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DVD Shopping Bag: The Game Criterion Collection Blu-ray

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DVD Shopping Bag: The Game Criterion Collection Blu-ray

Playing again

By Robert T. Trate     October 23, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Imagine you get the keys to the Alien franchise and are expected to follow in the foot steps of Ridley Scott and James Cameron. The end result did not leave David Fincher a happy man nor was he thrilled to be a part of Hollywood. In fact it would take three years until Fincher would release another film, Se7en. Imagine that never happened and today Hollywood knocked on Fincher’s door and said, “we’d like to give you he keys to the Alien franchise”. What kind of car-blanche would Fincher have now? His work has always caught my eye. Even in his early days of directing Aerosmith and Madonna videos. Alien 3 didn’t make me stand up and scream for Alien 4, but I still thought it was closer to Scott’s original piece. 

Se7en is a cinematic gem. The perfect mixture of mystery and real world horrors. Fincher’s eye is unwavering in how he’s sees the world. Make no mistake, he is all three characters in that film. Now I could go on about Fight Club, The Social Network, and Zodiac but not today. His follow up to Se7en was The Game (1997). In no way was it a landmark film. For whatever the reason, The Game came and went. It’s ticket sales never matched its budget and Fincher went away again. 

Personally, I only the saw The Game once on VHS. It was an enjoyable one timer film. I hadn’t thought of it or even wanted to watch it since. There is something about Michael Douglas and Sean Penn that doesn’t entice me to watch them as actors. I love Douglas in Romancing the Stone and Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but that’s it. I promise you, you will never find me at midnight release of either one of these two actors films. So when the Criterion Collection announced a Blu-ray release (spine # 627), I decided to give The Game one more shot. 

Now a lot has happen to me since I last saw The Game. I am older, wiser in the ways of cinema, I have visited San Francisco, and I love Criterion Blu-rays and DVDs. Hollywood on the other hand, turns out crap on a daily basis, pukes sequels, and barely has any original ideas left. The Game’s premise is fun and enticing. A rich man is given the gift of “a game”. He agrees to play but has no idea what the game will be about or for. All he knows is that he’ll be given a series of keys and he’ll have to use them to proceed. Douglas plays Nicholas, a man who has everything except contact with other people. His very job is to move money from one venture to another in the hopes that it makes even more money. A simple thing like a “happy birthday” isn’t even acknowledge by him. Why? Because its someone’s job to reply for him. Nicholas has not only lost touch with people but himself as well.

How does a man with everything receive such a gift? From his spoiled bratty brother, Conrad (Sean Penn), of course. Conrad gets Nicholas the game and after little personal coaxing, Nicholas is at Consumer Recreation Services (CRS) ready to play. Nicholas isn’t aware of where and when the game will start. After his first night however,  Nicholas realizes just how far CRS will go. 

Fincher really plays up the isolation of Nicholas. He is always alone and even his true best friend is the first thing to betray him (the nightly news). Throughout the course of the film Nicholas is forced to reach out to people and ask them for help; whereas before he didn’t even acknowledge them. His ex-wife, a waitress, his maid, though the best moment is when Nicholas asks for some compassion at a truck stop. Knowing the end result of the film only highlights all of these moments on a second viewing. Though that was part of the rub in not seeing the film in over 14 years. I honestly couldn’t remember how The Game ended. Was Nicholas able to get to the end? Did he survive? Not every movie is a once a done thing as I have been discovering in my old age. The Game is an incredible ride as Fincher’s unwavering eye sets San Francisco as a board upon which Douglas played. My urge to revisit San Francisco and add to my Criterion library got the better of me and it was the ride.
 

 
 
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Blade Runner 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition (4-Disc Blu-ray / DVD +UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)
2. 
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season Four [Blu-ray]
3. 
Octaman (40th Anniversary Edition) 
4. 
The Penalty: Kino Classics Special Edition [Blu-ray]
5. 
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Admiral [Blu-ray] Starring Kôji Yakusho, Hiroshi Abe, Mitsugorô Bandô and Akira Emoto

Athena Goddess of War Movie (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Jung Woo-Sung, Su Ae and Cha Seung-Won

Casino Royale (2006) [Blu-ray] Starring Daniel Craig

Death Promise (1977) Starring Charles Bonet and Speedy Leacock

Escape From Women's Prison Starring Ines Pellegrini, Marina Daunia, Zora Kerova Lilli Carati

Fear & Desire [Blu-ray] Starring Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp, Paul Mazursky and Steve Coit

Fear & Desire Starring Paul Mazursky and Virginia Leith

Key Starring Nathan Sapsford, Jessica Nicole Webb

Leave Starring Bryan Cranston, Ron Livingston, Rick Gomez

Midnight F.M. Starring Ji-tae Yoo Su Ae

Quantum of Solace [Blu-ray] Starring Giancarlo Giannini, Mathieu Amalric and Daniel Craig

Women Ordered To Love Starring Marisa Mell Maria Perschy

ANIME

Aria: The Scarlet Ammo (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Todd Haberkorn, Leah Clark, Brina Palencia

Fushigi Yugi Season Two Boxset

Kaleido Star: Season Two & OVA's S.A.V.E. Starring Cynthia Martinez, Jay Hickman and Mike MacRae

Majikoi: Oh! Samurai Girl - The Complete Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Hiroshi Kamiya, Akane Tomonaga, Hyousei and Shizuka Itou

Majikoi: Oh! Samurai Girl - The Complete Collection Starring Hiroshi Kamiya, Akane Tomonaga, Hyousei and Shizuka Itou

