Fair Game comes to US Region A-locked Blu-ray with a pristine 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 2.4:1. Detail is excellent throughout, with resounding clarity that only occasionally dips into the most negligible moments of softness. Edge enhancement is non-existent, and digital defects are nowhere to be seen, the image completely devoid of any traits that would impinge upon your enjoyment of the movie proper. The colour scheme is intentionally quite limited, as this is understandably quite a sombre affair, but that does not means that the colours on offer don’t get exceptional presentation – they do, with rich mahogany tones, deep navy blues and gunmetal greys, which all play well against solid black levels that display no signs of crush whatsoever. It’s definitely demo quality, and with a little more 3D-pop, this could have been sheer perfection.
On the aural front we get an almost equally good DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which certainly hits all of the right buttons. Although this is a dialogue-driven affair, the inherent lack of action means that the only way that the suspense can truly be maintained is through an intense, atmospheric soundtrack – and that’s exactly what we get, only it goes a little bit too far. Literally every little background sound can be heard, emanating from the frontal channels and the rears – to the point where dialogue seems a little hard to hear. You end up having to crank the volume up a couple of notches, which can be a problem when the more loud effects start ringing out (i.e. the invasion begins) as they seem even more overbearing. The score has twinges of Bourne about it, but is far more restrained, and perfectly suits the material, further giving the surrounds something to do. It’s far from a bad track, and is actually very good, but for a dialogue-driven affair they could have prioritized the vocals better - if they had done so, this could have easily been a demo-quality offering.
All we get on this package is but one extra – an audio commentary. But rather being another somewhat familiar directorial offering, here we get a commentary by the only people that we really want to hear from: the real Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. Taking a very honest stance, they paint a haunting backdrop to the proceedings, made all the more powerful because of the fact that it is all true to life. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll find this a compelling, outstanding extra that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Fair Game may not be the Bush administration version of All the President’s Men’s thrilling expose of the Watergate Affair, but it is still a very capable, and indeed remarkably timely, political conspiracy thriller; taking us on a personal journey to see the damage done to the lives of two individuals caught at the heart of the conspiracy, all the while setting it against the backdrop of the ongoing post-9/11 war on ‘terror’. With capable direction, excellent central performances, taut pacing and an engaging score, the end result is an entertaining and thought-provoking voyage which seeks to shed some more light on the truth behind the US actions over the last decade. It could have gone a bit further, and perhaps be more standout and memorable as a result, but it still explores these deadly waters with clever plotting and clinical precision, allowing us to feel outraged as a result of what we see, rather than be shown the outrage that we should feel. Subtly effective, and resoundingly watchable, it comes recommended.
On Region A-locked US Blu-ray the movie hits the decks at the same time as it is still playing in UK theatres – a big advantage for those blessed with region-free capabilities. The video and audio are indeed excellent, and we get a fantastic commentary from the real-life individuals that this story follows – Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson – so fans will definitely want to pick up this worthy purchase. Those interested in decent, true, political conspiracy thrillers should also consider this a welcome addition to your collection, and it makes quite a good (albeit less action-orientated) companion-piece to the thrilling Green Zone.
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