Customer Reviews: Game of Death
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on February 21, 2011
First i dislike most of all this straight to dvd flicks. But this one which was recommended blew me away.
A cool story which turns around a cia agent who gets framed by his team.Ok maybe nothing new but this is such an entertaining piece of sh...Uneblievable.
A real Kick-Ass actioner full of cool shoot outs, imepressive martial arts kicks and some really weird camera moves.
Snipes is ice cold as never before and maybe this film could turn on his movie career because i haven't seen him in such shape since his Blade films.
So if you like no brainers like that, it's worth every dime.
The Blue Ray itself is state of art, the docs could be more detailed.
Hot Stuff indeed
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on November 10, 2011
This video never made the theaters, for some reason. But it should have. Snipes playing a former CIA agent named "Marcus" a great character played by a great actor. The story has a good theme and has the possible believability I look for. I really liked the self examination that Marcus went through and the BAD guys were rebelling about. The action was super, the shootouts well stages, the kick-boxing fight scenes were top notch, the characters and acting were first rate. I cringed with all the cold blooded killing and was amazed at the 22 shot Glocks (I counted). I even liked the use of a priest to introduce a frame work for the story. I also liked the ending, but I personally would have kept at least one $10K pack of money to get out of town. I rank this with the Blade series played by Snipes. This is a FIVE STARS ALL THE WAY.
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on July 5, 2011
This is as always a great Wesley Snipes movie. My wife and I were in a hotel for a week and they had the movies on demand, we watched this movie 4 times. when we couldn't find it in the stores my wife told me to try amazon which I am glad I did. We now have it in our collection. This is another Edge of your seat excellent movie.
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on March 15, 2011
For a film that borrows its name from a Bruce Lee pseudo-classic, Wesley Snipes' "Game of Death" kinda disappoints. Despite easily being one of the best DTV flicks the former Hollywood headliner has appeared in, the movie foregoes a higher rating by sabotaging its own otherwise- high-end presentation with unnecessary post-production mucking and by choosing to present little more than the bare minimum by way of the martial arts dream matches its casting offers. A strong story and generally good acting performances ought to make this one a bit more promising for non- action-aficionados, but as far as this Snipes fan goes, I can't help but label it one big missed opportunity.

The story: undercover CIA agent Marcus (Snipes, Blade trilogy) is betrayed in-mission by his fellow agents Zander (Gary Daniels, The Expendables) and Floria (Zoe Bell, Angel of Death), who will attempt to use the connections of their employer/target (Robert Davi, Profiler) to finance their disillusioned flight from the Agency.

Most of the film, played out in flashback, takes place during one day and in only two locations: a hospital and a corporate stronghold. There is very little character exposition, but this works in the film's favor by making everybody nicely enigmatic; Snipes is like the lone loyal samurai pitting himself against turncoat defectors to his master. Production values are strong from the get-go, looking practically mainstream to begin with, but needing to contend with artsy imposed quick cuts and unnecessary black & white inserts at increasingly alarming rates; it's almost as though a producer saw the first cut of the movie and decided they had to justify it being released DTV by dating it with these clichéd low-budget add-ins. Not cool, Sony!

The action is mostly composed of corridor shootouts, but these aren't too bad. The rub lies in the four hand-to-hand excursions Snipes has...or rather, *who* he has them with and how poorly the filmmakers decided to utilize them. The movie offers four prospective dream opponents for Snipes in the aforementioned Daniels and Bell, along with supporting henchmen Ho-Sung Pak (The Legend of Drunken Master) and Simon Rhee (Best of the Best). Rhee and Bell, despite being exceptional martial artists themselves, only engage Snipes in shootouts; admittedly, Bell's is pretty good, but who wouldn't rather want to see a hand-to-hand showdown between the two? The same can be said for Pak, whose encounter with Snipes is insulting for how fast Wesley finishes off "the real Liu Kang". The finale, featuring Snipes and Daniels on a rooftop, could've been the standout battle of both their careers but consists entirely of an uninvolved-looking Wesley blocking Gary's high kicks before breaking his limbs in Steven Seagal fashion. His two worthwhile fights are against no-name henchmen, but these are either disappointingly one-sided or way too short.

"Game of Death" is a strong enough thriller that it manages a passing grade despite these shortcomings; the best possible experience you can have with it is by watching it on its own terms and not setting yourself up for disappointment as I apparently did. A movie like this proves that Wesley Snipes' ousting from Hollywood was completely unsubstantiated and that he still has what it takes to be a mainstream star, and that Gary Daniels and Zoe Bell have long been ready for big-budget exposure. Director Giorgio Serafini (Giallo) could potentially make a name for himself in movies like this, but only if he learns to ditch these stupid cinematic snafus. This one's for consumption by the general bored-on-a-Friday-night crowd, people - a shame, since it could've been so much more.
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on March 21, 2011
Great movie, I'm proud that it was shot in my hometown and two of my colleagues were involved in the production. Well done script and acting especially considering that this was put together in a rush. I loved Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57 and the first Blade Film, Although not quite the caliber of those films it did not disappoint.
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on October 2, 2013
With most Snipes movies, you know you will get a solid mixed martial arts character with room to decide the back story for yourself. He's great at providing that.

