Featured In Issue 147, March/April 2010

WSR Score1.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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Gamer takes place in the future, when humans control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online games: people playing people...for keeps. Mind-control technology is widespread, and at the heart of the controversial games is its creator, reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Hall). His latest brainchild, the first-person shooter game "Slayers," allows millions to act out their most savage fantasies online in front of a global audience, using real prisoners as avatars with whom they fight to the death. Kable (Butler) is the superstar and cult hero of the ultraviolent "Slayers." Taken from his family, imprisoned and forced to fight against his will, the modern day gladiator must survive long enough to escape the game to free his family, regain his identity, and to save mankind from Castle's ruthless technology. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Writer/Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and Actors Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman, and Terry Crews; the I-Con Mode interactive multi-dimensional time-shifting; Inside The Game: Controlling Gamer making-of documentary in three parts (HD 79:42); the featurette First Person Shooter: The Evolution Of Red (HD 16:45); the theatrical trailer; an unseen trailer (The Double-ness Cut); cheat codes; LG-Live functionality; BD Touch; D-BOX Motion Code™; up-front previews; and a digital copy of the film.

The 1080p 1.85:1 AVC picture was sourced from The Red One HD Camera and Super 35 elements. The highly stylized imagery is a mixture of desaturated, distorted, and fully saturated hues, depending on the perspective—in a game or outside. When outside the colors are exceptionally vibrant, with rich and warm hues that pop. The color palette is bright as well. Contrast is well balanced, with incredible black levels and excellent shadow delineation. Fleshtones are perfectly natural in appearance. Fine detail is also nicely rendered, as seen in facial features and object textures. Even the desaturated scenes reveal excellent sharpness and clarity. This is a highly stylized movie with spectacular special effects that delivers always engaging visuals, even if the thread carries a "sick" message. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is explosively intense with full-on SPL engagement that will challenge your home theatre system. There is a deluge of gunshots, explosions, and deep bass energy well below 25 Hz in the .1 LFE channel. The rock music score is pounding and driving throughout. The soundfield is always fully engaged in a holosonic® extravaganza that will sonically assault your senses. Gunshots fly around the soundfield, and other atmospheric effects and sounds are aggressively panned as well, for an exciting listening experience. This is a truly aggressive holosonic surround soundtrack, yet dialogue sounds natural and is generally well integrated spatially. Dialogue is often directionalized for dramatic effect. The 7.1-channel mix, however, is compromised in that the added two channels are positioned to the rear of the normal surround channels instead of positioned at 90 degrees relative to the sweet spot listening location. This is our preferred 7.1-channel setup—a perfect circle, with each full-range loudspeaker location equidistant from the sweet spot and equidistant from each other along the perimeter of the 360-degree circle. In this arrangement, the added mid-left and mid-right surrounds convey added surround envelopment and dimensionality. To correct the channel allocation in this mix requires physically re-wiring the channel outputs to properly position the soundfield directionality and spatial qualities. When properly done, the soundfield is incredibly expansive and dimensional. While portraying sonically a violent future world, the sound is definitely reference quality and demanding of a sound system capable of extremely wide dynamic range reproduction and fidelity. Even low-level sounds are nicely rendered and require system capabilities to resolve subtle ambient effects. And every channel is treated as an equal, meaning that the full-range capabilities of each channel are utilized. The surround and side channels are used aggressively to position action and atmospheric effects. This is one of those rare soundtracks that puts you into each scene. Don't be surprised if you find yourself cringing and ducking the gunfire and explosions. This is an exceptionally impressive soundtrack that other sound designers and filmmakers should emulate. The D-Box Motion Code™ encoding is aggressively moving and exciting, especially during the deluge of gunshots and explosions. (Gary Reber).