Naruto Shippuden: The Movie - The Will of Fire Starring Chie Nakamura, Junko Takeuchi, Satoshi Hino and Ben Diskin

Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire [Blu-ray] Starring Chie Nakamura, Junko Takeuchi, Satoshi Hino and Ben Diskin

CARTOONS

Secret of the Wings (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)

Secret of the Wings

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season Four Starring Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season Four [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter

CLASSICS

Lady Gangster (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Faye Emerson

My Outlaw Brother (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Mickey Rooney

The Penalty: Kino Classics Special Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Lon Chaney

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Magic Mike (DVD+UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey

Magic Mike (Blu-ray+DVD+UltraVi... Digital Copy Combo Pack) Starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World [Blu-ray] Starring Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melinda Dillon

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Starring Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melinda Dillon

Criterion Collection

Sunday Bloody Sunday (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch, Murray Head and Peggy Ashcroft

Sunday Bloody Sunday (Criterion Collection) Starring Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson and Murray Head

HORROR

247 F [Blu-ray] Starring Scout Taylor-Compton, Travis Van Winkle, Michael Copon

247 F Starring Scout Taylor-Compton, Travis Van Winkle, Michael Copon

Abolition Starring Reggie Bannister, Elissa Dowling, Andrew Roth Caroline Williams

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter [Blu-ray] Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 3D (Blu-ray 3D) Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie

Blood Was Everywhere Starring Ashley Arnold, Kimberly Simone, Larry Holden

Bloody Christmas Starring Robert Arensen, Geretta Geretta, Adriana Kaegi

Booley Starring Tom Detrik, Raine Brown, Carmela Hayslett and Gina Lynn

Cargo

Claustrophobia Starring Christopher Curry and Russell Harvard

Dead World Starring Molly Kruger

Dropping Evil Starring Fred Williamson, Armin Shimerman, Tiffany Shepis Edwin Neal

From Beneath Starring Jamie Temple and Lauren Watson

Jack In The Box Starring Adam LaFramboise Bill Doherty Jr.

Mark Of The Beast Starring Dick Boland, Phil Hall and Ellen Muth Debbie Rochon

Octaman (40th Anniversary Edition) Starring Pier Angeli, Kerwin Matthews, Jeff Morrow and David Essex

Puppet Master X: Axis Rising Starring Levi Fiehler

Puppet Master X: Axis Rising [Blu-ray] Starring Levi Fiehler

Shatter Dead Starring Flora Fauna

The Selling Starring Gabriel Diani, Etta Devine, Jonathan Klein and Janet Varney

Slice Starring Chatchai Plengpanich Arak Amornsupasiri

Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines (Unrated) Starring Camilla Arfwedson, Roxanne McKee, Doug Bradley

Wrong Turn 5 [Blu-ray] Starring Doug Bradley

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Alien Agenda: Project Grey Starring Christian Blaze and Justin Stilwell

Blade Runner (30th Anniversary Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer

Equilibrium / Renaissance Blu-ray & DVD Combo Starring Christian Bale, Daniel Craig, Taye Diggs and Jonathan Pryce

I, Robot (Blu-ray/ 3D Combo) Starring Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood

TV LAND

Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Early Cases [Blu-ray] Starring David Suchet, Philip Jackson and Hugh Frasier

Bat Masterson TV Series (24 Hour Marathon Collection) Starring Gene Barry and Bill Baldwin

Fantasy Island: The Complete Third Season Starring Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize

The Fugitive: The Most Wanted Edition - Complete Series Starring William Conrad, David Janssen, Barry Morse and Bill Raisch

Happy Endings: The Complete Second Season Starring Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert and Damon Wayans

Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Year Eight Starring Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jamey Sheridan

Lost Girl: Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo, Kris Holden-Ried and Zoie Palmer

Lost Girl: Season One Starring Anna Silk, Ksenia Solo, Kris Holden-Ried and Zoie Palmer

Maison Close: Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Jemima West, Anne Charrier, Valérie Karsenti

Perry Mason: The Seventh Season, Vol. 2 Starring Raymond Burr, Ray Collins, William Hooper

Peter Gunn: The Complete Series Starring Craig Stevens, Herschel Bernardi, Lola Albright

Sea Hunt TV Series (24 Hour Marathon) Starring Llyod Bridges, Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges Starring Lloyd Bridges, Ken Drake and Courtney Brown

Upstairs Downstairs: Season 2 Starring Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Adrian Scarborough

The Young Riders TV Series (24 Hour Marathon) Starring Stephen Baldwin and Josh Brolin

BOX SETS

Blade Runner 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition (4-Disc Blu-ray / DVD +UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Sean Young  

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 4 of 4
1 
littlemikey979 10/23/2012 7:45:44 AM

I had seen the game before. Its one of those movies I think about, 'Man I haven't seen it in a long time' and then never add it to my netflix que for whatever reason. I really enjoyed it and I would probably watch it more it I added it to my movie collection.

One thing I always wondered was how much the bill was at the end of the movie.

7thGuest 10/23/2012 8:46:19 AM

I personally loved The Game, it's my favorite David Fincher movie. I wish the Blu-Ray would have some sort of trivia track with it to point out any secrets but the commentary track will do.

CyanideRush 10/23/2012 10:47:20 AM

It might go unnoticed in the long list of releases this week; but everyone should pick up Equilibrium on BR. It's stylishly fantastical, and works in some very interesting glances at the human condition in between amazing choreograhped combat sequences.

-Chuck

RedHood2010 10/24/2012 7:18:44 PM

I just re-watched it this past weekend on Netflix and I enjoyed it again.  It is a good movie.  We hadn't seen it since it first came out on vhs.

1 

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