627 The Game

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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flyonthewall2983
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627 The Game

#1 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:07 am

The Game

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Enormously wealthy and emotionally remote investment banker Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) receives a strange gift from his ne’er-do-well younger brother (Sean Penn) on his forty-eighth birthday: a voucher for a game that, if he agrees to play it, will change his life. Thus begins a trip down a rabbit hole that is puzzling, terrifying, and exhilarating for Nicholas and viewer alike. This multilayered, noirish descent into one man’s personal hell is also a surreal, metacinematic journey that, two years after the phenomenon Se7en, further demonstrated that director David Fincher was one of Hollywood’s true contemporary visionaries.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

- New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director David Fincher and director of photography Harris Savides, with original theatrical 5.1 surround theatrical soundtrack, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- Alternate 5.1 surround mix optimized for home theater viewing, supervised by sound designer Ren Klyce and Fincher, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary by Fincher, Savides, actor Michael Douglas, screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris, digital animation supervisor Richard “Dr.” Baily, production designer Jeffrey Beecroft, visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug, and visual effects producer Robyn D’Arcy
- An hour’s worth of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and film-to-storyboard comparisons for four of the film’s major set pieces, with commentary
- Alternate ending
- Trailer and teaser trailer, with commentary
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

JMULL222
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#2 Post by JMULL222 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:25 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
That's great that The Game will finally come out.
I've seen thousands of films, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a film go from excellent to terrible as quickly as "The Game". Worst ending ever.

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knives
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#3 Post by knives » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:51 pm

What's wrong with the ending. I think it manages to make the whole enterprise that much more disturbing.

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colinr0380
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#4 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Spoilers (for a number of Fincher films!):
SpoilerShow
I think it's an ending that gains a lot of extra resonance when considered in the context of the films around it - it takes the utterly depressing, but also in some senses saintly, image of the sacrifice of Ripley from the end of Alien³, and ironises it by turning it into a privileged, slightly bored with his life guy just having a lark, even if he doesn't exactly realise it until the slightly ambivalent ending. People used as chess pieces in some wider plan is taken up in Seven too.

It takes the idea of horrible, jolting events that should make you question your life, or should at least be cathartic in some ways, and then turns them into a theme park ride where the fear, or revelations about inner character becomes kind of undermined by its fakeness - or at least doesn't give the same longlasting impact that the events being 'real' would have. It's also about the transformation of the environment into a virtual space (a city as a literal playground for the rich), and the way that 'other people' don't really become important or significant until they have an impact on you personally, or until a paranoid state is induced. It condemns those people rich and bored enough to be able to get into this bizarre situation (as Panic Room implicitly does), but also exposes the unreality of privilege in fascinating ways.

Plus a lot of ideas from this film - of the kind of egotistical finale revealing that you truly are the most special person in the world, and for whom all of these people have been working in the service of; and of the commercialisation of lifestyle - of course gets tackled again in an interesting manner in the (working/under class) Fight Club.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#5 Post by arsonfilms » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:48 am

Looks like The Game is coming

eerik
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#6 Post by eerik » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:37 pm

I don't see why this comes as a news to so many people, Criterion pretty much confirmed it already in January.

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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#7 Post by oldsheperd » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:46 pm

Maybe they'll release the Game with a new non-sh*tty ending.

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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#8 Post by John Cope » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:51 pm

I've never even watched my R2 edition which was released with abundant special features. I assumed those features were ports off the original Criterion disc and I wonder if these same things will be what is on the new edition. I can't imagine the need to add anything else. That is unless they decide to go a different route and add content as intentionally retrospective (I just watched the new Hen's Tooth edition of Communion with a director's commentary recorded in 2010 for just this reason--that film already had two earlier commentaries on laser and DVD but the new one was great and actually did add something special and unique by virtue of distance of time).

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Jeff
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Forthcoming: The Game

#9 Post by Jeff » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:28 pm

From a great new Fincher interview:
I as a fan want The Game on Blu-ray. There’s rumors that it’s coming to Criterion. Is it true?

Fincher: Uh yes.

Do you know when?

Fincher: I don’t, because I haven’t had time to look at it. Here’s what I know…I’ve seen two reels of it or the first three reels and it looked good but I think it’s a question of – because Gramercy was purchased by Universal, I think it’s gone under the Universal home video banner and that they have released very limited funds to finish. And I think that Criterion is having to cobble together…and they’re lovely people and they do amazing work. So I think they’re having to pull every favor that they can in order to be able to make the number work so, I don’t know when that is and I should.

So it’s in the future though…it is coming?

Fincher: I thought it was first quarter of next year, but I’m sure that it won’t happen if I don’t look at the stuff…

I would say that you’re probably involved in it in some way…

Fincher: No, I saw some stuff that looked…you know, again I don’t like revisiting stuff. That’s why I like to put as much effort into finishing it the right way the first time so that you don’t have to go back ‘cuz when you go back it’s like oh my God.
I believe that he saying is that Universal Home Video gave Criterion a rather limited amount of money to do the work that was needed to create a new high-definition master (which Uni would then own). Hopefully he'll find the time to approve the transfer soon. Criterion's first quarter 2011 announcements have all been made.

The interview has some other great stuff too. More highlights in The Social Network thread.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#10 Post by ianungstad » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:49 pm

He doesn't seem all that interested in Criterion releasing the film. I wonder why Criterion even bothered?

It would be nice to see someone ask Fincher about the status of the dvd/blu of Zodiac now that Paramount has discontinued the release. I wouldn't be surprised if he worked out a deal with Criterion/Paramount to republish the title.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#11 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:52 pm

ianungstad wrote:He doesn't seem all that interested in Criterion releasing the film. I wonder why Criterion even bothered?
If you read the interview, it shows he has a career and is a pretty busy man. I'm sure he'll get to it when he has the chance. Why would Criterion bother releasing Godard titles if he's not even going to look at the prints, right?

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Jeff
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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#12 Post by Jeff » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:15 pm

ianungstad wrote:He doesn't seem all that interested in Criterion releasing the film. I wonder why Criterion even bothered?
I imagine that Criterion's interest is largely financial. I suspect it will be a very big seller for them. Criterion also owns all of the supplementary material that they created for their laserdisc release. I'm sure that Fincher would like all of the work he that put into that release to be available, and he trusts Criterion to do right with the Blu-ray release of the same stuff he supervised back then.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#13 Post by ianungstad » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:26 pm

I'm just a little surprised at how passive he seems to be about the whole project.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#14 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:44 pm

I think there's a difference between passive and busy. The guy just released a film, worked on the DVD release of that film, and is developing and working on future projects. Though it might be a big deal to Criterion, a re-release of one of his past works is probably very low on his list of things to get worked up about.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#15 Post by domino harvey » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:47 pm

It sounds like he doesn't like being involved so late after the fact because all he sees are the mistakes and regrets and since he's not George Lucas, he's just giving himself distance so he can be left with the memory of his achievements and not be tempted to tinker. Or something.

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Jeff
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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#16 Post by Jeff » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:25 pm

Yeah, he likes to work on the supplemental stuff while he's still making the film, largely because he's uninterested in going back to look at his old work. That's why Fight Club, Zodiac, Benjamin Button, and The Social Network all got loaded DVD editions right out of the gate. He wants to do the home video release right the first time, not "double dip," and not revisit the film. I know Prior has talked about this in interviews. He was ticked at Sony for insisting on releasing a barebones version of Panic Room as a stopgap release while he was finishing the elaborate special edition.

Criterion even became involved with the laserdisc release of The Game very early on (I'm not sure if the film was still in post-production or not). The Criterion release came out ten months after the film debuted in theaters. He worked with Criterion's producers on crafting a pretty loaded special edition 13 years ago and probably just feels like he's been done with this project for a long time, needing only a new high-def transfer. Other than a new essay, perhaps (Mike D'Angelo, please), I wouldn't expect any "new" material on this release.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#17 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:30 pm

Jeff wrote:(Mike D'Angelo, please)
The guy who writes Scenic Routes for the AVClub? I generally don't care much for his writing in that column, is there something else he writes you have in mind?

