The Game

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.
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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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The Game

#1 Post by swo17 » Fri May 01, 2020 11:04 am

The Game

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Made in between Seven and Fight Club, David Fincher's edge-of-your-seat thriller The Game remains arguably his most underappreciated film, bolstered by an exceptional star performance by Michael Douglas.

Despite his large mansion and intimidating bank balance, multimillionaire Nicholas Van Orton is haunted by the childhood memory of his father's suicide. On the day he reaches the same age his father was when he died, Nicholas receives an unconventional birthday present from his estranged brother Conrad (Sean Penn): an invitation to play a mysterious "game", the aim and rules of which are kept secret. As the game unfolds, Nicholas suddenly finds himself in a fight for his life, assisted by the enigmatic Christine (Deborah Kara Unger, Crash) but unsure of where to turn and who to trust.

Presented in a director-approved remaster available for the first time in the UK, the twisty mysteries of Fincher's pulse-pounding paranoiac puzzle are explored in an exciting array of new and archive bonus features.

TWO-DISC LIMITED DELUXE EDITION CONTENTS

• Limited to only 3,000 units
• Deluxe packaging including a 200-page hardback book housed in a rigid slipcase, illustrated with newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley
• 200-page book exclusive to this edition includes 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
• Arrow Academy Blu-ray including new bonus features and UK home video premiere of director-approved 2K restoration
• Universal Special Edition DVD featuring archive extras with cast and crew

DISC ONE – BLU-RAY

• 2K restoration from the original negative by The Criterion Collection supervised and approved by director David Fincher and cinematographer Harris Savides
• High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
• Original 5.1 & 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
• Isolated Music & Effects track
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• New audio commentary by critic and programmer Nick Pinkerton
Fool's Week: Developing The Game, a newly filmed interview with co-writer John Brancato
Men On The Chessboard: The Hidden Pleasures of The Game, a new visual essay by critic Neil Young
• Archive promotional interview with star Michael Douglas from 1997
• Alternatively-framed 4:3 version prepared for home video (SD only), with new introduction discussing Fincher's use of the Super 35 shooting format
• Theatrical trailer
• Teaser trailer
• Image gallery

DISC TWO – DVD

• Standard definition DVD (PAL) presentation
• 5.1 Dolby Digital audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary with director David Fincher, actor Michael Douglas, screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris, director of photography Harris Savides, production designer Jeffrey Beecroft and visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug
• Behind The Scenes featurettes - Dog Chase, The Taxi, Christine's House, The Fall (with optional commentary by Fincher, Douglas, Savides, Beecroft and Haug)
• On Location featurettes – Exterior Parking Lot: Blue Screen Shot, Exterior Fioli Mansion: Father's Death, Interior CRS Lobby and Offices, Interior Fioli Mansion: Vandalism, Exterior Mexican Cemetary (with optional commentary by Fincher, Savides, Beecroft and Haug)
• Theatrical trailer (with optional commentary by Fincher)
• Teaser trailer
• Teaser trailer CGI test footage (with optional commentary by designer/animator Richard Baily)
• Alternate ending
• Production design and storyboard galleries

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
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Re: The Game

#2 Post by colinr0380 » Fri May 01, 2020 11:08 am

Serendipitously the VHS Video Vault channel on YouTube threw out a brief behind the scenes EPK on The Game from the BBC's Film '97 programme just yesterday!

I think I'm in to complement the Criterion edition with this one if just for the isolated music and effects score and Nick Pinkerton commentary! From the way the extras are laid out though it looks as if something strange is going on as the filmmaker's audio commentary (the Criterion commentary track, it appears) is only going to be on the DVD, whilst the Pinkerton commentary, isolated score and the rest of the newly produced extras are only on the Blu-ray. Is it contractual? Is it to not damage the Criterion Blu-ray edition too much by keeping the extras from that edition DVD only?

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yoloswegmaster
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:57 pm

Re: The Game

#3 Post by yoloswegmaster » Fri May 01, 2020 11:32 am

Jesus Christ, that cover is bad.

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dwk
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: The Game

#4 Post by dwk » Fri May 01, 2020 11:36 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:08 am
I think I'm in to complement the Criterion edition with this one if just for the isolated music and effects score and Nick Pinkerton commentary! From the way the extras are laid out though it looks as if something strange is going on as the filmmaker's audio commentary (the Criterion commentary track, it appears) is only going to be on the DVD, whilst the Pinkerton commentary, isolated score and the rest of the newly produced extras are only on the Blu-ray. Is it contractual? Is it to not damage the Criterion Blu-ray edition too much by keeping the extras from that edition DVD only?
Criterion likely wouldn't let them have the extras or Arrow didn't want to pay what Criterion asked for them, so they stuck the old Universal UK DVD in there to, in essence, steal them.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Game

#5 Post by domino harvey » Fri May 01, 2020 12:01 pm

Weird that they licensed the transfer from Criterion by name but said, "Nah, we'll just use the old DVD for the rest, suckas"...

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rapta
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Re: The Game

#6 Post by rapta » Fri May 01, 2020 12:07 pm

According to Fran Simeoni:
Sadly we couldn't clear all the archival extras so it was a case of including the dvd or nothing.
Still, I think the £35 asking price is way too high, even with the 200-page book they're including. It'd be just under £40 from their store directly...I spent just over £10 more than that for the entire Kieslowski box set!

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: The Game

#7 Post by Ribs » Fri May 01, 2020 12:14 pm

Yikes! I’d accepted a double dip for the book but hadn’t seen this was fully the cost of a box set from any other label. Hope they might reconsider and bring it down just a bit because that’s a wild amount for one movie...

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tenia
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Re: The Game

#8 Post by tenia » Fri May 01, 2020 12:28 pm

dwk wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:36 am
Criterion likely wouldn't let them have the extras or Arrow didn't want to pay what Criterion asked for them, so they stuck the old Universal UK DVD in there to, in essence, steal them.
I've checked and actually, it seems Criterion hasn't produced any new extra for their 2012 release. Blu-ray.com's states the BTS featurettes were created by Criterion, but DVD Compare has a 2006 UK Universal DVD that includes them. If that's indeed the case, it means there's actually no Criterion extras being "stolen" here.

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Feego
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Re: The Game

#9 Post by Feego » Fri May 01, 2020 12:32 pm

tenia wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 12:28 pm
dwk wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:36 am
Criterion likely wouldn't let them have the extras or Arrow didn't want to pay what Criterion asked for them, so they stuck the old Universal UK DVD in there to, in essence, steal them.
I've checked and actually, it seems Criterion hasn't produced any new extra for their 2012 release. Blu-ray.com's states the BTS featurettes were created by Criterion, but DVD Compare has a 2006 UK Universal DVD that includes them. If that's indeed the case, it means there's actually no Criterion extras being "stolen" here.
The BTS features were created by Criterion for their original laserdisc edition. They were later used on Universal's UK DVD.

nitin
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Re: The Game

#10 Post by nitin » Fri May 01, 2020 12:38 pm

Same with the Fincher commentary.

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tenia
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Re: The Game

#11 Post by tenia » Fri May 01, 2020 2:12 pm

Ooooooo right. Thanks for the precision.

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Adam X
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:04 am

Re: The Game

#12 Post by Adam X » Mon May 04, 2020 1:01 pm

In response to the usual bullshit from someone on fb, Paul Boland (who I'm assuming is maybe the producer of this release) provided a bit more detail on the reasoning behind the format choice and pricing.
The Universal DVD is included for the archive extras. Criterion hold the rights to these extras that is on the Universal DVD. It was to expensive to licence these extras from Criterion and put on a Blu-ray disc. It was choice of not include these extras or use the Universal special edition dvd. The extra cost of this release is due to having to pay licence fee to Criterion for the 2K transfer and also pay licence fee to Universal and on top of this cost the book is a hardcover 200 pages so that alone increases the retail price. There will be a standard Amaray release at a later stage that wont include the 200 page book or deluxe packaging

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tenia
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Re: The Game

#13 Post by tenia » Mon May 04, 2020 2:43 pm

This is pretty much what Fran Simeoni wrote on Twitter.

I still wonder how much of the final price comes from the licence fees that seem to have been higher than expected, and trying to recoup that by throwing in a book expensive to produce and manufacture. I doubt Arrow will be loosing money on this one, but what price could have they been asking for, say, a more standard LE with a 60 pages book for instance ?

I also wonder how much people should be asked to over-pay for legacy extras that are otherwise so cheap to get. I mean : you can get the Universal DVD for what ? £5 ? Why not letting it go in order to offer a release at a more usual price ? The explanation would have been similar in logic : "we chose not to include them to keep this release at a more typical price-point.".
I would understand if these were in-depty very long extras, but this isn't even the case.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: The Game

#14 Post by zedz » Mon May 04, 2020 6:37 pm

The DVD might well be the cheapest component in the entire set, so its omission might not have made much, or any difference to the price.

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dwk
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: The Game

#15 Post by dwk » Mon May 04, 2020 7:30 pm

Adam Grikepelis wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:01 pm
In response to the usual bullshit from someone on fb, Paul Boland (who I'm assuming is maybe the producer of this release) provided a bit more detail on the reasoning behind the format choice and pricing.
The extra cost of this release is due to having to pay licence fee to Criterion for the 2K transfer and also pay licence fee to Universal
My response would be, then why didn't Being John Malkovich have a higher suggest retail price? Minus the hardcover book, it was the same situation.

I wonder what Criterion thinks about the Universal DVD with their special features being included in this release? I have to imagine that they didn't give Universal carte blanche with them and they can't be happy about this.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Game

#16 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 04, 2020 8:07 pm

Criterion has no room to talk when it comes to the UK market, they’ve released more than one Blu-Ray that already had a local, in-print release from a UK boutique label

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dwk
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: The Game

#17 Post by dwk » Mon May 04, 2020 9:21 pm

Yeah, but those were licensed from the rights holders.

And this isn't the first time that Arrow used extras without permission from and compensation for the people that created them (See Calum Waddell, who has since buried the hatchet with Arrow, but they used his extras on some US releases without his permission.)

nitin
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:49 am

Re: The Game

#18 Post by nitin » Tue May 05, 2020 7:39 am

Yeah it seems to be underhanded to say that they couldnt license the extras directly but are including them anyway in this roundabout way if "Criterion hold the rights to these extras that is on the Universal DVD". And the Tarkovsky releases were licensed from Mosfilm and AE's releases I think were from a different rightsholder.

And as dwk says, what about situations like BJM?

My best guess is they paid a fair bit for the license and hoped they could do their own 4k restoration. Then later they were told (perhaps by Fincher) that no you have to use the Criterion transfer that Fincher approved and so not only could they not do the 4k restoration they were hoping to set their release apart, they also had to pay extra to Criterion that they had not anticipated.

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dwk
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: The Game

#19 Post by dwk » Tue May 05, 2020 11:16 am

I think Fincher would've been fine with doing a new 4K transfer, but he obviously was too busy to supervise it and Arrow would have been obligated to wait for him and they couldn't or wouldn't do that.

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rapta
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Re: The Game

#20 Post by rapta » Wed May 06, 2020 3:40 pm

I guess all these hidden expenses would hold off them doing something similar for, say, Soderbergh's Traffic? I don't understand why Criterion haven't ported both of these titles to the UK yet, as they clearly have a licensing relationship with Universal in the UK (see: The Last Temptation of Christ, Do the Right Thing, My Man Godfrey, Dazed and Confused, The Uninvited, The Palm Beach Story, Moonrise Kingdom, King of Jazz, The Heiress, Destry Rides Again).

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Orson Kane
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Re: The Game

#21 Post by Orson Kane » Tue May 12, 2020 5:14 pm

Just to recap:

If I already have the Criterion blu ray of this, the only added benefit of going for the Arrow is the book, is that correct?

All the extras are the same.

In fact, if I wanted to watch the director's commentary I would have to do so on the inferior PQ of the DVD rather than the Criterion which contains it all.

Is that a fair summary?

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: The Game

#22 Post by Ribs » Tue May 12, 2020 5:15 pm

Plus Arrow’s encode will probably be a notch better.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Game

#23 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 12, 2020 5:18 pm

Orson Kane wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 5:14 pm
Just to recap:

If I already have the Criterion blu ray of this, the only added benefit of going for the Arrow is the book, is that correct?

All wthe extras are the same.
Not correct. These on-disc extras are new to the Arrow release:

New audio commentary by critic and programmer Nick Pinkerton
• Fool's Week: Developing The Game, a newly filmed interview with co-writer John Brancato
• Men On The Chessboard: The Hidden Pleasures of The Game, a new visual essay by critic Neil Young
• Archive promotional interview with star Michael Douglas from 1997
• Alternatively-framed 4:3 version prepared for home video (SD only), with new introduction discussing Fincher's use of the Super 35 shooting format

moreorless
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:34 am

Re: The Game

#24 Post by moreorless » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:16 am

Having picked it up I think its clear that a lot of the cost was in the book, its significantly larger than a standard bluray box and done to a good standard with a gloss paper and proper cloth binding. Only read the new essay in it so far and that is nicely done, perhaps not revelatory but the extra space does allow it to move into rather more interesting detail on a film written about far less than say Fight Club, nice reproduction of a lot of production stills in the book as well. Honestly wouldn't mind seeing a few more of these kinds of releases from them.

Not seen the Criterion disk(the standard UK release is far worse, not much better than the DVD) myself but looking at comparisons online the Arrow does seem like a bit of an improvement with fewer compression artefacts.

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