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Rock Paper Scissors

February 16, 2013

Cinequest 2009

rpsFive minutes into Rock Paper Scissors, a documentary about two brothers who have brought the famous children’s game into World Championship status, I wrote down this note, “Is this for real??”

I had spoken to Graham Walker, one of the brothers, through the computer before attending the film. He seemed to be VERY serious about his film. So as I watched these over the top characters on screen, these players who seemed to have taken “taking it seriously” to a whole new level, I felt like I had been had. There was no way this was a documentary. From the “team doctor” to a trophy fashioned out of a wooden hanger and a gilded fist flinging the “bird”, to then hearing about a bidding war between Fox Sports and ESPN over who would show the World Championships (Seriously? ESPN??)… and Hello, I haven’t even told you about the players yet.

On the other hand, there also seemed to be a pretty big effort to make this seem real. Clips from the Conan show, Ellen, the CBS Morning Show and even CNN certainly made it appear real, and the previous World Championships filmed sure had a lot of extras walking around…

Well, folks, this film was about as real as they come. I think I could have enjoyed it more if I had know for sure if real or not because I spent too much time trying to figure out the truth. Honestly, I was only convinced of its realness when the filmmaker stood up for the Q&A.

“Are you a fan of RPS?” he was asked.

“Umm. No.” was his reply, to great applause. He also informed us that it’s the only sport that has no rules against banned substances. Thanks, Cinequesting, for asking that question. People do want to know.

But did I like it? Yeah, yeah I did. We were all laughing hysterically, we just were never sure what we were laughing at: documentary or mockumentary? But there is no denying that the movie was entertaining, and it was actually really well put together. Matti Leshem, executive producer of such hits as “Paula Abdul: Cardio Cheer”, is set up as a perfectly villainous promoter, and there were various colorful heroes from the large group of competitors. Master Roshambollah was in the audience with some friends, sitting right behind me and cheering loudly in all the right places.

It took me a while to figure out exactly what I thought about this movie. I really had to get it into my head that this was all real and not one big joke being played. But no matter what, I can’t deny that I laughed and had fun, and with the crazy mix of characters that show up for these championships, well, you may just find me there as a spectator one day.

Well, probably not.

Available on Netflix and Instant Video.

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