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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Gamer's 4K upgrade impresses visually but falters in story and tech quality.

    Gamer 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Gamer's 4K UHD presentation by Lionsgate enhances details subtly without much palette improvement, maintains its eclectic aesthetic, despite lacking HDR10+ or Dolby Vision.

  • Audio
  • This marks the first instance I've noticed where a 4K UHD upgrade from 1080p downgrades audio from DTS-HD 7.1 to 5.1, a curious choice by Lionsgate. Despite this, the 5.1 track impresses, offering clean dialogue, wide dynamic range, and an almost overwhelming immersive experience, with optional subtitles.

  • Extra
  • Lionsgate's update from 1080 Blu-ray retains most original extras, adds new Extended Deleted Footage, and loses some outdated features. Includes in-depth audio commentary, extensive behind-the-scenes content, and trailers. For full details, see Marty's review.

  • Movie
  • Lionsgate's 4K UHD release strategy humorously suggests a haphazard approach, with newer releases notably lacking the inclusion of 1080 Blu-ray discs, diverging from past practices.

    Video: 59

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Gamer" by Lionsgate Films brings the movie into a vivid new light with its 2160p transfer displayed at a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It dives deep into its Red camera origins, showcasing a fascinating look at the evolution of this technology, particularly relevant given the film's heavy reliance on advanced digital cinematography. The upgrade from the standard 1080p Blu-ray disc brings forth a nuanced improvement in detail, especially noteworthy given the film's experimental use of imagery, which ranges from deliberately distressed visuals to a mix of desaturated and hyper-saturated color schemes. This improvement is subtle but appreciable for fans looking to dissect every frame for its artistic choices.

    However, it's worth noting the absence of HDR10+ or Dolby Vision support, contrary to some initial listings. While the disc triggers a standard HDR cue upon playback, the technical specifics lean more towards SDR delivery. This discrepancy does not significantly detract from the viewing experience as there are moments, ironically found both in black and white and in highly colored scenes, where the high dynamic range appears to lend a more profound depth to the chaos of the palette. This, combined with the film's intentional stylistic distortions, creates a visual experience that is arresting if not entirely revolutionized in this 4K rendition.

    Detail fidelity remains a high point throughout the UHD presentation, despite some instances where increased resolution exposes the limits of video-like footage intended for a grittier look. Acknowledging the film's purposeful aesthetic decisions and considering the technological context when "Gamer" was initially produced, this 4K UHD Blu-ray offers an enhanced yet faithful incarnation of its visually aggressive narrative. The disc effectively captures the essence of its dynamic and often erratic visual experience, presenting it with improved clarity and a slightly more enriched color palette, making for a reliably detailed and visually engaging viewing experience for enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

    Audio: 74

    The audio presentation of the 4K UHD Blu Ray of "Gamer" presents an interesting case where the journey from a previous 1080 version experiences a downgrade, shifting from a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track to a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. This change, executed by Lionsgate, might initially strike as puzzling, particularly for enthusiasts accustomed to enjoying the heightened immersive experience provided by the additional two channels available in the 7.1 configuration. Despite this, the 5.1 mix showcased on the 4K release stands as a robust incarnation, commendably navigating the limitations imposed by its configuration to deliver an engaging auditory experience that maintains a high level of immersion.

    From the outset, "Gamer" envelops the auditory senses with a barrage of soundscapes that blend elements to create an almost overwhelming aural ambience. This bustling mix teases out an impressive array of effects that navigate the room with vitality, creating a lively environment that complements the on-screen action. While it may not replicate the exact sense of discrete sound placement found in its 7.1 predecessor, the energy and coherence it maintains ensure that listeners are nonetheless enveloped in the film's dynamic world.

    Dialogue clarity and dynamic range emerge as notable strengths of this 5.1 mix, ensuring that conversations are intelligible amidst the frenzy of background activity. This level of clarity is essential for maintaining narrative coherence and allows viewers to stay engaged with the plot without distraction. The audio track also supports optional English and Spanish subtitles, catering to a wider audience. Despite the downgrade from its 7.1 origins, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track demonstrates a commendable effort to provide an immersive and clear auditory experience for "Gamer's" viewers on its 4K UHD Blu Ray release.

    Extra: 74

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray extra features for "Gamer" offer a comprehensive and immersive glimpse into the making and essence of the film, appealing to both enthusiasts and newcomers. Lionsgate has effectively transitioned most of the supplemental material from the original 1080p Blu-ray, with a notable addition being the Extended Deleted Footage, which appears to be a new inclusion not found on previous releases. However, some of the initial Blu-ray's more novel features have been omitted, likely due to their dated nature. Highlighting the collection is an in-depth, feature-length documentary and an engaging audio commentary that brings together the creative minds behind this dystopian thriller. The extra content provides a well-rounded exploration of the film's production, its conceptual underpinnings, and the evolution of key elements such as its groundbreaking action sequences.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary with Writers/Directors Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine and Actors Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman, and Terry Crews: In-depth discussions and insights into the making of "Gamer."

    • Inside the Game: Controlling the Gamer: A comprehensive documentary offering an exhaustive look at the creation and development of "Gamer."

    • First Person Shooter: The Evolution of Red: Delves into the innovative action sequences and their impact on cinema.

    • Extended Deleted Footage: Rare unseen footage offering additional context and depth to the storyline.

    • Theatrical Trailer & Trailer #2: Official trailers providing glimpses into the film's intense action and dystopian setting.

    Movie: 54

    Lionsgate's approach to selecting titles for its 4K UHD Blu-ray releases has always been, for lack of a better term, eclectic, characterized by a seeming randomness that might remind one of a blindfolded employee tasked with dart throwing. This methodology, whether strategic or haphazard, brings us to the 4K UHD release of "Gamer," a title that, during its initial 1080 Blu-ray launch, might not have topped sales charts but now finds itself amidst Lionsgate's chosen few for the ultra-high-definition treatment. Notably, this release bucks the trend by omitting the inclusion of a standard 1080p disc, a decision that sets it apart from several other recent Lionsgate upgrades.

    The film "Gamer," already a decade old by the time of this re-release, benefits significantly from the enhanced visual clarity and color depth that 4K UHD provides. While the original review of the film on Blu-ray penned by Martin Liebman in 2010 continues to offer a thorough plot analysis that remains relevant, what is particularly interesting in this new release is the stark improvement in visual fidelity. The immersive experience is enhanced, allowing viewers to appreciate the nuances of the film's action sequences and dystopian aesthetic with a newfound sharpness and vibrancy not possible in the previous 1080p format.

    Despite these enhancements, it's clear that this release is primarily aimed at enthusiasts and collectors. "Gamer" in 4K UHD is an example of Lionsgate's broader strategy, one that appears to embrace technological evolution by upgrading varied titles from its catalog to superior viewing formats. However, the absence of additional 1080p discs suggests a confidence in consumer migration towards exclusive 4K consumption, reflecting an interesting shift in the market dynamics as audiences seek the highest possible quality for their home theaters.

    Total: 59

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Gamer" is a mixed bag that warrants a nuanced assessment, particularly for enthusiasts of both the film and the evolving standards of home cinema quality. From a purely visual and auditory perspective, the release brings forward an array of enchantments that are bound to impress. However, it inches towards the paradoxical, as its technical choices echo a semblance of confusion, perhaps reflective of Lionsgate's broader strategic selections for their 4K UHD library. The video quality, while undoubtedly crisp, falls short of unlocking the full potential inherent to the 4K format. This shortfall is particularly noticeable when juxtaposed with the accompanying audio tracks, which, in an unexpected turn, appear somewhat diminished when compared to their counterparts from the 1080p Blu-ray version. Such decisions leave spectators in a peculiar stand-off with their expectations versus reality.

    Moreover, for aficionados seeking added value in the form of supplemental content, the transition from the previous release seems to have been managed with a level of care. Most of the extras that adorned the 1080p release have been ported over with integrity, ensuring that the narrative and thematic explorations behind "Gamer" remain accessible. This aspect is especially crucial for audiences inclined towards a deeper dive into the cinematic experience, offering a semblance of continuity and respect for the film's existing fan base.

    In conclusion, while the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Gamer" dazzles with its visual and acoustic enhancements, it concurrently evokes a sense of missed opportunities in terms of technical utilization and audio quality. The preservation and transition of supplemental material from the 1080p version is commendable, providing a silver lining for devoted collectors. However, prospective buyers should temper their expectations, approaching this release with an understanding of its merits and limitations. Overall, it stands as an intriguing yet imperfect addition to a 4K enthusiast's collection, embodying both the strides and stumbles inherent to the format's evolution.