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Jeff
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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#18 Post by Jeff » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:51 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:
Jeff wrote:(Mike D'Angelo, please)
The guy who writes Scenic Routes for the AVClub? I generally don't care much for his writing in that column, is there something else he writes you have in mind?
He has a distinctive prose style that I particularly enjoy even though I very often don't agree with his takes on films. Back in the Pleistocene epoch, when there were only newsgroups instead of forums, he was one of my favorite posters at rec.arts.movies.current-films. It was fun to watch his little website (which looks exactly the same as it did in 1995) get the attention of publishers, and he went from writing critiques as a hobby on a forum basically like this one to being part of the last gasp of print criticism. He was drafted as the lead critic for Time Out New York, then wrote for Entertainment Weekly, and finally Esquire before mostly packing in the criticism gig (save for some paycheck gigs at AV Club and other venues). One of the pieces he wrote for Entertainment Weekly was a multi-page reevaluation and appreciation of The Game upon its video release. I don't have the piece anymore, and I don't think it's online, but I liked it a lot at the time, and it colored my own appreciation of the film. I know that D'Angelo feels particularly close to The Game for whatever reason (or did in 1997 anyway), and I'd love to hear his current take on the value of the film and its place in the current Fincher canon.

***
EDIT: Apparently I was pretty stupid at 21, because I found the piece, and it is neither lengthy, nor all that insightful. At the time though, I believe that D'Angelo was the only one really positing that the entire game was staged as a
SpoilerShow
suicide intervention.

It felt like he "got" the way the film plays with expectations in a way that other critics weren't getting. Or maybe he was just he only other guy who seemed to genuinely like a film that I really liked. Either way, I'd still like to read his take on the film today.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#19 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:37 pm

Jeff wrote:I know Prior has talked about this in interviews. He was ticked at Sony for insisting on releasing a barebones version of Panic Room as a stopgap release while he was finishing the elaborate special edition.
It is a bit of a moot point now that we are in the Blu-Ray era, but that first edition of Panic Room was also one of Sony's "Superbit" editions aimed at video and audiophiles (albeit also anyone wanting to see the film for the first time on DVD, since it was the only edition available at that point) involving an attempt to maximise bitrates on DVDs by dropping all of the extra features and adding a DTS soundtrack. The three disc special edition that came out two years later added all the extra material but dropped the DTS track.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#20 Post by Jeff » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:26 pm

The problem with the "Superbit" release of Panic Room is that it wasn't really a "Superbit" release at all. The logo was on the exterior packaging, but nowhere to be found on the disc itself, leading many to believe that it was just put there as a way to market the featureless disc. It did include a DTS track, but actually had a very low bit rate and a widely panned transfer that Fincher himself disliked so much that he insisted on supervising the transfer of the special edition himself.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#21 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:41 am

That's true, and it included a trailer and animated menus compared to generic ones, which also undermined the idea of a featureless, barebones "Superbit" release.

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Jeff
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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#22 Post by Jeff » Mon May 16, 2011 9:10 pm

This was originally scheduled for first quarter 2011, then Criterion Cast had it tipped for April. Unless it gets announced next month, it won't even make third quarter 2011. I wonder if Criterion is holding this for the holiday season (pimp it with Dragon Tattoo), if something fell through, or if they just forgot they were releasing it.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#23 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:11 am

Any chance Universal will release a bare-bones edition Blu-Ray first?

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#24 Post by eerik » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:45 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Any chance Universal will release a bare-bones edition Blu-Ray first?
I don't think so. Universal released region B Blu-rays almost a year ago.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Game

#25 Post by Tom Hagen » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:23 am

Finally saw this. I really want to see how much that bill turned out to be.

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