13 C
New York
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Advertisement

The Game [Criterion Collection] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Near Field and Theatrical English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray )
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 128 Mins.
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • List Price: $39.95

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]


San Francisco, a consistently evocative setting for films, gives The Game one leg up from the start.  Michael Douglas, already an accomplished actor by this film’s 1997 release, portrays a successful post-Gordon Gekko financier Nicholas Van Orton. As we find out, he has a dysfunctional younger brother Conrad (Sean Penn) who gives him an unusual birthday present: an entrée into “The Game.”  Of course there is a backstory about the Van Orton family including Nicholas’s witnessing of his father’s suicide leap.  What separates The Game from the usual thrillers is how the conceit of a game leads to the redemption of a truly lost soul.  Without offering up the spoiler, The Game chronicles the journey of a self-centered entrepreneur through a series of hazardous, often nearly fatal events. As Van Orton’s life appears to spiral out of control, you get the distinct impression that what was intended as a game is now a sheer struggle for survival against all odds. Director David Fincher (The Fight Club, The Social Network, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) weaves the plot’s web as well as anyone can and creates an edge-of-your-seat drama that makes two hours disappear in a flash.

(For a different take, read our The Game [Criterion Collection] Blu-ray Review by Brandon A. DuHamel

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Thrillers depend on sleight of hand cinematography that draws the viewer in and refuses to let him go.  The Game receives excellent treatment by Harris Savides who serves director Fincher’s intentions perfectly.  The frequently damp atmosphere of the city by the bay is quintessentially realized in scene after scene. There is just a touch of softness to the details but not enough to spoil the impact of the frequent up close and personal shots. The black levels appear appropriately inky, an important consideration for a film that contains a lot of night scenes.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Howard Shore has composed a very atmospheric score with a lot of Jaws-like LFEs. Periodic quiet stretches with a tinkly piano are perforated by the occasional explosive sound effects that will literally lift you out of your chair. There are actually two DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks: a full Monty theatrical version and a tamer near-field version intended for smaller home theaters. To get the most impact, I would recommend the former version if your ear can handle its occasional high volume levels.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

In typical Criterion Collection style, we are rewarded with some good supplements:

  • Audio Commentary
  • Alternate Ending
  • Psychological Test Film
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Film-to-Storyboard Comparisons
  • Teaser and Trailer
  • Booklet with essay by David Sterritt

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

The thriller-chase film has always been one of the most difficult cinematic types to pull off. The Game raises the stakes even higher as the story line is extremely complex, and, early on, we become convinced that the game is not really a game. In the best tradition of Alfred Hitchcock (North by Northwest), our hero always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are so many twists and turns that the viewer is kept as off balance as is  Nicholas Van Orton.  Michael Douglas gets excellent support by Deborah Kara Unger (female interest Christine), Peter Donat (lawyer Samuel Sutherland) and even a cameo by Carroll Baker (housekeeper Ilsa).  What makes this movie really tick is the hand in glove relationship between director Fincher, his cast, cinematographers, and sound engineers. Dark thriller fans, rejoice, this is one of the best of the breed to hit the screen in a long time.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B008CJ0JTI[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Game [Criterion Collection] on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Game

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B008CJ0JTI[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Game [Criterion Collection] on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Game

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Related Articles:


Advertisement

Related Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

300FansLike
0FollowersFollow
725FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.
%d bloggers like this: