The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: HBO - 2012
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 117 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Julianne Moore, Ed Harris, Woody Harrelson, Peter MacNicol, Sarah Paulson, Ron Livingston, Jamey Sheridan
Directed by: Jay Roach
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
Written by: Danny Strong based on the book by Mark Halperin & John Heilemann
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 8, 2013
Starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris, HBO Films’ Game change follows John McCain’s (Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Moore) as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Woody Harrelson portrays Steve Schmidt, McCain’s senior campaign strategist.
Game Change is a searing, behind- the-scenes look at John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, from the decision to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate to the ticket's ultimate defeat in the general election just sixty days later. Told primarily through the eyes of senior McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, who originally championed Palin and later came to regret the choice, Game Change pulls back the curtain on the intense human drama surrounding the McCain team, the critical decisions made behind closed doors and how the choice was made to bring Palin on the ticket. The film examines how we choose our leaders by offering a unique glimpse into the inner workings of an historic campaign.
I would imagine that most reading this have clear recollections of the 2008 Presidential race and the turn of events surrounding Sen. John McCain’s decision to make Sarah Palin his running mate. This review is certainly not meant to be the platform for discussion regarding the particulars of what transpired and why except to say that watching this film made for interesting viewing especially if you remember some of what happened. Based on the best-selling book by co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann the story is told from the point of view of senior campaign strategist Steve Schmidt beginning in late spring 2008 and follows through to the day of the election.
I would say that I am a novice when it comes to the inner workings of the process relating to candidate selection and all that goes into it one a selection has been made. Much of the behind closed doors detail in the film comes from those who preferred to remain anonymous and offers insights into the mistakes that were made as well as some of how it affected all concerned. I have to say that I found Game change to be quite compelling. Much of this is owed to the subject matter but credit also goes to the filmmakers and cast. Julianne Moore is simply amazing and shares excellent chemistry with co-star Woody Harrelson who is equally deserving of praise for his performance.
Regardless of what you think you know about what occurred during the 2008 election this film provides an eye opening glimpse behind the curtain at the people, events and drama that preceded the outcome. They say that Presidential campaigns are MRI’s of the soul. After watching Game change I would say that there is certainly some truth to be found in that.
The film contains thematic material and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Game change comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO Films featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is a great looking high definition presentation from HBO. Detail is exemplary as images look clean, sharp, three dimensional and lifelike. I never felt that the video was lacking in terms of depth or the perception of visible details within objects and/or people onscreen. Colors are cleanly reproduced with eye catching primaries and pleasing secondary hues. Fleshtones appear natural with complexional variation and subtle texture that varies among the differing skin types of the cast members. Blacks are gradational, fairly deep and exhibit appreciable dynamic range. This is a pristine high definition presentation that appears free of video related artifacts.
The lossless soundtrack doesn’t consistently engage the entire surround platform however it has moments where it energizes the room and reproduces the source elements with aplomb. Dialogue has definitive presence with refined vocal character and excellent room penetration. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. A large portion of the film has little need for this as dialogue, atmospheric ambience and musical enhancement is conveyed with little fanfare. However there are several sequences that engage the entire system to briefly produce entertaining and room filling sound that is measurable. This soundtrack isn’t demonstration worthy but for a drama it readily delivers a satisfying listening experience that didn’t leave me disappointed.
- (HD) Creating the candidate - Political experts Ed Rollins, Gloria Borger, Karen Tumulty, Dana Bash and Jessica Yellinanalyze discuss the unique combination of charisma, endurance and attraction to power needed by those who run for president – 7 minutes
- (HD) Game change: The phenomenon -The creators of the film, authors of the book and political experts discuss the controversy, incredible campaign drama and page-to-screen process of Game Change – 4 minutes
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
Based on the best-selling book by Mark Halperin & John Heilemann Game Change takes a compelling and dramatic look behind the curtain at the 2008 Presidential campaign run by Sen. John McCain, his staff, the choices made and how they eventually affected the outcome of the race and everyone involved. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO Films featuring excellent audio/video quality and a couple of worthwhile bonus supplements that offer insights from political experts, the filmmakers and authors of the book. Put this one at the top of your rental queue and check it out on Blu-ray.
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