Game Night – Bluray review

I think we're gonna be okay though. I got a feeling. - Recommended 4 Stars

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are uber-competitors in everything they do, and together they make a Game Night power couple that is nearly unstoppable. Max’s kryptonite is his brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), who has effortlessly beaten Max in every competition their whole lives. Brooks proposes a game night that has never been seen before: a mystery competition that must be solved before it can lead to murder of one of the game night participants. Brooks’ own twisted past intervenes, with a real kidnapping crashing into the fake one during the weekly Game Night. Max, Annie and the other competitors keep playing, under the impression that it’s all part of the show, unaware of the real danger. The wild card in all of this is their next door neighbor, policeman Gary (Jesse Plemons), who has been ostracized from the group after his divorce. Gary desperately wants back in and has the resources to cause even more chaos.


Game Night (2018)
Released: 23 Feb 2018
Rated: R
Runtime: 100 min
Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Cast: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Sharon Horgan
Writer(s): Mark Perez
Plot: A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery.
IMDB rating: 7.1
MetaScore: 66

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 Hr. 40 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
Case Type: Keep Case
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 5/22/2018
MSRP: $27.99

The Production: 4.5/5

I saw Game Night theatrically and liked it a lot.  It was in a bargain multiplex tho, so the AV quality was not the best.  This Bluray destroys that experience, with a rocking soundtrack that includes a lot of classic Queen tracks backed with a synth heavy original score.  While one can only imagine that a UHD with HDR and Dolby Atmos could take that experience even higher, this is a very satisfying Bluray experience.

Board games and game nights are having something of a moment these days, and Game Night bridges that excitement while sticking to the traditional games that even those not into the hobby will be familiar with: trivia, charades, Jenga, Monopoly, Pictionary etc.  Melding that into a escape room/ murder mystery event that gets blown up by a real home invasion and kidnapping is a brilliant move.  Game Night zigs once again by turns into a scavenger hunt and the zags into a James Bond action sequence at the end.  It ramps it up into ridiculous heights that will have you giggling with the possibilities and trying to figure out just who is getting played.

The cast has incredible chemistry, playing off each other for big laughs.  Plemons’ Gary is a huge win, taking the smoldering intensity and sociopath we have seen in him during Breaking Bad and using it for laughs.  Bateman and McAdams’ couple really sell their competitiveness combined with insecurities, and Chandler takes Brooks from the heights of machismo to the lows of despair and you relish his comeuppance.  I don’t want to ruin any of the surprises within the other two couples (Sharon Horgan’s Sarah, Billy Magnussen’s Ryan, Lamorne Morris’ Kevin and Kylie Bunbury’s Michelle), but suffice it to say they are not just filler.  They all have significant input to the plot and don’t ever feel like filler.

Video: 4/5

3D Rating: NA

Game Night looks great for a 1080p Bluray in the age of 4K.  There’s a lot of night scenes and dark interiors and the blacks are solid without a ton of noise and there’s plenty of detail in the areas that are purposefully lit.  I did see a bit of flashing walls and the end sequence looked a little wonky due to fast pans, but other than that I was satisfied watching it.  It’ll look even better on the inevitable UHD, I’m sure.

Audio: 4.5/5

The DTS-HD MA track kicked ass.  As noted above I saw it theatrically in a multiplex and wasn’t too hyped up for a great soundtrack experience but those expectations were demolished.  The bass heavy synth score was impressive, but what really got me was the sheer enveloping presence of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “We are the Champions” in full surround sound.  Big smiles for those.  The gunshots and explosions likewise had thundering impact that just wasn’t present in the theater.  Did not expect it to be so good and was blown away.  Will we hear it in Atmos down the road?  I hope so, but I don’t think there will be too much action in the ceiling speakers as much as them being employed to push the atmospherics even better.  We will see!

Special Features: 2/5

In a huge disappointment there are only 2 special features.  First up is a Making Game Night feature that’s about 5 minutes long.  It runs out just as things are getting interesting.  On the bright side the Gag Reel is a delight, and shows just how much fun the cast had making this picture.

