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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get into The Game
A masterful thriller in the finest tradition that would have made a man like Hitchcock proud. For the rest of us, the reaction to this terrific piece of work should be nothing less than impressed.

Michael Douglas has seldom been better in a role tailor made for his talents, playing an emotionally stunted millionaire, far removed from the people around him and...
Published on 3 Nov. 2007 by blank

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Go for the Criterion release instead of this
Universal are now by far the laziest of the big Hollywood studios in terms of the quality of their back catalogue blu rays. This is another weak transfer with none of the dvd extras present but does come with a cheap main menu screen. Don't believe me ? if you can play region A blu rays then check out the Criterion release with its new transfer supervised by director...
Published on 25 Jun. 2013 by Q Quarters


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Go for the Criterion release instead of this, 25 Jun. 2013
Universal are now by far the laziest of the big Hollywood studios in terms of the quality of their back catalogue blu rays. This is another weak transfer with none of the dvd extras present but does come with a cheap main menu screen. Don't believe me ? if you can play region A blu rays then check out the Criterion release with its new transfer supervised by director David Fincher - blows this coaster out of the water.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get into The Game, 3 Nov. 2007
A masterful thriller in the finest tradition that would have made a man like Hitchcock proud. For the rest of us, the reaction to this terrific piece of work should be nothing less than impressed.

Michael Douglas has seldom been better in a role tailor made for his talents, playing an emotionally stunted millionaire, far removed from the people around him and distant to the point of total social disconnection. His brother (Sean Penn) gives him an unusual birthday gift; a game that is supposed to make his life more `fun' but eventually turns into a waking nightmare. The ingenious screenplay engineers its twists with such breathless intelligence and wit that upon the first viewing it plays as a thriller. The next time around the film reveals itself as a character study of the most gripping kind.

Douglas' performance is remarkable and arguably his finest. His whole job in this movie is to make the transition from uptight and repressed investment banker to an unhinged and suicidal shell of a man, palpable. In the beginning he is almost too distant to be really empathetic, his steely demeanour giving us nothing to really like about the man. Plus he's rich, and who likes to feel sorry for a millionaire? His performance bridges the implausibility of plot logic so that his final 'test' at the climax comes from an emotionally honest place and has considerable impact (no pun intended) and resonance. The support given to him is also incredibly strong, having an on-form Sean Penn in his corner, ably backed by the alluring Deborah Kara Unger and a fantastic James Rebhorn.

David Fincher has been lauded over the years for his work on "Seven," and "Fight Club," yet this is by far his most elegant piece of work. The classy direction captures the isolation of a man lost in the maze of a psychologically torturous game, and never falters once in its pace and stylistic integrity. The film is beautiful to watch from sorrowful beginning right through to the moving end. How many thrillers do you know that can hold you in suspense and deliver an affecting emotional punch without trading up on either? Make no mistake, "The Game," is not simply visually exquisite and dramatically powerful, it also contains some of the more alarming and unexpected set-pieces you are likely to see in what essentially boils down to a thoughtful character piece.

However, don't let my superlatives put you off the idea of seeing or buying this movie. It delivers on its promise of surprises and twists, still in keeping with its themes while the end game is delivered with sound judgement. Howard Shore's haunting score adds the extra layers of depth and nuance to the story, highlighting the background and subtext with a captivatingly atmospheric piano solo in all the right places. Mood, atmosphere, tension, this under appreciated classic has the lot. If you stay with the plot and Douglas' protagonist, and suspend your disbelief to a certain degree, you may even find the ending quite moving if you appreciate the emotional complexity of the main character and Douglas' amazing performance of him.

In my opinion this is Fincher's finest work to date. A perfect puzzle box thriller on the first viewing and a deeply intelligent character study on repeat experiences. Do yourself a favour, if you haven't seen this film yet, set a night aside sometime soon and get into the game. It's a true classic that never gets old.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie!, 22 Oct. 2011
By 
Victoria J. Leane (Australia) - See all my reviews
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Fantastic performances all round and awesome cinematography make this a great addition to any blu-ray collection! I was really happy with the transfer and the movie itself is brilliant, easily one of Finchers best, even though it doesn't get as much recognition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 17 Jun. 2008
By 
Origen (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This is a film worth watching. It can be classed in the thriller/scifi genre and will entertain anyone with an interest in twisting plot lines.

