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The Game Blu-ray

United States
The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1997 | 129 min | Rated R | Sep 21, 2012

The Game (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (29.49 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Note: One is Near Field 5.1 and...

Subtitles
English SDH

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $39.95, Price history
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.0
367
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.6 of 54.6
Audio 4.8 of 54.8
Extras 4.5 of 54.5
Based on 6 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Psychological thriller36%
Mystery31%
Thriller5%
94%
popularity
3214
collections
90
fans




The Game

 (1997)

The Game Blu-ray delivers stunning video and reference-quality audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

There are no rules in "The Game". And that will make life very difficult for Nicholas Van Orton, a successful businessman who is always in control. Van Orton lives a well-ordered life - until an unexpected birthday gift from his brother destroys it all. Like it or not, Nicholas has been enrolled in a game - "a profound life experience" that begins quietly but soon erupts in a rush of devastating events. Van Orton has to win this deadly game or lose control of everything in his life.

For more about The Game and the The Game Blu-ray release, see the The Game Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn, Carroll Baker, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Director: David Fincher

» See full cast & crew


The Game Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, David Fincher's The Game arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"Supervised by director of photography Harris Savides and approved by director David Fincher, this new digital transfer was created in 2K resolution on a Northlight film scanner from the original camera negative. Dirt, debris, scratches, and warps were removed using MTI's DRS, while Image Systems' Phoenix was used for small dirt, flicker, grain, and noise management, and Pixel Farm's PFClean for stabilization and flicker.

Telecine supervisors: Harris Savides, Lee Kline, Maria Palazzola.
Colorist: Gregg Garvin/Modern Videofilm, Los Angeles."

Criterion's presentation of The Game represents a solid upgrade in quality over previous releases of the film, including the Blu-ray release Universal Studios produced for the UK market, which we have reviewed here. The new and supervised by director David Fincher and director of photography Harris Savides high-definition transfer the Criterion release uses gives the film a much improved color scheme, notably stronger clarity and detail, and far more convincing shadow definition. More importantly, however, the compression is unquestionably superior. As a result, viewers who project their films on large screens will immediately notice the improved image depth, stability, and superior color reproduction. I have included a few screencaptures where these specific improvements are very easy to see. For example, compare screeencapture #18 with screencapture #4 from our review of the UK Blu-ray release, and see how the image looks much tighter and clarity is dramatically improved (in the left corner there is actually fine detail that is virtually missing from the old release). Additionally, compare screencaptures #8 in the two reviews and notice how all of the compression anomalies are eliminated on the Criterion release (see upper right corner). Examples such as these are virtually everywhere. Naturally, the larger your screen is, the more impressed you will be with the organic look of the new high-definition transfer. Lastly, there are no traces of problematic degraining/denoising corrections. As a result, a genuinely stable grain structure has been retained. The high-definition transfer is also free of serious banding and aliasing patterns. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).


The Game Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Near Field 5.1 Mix (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) and Theatrical 5.1 Mix (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1). For the record, Criterion have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they appear inside the image frame.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"The original theatrical 5.1 soundtrack was transferred from the 35mm magnetic X-copy master. The track is very dynamic and designed to be played in large rooms at high volume. The near field soundtrack was transferred from Sony Dash 3348 digital tapes. This mix was created in 1997 by sound designer Ren Klyce and sound rerecording mixer David Parker for the Criterion Collection's laserdisc release. The near field mix features a lower dynamic range and is optimized for playing in smaller rooms at lower volume. Both tracks were remastered at 24-bit using Pro Tools HD.

Soundtrack Master Supervision: Ren Klyce.
Soundtrack Mastering: Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, CA."

I viewed the film in its entirety with the new Near Field 5.1 Mix, which has been supervised by sound designer Ren Klyce and director David Fincher, and then did various comparisons with the Theatrical 5.1 Mix. There are some quite obvious differences between the two. On the Near Field 5.1 Mix clearly dynamic levels have been elevated and surround movement enhanced. As far as I am concerned, mid-range frequencies also appear better balanced, which is why the interactions between the piano and heavy strings from Howard Shore's score are slightly more prominent. Generally speaking, the dialog seems equally clear, stable, and clean on both tracks. There are no pops, dropouts, or audio distortions to report in this review.



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