Overall: 4/5

As someone heavily invested in the renaissance of board gaming I had high hopes for Game Night and was not disappointed in how it turned out.  The theatrical experience is bested in big ways by this blu, and I suspect we’ll see a UHD sooner than later.  Maybe with a few more extras?  Still, the overall release was enough to make this a “Recommended” disk.  Check it out!

https://www.amazon.com/Game-Night-Blu-ray-Mark-Perez/dp/B077ZJ6V15/

Published by

Sam Posten

editor,member

17 Comments

  1. As Sam P. writes in his perceptive and well-written review: "The cast has incredible chemistry, playing off each other for big laughs. Plemons’ Gary is a huge win, taking the smoldering intensity and sociopath we have seen in him during Breaking Bad and using it for laughs. Bateman and McAdams’ couple really sell their competitiveness combined with insecurities, and Chandler takes Brooks from the heights of machismo to the lows of despair and you relish his comeuppance."

    I agree that it's a funny movie. Thanks for the review.++

  2. Neil Middlemiss

    …and was taken by how funny Rachel McAdams was

    Yeah, I've seen McAdams in Mean Girls but I'm most familiar with her in dramatic stuff (like True Detective and Spotlight) so seeing her do comedy was something of a surprise.

  3. Sam Posten

    … on the inevitable UHD,,,

    Unfortunately WB's track record says otherwise.

    The Nice Guys, The House, Geostorm, Live by Night, Collateral Beauty. These were all new release titles after March 1st 2016 which did not have a 4k disc released day & date and have yet to have a 4k disc released but have 4k versions on Vudu.

    It's a little early but Game Night, 12 Strong & The 15:17 to Paris are looking like they will also fall into this category. I was sort of surprised Game Night didn't get a 4k disc release last month since I think it turned a small profit for WB whereas the rest of these titles I don't think did.

    WIth that being said do I get the 4k Game Night on Vudu for $9.99 or get the 1080p blu-ray for $10?

  4. ScottJH

    Unfortunately WB's track record says otherwise.

    The Nice Guys, The House, Geostorm, Live by Night, Collateral Beauty. These were all new release titles after March 1st 2016 which did not have a 4k disc released day & date and have yet to have a 4k disc released but have 4k versions on Vudu.

    It's a little early but Game Night, 12 Strong & The 15:17 to Paris are looking like they will also fall into this category. I was sort of surprised Game Night didn't get a 4k disc release last month since I think it turned a small profit for WB whereas the rest of these titles I don't think did.

    WIth that being said do I get the 4k Game Night on Vudu for $9.99 or get the 1080p blu-ray for $10?

    Exactly my dilemma too!:unsure:

  5. ScottJH

    Unfortunately WB's track record says otherwise.

    The Nice Guys, The House, Geostorm, Live by Night, Collateral Beauty. These were all new release titles after March 1st 2016 which did not have a 4k disc released day & date and have yet to have a 4k disc released but have 4k versions on Vudu.

    It's a little early but Game Night, 12 Strong & The 15:17 to Paris are looking like they will also fall into this category. I was sort of surprised Game Night didn't get a 4k disc release last month since I think it turned a small profit for WB whereas the rest of these titles I don't think did.

    WB probably figured a comedy – even one with action elements – wasn't gonna be a "showcase" for 4K that'd move many units.

    The other 2 seem like a more natural fit but they didn't do great at the box office…

  6. Amazon's got it for $10 right now. I don't think you'll get a better deal.

    Colin Jacobson

    WB probably figured a comedy – even one with action elements – wasn't gonna be a "showcase" for 4K that'd move many units.

    That's the opposite of their attitude when they got into DVD and Blu-ray, and Blazing Saddles was one of the earliest titles for both formats.*

    *And in that film's case, it took a DVD for it to get a widescreen laserdisc!

  7. Sam Posten

    BTW, members of my board gaming group reported they did not like this film as much as I did. YMMV.

    Of course, they didn't see it on 120" screen with good surround sound like I did =)

    You must not have invited them over to watch – even though you did score a three-for-one deal on chips

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