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Game Change (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

4.4 out of 5 stars 722 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Game Change is a searing, behind-the-scenes look at John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, from the decision to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate to the ticket’s ultimate defeat in the general election just sixty days later. Told primarily through the eyes of senior McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, who originally championed Palin and later came to regret the choice, Game Change pulls back the curtain on the intense human drama surrounding the McCain team, the critical decisions made behind closed doors and how the choice was made to bring Palin on the ticket. The film examines how we choose our leaders by offering a unique glimpse into the inner workings of an historic campaign.


Sarah Palin wasn't heard from much in the months leading up to the 2013 home video release of Game Change. But anyone who's forgotten what they do or don't admire about her need only watch a few minutes of Julianne Moore's uncanny performance as the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice-presidential candidate; so completely does Moore inhabit the role in appearance, voice, and mannerisms that it's easy to mistake her for the genuine article. Not that this HBO film, directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong from the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, is an especially flattering portrait of Palin or any of the other featured players, with the possible exception of Ed Harris's Senator John McCain, who's depicted as a fair and decent man caught up in a political tsunami he did little to generate. As the '08 election looms, McCain's team, led by campaign manager Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson), sees Palin as a charismatic figure who can match Barack Obama's star power, as well as a devout, pro-life candidate who will satisfy the Republican party's conservative wing. Problem is, they're so impressed by her poise and confidence that they fail to even notice, let alone research, her considerable downside--like the almost total ignorance of issues and lack of intellectual curiosity that result in her not knowing that it's Britain's prime minister, not the queen, who runs the government, or who the United States fought in World Wars I and II, among other jaw-dropping revelations. Moore's Palin isn't a totally unsympathetic character; she's fiercely protective of her family, committed to her principles, and capable of rallying the troops at key moments (such as her acceptance speech at the GOP convention). But this "pit bull with lipstick" image is more than countered by episodes in which she acts like a churlish, borderline irrational child who's more concerned with her Alaska opinion polls than prepping for the ultimately disastrous interviews with Charles Gibson and Katie Couric, after which she blames everyone but herself. In the end, her supporters will claim that the film gives her a bad rap. But others will breathe a sigh of relief that this fascinatingly flawed politician didn't end up a heartbeat away from the presidency. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris, Peter MacNicol, Jamey Sheridan
  • Directors: Jay Roach
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Digital_copy
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2013
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: January 8, 2015 (Click here for more information)
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (722 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007KAUZY4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,548 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Game Change (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on March 15, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
"Game Change" is an awesome movie about the McCain/Palin campaign. The film doesn't portray McCain in a bad light at all, and really focuses on what a complete imbecile Sarah Palin (played with Tina Fey-like precision by Julianne Moore) is. I really hope that some of the things in the film are exaggerations, because if Palin really is this much of a moron (and yes, it gets much worse than her claiming that she can see Russia from her house), then I am even more terrified of what this country has come to than I ever was before. In some ways, although the film definitely paints a picture of Palin as being an ignorant (and perhaps even mentally unstable) woman who is absolutely 100% unqualified to hold a government job of any kind, "Game Change" also shifts a lot of the blame on McCain's campaign advisors, who suggested Palin for the VP slot without ever doing their homework on her. Yes, she had no business being associated with that campaign in any way, but the real blame falls with the power-hungry strategists who foolishly appointed Palin to the position of McCain's running mate.

I really enjoyed the film, which is amusing and also downright scary at time. The performances are excellent, and Moore will walk away with a Golden Globe for sure.
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Format: DVD
Released almost a year to the day after Barack Obama took his place as President of the United States, Game Change landed into the political soccer field with a wallop, and quickly became the talk of the DC insider circuit. Written by Mark Halperin and John Heileman, the gossipy tell-all proved to be the final escape hatch for a lot of supposed experts who saw their careers waylaid by piss poor decisions, leading to a level of backstabbing and leaked information that was virtually unprecedented. It made for an entertaining read, like skimming through the National Enquirer while in a check-out line. And much like those scandalous rags with their silly celebrity headlines, most of what was inside turned out to be true, despite all the protestations by those the book would highlight.

