Game Screening Review
Category: Gamer Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 23, 2008 | Publication: Reduser.net | Author: Casey Green
OK, where to start... First of all, this was the first public screening of "Game" for an audience survey, but the movie itself was not 100% complete.
Before it started, we were told to expect various incomplete components, from missing Visual Effects elements, unfinished Color Grading, Music, and Editing, among other things. I would say that after viewing it, it looked about 90% complete.
The screening was held at the Pacific Winnetka Theaters in Chatsworth and projected onto a medium sized screen with stadium style seating. In a VIP area, there were apparently several above the line folks.
For those of you who don't already know, "Game" is an action thriller set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments, a star player (Butler) from a game called "Slayers" looks to regain his independence while taking down the game's mastermind (Hall). The movie is Co-Directed by the tandem of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor ("Crank") with Cinematography by Ekkehart Pollack who were all early adopters of the RED ONE Camera.
Now, finally, to the imagery itself. First of all, I'll just say that this movie is going to blow people away. The cinematic choices were brilliant and covered a broad spectrum of looks for scenes of all types, from brutal action packed war and fight scenes to original environments within the game world to the elegant mansion of the evil rich mastermind. There were super saturated looks, harsh gritty looks, and all styles of shooting.
The 4K images were indeed impressive on the big screen. They actually looked very filmic and, of course, definitely not like HD video. The imagery was on par with some of the other clips I have seen projected at NAB, but I did not know the entire path and filmout process or what projector was being used. I'll see if I can find that out.
I was looking for evidence in the image that this was indeed shot on RED and I would say that it did have a slight smooth toned look in the highlights that is hard to describe. The highlights looked very slightly clipped in a couple of scenes, but it was very difficult to discern whether this was due to choice or from something inherent to RED footage. I imagine this was also shot on older RED builds and perhaps the older RED Cameras before they were modified to allow for even better dynamic range. I remember seeing this in some of the original RED footage projected at NAB, but not as much in recent clips posted. I'd be curious as to which build(s) "Game" was shot on .
Also, I saw some familiar RED stock footage shots used in the beginning and later on in the film. Specifically, I can recall timelapse shots of satellite dishes tracking and starry night skies. (I believe these were possibly done by Tom? A big congrats to whoever did shoot them, because they looked absolutely stunning.)
The film all around got an excellent response from the crowd. Most of them when asked by a showing of hands rated it as excellent. I especially liked the realism and pacing. The soundtrack also was rockin' and there was plenty of well choreographed fight and stunt scenes. I don't want to give anything away, but the game play action sequences were just outstanding. The RED definitely did an incredible job capturing these scenes in many different frame rates, as well as what looked like in-camera ramps. I would imagine high shutter speeds were used for certain scenes to capture the gritty details in the battle sequences. Even though I had gone in thinking about it as RED footage and an opportunity to analyze the images, I kept getting pulled into the story and had to really concentrate at times in order to remember to do that. I would say that is a very good sign that the story was compelling.
My instincts are telling me that this is going to be a big hit. For one of the first motion pictures shot completely on RED, I think everyone is going to be EXTREMELY pleased.
I'm interested to see what they are going to rate it as there was PLENTY of violence, sex, nudity, and gore. I say this, and yet I agree with most of it being relevant to the telling of the story. The acting also was superb by Butler and especially by Hall. I'm already looking forward to a possible sequel.
Anyway, I'm sure I left out a lot, but I'll try and answer anything you guys can think of.
Congratulations to everyone who worked on this outstanding Feature.Game Scr