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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 August 2010
This is full of great moments, great shots, great humor. It's almost a truly great film. But the few moments it gets too smug and/or cartoony for it's own good take a tiny something away from the 90% of the time it brilliantly walks the thin, nearly impossible line of perfect satire. When it tries to be funny, it pushes a little hard. But when it just observes the absurdity with a clinical, `this isn't too far from reality' eye, it's quite amazing. Even with it's minor flaws, a terrific film, and a must see film for any Altman fan - or film fan for that matter. The opening shot alone is worth the movie!
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on 19 December 2010
This film is one of the best hollywood satires ever made a must buy for any movie lover.
Tim robbins is a movie executive who screenwriters come to to get there scripts made into films when he starts recieving death threats from a screenwriter he turned down in the past his life takes a dramatic turn for the worst.
The thriller plot is great but conversations about films overheard in the background of the film are partly what makes this a very intresting film to watch again and again.
Tim robbins charecter is cooly played in what i believe is his best film.
if you dont watch this film you lose.
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on 6 April 2011
A young Hollywood producer (Tim Robbins) is receiving threatening postcards from an unknown writer, one of many whose scripts he had rejected. He confronts the writer (Vincent D'Onofrio) he suspects of sending the postcards and accidentally kills him but disguises it to look like a robbery gone bad. Shortly thereafter, he begins receiving threatening postcards again. Directed by the great Robert Altman, this dark and wicked satire is one of the best movies about Hollywood ever made. It can stand proudly next to SUNSET BOULEVARD and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. The screenplay by Michael Tolkin (based on his novel) is outrageous enough to bring a grin to your face but still enough of the truth to sting. Altman manages to get stabs in without being bitter. The opening tracking shot with no cuts whatsoever lasting almost 8 minutes is Altman's homage to Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL which is openly referenced in the film. The cast includes Whoopi Goldberg, Greta Scacchi, , Peter Gallagher, Lyle Lovett, Dina Merrill, Dean Stockwell, Richard E. Grant, Brion James and Gina Gershon. And a mass of actors and celebrities playing themselves including Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Anjelica Huston, Burt Reynolds, Karen Black, Harry Belafonte, Cher, James Coburn, John Cusack, Jack Lemmon, Lily Tomlin, Scott Glenn, Robert Wagner, Jill St. John, Teri Garr, Elliott Gould, Jeff Goldblum, Andie MacDowell, Rod Steiger, Mimi Rogers, Felicia Farr, Steve Allen, Marlee Matlin, Joel Grey and Louise Fletcher.

The Paramount DVD (via Great Britain) is a handsome 1.85 anamorphic transfer.
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Everybody in Hollywood takes the cheap-and-dirty approach to success -- even to successful murder.

That's the theme to Robert Altman's bitter, tart, and hilarious black comedy "The Player," based on Michael Tolkin's novel. The caustic observations and barbed wit bring Hollywood's nastiness to light, and Altman's minimalist direction only underscores the brilliant script and acting.

Exec Griffin (Tim Robbins) is nervous enough about his increasingly imperilled job. But then postcards with death threats start arriving -- apparently from a writer he lied to months ago. After some research, he thinks he's found the guy -- David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), a POed writer whose script he mercilessly rejected. After a disastrous meeting with David, Griffin kills him in an alley.

But that's not the end -- the threatening messages keep coming, and Griffin becomes more desperate as he becomes a suspect in Kahane's murder. He also becomes fascinated by David's chilly artist girlfriend (Greta Scacchi), and tries to bury his fear in an awkward love affair. But as the investigation heats up, Griffin is threatened with the ultimate cancellation.

If "The Player" has a meaning, it's that everyone who wants power in Hollywood has to sell their souls -- legally, personally, or just by selling out so your movie has a pat happy ending. Like planets being sucked into a black hole, they all get pulled in by the lure of affluence -- they don't even notice their souls vanishing!

It's also wickedly funny to watch. Altman peppers the movie with celebrity cameos (John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, Bruce Willis, to name a few). The dialogue is simply brilliant -- at one point, Robbins muses, "I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we've got something here." Talk about a reality TV prediction.

