Blockbuster Party Game

Blockbuster Party Game

The VHS styled cover for Blockbuster!

As Conan said about the best things in life,’ pick your movies, see them in the comfort of your home, and hear the amazing stereo sound!’… well, he said SOMETHING like that.

Tragically, the days of the video shop have passed, and I have to say, even though I prefer to buy my physical media rather than rent them, I do miss walking up and down the aisles of my local Videoezy, Videomonde, Blockbuster or even the good ol’ smaller solo video stores, though I was usually there to raid their ex-rentals.

Blockbuster is the name that everyone remembers more than any, I’m sure, and this game appears to be a trivia game, which can unfortunately squeeze out people who aren’t big movie fans, but it’s not.

The Blockbuster Party Game is a party game for 4 to 10 people, who in my family’s experience, plays best with 8, and it’s not a trivia game, but it is about movies.

The game is played in 2 teams, in 2 rounds. In the first round, a card is drawn from a deck titled ‘Head to Head’ and from each team, a representative is chosen to play in this round. On the face of each Head to Head card is a description of a movie, like ‘Movies with a Dragon’ or ‘Movies with a Dog’ or ‘Movies with a Giant Monster’ etc, and over the course of 15 seconds, timed with a supplied timer, each representative has to give an example of a movie that fits the description. For example, in that last example, King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera and their Kaiju comrades. The two go back and forth with titles, and the person who hasn’t answered when timer goes off is the loser.

Examples of the head to head cards

The winner of the round now draws 6 Movie cards, which are quite simply, coloured-coded by genre cards with the names of movies on them. The winner then picks the 3 cards that they think will be the easiest for them to communicate to their team, each card being picked to reveal in three different ways:

One Word – where you can only describe the film with a single word.

Quote It – describe the movie with a single quote from the film.

Act It – you have to perform a charade of the movie title.

Examples of the movie cards

The winner then has 30 seconds to perform those actions on the cards, flipping them over if the team guess correctly. If they do it in LESS than the 30 seconds, they can then attempt the opponents cards!

It’s then the opposing teams turn, and they have the same rules. If they finish quick enough and the opposing team still have face down movie titles, they can attempt to steal them.

There is also a special rule where once per turn, if one side has three of any colour genre, they can steal an opponents card for their collection.

These rounds continue back and forth until one side has collected a full set of the 8 coloured genre cards.

Ready to play!

The game is fun, and as it’s not a trivia game, an average to below average knowledge of movies is enough. The films picked are blockbusters (geddit) or well-known films so there’s very few opportunities of someone not knowing the answer.

The design of the game is quite thematic with the board being the car park outside a Blockbuster, there’s a street sign that performs no purpose other than to represent the theme more. The supplied timer is a clever gadget that runs for 15 seconds with a single touch, and 30 seconds when held down to activate.

The whole thing is quite gimmicky in its presentation but it also has problems. The replica video case doesn’t close completely, the car park board doesn’t lay completely flat and the cards are not great quality.

Also, it being a party game, it will sit in your games cupboard until you have enough people to play it, which is a minimum of 4! I consistently only have 3 players playing so it’s hard for me to get it to the table.

It’s a fun game and there are heaps of options (200 hundred movie cards!) so the game has quite a fair bit of longevity, especially if not played over and over with the same group. There is also two different music versions of the game: a UK version called Top of the Pops and a U.S. one called MTV: The Throwback Music Party Game. All three were published by Big Potato Games in 2020.

Score: ***

First Day of Summer Review: Jaws (1975)

It’s the first day of summer, and what better way to celebrate than with a cinematic classic all about sun and fun. Here’s a corker from the re-watch pile…
Jaws (1975)

My unfortunately damaged cover of the bluray of Jaws

Film: Realistically, I shouldn’t have to write anything in this part of the review, because you’ve all seen Jaws. All I should have to write is ‘it’s Jaws, it’s good’.

If you haven’t seen Jaws, you need to go and see it. Now. Sure it’s not my favourite film in the world, but it’s an important film, it’s a well made film, it’s a well cast film. It’s fun, it’s horrifying, and if you live in Australia on the coast, it’s perpetually topical!   

I first saw Jaws on the big screen as a very young kid: God only knows what my parents were thinking, but i was both in awe of it, and scared to death by it. Actually, I have Jaws to thank for introducing me to ‘the shower’ because after I saw it, I didn’t want to be immersed in water again… even though I carried around a rubber shark for months afterwards, and that shark shared every shower with me!

Jaws was directed by legendary director Steven Spielberg, based on a novel, by Peter Benchley, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Carl Gottlieb.

Jaws: Roy Scheider as Chief Brody

So for those who haven’t seen it (which I have just discovered includes my wife!!!) here’s a brief synopsis: Amity Island is a beautiful, sleepy town which in summer is invaded by tourists who enjoy its beaches and sunny disposition.

This year, though, is different, as Police Chief Brady (Roy Scheider) finds his normally peaceful existence invaded by a shark… but not just any shark, a gigantic, hungry great white shark, which is killing again and again. He enlists the help of a marine biologist, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and an old shark hunter, Quint (Robert Shaw) to hunt the shark, but will all of them survive?
I can’t really criticise the film as it’s probably a perfect monster movie, even though it’s not one of my favourites (which is why I have only given it 4 stars), but it’s certainly a must watch, especially in this beautifully restored edition.

Score: ****

The Australian bluray menu of Jaws

Format: This Australian bluray release of Jaws runs for about 2 hours and 4 minutes and is presented in a beautifully restored widescreen 2.35:1 visual with a spectacular DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track. Possibly the best film restoration I’ve seen to date.

Score: *****

Extras: Extras, extras, extras? Boy oh boy, do we have extras!!

First, there’s a bunch of deleted scenes and outtakes that are interesting, but really don’t add much to the film and it is better off without them.

The Making of Jaws is a spectacular, 2 hour mainly retrospective documentary that really, if you have any questions about how this film was made or the origins of the story, they’ll be answered here!

Jaws: the iconic opening sequence

The Shark is Still Working: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws is a series of ten small fan-made featurettes, exclusive to this bluray release, that are a passionate look at the making and perpetuity of the film. 
Jaws: the Restoration looks at how Jaws was restored for this bluray release and the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures. As a fan of cinema, this is a pretty interesting watch.

From the Vaults is a look at the making of Jaws, but made in the 70s with some great archival footage.

Jaws Archives has 4 series of still galleries celebrating the making and international marketing of the film. Normally I’m not a huge fan of still galleries but this shows a hell of a lot of the posters and Day bills for the advertising of the movie, so it gets a pass.

Last, but not least, we have the original theatrical trailer for the film.

This edition also comes with a digital copy of the film.

Score: *****

WISIA: Its not just one of the greatest Monster movies ever made, it’s one of the best movies ever made, everyone should watch it multiple times!

Jaws: a little underwater head