Blu-Ray Review: Robert Altman’s ‘The Player’ Has Lost None of Its Power

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CHICAGO – Robert Altman’s “The Player” is one of the more important and influential films in the life of this film critic. It came out at a time when the film industry was in a bit of a slump and stood out as an original, creative, mesmerizing vision that I feel helped usher in a period of such productivity in the ’90s. It is a brilliant masterpiece that has lost none of its power almost twenty years after its release.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

Tim Robbins gives one of the best performances of his career as Griffin Mill: an on-the-rise studio executive caught between professional and personal struggles. Power plays at work are threatening his livelihood while a writer threatens his life. Based on the excellent (but notably different in that it’s more about paranoia than the film) book by Michael Tolkin, “The Player” features everyone involved at the absolute top of their game. It’s one of the best films by one of the medium’s best directors ever.

The Player was released on Blu-ray on September 7th, 2010
The Player was released on Blu-ray on September 7th, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

If you’ve never seen “The Player” before, I’m jealous. I was in high school when the film came out and it completely changed the way I looked at the medium, opening the door to Altman’s amazing career, which I think I devoured between this and the next year’s equally-brilliant Altman film, “Short Cuts.” See it. Now. I think it’s more likely that a number of our readers probably saw “The Player” years ago and simply haven’t returned to it in ages. I’ll admit that I hadn’t seen it in probably a decade. Just ten minutes into the film, I was struck by how remarkably well it’s held-up. Everything about “The Player” works as much as the day that the film came out.

As for the Blu-ray, it’s a bit of a disappointment. The video transfer is lackluster, feeling almost too polished in its lack of grain but also not-quite-right in its color blend. The movie just doesn’t feel accurately transfered. And the release includes no new special features. Go buy it if you love the movie as I do and realize that the 4-star grade above is for the BD not for the 5-star film.

Special Features:
o Commentary by Director Robert Altman and Writer Michael Tolkin
o Additional Scenes
o “One on One with Robert Altman”
o Theatrical Trailer

“The Player” stars Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher, Brion James, and Cynthia Stevenson. It was written by Michael Tolkin and directed by Robert Altman. It was released on Blu-ray on September 7th, 2010 and is rated R. Head here to pick up a copy.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

jess0222's picture

Just saw this movie for the

Just saw this movie for the first time in my film class a couple day ago. At first I thought it would be another boring silent film, but let me tell ya, those two hours flew by fast! I loved it!

Anonymous's picture

You know the character’s

You know the character’s name is “Griffin Mill,” right? Not “Griffin Bell.”

HollywoodChicago.com's picture

Corrected

Anonymous wrote:
You know the character’s name is “Griffin Mill,” right? Not “Griffin Bell.”

Corrected. Thanks for the catch.

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