Monotony Monday #2 – Wat Da Dice Do
The Film Reroll: Roll on the Floor Rolling
The short of it: The podcast equips you with a grin that never comes off. The cast’s all-out dedication to their roleplaying, game master included, makes the premise of playing in an established movie universe believable, and, more importantly, entertaining.
Movies are stories in a vacuum– they take place in their own worlds with their own rules, and the story ends in a few hours. The vacuum that surrounded it, however, lives on.
The Film Reroll is a podcast that takes the cap off these vacuum-sealed narratives, and, like most things that are faced with a rapid decompression, explode.*
*Note: I’m not a science guy, but let’s say that’s what happens.
Using the Generic Universal RolePlaying System, GURPS, the cast play through film premises as the protagonists. This means playing The Wizard of Oz has four people playing as Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow for example. The game master, typically the host, Paulo Quiros, then introduces the players to the beginning of the film before allowing them to make their decisions on how to move the story forward.
Without a true author to guide the story, the result of the players’ decisions is made by a roll of the dice. This is where the explosion happens– the randomness of the dice forces both the players and the game master to adapt to new scenarios that’d never make it to the big screen.
The resulting adventures deviate from standard film fare, building new worlds in these already-established universes. With the wit and chemistry of the cast, these worlds are filled with brutal quips and delightful tangents, both in and out of character. Their episode of Stand By Me includes the gang of boys trying to decide if elves have sex, while E.T. sees the cast discussing fan theories about the Smurfs.
With a cast full of film, acting, and role playing experience, The Film Reroll possesses a, well, dynamic group dynamic:
- Paulo Quiros’ worldbuilding and patient storytelling
- Pitr Strait’s biting sassiness
- Jon Miller’s staunchy nature
- Joz Vammer’s carefree chaos
- Andy Hoover’s entire existence
Each of the cast also boasts an incredible improv talent, never faltering on their ability to roll with every bad dice roll and new story element. They’re invested in the role playing enough to deal with unusual developments in-character but self-aware enough to break and poke fun at their own stumbles.
Even though a few of the episodes are less successful than others, the ones that work do so beautifully. Jaws holds the tense shark battle and internal struggle of the original, Halloween adapts the dread and horror that plagued audiences when the original aired, Stand by Me remains a tale of the final summer of adolescence, but each episode warps the stories enough to make them a whole new experience with far more laughs.
The Film Reroll has induced a lot of relistens and actual rolling on the floor laughing– rerolls, if you will.
I promise the jokes in the show are better than that. They’re way better with dice.
+ Great cast dynamic
+ Consistently interesting premise
+ High quality recording
– Occasional grating accents or characters
Check it out: