The Game. Limited Edition Blu-ray from Arrow Academy (UK)

Arrow Academy

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 UngerCrash) 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 Teaser

Theatrical 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

Order via Arrow

Order via Amazon

Order via Zavvi

Not On Blu-ray?: Fight Club Compared

Blu-rays vs iTunes HD vs D-VHS vs DVD vs Laserdisc

Mac
April 7, 2018
Not On Blu-ray?

Caustic, nihilistic and controversial, Fight Club successfully adapted Chuck Palahniuk’s transgressive fiction novel, it’s a credit to screenwriter Jim Uhl’s excellent adaptation that the voice of the original novel is heard so clearly, and at the same time the film proved to be an enormous success. Though much credit is also due to the excellent sound and editing: so much in this film depends on hitting exactly the right tone.

Based on a reader suggestion, I decided to take a look at the various home video versions of Fight Club that are available.

Filming Fight Club

Fight club was photographed by Jeff Cronenweth, a then hot and upcoming Cinematographer who until that point hadn’t shot a major feature, but did have the advantage of being Blade Runner cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth’s son. Fincher has worked with both father and son on a number of projects culminating in ‘Alien 3’. Subsequently Jeff did camera work on a number of Fincher’s other features including ‘Se7en’ and ‘The Game’.

An Interview with Cronenweth in American cinematographer records Fincher’s preference for both natural and pre-existing lighting in locations over elaborate lighting setups. This necessitated the choice of higher speed stocks.

The film was shot using the Super35 format, and framed at 2.35:1. Daylight scenes were shot on Kodak EXR 100T and Vision 250D film, while the majority of night scenes were shot on ‘faster’, grainier Vision 500T.

Selected night scenes from the film were 5% flashed at the laboratory, which boosts contrast and enhances detail in the darker parts of the frame. Additionally a handful of release prints were treated with the Technicolor’s ENR silver retention process (bleach bypass) at the 80 IR level.

Shooting in Super35 at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 provides considerable latitude for re-framing during the editing process, which David Fincher may have developed a taste for when working on the various home video editions of Se7en.

Read the full article

Here the composition is noticeably skewed between the 16:9 and 2.35:1 versions.

Thanks to Joe Frady.

Not On Blu-ray?: The Mysterious Case of Se7en

Mac
June 4, 2013
Not On Blu-ray?

Se7en is a dark crime-horror fantasy, written by Andrew Kevin Walker, directed by David Fincher with cinematography by Darius Khondji. The film was a success both commercially and critically. However due to the complexity of the photographic process, it is difficult to be certain that any of the home-video releases reflect the image seen in first run showings. This article will examine the various video releases of Se7en, and explain the process by which they came about, and attempt to pick the best amongst them.

Se7en Through The Lens

During production careful consideration was put into developing the film’s ‘look’ by both the art department and the Cinematographer.

  • Super 35 cameras were used, which allowed the use of faster and wider ‘spherical’ lenses with shallower depth of field than comparable anamorphic lenses
  • The use of Super 35 also allowed some flexibility in re-framing shots in post production, since the film was intended to be projected in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio
  • On set smoke was used to reduce contrast and provide atmosphere to scenes
  • For some scenes the negative was ‘flashed’ using a Panaflasher to further reduce contrast, and bring out shadow detail
  • The film was pushed one stop (under-exposed and over-developed) to increase density and  saturation
  • A Deluxe ‘Color Contrast Enhancement’ or ‘CCE’ bleach-bypass process was used for first run prints, increasing contrast, effectively crushing blacks
  • The CCE process was deemed too expensive for the majority of first and second-run prints, which were then struck from an inter-positive that had itself been bleach-bypassed, which approximated the effect of the CCE process. This meant that there would be differences between the first-run showings of the film, and subsequent runs

Read the full article

Thanks to Joe Frady.