Atari: Game Over
Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”
Originally produced as a television episode, this short (66-minute) movie explores the history of Atari and the urban legend that millions of unsold copies of its biggest flop E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial wound up buried in a New Mexico landfill. The "archeological" dig makes up roughly half the movie and it's not terribly interesting, especially since the ending was spoiled by news coverage while the film was still in production. But the rest of the movie, an oral history of Atari's rapid rise and rapid fall, fares better, thanks to compelling interview subjects who have had decades to contemplate their role in the fiasco. The talks are augmented by jaunty animations and clever use of Spielberg film clips and music. It's fun enough to see for nostalgic Atari fans, even if it doesn't have anything new to say.