LA Times & Boston Herald Rave Reviews

One of the most exciting things about getting a theatrical release all over the US is waiting for the reviews.  I love when actors and filmmakers say they don't read reviews for their movies- I can't even fathom it.  Thankfully, the LA Times and the Boston Herald loved it!  Here are there reviews, below, and some linkature.


Gamers Documentary Is 'Second' to None

Fort Wayne, Ind. - the new Shangri-La?

Massively multiplayer online game enthusiasts like to think so.

This is just one of the colorful, odd revelations that make director Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza’s documentary on online gaming culture, “Second Skin,” a must-see.

Academics, game developers and the players themselves help peel back the complex layers of life in the virtual world. Their stories and insights range from uplifting to frightening.

Heather, an “Everquest” player in Florida, finds real-life love through the game. Then there is Dan, the Philadelphia man whose obsession with “Everquest” cost him his job, house and mental health.

Some stereotypes are reaffirmed - soda and junk food fuel insatiable gamers - and others debunked.

Andrew Monkelban, a young man with cerebal palsy, has lost the ability to speak and is confined to a wheelchair. He tells Escoriaza that playing in “Gaia” and “Second Life” have given him the opportunity to do things that are physically impossible for him in the real world.

It is a touching argument for a culture branded freakish and nerdy by outsiders.

Then there are those who just love to play.

Andy, one of the interview subjects from Fort Wayne, has his wife Karalee sign on to “World of Warcraft” before he gets home from work so when he arrives home he can start playing, which he will do for six hours.

The concentration of gamers living in Fort Wayne creates a nice cocoon for Andy and his friends, but it leaves Karalee with all the responsibilities of running a household. She is pregnant with twins.

How Andy found the time to get her pregnant is one question; how she’ll cope with his gaming once the babies arrive is another.


It's not always fun and games

Did you know that one in three female computer gamers dates someone they met in a virtual world? Did you also know that there's a halfway house in Harrisburg, Pa., for excessive online gamers? These and many other intriguing, sometimes troubling, questions are examined in "Second Skin," Juan Carlos Piñeiro-Escoriaza's deft documentary about the phenomenon of online gaming and the lure of virtual fantasy life for its often socially challenged enthusiasts.

You don't need to be a gamer to appreciate this involving and well-paced character study, even if the uninitiated won't walk away with much insight as to how such wildly popular, simultaneously interactive MMO (massively multiplayer online) games such as "World of Warcraft" or "Everquest" are played. Instead, Piñeiro-Escoriaza smartly focuses on three sets of hard-core gamers: a couple who move in together after "falling in love" as avatars in a virtual world; four Fort Wayne, Ind., buddies whose incessant gaming takes a hit when one becomes a father and another gets married; and, most riveting, a Philadelphia gaming addict in "recovery" who inadvertently passes along his life-altering compulsion to his nephew.

Briefer interviews with gaming industry experts, other couples who first hooked up online and a mother haunted by her son's gaming-related demise, round out this entertaining portrait.