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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Science Fiction > Gamer (2009/Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD)

Gamer (2009/Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B-/C     Sound: B/B-     Extras: C-     Film: C-



I like Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall, but the Mark Neveline/Brian Taylor release Gamer (2009) is a major dud and a highly lame attempt to rip-off the recent Death Race remake with a videogame thrown in with the reality TV bit as if that would make such a major difference between the two.  Butler has the gun and fighting skills, while Hall plays the bad guy.  Too bad Hall unintentionally sounds like he is auditioning to play Jethro on a Beverly Hillbillies revival.


But that would be tolerable if this were not so derivative, tired, jumpy, dumb and silly all the way through its long 95 minutes.  Instead, we get laughable scene after dumb scene after predictable scene and all boring.  Early on, this jumps the shark when a younger male character tells Butler’s Kable (call Dr. Freud) that he is “playing him” without it being street fronting or either of them falling on the floor and laughing for an hour.


The director’s (responsible for the overrated Crank franchise and now either destroying Jonah Hex for DC Comics or finally learning how to make a film correctly) wrote the lame script and yes, even a prison is involved and you will feel like one within minutes of watching this mess.  Amber Valetta, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Allison Lohman, Logan Lerman, John Leguizamo and Kyra Sedgwick are among the supporting cast also wasted and I could see why this was a box office dud.  A Pac Man game has a more extensive storyline and this is best skipped.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital high definition image was shot with the RED 4K HD camera and simply does not look that good, denatured to look hip, to look like video screens (why do HDTVs in these kinds of film always have noise or lines?) and to look like the Death Race remake.  You get picture noise, disappointing Video Black and poor playback throughout.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD is worse.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix with D-BOX bass motion code can be lively, yet seems to be stretching the sound thin, which is a little more digital than it should be and a tad harsh at times.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 EX on the DVD (and in French on the Blu-ray) are active, but poorer still.


Extras in both formats include the original theatrical trailer, two making of featurettes (Inside The Game & First Person Shooter) and a feature length cast/director audio commentary.  The Blu-ray adds I-Con Mode with more visual commentary, Gamer Chat Codes, a never-before-seen trailer, Digital Copy DVD-ROM for PC and PC portable devices and BD Live interactive functions.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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