Michael Douglas stars as an investment banker. His brother, Sean Penn, shows up on his birthday and offers him a rather strange present. The story proceeds from there.

The film is defective in two principal ways. Firstly, the plot itself relies upon a number of totally implausible elements which harm the integrity of the story. And secondly, the film's supporting cast (Penn included) suffer from the fact that the director underdevelops (and in my opinion undervalues) their role in the storyline. Even Douglas' character is not explored in any depth: the viewer's impression of him is always somewhat two dimensional.

Nonetheless, for a thrilling and entertaining film with much drama and suspense, and some good action sequences, this picture rates as a success.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more than your average thriller, 4 Jan. 2008
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It goes without saying that David Fincher has unique visions when it comes to filmmaking, steering clear of any traditional styles. We saw this in "Se7en", "Fight Club", "Alien³", and even "Panic Room". Here, we have another interesting work from his cliché-free point of view.

The movie is organized and shot impeccably; the plot is imaginative and complicated as well as entertaining, pulling you immediately in. Sometimes the story drags on and next move seems visible, but this is not a big deal. The acting of Douglas, Penn, Unger and and even minor roles is satisfying.

Nicholas Van Orton, a workaholic investment banker, is such a hotshot that Michael Douglas was born to play: powerful, wealthy & brainy as well as cocky, mighty & haughty. Initially cool and reserved, then gradually less and less sure of himself, more and more perplexed when the things go awry. What a perfect character for Douglas as an actor...

Overwhelmed by his father's suicide and his divorce, he built a psychological & emotional cocoon around himself. But his life began changing entirely when he became enmeshed in an outstandingly elaborate real-life game, given as a birthday present by his brother Conrad. The game, arranged by a sinister outfit called CRS, is a bizzare one: no defined rules & no specified beginning or end. The aim of the game is to give Van Orton what he's lacking in real life. Actually, he starts out DEAD but the game brings something in him to life. After multitudes of twists, turns and near-death experiences arranged by CRS agents and allies, the cocoon is shattered and he turns into what he was made to be: a human being.

This is a film that will make you wish that you could play such a game in real life...
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1.0 out of 5 stars ONE HELL OF A GAME, BRILLIANT SUSPENSE THRILLER WITH MICHAEL DOUGLAS BUY THE CRITERION BLU-RAY VERSION, 20 Mar. 2015
Incredible brilliant suspense thriller, One Hell of a Game with Michael Douglas & sean Penn
Brilliantly Directed by David fincher, also brilliant performances of course by michael Douglas & sean Penn
The Game is one of those brilliant suspense thrillers where the plot storyline does keep you guessing
scene after scene no scene is boring that's for sure
plus Michael Douglas & sean Penn are Great together as siblings in the film
i've seen this film more than a few times now and i still enjoy it

well Universal have released it on blu-ray but tragically barebones, no extras no nothing
i knew this Universal blu-ray version was waste of money so personally bought
the Criterion collection blu-ray of the Game, i tell you what i have no regrets
this criterion version has a new HD transfer supervised by the D.O.P of the film
Harris savides, the picture quality does look amazing incredible picture quality very sharp & clear in 2:40:1 widescreen for sure
better than the old dvd release anyday
plus 2 new 5.1 Master audio mixes has been added really does boost the sound quality very evenly
1 standard 5.1 master mix and an alternate 5.1 surround sound mix personally mixed for home theater viewing
better than the old stereo mix

Doesn't stop there either
lots of new special features
60mins of behind the scenes footage & interviews with cast & crew filmed during the shooting of the film
there's an Alternate ending aswell
plus feature length Audio commentary
with Director David fincher, Michael Douglas, Harris savides, screenwriter John Brancato
there's Theatrical trailer of course plus the Teaser trailer aswell
plus a new booklet included about the HD transfer and the film
all the extras plus the movie on 1 blu-ray Disc

this Criterion blu-ray is region A locked so you do need ALL REGIONS player for sure
amazon.com still have this blu-ray available to buy for $20 or more
it's very expensive of course but worth the money for sure i have no regrets paying the big Dollars for it
the movie deserves 5 stars for sure
but only 1 star for this U.K. blu-ray thou.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is your game..., 17 Nov. 2013
Nicholas Van Orton is a wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is a loner, even spending his birthday alone.