I'm treating this as a direct to DVD or a film that got most acclaim from DVD sales. When Wesley is in this type of movie, I watch because he usually delivers. No need for an ensemble cast in most of these.

As for Game of Death specifically, my first watch didn't show me anything out of the ordinary. It's a movie that I watch while doing other things around the house (I do that plenty with my movies anyway). With the tone of the movie, you might find yourself picking up the pace while working around the house. Everything seems to be solid in this movie.

Doesn't get more stars because I don't remember more chances being taken to help Game of Death to standout. I will be watching again with a closer look though.
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on September 6, 2011

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Game of Death (Giorgio Serafini, 2010)

An amusing, and unintended, consequence of my watching Giorgio Serafini's Game of Death earlier this week is that it ended up making me like Steven Soderbergh's Haywire, released a year later, and which I watched back in March, even less than I did before. There's a great deal of similarity between the two movies, but Game of Death is (slightly) better in that it knows it's a genre thriller with nothing new to say, and doesn't try to be anything else, while Haywire was trying to be Soderbergh's last good movie, The Limey, and instead ended up being a genre thriller with nothing new to say, though I'm pretty sure you still can't convince Steven Soderbergh of that two years later.

Plot: Marcus (White Men Can't Jump's Wesley Snipes) is an undercover CIA agent. In the opening scene, we see him tailing a priest, Clarence (Ghostbusters' Ernie Hudson), back to his church, after which the two have a brief conversation that leads to Marcus telling the tale of his last operation. It should have been an open-and-shut case—Marcs was to act as bodyguard to one Mr. Smith (Licence to Kill's Robert Davi) during a very illegal arms transaction with billionaire Redvale (The Last Don's Quinn Duffy), then assassinate Smith. But things start going wrong from the get-go—first Smith has a heart attack on the way to the meet, so Marcus diverts them to a hospital where Smith is placed under the care of a doctor named Rachel (The Help's Aunjanue Ellis), while Marcus, thanks to hospital regulations, is forced to surrender his weapons. Meanwhile, two of the other CIA agents on the case, Zander (Fist of the North Star's Gary Daniels) and Flor (Kill Bill's Zoe Bell), have gone rogue. They're waiting for Marcus to facilitate the meet, after which their plan is to kill Smith, kill Redvale, kill Marcus, and walk off with a hundred million dollars. Not a bad plan, as long as Marcus isn't standing in the way...

This is the kind of thriller that defines the term “bog-standard”; there is not a thing that goes on anywhere in this movie that is not predictable almost from the first few frames. Which is okay as long as you're looking for a predictable thriller (and let's be honest, we all have at various times. Otherwise the Lifetime Movie Network would have gone under years ago). As is often the case, Aunjanue Ellis is the best thing about this from an acting perspective, but most of the cast does a reasonable job with what they're given. Unfortunately, what they're given isn't much. The script is laughable in some places; you can forgive Kurbaan (above) some of its slip-ups where the dialogue is concerned because the writers aren't native English speakers. Here, you have to assume it's because the scriptwriters just didn't care enough to stop us having to wallow through cliché after cliché in between action sequences. That sort of thing annoys me; your mileage may vary. This is only one to grab when you can't find a single other thriller that looks worth your time. This one isn't, either, but you've probably seen (slightly) worse. * ½
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on February 18, 2011
After his client (Davi) winds up in the hospital, Marcus (Snipes) finds himself double-crossed by his team. He is in a fight for his life and for the life of his client. Lately it seems like the movies by Wesley Snipes are made just for him to get paid (and not pay taxes on). They are not entertaining to watch and look like no one is even trying. This one is the exception. A very good story and idea that actually seems well acted and keeps you engaged the entire time. I will admit though that Snipes is getting older and his moves are not the same as in "Blade" but still better the Segal's. This movie very much surprised me, I genuinely enjoyed it. I give it a B.

Would I watch again? - I don't think I would.
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on April 11, 2011
For what it is, Game of Death is very well structured. Establishing the evil Zander character may have been a bit "overkill" for my test but all and all, Gary Daniels gave a pretty decent performance. It's not that I'm against an over-abundance of violence in movies but after Zander demonstrates his 'distaste for witnesses' the first few times, his future actions got a bit predictable and redundant (through no fault of the actor's). I've also read in a few reviews that the dialogue was corny and I know that's relative but I felt it was suitable for the film. Although I'm a big admirer of Zoe Bell, I'm glad she wasn't stretched beyond her capacity. It could've really served to bring the movie down. But I'm sure once she gets a few more stints under her belt, there's definitely a bright future for her.

Now as for Wesley, apparently some reviewers can't get past the stigma put on him by his personal transgressions. I personally thought his performance was graceful and poetic as ever. Given his stature, I can appreciate that he didn't go out to out-perform the rest of the cast. As a matter of fact, he allowed them to shine. I also realize that given ther recent circumstances, this project was probably a blessing to him whereas he may have turned it down in the past. I probably would've given this four stars if there were more fight scenes. Like him or not, Wesley's one of the best things smoking when it comes to fight scenes as of late; much kudos to him and whoever his choreography teams are!

Game of Death is by no means an award winner but it does warrant checking out if you're into a simplistic, espionage thriller.
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