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.
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.