On the year of his 48th birthday, the age his father committed suicide, his brother Conrad, who absconded long ago and surrendered to addictions of all kinds, returns and gives Nicholas a card giving him entry to an entertainment known as CRS.

Giving up to curiosity, Nicholas visits CRS and weird and bad things start to happen to him.....

It was going to be very difficult for Fincher to capture the magic he made with se7en, but my gosh, he gets really close with this under seen gem. This has probably got to be his most under seen work along with Zodiac, and its one of his most intriguing.

Douglas plays this sort of role in his sleep, and Orton is not a million miles away from Gekko or the guy from A Perfect Murder, in other words, he plays the rich man effortlessly.

Once the Game gets into full swing, it never really let's up until the end, and the viewer really has to suspend disbelief to gain full enjoyment of the movie, because if you start to question the movie, you will find all sorts of silly plot holes that could ruin the movie.

You could see the movie almost as 'A Christmas Carol'. Orton is Scrooge, a lone man who doesn't accept gifts from family or friends, and after a revelation on his home one night, his life takes a turn. We see his childhood, and his present, and finally when Orton wakes up in the coffin, what his future has become.

All in all, its a fascinating movie, really worth seeing, even if it does resemble a British mini-series from the eighties called 'the one game'
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4.0 out of 5 stars A ride that's confusing, bizarre, contrived, and fun, 3 Aug. 2011
Fincher weathered a little criticism for this film, as everybody was judging it against 'Se7en', but in its own right, it's a vastly complicated and very intruiging thriller. When Michael Douglas' rigidly organised banker is given an unexplained 'experience' for his birthday present by his screw-up younger brother he initially writes it off as a waste of time. But when chance persuades him to give it a try, he finds his tightly sewn-up lifestyle unravelling in a series of extreme, bizarre, and sometimes violent events. As they escalate in absurdity and danger, he turns to unwilling waitress Christine to help him survive what appears to be becoming a deadly challenge, and help him seek answers.
Douglas is very good as the man pushing back against the unwanted surprises in his life, and Fincher frames all the events in a veil of confusion and mystery, leaving us as baffled as Douglas by the multiple twists until the final revelations.
There are some great set pieces (standout is Douglas finding his pad rather interestingly re-decorated) and some excellently directed scenes.
The film's conclusion is rather problematic though, tying up the movie in a way that beggars credibility for rather too many reasons, and ignores too many random chance events that could have intervened. It may annoy many viewers, as it did myself and my other half first-time around. However, if you can indulge it, it's actually a very inventive and enjoyable mystery thriller.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In.Credible., 27 July 2013
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This review is from: Criterion Collection: The Game [Blu-ray] [1997] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
Having owned the original HD release on HD-DVD, I thought The Game looked as it did because that was how the negative was. While some of the release was down to some lack of effort in cleaning it up, the actual image quality was grainy, lacking in depth and colour. Even the scene in the house full of black-lights and neon paints lacked pop and visual drama.

I refused to rebuy it on Blu-Ray when I found it was the same transfer, and I heard Criterion were putting their hands on it. After paying a huge amount for the film, I expected some disappointment. Not a bit of it. Criterion's release of this movie is unbelievably clean. The colours pop, the detail is vivid, the black levels almost never crush (Important as the film is set mostly at night) and the audio is incredible.

If you only buy one Criterion release, you'd do far worse than to pick up the Game. Easily one of their more commercial releases, The Game is an amazing story of twists, turns and surprises that keep you riveted until it's beautifully realised climax.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films I've ever seen., 24 Feb. 2013
By 
N. J. Secker "Nicola Secker" (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Game [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
My Grandma and I were just browsing through the channels, with it being late there wasn't much on. I came across this film with Michael Douglas and being a fan of his films I just left it on the background because I didn't know anything about it, as a soon as it started I was utterly taken in. The Game has you guessing and wanting more from start to finish. Just when you think you've cracked it, something else happens that really throws you off. I really enjoyed the ending too, sure it was kind of like "Oh was that all it came down to" but you never see it coming, so that makes up for it. Was thrilled when I saw it on Amazon. Brilliant film.
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