September 12, 1997 in Seven

Mind ‘Game’ Chilling, Dark, Psychological Thriller Pits Man Against His Fears, Weaknesses

Jay Boyar The Orlando Sentinel
 

Are you fabulously wealthy?

Do you have oodles of cash, plenty of time on your hands and virtually no imagination?

If so, you are in luck!

From Consumer Recreation Services comes a revolutionary new game guaranteed to lift your spirits, shake you out of those upper-class doldrums and, by the way, profoundly alter your life of privilege forever. And this week only, you can have it all for a low, low introductory rate that is less than the gross national product of a small developing nation.

Still not convinced?

Well, then get yourself over to the nearest multiplex and have a look at our latest promotional film, an action-adventure infomercial that we’re calling “The Game.”

Michael Douglas plays Nicholas Van Orton, an investment banker from San Francisco. He is just turning 48 when, as a birthday gift, his brother, Conrad (Sean Penn), tips him off to the glories of our unique service.

Of course, Conrad doesn’t provide Nicholas with many details. To be effective, the experience must come as a surprise.

And as the film proceeds, it’s obvious that Nicholas is very surprised by what happens.

He is, among other things, chased and shot at. His residence is ransacked and, at one point, a vehicle in which he is riding plunges into a large body of water.

While you’re watching “The Game,” however, you may feel somewhat less surprised than Nicholas is. So if our infomercial strikes you as at all, well, predictable, please bear in mind that Nicholas’ game has been precisely tailored to suit his psychological specifications, not yours.

Similarly, if you are a stickler for plausibility, this particular game may not be for you. We have taken certain liberties with the narrative, which requires that you accept the notion that many of the people in Nicholas’ life happen to possess the skills of a seasoned con artist.

Again, because secrecy is essential to our work, the less said about the specifics of the plot, the better.

It is safe to say, however, that “The Game” was directed by David Fincher, who bounced back from “Alien 3,” his disastrous feature-film debut, with the popular, if insistently grim, “Seven.” And in line with our corporate mission policy of providing overpaid people an opportunity for redemption, we’ve also hired the writing team of John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who nearly ended Sandra Bullock’s budding career with “The Net.”

The movie that they have created is visually and emotionally dark, but, of course, in a trendy, upmarket way. “The Game” is heavily atmospheric but rest assured that you can watch it without experiencing any fundamental turmoil.

In fact, we find that some people appear to forget most of the film within moments of viewing it.

While you are considering our introductory offer, please exercise the utmost discretion concerning your discussions of this matter. Under no circumstances should you speak with people whose incomes are not absurdly high.

While such people, of course, possess many fine qualities, our research has shown that they tend to find our service somewhat extravagant and our infomercial borderline-ludicrous.

Naturally, this suits our purposes. Like the game itself, “The Game” is recommended only for the most select clientele.

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: “THE GAME” Location: Newport, Spokane Valley Mall, Coeur d’Alene Cinemas, Post Falls Cinema Credits: Directed by David Fincher, starring Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger Running time: 2:08 Rating: R

This sidebar appeared with the story: “THE GAME” Location: Newport, Spokane Valley Mall, Coeur d’Alene Cinemas, Post Falls Cinema Credits: Directed by David Fincher, starring Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger Running time: 2:08 Rating: R


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