Review: “FOCUS: A Documentary”

Here at The Best Damn Nerd Show, we’re kind of on a movie kick. On occasion, the C-Section will be reviewing movies that have either just come out in theaters, on DVD/Blu-Ray, or something we recall from our past. So go ahead, pop some corn, and let’s get to the reviewing!

We recently got a sneak preview of “FOCUS: A Documentary.” FOCUS follows a competitive Street Fighter 4 player named Mike Ross. You may have seen Mike on his web series “Cross Counter” or “Excellent Adventures of Gootecks and Mike Ross,” but this documentary shows a different side of Mike that you may not have seen before. Salty as ever, Mike navigates his way through the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, and we get to watch!

After watching this documentary, did your perception of the tournament gaming community change? If so, how?

Davis: The main aspect of tournament gaming that surprised me was the lack of money that is involved for the people that finish as runners up or lower. I thought more people would be able to live off this professionally than actually do. This shined a light on the idea that professional gamers have “real jobs” and even though gaming is a big part of their lives, it’s not all that they do. Additionally, Ross mentioned that he would go months without “training” before the events and even thought at one point that this would make him better, he felt like he’d be fresh. Anything you want to be good at or dominate at takes practice and training and when he realized that he was able to move higher in the ranks.

Ceglia: EVO2010 was one of the first fighting game tournaments I had ever watched to the fullest. When I was watching the stream for the first time I wondered why Mike Ross had so many fans, but watching this documentary shows why he is so loved so much throughout the community. I was very surprised about how much behind-the-scenes work and traveling had to be done, even with such a mainstream game.

Why should people watch this documentary or should they?

Davis: Even if you’re not into gaming this documentary really shows how great it is to find something you’re passionate (nerdy) about. Even if it’s just for fun, passion is worth more than any amount of money you could make in a gaming tournament. The friends and the experiences you’ll make truly improve your life, and Mike Ross is an example of that.

Ceglia: The only people who are watching this film will be gamers. That’s it, plain and simple. That said, this documentary is something even non-gamers could enjoy and relate to. “FOCUS” was as inspiring as it gets; You will believe in Mike Ross. He encapsulates everyone who has ever been to a tournament of any kind, and the documentary shows the trials and tribulations that you might not think of when you watch live streams. Also, the organic reaction shots are quite possibly the greatest things I’ve seen in outside of Hollywood in a really long time. You know, aside from Angels in the Outfield. Damn you JGL.

Anything “grind your gears” while watching?

Davis: Of course with anything that people get into, there will be some that take it too far. In this community, there are people who wear gloves while they play. Whether it’s because the character they play wears gloves or they think they are Michael Jackson reincarnate, it’s unacceptable, and they need to be tied in a room and forced to watch Nicolas Cage films. Also, Mike Ross seems like someone I would like to be friends with, he’s so humble. He is a great guy and really just made me want so much more for him in the future.

Ceglia: The commentary. Oh God, the commentary. Outside of the EVO commentary with Seth Killian (Capcom-Unity’s main Street Fighter representative), there are some instances where I literally wanted to turn off the sound on my TV. Also, the quality of the streams that were provided weren’t the greatest. If you didn’t know who E. Honda or Ken were, you might be lost trying to follow how well our hero is doing.

Tag team Street Fight who do you want on your side, Mike Ross or Daigo Umehara?

Davis: Did you see Ross’ dad in that baseball uniform?! Bustin’ out of that extra medium jersey, I got to think Mike is hiding some of what his dad passed down. Plus, he’d probably try to pull some sumo wrestling moves and just confuse the opposition.

Ceglia: Uh, Daigo is Japanese. We’re automatically brothers. You would never see us coming and our facial expressions would never change.

Please send any questions/comments about “FOCUS: A Documentary” to @theBDNS on Twitter and we will add them to this article!

FOCUS: A Documentary || || @FOCUSdoc

Chris Ceglia – Counter Terrorism Expert || @chrisceg

Chris Davis – Professor For the School For Gifted Youngsters || @profdavisBDNS