Monday, January 11, 2010

Gamer Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 42.4 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: A

Video
Gamer comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The movie was shot using the fabulous Red One camera and it shows with this high-def presentation. The movie has some very stylistic choices, but detail is absolutely stunning.

Textures are out of this world, with close-ups that will find you lifting your jaw up from the floor. If you notice screenshots such as the one of Ludacris, skin details such as pores and roughness are all extremely clear, even in not so flattering ways (See Zoe Bell).

The movie is gritty and features some dark and drained locations, as well as some bright and vibrant locations. The high-def encode depicts both types of settings perfectly, and I have to be honest and say that this is definitely one of the most impressive high-def releases on the format to date.

Some may not like the stylistic look of the film, but there is no denying that Lionsgate Home Entertainment has provided an extremely impressive and top notch high-def transfer. I could not be happier with Gamer on Blu-ray. 10/10.

Audio
A 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and is absolutely out of this world. The movie starts off with a bang, your room will be shaking and experience some of the best direction on a high-def mix. The opening fight scene is beautiful; your surround area will be filled with explosions and gunfire, everything clear and well-placed.

Each scene pays attention to detail, whether we are seeing an open area scene or a music-filled club scene. Dialogue is also very impressive, with everything sounding crisp and clear as can be from beginning to end.

It’s definitely one of the best tracks I have heard lately and among the best on Blu-ray. I absolutely love that Lionsgate Home Entertainment uses 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio whenever possible as the surround use definitely opens up and feels even more diverse than an already impressive 5.1 setup. 10/10.

Extras

Audio Commentary
With Writers/Directors Neveldine/Taylor and Actors Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman and Terry Crews.

Inside The Game: Controlling Gamer (1:19:42) (HD)
An extensive three part behind-the-scenes look at production.

First Person Shooter: The Evolution of Red (16:46) (HD)
The Directors talk about using the RED camera, you may remember this camera was used on films such as Knowing in the past.

Theatrical Trailer (2:33) (HD)

Unseen Trailer (The Doobie-ness Cut) (2:44) (HD)
The following trailer was created by the filmmakers and editor Doobie White.

iCon Mode (PiP)An interactive viewing experience similar to that on Watchmen and a couple of other films on Blu-ray. Writers/Directors Neveldine and Taylor take you behind-the-scenes of production and provide commentary throughout the film. This is a very neat feature and I hope more filmmakers begin to provide in-movie experiences like this one.

Cheat Codes

D-Box
Includes a motion code for those with a D-Box enabled home theater.

BD Touch
Those with an iPhone or iPod touch and download the BD Touch app from the app store to use your phone as a remote for your Blu-ray disc.

Also From Lionsgate (HD)
Preview trailers for other Lionsgate films.

Bookmarks
Save your favorite scenes or where you left off, allowing you to return to them later.

Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

Extras on this release are fantastic; there are so many things for viewers to see after or during the film. The in-movie experience is informative and entertaining, and it’s definitely a welcome new feature.

The extensive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews show all levels of production and we really get to see how everything was done. For a first time release of the movie on home video, I could not have asked for more. 10/10.

Blu-news Summary
Everything about this Blu-ray release is impressive, except the film itself. Gamer is a movie that I think get progressively better, I was originally turned off a bit by the film, but my feelings definitely changed the more and more that I watched.

The movie comes from the same writers and directors of the Crank films, two movies I did not love to put it nicely. I can understand their appeal, but personally they were not for me. Gamer is a futuristic action film that will definitely satisfy viewers.

Gamer definitely has a bit of a ‘Death Race’ feel to it, the fight for survival and ultimate fight to escape. The movie takes place sometime in the future, where technology is so advanced that you can pay to control actual human beings or be paid to be controlled. This technology comes from game creator Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), with an ultimate multiplayer game called “Slayers.”

I definitely enjoyed the performances by all the actors involved in the film, particularly Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall. I find Gerard Butler to be quite the impressive actor, although his acting can be debated film-by-film, I think he’s great.

Michael C. Hall, most notable for being the star of the hit Showtime series Dexter provides an intentionally over-the-top performance, including a random but very good musical scene. I definitely hope we see Michael C. Hall in many more films to come as he’s a very strong actor.

The movie is filled with so much action and humor that it’s hard to not somewhat enjoy Gamer. It’s fun but the 2-second cuts featured in the film are annoying and while it is an adrenaline filled film, it definitely isn’t the best as far as character development or storytelling.

I would definitely recommend you rent ‘Gamer’ first before considering a purchase on your format of preference, but I would not skip the film as there is plenty to enjoy. To be honest though... I think it’s a film that you can see once and enjoy, but at the same time not ever feel the need to see it again. 6/10.

The Blu-ray release is mind-blowing, featuring demo level video and audio presentations, as well as impressive extras for a new-release film. The Blu-ray release is a ‘Must Own’ for fans of the film, and ‘A Solid Rental’ to those new to the movie.

Additional Screenshots:

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