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The Game Review

Review copy provided by Arrow Academy

Arrow Academy is releasing a limited edition Blu-ray for the film The Game. Due to this I feel obliged to give 2 opinions. My opinion of the film and my opinion of the package as a whole. I am doing this because with this release you are not solely buying this Blu-ray for the film alone. Due to this structure I will be giving 3-star ratings, one for the film, one for the package and an overall rating for this release.

Film Review

David Fincher might be one of the best directors working in film today. He has directed such classics as Seven, Fight Club and The Social Network. But there’s one film in his filmography that I’ve always forgot was a film he directed and that’s The Game. The Game follows Nicholas Van Orton (played by Michael Douglas), a multimillionaire who receives a unique birthday present from his estranged brother Conrad (played by Sean Penn). This present is an invitation to play a game. However, as the game proceeds Nicholas starts to struggle to distinguish between what is reality and what is the game.

The Game reminded me a lot of my favourite piece of media, Danganronpa V3. That game also dealt with characters struggling with what is reality and what is simply a part of the game they are participating in (Not being specific as I don’t want to spoil Danganronpa V3). Unlike a game though we aren’t directly controlling Nicholas and because of that not in the same mindset, but in my opinion the viewer along with Nicholas do struggle to distinguish between reality and the game. This struggle is what makes the Game such an engaging watch and allows it to be a thrill ride from beginning to end.

Michael Douglas is just flat out incredible. Seeing him go from this uptight, rich elitist to a man struggling to cope is just so believable and expertly portrayed by Michael Douglas. Michael Douglas is so good in fact that the rest of the cast are not even on his level. The rest of the cast are good, however due to the outstanding brilliance of Michael Douglas they simply just pale in comparison to him.

The film is brilliantly directed. David Fincher is just incredible at what he does. The way he builds suspense and the way he keeps you guessing, is like no other and to be honest I think without David Fincher this film would be nowhere near as good as it is. The film is also beautifully shot, no shot feels bland visually and no shot feels thrown together. Honestly on a technical level The Game is Flawless.

However, let’s talk about the ending. Of course, I won’t spoil the film, but the ending is polarising. I can completely understand why people might not like the ending. Upon finishing the film, I didn’t know what to think, but as I’ve had time to think about it. I do appreciate the ending. That being said though, I wish it did have a stronger conclusion as even though I appreciated it, I wish that it had more of an impact than it did.

But going back to what I said earlier, The Game reminded me of Danganronpa V3 which I think is more or less a storytelling masterpiece. While The Game is not perfect, as the film didn’t really stick the landing. If I’m reminded of one of the best storytelling experiences while watching, then you done something right.

Package review

The Arrow Academy release of The Game is just simple incredible and is a must buy for any Blu-ray collector, film enthusiast or David Fincher fan. The amount of bonus content both physically and on the 2 discs you get are just flat out insane.

With this release you get a 200-page hardback book. While I didn’t get this with my review copy, from the information I received it’ll include a newly-commissioned full-length monograph by Bilge Ebiri, and selected archive materials, including an American Cinematographer article from 1997, a 2004 interview with Harris Savides by Alexander Ballinger, and the chapter on the film from Dark Eye: The Films of David Fincher by James Swallow.

The Blu-ray bonus features include, a new interview with co-writer John Brancato, a new visual essay by critic Neil Young, a 4:3 version of the film that was prepared for home video and much more. Also, you get a DVD which contains stand definition presentation of the film and bunch more bonus features. Everything is stored in a beautiful rigid slipcase.

Honestly this release is incredible and is absolutely worth the money.

Overall opinion

The new release of The Game by Arrow Academy is just incredible and a must buy in my opinion, while it may be a bit pricey at £35/£40 depending on where you purchase Blu-ray’s but its honestly worth every penny.

Written By Robert Drever

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