Wednesday, June 20, 2012

F This Movie! - The Game

Discovering the object of Patrick and Alex's podcast on The Game is the object of Patrick and Alex's podcast on The Game.

Download this episode here. (30.9 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: The Contender, Moonrise Kingdom


  1. It's interesting...I think the ending, though problematic, actually lands better than how the third act of Fight Club completely bombs. Game is certainly not Fincher's best and I agree with pretty much every problem you brought up, but it's still good Fincher (though Patrick, you've made me think it's time to revisit Zodiac). Putting my mouth where my mind is, the Fincher list, worst to best:

    Fight Club
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Game
    Alien 3
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    The Social Network
    Panic Room

    Huh. Game ended lower than I expected.

    1. I don't know that my numbering would be the exact same, but pretty close -- except for Fight Club. I have a feeling you're going to hate our podcast on that movie.

      Nice to see Panic Room place so high!

    2. I'm irrational about the ending of Fight Club, much like the majority of Julia Roberts movies outside of My Best Friend's Wedding or Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

    3. I get it. I don't think the ending adds ANYTHING to the movie -- it's kind of a twist for twist's sake. Having said that, I think the rest of the movie works well enough that it can overcome the ending. And I love that last shot so much that I'm willing to overlook how it got to that point.

  2. I love lists! Although our tastes differ, I appreciate the logic behind your choices. My version (from favorite to least favorite):

    1.) Fight Club
    2.) The Social Network
    3.) Se7en
    4.) Zodiac
    5.) The Game
    6.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    7.) Panic Room
    8.) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    [note: still haven't seen Alien³ yet]


  4. I didn't get into this during the show, but I think Fincher's video for FREEDOM 90 would reside near the top of my list.

    1. If we're going to go down that road, then "BOP 'TIL YOU DROP."

      This was my FAVORITE video when I was a kid, and I only ever saw it once. I remembered that monster skeleton dude for the rest of my life and could never see it again. Thank god for YouTube. And for David Fincher.

  5. Good episode. I agree with most of the discussion.

    Glad to hear that Alex ranked Jeff Who Lives at Home so highly.

  6. The Game isn't a great movie, but I think the ending works. The complexity of the plan and the amount of things that had to go right push believability off the roof, and they go overboard explaining it at the end, BUT I think it works within the parameters of a thriller. The story has always reminded me of the Stephen King short story "Quitters, Inc." -- about a guy who finds out the company he hired to help him quit smoking uses extreme motivation techniques. This story doesn't have quite the same impact since Van Orton isn't looking to better himself, but I still saw The Game as improving his life by forcing him out of complacency and into a place where he takes control of his life. I'd say the change begins in Mexico. From that point on, the movie is about him turning his newfound strength against his tormentors. That's why I think the final birthday party scene works -- because he has already been changed by The Game and has a chance to step back and realize the positive impact the experience had on his life. Like I said, it's not great, but you guys sold it short, I assume because the bad taste it left in Patrick's mouth left him feeling less than charitable about its shortcomings.

  7. Very late to the party, but hopefully someone will still read this.
    I havent seen The Game in a long time, but I had an idea while listening to the podcast about what might be going on here beyond the straight forward thriller. But please excuse me if this is obviously wrong or stated explicitly elsewhere, like I said, have seen it in a long time.

    Is the Game about suicide?
    You said that Michael Douglas' character is haunted by his father's suicide. One of the worst things about suicide is the impact it has on the people left behind. Unanswered questions, in particularly "Why?". That type of thing can seriously mess with somebody's head because it is so friggin important yet never able to be answered.
    Was MD's character arc about putting him in a position where suicide is an option he is prepared to consider and act upon. Everything in the film is designed to break him down, become so isolated and desperate that he would actually try to kill himself. Therefore, he is able to get the closest thing to an answer for the question of why his father did this.
    Psychological Healing. Pretty awesome present by his brother then.

    Thoughts? Anything there?

    Unfortunately this is undone a little when that actor guy says he would have had to throw his off...but he didnt, so there.

    One of my issues with the ending would have been fixed is there was only a large railing all around the roof except in that one spot where he jumped. Oh well.

  8. I think it's a really interesting theory, but I think it gives the movie a little more credit than is warranted. With just a few more scenes to suggest such an interpretation, you would be really on to something. Instead, I think you might be filling in gaps that the filmmakers leave blank -- mostly by accident. The movie seems to want to just be a MIND FUCK without paying a ton of attention to theme. I very much wish it was the movie you're describing, though, because that's a much better movie.

  9. Another great podcast! I like that you prefaced everything with a brief mention of critical objectivity, which is something I think a lot of people take for granted. After listening to this I think I have to rewatch Panic Room, since it's the only Fincher movie I would rank different in relation to The Game:

    1. Fight Club (like you mentioned in the podcast, it's very concerned with a certain type of masculinity, and I think it just came out at a time in my life that sort of helped me grow up, I guess. Maybe not his best in technical terms, but my favorite.)
    2. Se7en
    3. The Social Network
    4. Gone Girl (did you do a podcast on this? I'm still going alphabetically so I obviously haven't gotten to "Go" yet)
    5. Zodiac
    6. The Game
    7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (my father's favorite, and I hate to speculate about why)
    8. Panic Room (like I said, I feel I need to rewatch it now)
    9. Alien 3
    10. Benjamin Button

  10. This download link is also on strike.