Game Change was pretty even handed in it's dirt digging, exposing some ugly facts about Hilary Clinton's 2008 campaign as well as the bedroom shenanigans of John Edwards. For HBO's new film adaptation of the book, from the same guys who gave us the excellent Recount a few years ago, the focus is squarely on the Republican side of the ticket, and the roller coaster that was John McCain(Ed Harris) and his polarizing running mate, Sarah Palin(Julianne Moore).

Consider the film less of a biopic and more of a fact finding mission, as writer Danny Strong attempts to uncover how a dedicated war hero with a campaign proudly boasting "Country First" could nominate someone as hopeless as Palin to be within a breath of the Presidency. The obvious answer is desperation, but there's more to it than that. It takes a concerted and sustained level of willful ignorance for something like this to happen, and it starts right at the top.
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Format: DVD
I notice there are a lot of far right reviewers screaming "all lies", which is most assuredly untrue, in fac the film didn't go far enough and fabricates quite a few accounts:

1) Sarah Palin was not "discovered" by an aid and thrust into this. If that had been the case, I probably would've had more sympathy for her and dismissed her mean girl antics. She had applied for the spot and met with McCain in Feb of 2008. While she was a surprise pick (AKA McCain's "Hail Sarah" pass), she was known and had pursued this, enitrely of her own intiative.

2)Likewise, the Bill Ayres thing had already been tried and failed. Everyone knew about it. SP brought up the "pallin' around with terrorists" because they were losing so badly at that point, they were grasping at straws.

3) As noted above, John McCain more often than not threw temper tantrums and behaved like a baby. He was nothing like the way he was portrayed.

4) Palin didn't "do okay" in her Charlie Gibson interview (basically it marks the beginning of her rapid descent) and her debate performance was hardly a winner. While she didn't throw up on herself or run screaming out of the studio, the film ignored her bizarre winking, constant "maverick" insistance and laughable non-stop references to Wasilla and portraying it as the epicenter of the universe.

The only news outlets or pundits who credited Palin as having won, were deeply conservative ones. Everyone else awarded the debate to Biden. Which really didn't matter, because they were trailing wildly at that point and John McCain had repeated embarrassed HIMSELF in his debates. Plus it was the Vice Presidential debate, it meant nothing-----Lloyd Bentsen cleaned future VP Dan Quayle's clock in their debate---and he still lost horribly.
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Format: DVD
More than anything, "Game Change" is a character study; the character in this case being Sarah Palin. The film portrays her as a complicated, powerful woman who was suddenly thrust into the international political spotlight, then forced to deal with all of the pressure, scrutiny, adoration, criticism, and condemnation that followed.

"Game Change" will probably not please many people, at least from a political point of view. People who despise Sarah Palin will probably think the film is too sympathetic towards her, as she is portrayed as a devoted mother and wife, as a charismatic public figure with the ability to connect with people in a way that few politicians do, and as a person genuinely committed to her Christian faith. At the same time, those who love Sarah Palin will probably think the film portrays her too harshly, showing her as not terribly intelligent, combative, naive, and narcissistic. In a way, the film's greatest strength is also its weakness - it portrays a polarizing figure as a complex, real human being.

All character-driven films that succeed have to be cast with excellent actors, and Julianne Moore's exceptional, multi-faceted performance completely anchors the film. Moore's performance was especially critical in this case, because aside from her performance as Palin, there is not much else of interest. Woody Harrelson gives a strong supporting performance as Steve Schmidt, the advisor who first champions Palin as John McCain's running mate and then comes to regret it, but the character is never really fully fleshed out. And Ed Harris, a fine actor, is rather wasted playing John McCain. The character is portrayed as a benevolent, paternal figure, far from the volatile loose cannon he is rumored to be in real life.
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