With a cast that includes several well known actors, IÂ couldn’t believe that I hadn’tÂ heard of this movie prior to reviewing it. ThisÂ really didn’t worry me however, because in the past Iâ€™ve alwaysÂ enjoyed low budget Indy films. So how does Played stack up?
Played dissects the lives of players in the London underground ring of crime, from the hustlers to the crooked cops. After an elaborate heist goes all wrong small time thief Ray Burns takes the fall and is sentenced to eight years in prison. He keeps his mouth shut and does his time with only one thing on his mind, revenge. As he hits the streets he finds out that the scam goes above and beyond what he expected and the true players become revealed. At certain points it seems like everyone is playing everyone and it really keeps you on the edge of your seat.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this movie, and although I can see how some might argue it was a disappointment, I am on the other side of the fence. I didnâ€™t have any expectations going into this film and in the end I got to witness some decent twists and several moments of suspense. The story itself was engaging for me, my major complaint would be the lack of screen time for Val Kilmer and Gabriel Byrne. Seeing them being headlined on the box art was a bit misleading but nonetheless I was satisfied with their excellent portrayals. With their roles being so short they didnâ€™t manage to overshadow the newcomer and star of the film, Mick Rossi, who by the way did quite an impressive job.
To sum it up, this movie was a nice surprise for me, but it wonâ€™t be for everyone. Especially those of you that donâ€™t like abrupt endings that leaves a lot up in the air. But regardless of that I think this picture is a worthwhile viewing, although there will be those of you that completely hate it, just as much of you will love it.
Presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio, Played suffers from horrid transfer, somewhat expected for such a low budget movie. The film looks as if itâ€™s been shot on a home camera, with extreme softness and washed out colors; itâ€™s hard to find anything good. Dark shots suffer from horrid grain making those scenes extremely distracting to watch. Played has a disappointing looking transfer but one that has to be expected from such a low budget film.
Lionsgate has included both 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital tracks with the release of Played, neither one unfortunatly does a good job. The 5.1 track is extremely front heavy with very little rear channel and sub support. Rear channels only pick up when there is music being played, making for claustrophobic sounding track. The films dialogue sounded surprisingly muffled at times making this audio presentation extremely lackluster.
Lionsgate gate has only included an audio commentary and making of feature with Played. The making of feature does offer some detail into the movie but as the only feature this disc extremely bare bones.
- Audio Commentary – Commentary with Writer/Producer Mick Rossi
- Behind the Scenes of Played – A 14 minute making of feature that focuses on the improvisation and low budget of the film. Includes interviews with Gabriel Byrne and Vinnie Jones.
This was a rather gritty crime film that provides a lot of twists and although ending abruptly, was still good movie.Â I liked the acting, the setting, and the story but the quality of this disc fallsÂ short. For those of you that are basing the purchase of this DVD on its quality of audio, video, and features you will be very disappointed with its presentation.