Official Direct Thread: The Game

Wahl-eWahl-e Seattle
Consider this your official thread for David Fincher's The Game. What are your favorite moments, fan theories, characters, camera moves and themes? What's your take on Fincher's take? Join us! 


  • Hey guys. I haven't seen this flick in at least 15 years, and I may not have any real insights but I am very excited to hear your take on all of it. I think The Game is pretty underrated. I remember really appreciating the extent that you are in this with Michael Douglas. That sense of discombobulation. Much like you highlighted in your coverage of Seven the concept of not being the smartest guy in the room and only knowing what the characters know is so incredibly effective through the story. What a crazy ride it is, too. I hope I get the chance to watch it again before the cast goes up and maybe bring a little more to the table, like I said it's been years, but mostly for now I just wanted to express my happiness that you are doing Fincher in general and this movie. Cheers!
  • Also, remember when Sean Penn was awesome? Man, I miss Sean Penn being awesome. I remember back when between this one and Hurly Burly he was one of my favorites.

    This was my second time watching (Last time must have been when it first came out), but aside from having vague memories of the ending and knowing where it was going, I felt like I was watching it for the first time. 

    Knowing roughly where it was going did take away some of the tension this time around, but there is so much going on on a meta level, that it's fascinating to watch. I don't know what it all amounts to but there's a lot wrapped up in the media, Hollywood tropes, and our expectations based on our own experiences with these types of movies.

    I absolutely loved the opening sequence. Very unsettling and tells you everything you need to know about character without any dialogue. Both this and Se7en are masterful when it comes to character introductions.

    I will say, though, that I thought the score was very nineties and I kind of wanted a break from it at times. 

    I was also thinking of all the myriad ways that something could have gone horribly wrong for CRS. It seems like a massively risky business to be in. One big example being what if Michael Douglas had taken a dive off the roof in a different place? The scale of it all also seems way too big to actually be able to function in any real city, but I guess that's not all the important. Just things that popped into mind while watching.

    Oh, and did anyone else notice the Spike Jonze cameo? I love it when he pops in films in tiny roles.

    @Travis I thought Sean Penn was pretty good. Especially in his opening scene. His big scene in the middle of the film was overacted, but it makes sense within the context of the plot, so it totally worked.

    Finally, here is the essay that came with the Criterion release of the film. It's got some good insights:

    Can't wait to hear the cast!


    An unbelievable teaser trailer that was put together by Fincher himself.
  • That is an awesome teaser! I really wish they were still making them like that.

    I also wanted to say that I really liked the conclusion you guys came to on the cast about him casting off the shadow of his father and finally being able to lead his own life. That makes a lot of sense. 

    And I totally agree with you guys the tonal shift at the end. It is jarring. I don't really have a problem with him being likable or not, but it really did pull me out a bit when everyone, including him, just seemed to be cool with everything at the end. Also, I was thinking about Eric's comment about being paranoid to the point of not trusting the ending of the film, and I think that that has to be a point in favor of the film. The fact that it actually made you paranoid speaks to the effectiveness of the film-making on display. Even if the big reveal and subsequent scenes didn't pay off.
  • It's funny, I really do need to re-watch this one sometime soon. Back then, I was very good at suspending disbelief (I think I still tend to give a whole lot of rope, but not as much as I did in those days) and I honestly never even considered what the party-goers who weren't directly involved in the Game would be thinking. Everything at face value. I wonder if it would bother me now. Mostly, I remember being totally confused and paranoid and blown away by the web of the thing. It makes me think of watching the Spanish Prisoner in more recent times after not having seen it for many years and though I still really enjoyed it and didn't have any major problems with it, it just wasn't the same movie anymore. I hope it wouldn't be the case with the Game, but from the way that you guys talked about it I wonder if, given the way I watch movies now as opposed to then if I too would find it "really entertaining, but ultimately unsatisfying" as well. I hope not, but I can certainly see the possibility.

    Anyways, I really liked the cast. Can't wait to check out Fight Club next week!

  • Wahl-eWahl-e Seattle
    DaveyMac said:

    I was thinking about Eric's comment about being paranoid to the point of not trusting the ending of the film, and I think that that has to be a point in favor of the film. The fact that it actually made you paranoid speaks to the effectiveness of the film-making on display. Even if the big reveal and subsequent scenes didn't pay off.
    I agree. I really appreciate Fincher's innate understanding of the audience and how to manipulate our emotions as viewers. I'll definitely keep an eye out for how he brings the audience along in the future. 
  • Eric's refrigerator discussion:

    Eric mentions that he wonders if there's going to be some analysis from Fincher down the road about the contents of his fridge...

    Well, look no further than the next Fincher film: Fight Club!  Watch for the scene when Narrator comes home to his exploded apartment and steps over what used to be his fridge:  "How embarrassing. A refrigerator full of condiments and no food"  


  • I always assumed that everyone at the party was warned beforehand how Nicholas was going to enter and were coached a bit on how to react. You could tell a lot of them were uncomfortable. To me his redeeming character moment was not at the party but when he was talking to his ex-wife in the restaurant. 

    As for the question of what if Nicholas had jumped off a different part of the building, wouldn't his brother merely have yelled at him before he did it? I got the impression that Nicholas basically played the game exactly how CRS would have wanted it so they never had to break the 4th wall; people were telling him it was the best game ever. The guy who played the actor in the commercials at one point says something like "thank god you did that, if you didn't I would have had to shoot him", so they clearly had contigencies. I think they threw in more than enough comments to make the complexity of the game believable enough to enjoy.  
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