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The Game (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1997)

Michael Douglas , Sean Penn , David Fincher  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (421 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn, Peter Donat
  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Color, Widescreen, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (421 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008CJ0JTI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • 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

  • Editorial Reviews

    Enormously wealthy and emotionally remote investment banker Nicholas Van Orton (Traffic’s Michael Douglas) receives a strange gift from his ne’er-do-well younger brother (Milk’s 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.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    104 of 123 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Thriller May 22, 2003
    Format:DVD
    What happens when you are a powerful multi-millionaire and have everything you ever wanted? While you and I might think this situation is highly desirable, for Nicholas Van Orton, played by Michael Douglas, it is very boring. In fact, you might say that Nicholas is miserable. However, Nicholas' brother Conrad Van Orton, played by Sean Penn, has bought Nicholas a gift for his 48th birthday, an invitation to play "The Game".
    From this point forward the movie drags for what seems forever. I was beginning to regret watching this movie. Looking back, though, I now know that this beginning helps us to more fully understand how boring and awful Nicholas' life is, and further provides an excellent contrast with what happens later in the movie.
    Nicholas is in a very upscale restaurant when a waitress (Deborah Unger as Christine) spills wine on his shirt. Christine is fired by the restaurant manager and leaves, very upset. Before you can say white rabbit, a waiter rushes by Nicholas' table and drops off a note that tells Nicholas' to follow the girl. Prepare for the roller coaster ride.
    Within moments Nicholas finds himself involved with an apparently dying man, then just as quickly he finds he is being chased by the police, and police dogs, and things just get worse and worse. The list of things to which Nicholas is subjected is too long and would leave you with no surprises.
    Nicholas tries to figure out how to make all the action and events to which he is being subjected stop. Nicholas can't handle the loss of control. Further, the chaos of his experiences seems to follow no pattern or order. Eventually Nicholas gets back to where he thinks it all began for a showdown with the characters that he has discovered are actors. The ending had me stunned and amazed.
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    43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars left my friends and i awake thinking March 16, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    The Game was directed by Fight Club director David Fincher and in many ways it prepares the viewer for the twists and turns of Fight Club. Michael Douglas as control junky investment banker Nicholas Van Orton is given an invitation to "the game" by his younger brother Conrad (Sean Penn). Before Van Orton knows it the game has started and it takes him on journey where he is in the dark so to speak and he never really gets out of it until it is over. Other reviews have said that it has no sense of humor, this movie doesn't need one. it's mysterious and intellectual strength is more than enough to keep most people fixed to it. Others have said that the ending is anticlimactic. If one cannot appreciate the ending of this movie, they haven't been paying attention. If you want a movie that makes you think, this movie is for you. my friends and i started it sometime after midnight a couple years ago and we didn't sleep for an hour after it was done because it made us think that much. the movie buff will not be disappointed.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise, surprise! A great thriller! October 13, 2000
    Format:DVD
    Once in a while you come across a great thriller. To accomplish this you have to have a great story line, superb acting and cinematography, a generous budget and an excellent styling consultant so that everything's just perfect. And The Game has all these aspects. A wealthy financier (Michael Douglas) who has apparently everything and is bored with life gets a surprise birthday gift from his brother (Sean Penn): the participation in a very interesting and intense game. It is one of these movies that is unpredictable for the most part with action scenes that will take your breath away. The ending is unique and an unpredictable surprise and it gives the movie the final edge to classify it as one of these rare top-rated thrillers.
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    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion Blu Ray Elevates The Game December 2, 2012
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    On its 15th anniversary, The Game has been given its best treatment ever by the good folks at The Criterion Collection - it's never looked or sounded better!

    I missed this movie in the theaters in 1997 but saw it immediately upon its video release and it instantly became one of my favorite thrillers. Michael Douglas is spot-on as an emotionally detached, wealthy investment banker given an unusual birthday gift from his younger brother. I actually prefer this performance over the similar but more bombastic role of Gordon Gekko. As Nicholas Van Orton, Douglas gets to breathe a full range of emotion into his character and he really makes the most of it. Sean Penn is great as usual as Van Orton's unstable brother Connie and Deborah Kara Unger turns in a strong performance as a mystery woman who may or may not be on Van Orton's side.

    Where to rank this among David Fincher's other great films is hard to say (it's my 2nd favorite) but I would say that it is the most overlooked. I don't know if that's because of the simplistic name of the film, how it was marketed or something else entirely but like The Shawshank Redemption, it seem seems to be one of those films that most people discovered far beyond its initial release. Having just watched it again, I was delighted to see that it had not aged a bit - something that cannot be said of other films of the 90s which are already showing their age.

    As I said, the film has never looked better. It was never given very good treatment on video as it was (and that's being charitable) but this version hits it out of the park. The dark scenes that dominate the film are more clear than ever and Fincher's use of colored light has dramatic impact.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Love this movie!
    Published 5 days ago by Lee Ann
    4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Douglas to Remember
    This movie has been a favorite suspense movie of mine since it came out. 17 years ago maybe? Who is counting? Great performances, great plot and story. Read more
    Published 10 days ago by Justin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great movie. Even Sean Penn was good in this one.
    Published 15 days ago by L. Ferguson
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    very good, service performed as advertised. can't ask for anything more.
    Published 19 days ago by John T. Hogan
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great thriller!
    Published 23 days ago by Andrew Payne
    1.0 out of 5 stars Awful film
    I can't believe how bad this film was. I found it to be utterly ridiculous well before the ending (which was truly embarrassing). Read more
    Published 24 days ago by Simple Man
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    A good movie make you feel satisfied, like a good dinner. This one did not
    Published 27 days ago by M. Sanchez
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of my FAVES
    The only down side is that there are no english sub-titles... other than that, its a great quality movie and I still love it!
    Published 1 month ago by Sarah Fuentes
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good scary fun
    Great treatment for a great movie!
    Published 1 month ago by C. Quinn
    4.0 out of 5 stars Still Good
    I had remembered The Game as slightly more complex and confusing, but perhaps the earlier viewings or the passing of years made it seem slightly predictable. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Kind Reader
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