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The Player
BLU-RAY disk
Oct 6, 2010 By: Daniel Rohr
The Player order download
Director:
Robert Altman

Actors:
Tim Robbins
Fred Ward
Greta Scacchi

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An executive (Tim Robbins) at a Hollywood studio is feeling the heat from a young hot shot looking to take his job and is being blackmailed by a jilted writer. The exec determines who he thinks that writer to be (Vincent D'Onofrio) and confronts him. Before he knows it, the exec kills the writer in a fit of passion but the blackmail doesn't stop. In fact, it escalates now that there is something else to hold over his head...
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Legendary director Robert Altman's statement on the modern movie industry (in the early 1990s at least, though I'm sure it all still applies), THE PLAYER is loaded to the brim with Hollywood in-jokes and movie star cameos. Some of the more memorable cameos include: Jeff Goldblum, Burt Reynolds, Jack Lemmon, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Malcolm McDowell and Gary Busey's mullet.

Though a little distracting at first, the cameos all help ground the movie firmly in reality, allowing the fantastic absurdity of the main storyline to shine through. The Hollywood portrayed in THE PLAYER is terrifyingly uncreative, dickish and inept. It's a wonder any movies without the two biggest stars in the world ever get made at all according to the movie pitches and actions the Executives take in the world the film (re)creates.

Tim Robbins is great and surprisingly creepy as the Executive slowly descending into madness but the real star of the flick is director Robert Altman. His directing style and devilish sense of humor are perfect for the material. No director has ever been able to control the chaos of reality quite like Altman could. His use of long takes, crane shots and natural sound all make you feel like you're right within the Hollywood portrayed in the movie.

THE PLAYER expertly walks the fine line between biting satire and over the top mess, creating a brilliant story with one of the most satisfyingly self-aware endings to come around in a long time.

Be sure to keep track of all the amazing classic film posters in the background of nearly every scene of THE PLAYER. Trying to watch all of them would make for one hell of a week.
THE EXTRAS
Everything here is just ported from the previous DVD release.

Commentary by Director Robert Altman and Writer Michael Tolkin: Very informative but can get a little stuffy at times. It's great to be able to hear the legendary Robert Altman discuss his work though.

Additional Scenes: There's a fun scene with Patrick Swayze but everything else was duplicated in some other form in the final movie.

One on One with Robert Altman: This is more of a studio-produced featurette than an interview and most of the footage is just the deleted scenes already on the disc.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
It's a superb movie but you aren't missing out on anything except for a slight bump in video quality if you just buy/keep the old DVD instead of going with this Blu-ray.
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