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4.4 out of 5 stars
33
4.4 out of 5 stars
The Player [DVD] [1992]
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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 21 August 2017
another classic which has not lost anything over the years! Greata as always takes her kit off but if u r as hot as she was back the y not?
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on 9 March 2017
Fantastic movie about the film industry and a murder, amazing insight into the movie world, highly entertaining.
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on 15 July 2017
Dvd arrived on time in good condition - no problems
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 19 June 2017
The Player is a superbly virtuoso film - the tone is so well handled, you feel Robert Altman is always entirely in control of the material, which, given the setup, is no mean feat. It eludes classification, being a satire of Hollywood film studios, of film noir, a black comedy, and also a kind of reality show with about sixty cameos by stars playing themselves. It also has some real moral depth, in that Altman is constantly outside the box, and by implication we are too. So all these categories are too limiting to allow the humanism you constantly feel, suffusing the texture. Tim Robbins is ideal as Griffin Mill, a studio executive turning bitter because he senses he is being sidelined, who is receiving death threat postcards, and decides to offer a deal to a man he thinks is sending him these, after having his script rejected by Mill several months before. Several of the scenes are edited to dizzying effect - one at Pasadena police station where Mill is called in, to be interviewed by Whoopi Goldberg and Lyle Lovett, where script and shots combine to fantastic effect. There is also a love scene between Mill and Greta Scacchi where the effect of shooting it from the neck up, in a sauna, with scraps of dialogue overlapping, and heard against the strangest percussion soundtrack, gives an effect like no other, that is a brilliant solution to this scene. The layering of simultaneous dialogues is often brilliant, as in the opening single shot, lasting nearly eight minutes, and is mirrored in the use of the foreground and background shots. The acting is uniformly excellent; a moment when Cher appears at a function in a fire-engine red dress is amazingly glamorous, just a random moment, like that, as she is not in the film; but it adds a further glint to what is a dazzling display of the power of film.
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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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 1 January 2007
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 23 November 2015
It was on the front page of Sight And Sound so we knew it was coming to town. It was aimed at people like me: appreciative of film's achievements but on the cusp of having to earn money. When the final reel unrolls it was a mighty, mighty surprise.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 February 2007
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 February 2012
Famously opening with possibly the longest continuous single crane shot in cinematic history (eight minutes) with the pre-credits rolling, shot outside a major studio and its parking lot and known as the ultimate anti-Hollywood 'Hollywood' movie, this is Robert Altman directing with a grip of iron. Almost over-directed for my taste, the camera swoops, rises and peeks at more A-listers than you'd get in two dozen blockbusters.

Not having seen it in four years but with many many other films under my belt, I was keen to re-hear both the subtle and unsubtle jokes and jibes about the Studio 'scene'. All our A-listers make them, suffer them or just hang about thinking them up. One of the best has to be (executive travelling in his Merc convertible, on car-phone; it's the end 80's, start of 90's, all flash cars) talking to his associate, Tim Robbins (lead actor in this) "I'm on my way to my AA meeting." "Oh...I didn't know you had a drinking problem" "Ah, well. I haven't. I don't. It's just that's where all the deals are made these days. Not bars".

So, not a comedy, as such, but entertaining stuff and the ending is as predictably anti-predictable that one can predict. It's aged well and Short Cuts aside, which meanders over its three hours, this is modern, witty, well made and concise. Yes; an Altman film that doesn't have the cast speaking whenever they feel fit and a script that they have to follow, even at two hours it's got a manageable story that twists, turns and bristles with actors you've seen in almost similar roles. For movie buffs, the often, occasional credibility-busting film references and how they're strung together is almost hypnotic.

Hollywood loved it, as it's in it and stars in it. But they don't love themselves, at least not in this. And that makes it enjoyable. You might not take the movie as seriously as it mockingly thinks it is/isn't and is at times a little shallow. All in all though, The Player is a modern great and a must-see for all serious film fans.
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