Release date:June 11, 2004
Studio:7th Art Releasing
Directors:Eric Chaikin, Julian Petrillo
Starring:Joe Edley, Matt Graham, Marlon Hill, \"G.I.\" Joel Sherman
"Word Wars" focuses on four of the Scrabble's highest-ranked players (also featured in Stefan Fatsis' best-selling book Word Freak), as they advance from heated competition in neighborhood parks and clubs to highly organized regional and national tournaments, culminating in the 2002 National Championship in San Diego, where the top prize is $25,000 and an appearance on the Today Show. The filmmakers weave various elements of the Scrabble subculture into the main story: Laela Kilbourn's camera captures the industrial beauty of the Hasbro factory where sets are churned out like lemmings; Conor O'Neill's editing builds the intensity of a best-of-50 $1,000 marathon, played to exhaustion by two main characters; Eye-catching graphics by Cassidy Curtis and Mike Hackett visually illustrate the mental gymnastics; Music by Thor Madsen of Wax Poetic (Norah Jones' former backup band) adds an up-tempo groove to the game play and a haunting resonance to the darker moments. You may not want to be these "word warriors", but you will definitely be drawn into their journey.