Altman's style is minimalist here, with lots of tense moments, sexy interludes -- right up to the ironic twist finale, which makes you wonder for a moment just how much of "The Player" is really fiction. And during dramatic scenes (the murder, the cobra, the phone calls), Altman stretches the tension as taut as a wire, and leaves it to slowly slacken over the scenes that follow. The only scene that doesn't work is the police interrogation with Whoopi Goldberg. Really, it's cringeworthy.

Tim Robbins is simply brilliant as the cold-blooded Griffin, especially since he looks so boyish and bewildered -- you don't know whether to cheer for or against him. Scacchi is quite good as the even chillier painter who falls for him, and the other characters are pure satire -- the movie creators don't watch movies, and if they did, they'd only want to remake it with a happy ending.

"The Player" is one of those brilliant movies that skewer Hollywood, and make you glad that it exists... just so long as it occasionally gives us a piece of satire like this one, instead of a mindless blockbuster. Hilarious and needling.
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on 12 April 2011
This is a top notch 5 stars movie. But i was greatly disapointed to see there is no commentary by Robert Altman on the DVD as it says in the "On the DVD" description. This is a clear mis-representation of the product!
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on 8 May 2014
This movie - you can call a movie about the movie industry combined with some great crime, and it is also funny... so if you like a movie with alot of movie references this is the movie for you.
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on 7 February 2008
As a life-long film fan and as somebody who has devoured more films than hot meals, this is quite simply my favourite film of all time, and the film that introduced me to the genius of Robert Altman. Watch this and realise how brilliant and original filmamking can be.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 27 September 2008
Tim Robbins stars as Griffin Mill, a hot-shot movie studio executive who has the power to make or break people and careers. Griffin is the man who hears story pitches and approves them to be made or passes on them. One of the writers he turned down starts stalking him and then threatens to kill him, turning Griffin's life upside-down. One night he meets the writer in a dark parking lot and things get way out of hand. Griffin then has to stay one step ahead of a police detective (Whoppi Goldberg) while romancing the writer's girlfriend.

This dramady movie-within-a-movie exposes the cold and shallow side of the movie business with a scathing, nudge-nudge-wink-wink story and such obvious delight you can almost hear director Robert Altman giggling. Altman loves overlapping-dialogue and the film has an intimate, eaves-dropping feel to it. To make it even more in-crowd and hip, there are sixty-five celebrity cameos - everyone from Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis to Harry Belafonte and Cher. Some of the stars play themselves and others have bit parts. You really have to see the movie more than once to catch them all; clearly, a good time was had by everyone. Tim Robbins carries the film with his cocky confidence, and Greta Scacchi is cool and mysterious as his love interest.

The clever ending will make you smile and want to see it all again. The VHS version has some nice extras - a revealing interview with Altman and deleted scenes. Highly recommended, especially if you'd like to know what really goes on behind-the-scenes in Tinsel Town.
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Tim Robbins stars as Griffin Mill, a hot-shot movie studio executive who has the power to make or break people and careers. Griffin is the man who hears story pitches and approves them to be made or passes on them. One of the writers he turned down starts stalking him and then threatens to kill him, turning Griffin's life upside-down. One night he meets the writer in a dark parking lot and things get way out of hand. Griffin then has to stay one step ahead of a police detective (Whoppi Goldberg) while romancing the writer's girlfriend.

This dramady movie-within-a-movie exposes the cold and shallow side of the movie business with a scathing, nudge-nudge-wink-wink story and such obvious delight you can almost hear director Robert Altman giggling. Altman loves overlapping-dialogue and the film has an intimate, eaves-dropping feel to it. To make it even more in-crowd and hip, there are sixty-five celebrity cameos - everyone from Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis to Harry Belafonte and Cher. Some of the stars play themselves and others have bit parts. You really have to see the movie more than once to catch them all; clearly, a good time was had by everyone. Tim Robbins carries the film with his cocky confidence, and Greta Scacchi is cool and mysterious as his love interest. The clever ending will make you smile and want to see it all again. The VHS version has some nice extras - a revealing interview with Altman and deleted scenes. Highly recommended, especially if you'd like to know what really goes on behind-the-scenes in Tinsel Town.
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on 25 March 2011
I bought this because I have seen it, but didn't have the resource to watch it whenever I felt the need to watch a quality movie without TV interruptions. This is film-making of the highest standard. Best enjoyed when you need an uplift from the dire stuff we are almost force-fed. Excellent!
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