documentary must be taken wit a large salt mine . By the mid 1980s other consoles by the likes of Sega were eating in to the market and despite what the interviewees are claiming it simply wasn't a bad press revolving around a single game that ended Atari it was simply market forces and more innovative rivals that beat them

This is a pity because this selective rewriting of history damages a very interesting documentary that gives us the story of how video games came in to being . Where it works best is with the visuals . Director Zak Penn best known for his Hollywood superhero screenplays uses the documentary as almost a literal comic book cum video game which works very well in what could have been a boring docu featuring talking head interviews . The history of Atari is also fascinating where game developers were allowed to get stoned at work , think outside the box and makes lots of money . As the laws of evolution show however hippies become yippies become yuppies and there's distinct lack of irony involved when people who have done so much to make a corporate company an absolute minority thinks it's a good idea to dig up a land fill site in Alamogordo causing possible environmental harm as a bit of an ego trip while blaming all the world's problems on a video game that didn't sell . Modesty like truth isn't exactly in evidence here but it still makes for an interesting documentary


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