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THE LONGEST YARD (Widescreen Edition)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 113 minutes, featurettes, extra points (with director's commentary), deleted scenes with optional commentary, music video, music video montage, and bloopers

STUDIO: Paramount/ Columbia

RELEASE DATE: 9-20-2005

You love Adam Sandler or just don't quite like his movies (maybe you might have found one or two were good). He is back yet again with a comedic remake of THE LONGEST YARD which also stars Chris Rock, Nelly, James Cromwell (as the warden of Allenville Federal Prison), William Fichtner (a prison guard who is the captain of the prison guard's football team), and Burt Reynolds (who was the star of the first film version of THE LONGEST YARD). Adam is a washed up football player Paul Crewe who is kicked out of the NFL because he was accused of shaving points during a game. He hasn't played football for six years when he steals his girlfriend's car while drunk and gets arrested by the police after being chased by a few cop cars. He needs up in a maximum security prison out in the middle of nowhere (Allenville Federal prison of Texas) where the warden wants Paul to form a team of convicts to play football against the prison guard's team. Paul forms a team of misfits with the help of Caretaker (Chris Rock) and an old football player (Burt Reynolds) who becomes the coach of the team. The odds become stacked against them, but every convict sees this game as their way to get back at the guards. THE LONGEST YARD isn't a bad film, but it really shines in the last 40 minutes when the football game is played out. Adam isn't as annoying as he is in some of his other films and the football game is well staged.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Colors are nice and rich, but aliasing is very visible (mostly during the second half of the film during the game). A very disappointing transfer. Some of the other recent DVD releases like SAHARA have a better transfer.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Surround, French 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Fares better than the picture. Dialogue is audible. The 5.1 is just OK. Doesn't quite rock my world.


Three featurettes are on the DVD:

FIRST DOWN AND TWENTY-FIVE TO LIFE is a making-fo featurette from the prison they dressed up for the film to the weather difficulties on the prison set (it got struck by lightning twice to interviews with cast and crew.

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF PRO ATHLETES is all about the food the cast ate during the production of the movie.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, TOUCHDOWN! is a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the cons vs. prison wardens game in the film. All hits in the game were real.

EXTRA POINTS (with director's commentary) is a lok at five of the visual effects sequences out of 350 visual effects shots in the movie. Nine deleted/alternate scenes with optional director's audio commentary (total of six minutes) has some amusing material culled from a three hour first cut and some ad-libbing by Chris Rock for one scene. Also among the extras are a music video from Nelly and a Music Video montage (HERE COMES THE BOOM). FUMBLES AND STUMBLES is the film's blooper reel.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE LONGEST YARD is a better than average remake turned into a football comedy. It should rent well. Better than some of the other films Adam Sandler has done. Given that more extras are out there for a future edition of the DVD, just rent this one and wait for the more action packed extras special edition DVD.

this DVD Review is (c)9-17-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and news/updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia