Gambler, The

WSR Score5
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Paramount Home Entertainment
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Rupert Wyatt
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In The Gambler, Mark Wahlberg stars as Jim Bennett, a brilliant professor leading a secret double life as a high-stakes gambler. When Jim is forced to borrow money from a notorious gangster, he places the lives of those he loves in mortal danger. With time running out, he must enter the criminal underworld and risk everything to keep from losing it all. Based on the film written by James Toback. (Gary Reber)

Special features include five featurettes: Mr. Self Destruct: Inside The Gambler (HD 14:12), Dark Before Dawn: The Descent Of The Gambler (HD 16:26), Changing The Game: Adaption (HD 09:02), In The City: Location (HD 09:27), and Dressing The Players: Costume Design (HD 07:49); six deleted and extended scenes (HD 23:31), and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed in anamorphic Panavision® with the Arri Alex XT digital camera system. The stylization is dark, with lighting highlights that enhance contrast. Blacks are deep and solid throughout, especially as exhibited on clothing. Hues are naturally rendered and heighten the realism of each scene. Fleshtones are accurately rendered and natural. Sharpness and clarity are exemplary. Resolution is superb, with fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. The imagery is pristine throughout. This is an amazing picture in the scenes that play darkness against highlights. While overall darkly rendered, the imagery can exhibit reference quality that is stunning. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is really great. Clarity is exemplary. The music sequences are mesmerizing, with every sequence impressively recorded with a wide and deep soundstage and superb fidelity. Atmospherics and sound effects are effective and aggressively enveloping with directionalized surrounds. Deep bass extension is strong in the .1 LFE channel but perfectly natural sounding. The energy builds and subsides. At times the soundtrack is strictly dialogue and monaural. But when energized, the sound is dynamic and expansive throughout the soundfield. In one scene there is a heavy downpour and deep thunder. In other scenes, the music is delicate but so very articulate, expressing an audiophile quality throughout. This is a creatively satisfying picture that uses lighting and contrast to heighten the emotions. The soundtrack elicits a holosonic® presence when fully engaged. There are no disappointments. (Gary Reber)