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Rolling Stone celebrates GTA IV

Critic lavishes praise on Rockstar's opus

Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers has been bitterly disappointed by this summer's cinematic offerings. In fact he's so starved of cinematic inspiration that he's written a movie review of GTA IV in protest.

"Time to go interactive. That's right, me the movie critic is actually telling you to switch to video games until Hollywood makes more exciting movies... in terms of action, thrills, imagination and innovation, GTA IV has it all over the pablum currently passing for ingenuity at the multiplex," Travers writes, and goes on to list all of this favourite things about Rockstar's hugely successful action title.

Surprising enough as it is to read a film critic being so openly enthusiastic about a computer game, Traver's review of GTA IV as a film rather than a game makes for an interesting read, praising writers Dan Houser and Rupert Humphries for creating "the vid version of film noir with dialogue that crackles even in the film's darkest shadows", entering territory "marked by Scorsese and Tarantino."

He cautiously skims over the "moral implications of video games" debate ("Yes, GTA IV is brutal, bloody, debased, debauched and likely to corrupt the innocent after, say, 400 hours of play. But let's keep the innocent out of this... No way am I trying to make GTA IV look like it's good for you"), and sticks wisely to a fine appreciation of all the things we love about the GTA series - "knockout rendering, interesting interactive scenery (and characters), fantastic scripts and awesome gameplay."

Travers concludes his experiment by asking if this is the start of a new revolution in cinematic entertainment - calling for a 'ballsy visionary' to raise interactive video gaming to the level of cinematic art, an exciting concept indeed. Probably means he's not going to want to play the new Incredible Hulk tie-in game, though. Read the full article over at http://www.rollingstone.com/blogs/traverstake/2008/06/is-grand-theft-auto-iv-actuall.php

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