But on to The Game. It stars Michael Douglas as Nicholas Van Orton, a wealthy investment banker-type, who is given by his brother Conrad (Sean Penn) a voucher for an experience called 'The Game' - basically a company which will constantly surprise you and make your life 'interesting'. So as he is basically bored with pretty much everything, he visits their offices, fills in all the paperwork, and waits ...
Then things start to happen. A waitress (Deborah Kara Unger) spills drink all over him in a restaurant and he gets a message to not let her go, so he follows her. They are then followed by gunmen and a chase ensues ... and so on ...
The film then progresses on this basis, with Nicholas being involved in all manner of escapades, resulting in him trying to find the company again to get them to stop - but they have vanished. He also realises that the man he saw was an actor and so he tries to track them down. The film ends in a climactic rooftop battle and ... but I don't want to spoil it ...
The problem with the film is that it contains way too many coincidences (or plot holes). Things 'set up' by the company for Nicholas to stumble over are such that all it needed was him to make one different decision about something - which direction to go in etc - and none of it would work - the ending is perhaps most at fault for this ...
Overall the film seems somewhat slow and leaden by today's standards. Douglas seems to phone in his performance for some of it, but overall, and given that he is - I think - literally in every scene - does pretty well. He manages to display the slow burn from ennui to broken insanity with effective believability, and indeed, it's as much a showcase for his talent as it is for Fincher.
Overall this is an interesting film, and probably well overdue a reissue from Arrow, which comes with the customary slew of extras.
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
- 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
- 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