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The Player Blu-ray Review

The Player Blu-ray.jpg

“The Player” is Robert Altman at his best.

When it comes to movies with huge ensemble casts, nobody handled those types of movies better than the late director Robert Altman. This is never more evident than in what was arguably his finest film, “The Player.” Granted, “The Player” does have a main character (a studio executive named Griffin) as opposed to other Altman films such as “Short Cuts,” but the film still tells other stories involving the inner workings of a movie studio, writers pitching project, police investigating Griffin’s possible connection to a murder, an angry writer (David) and his arty girlfriend (June), an up and coming movie exec (Larry), and mysterious postcards/threats directed at Griffin.

Going back to the ensemble cast, the movie is essentially a whose who of Hollywood way back in 1992. Some of the faces you will see include Tim Robbins, Fred Ward, Peter Gallagher, Jeremy Piven, John Cusack, Angelica Huston, Harry Belafonte, Jeff Goldblum, Burt Reynolds, Vincent D’Onofrio, Whoopi Goldberg, Malcolm McDowell, Richard E. Grant, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Sydney Pollack, and many, many more. Even though some cast members are only it for a few seconds, everyone has a chance to shine here from star Tim Robbins to Richard E. Grant portraying a screenwriter. You never know who will pop up which is part of the fun.

As memorable as the cast and Altman’s direction is, it is Michael Tolkin’s smart screenplay that really shines here as he explores ideas about fame, fortune, power, artistic integrity, writers, happy endings, the movie biz, life imitating art, and so forth. To this day, it remains to be one of the best movies about Hollywood.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Truth be told, the underwhelming hi-def transfer is likely not going to wow you, but it is an upgrade.

Audio Track: DTS-HD 2.0. How does it sound? The audio is a bit muted, but it’s serviceable.

Extras:
* U.S. and Japanese trailers and 4 TV spots.
* A foldable booklet featuring an essay by author Sam Wasson.
* 5 deleted scenes and an outtake.
* Two commentary tracks (one by Robert Altman and one by Michael Tokin and Jean Lepine) for the amazing opening tracking shot.
* A VHS quality 55 minute 1992 Cannes Press Conference with Robert Altman, Michael Tolkin, Whoopi Goldberg, Brion James, Dina Merill, Tim Robbins, Henry Behar, David Brown, Pierre Kalfon, David Bracco, and Steve Altman.
* “Map To The Stars”- A guide to all of the celebs in the movie.
* “Robert Altman’s Players”- A 15 minute documentary short about the real fund raiser featured in the movie.

* An archival interview with Robert Altman from 1992.
* “Planned Improvisation”- A new documentary that features interviews with cast and crew members about the making of “The Player.”
* A 1992 commentary by Robert Altman, Michael Tolkin and Jean Lepine.

 

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May 20, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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