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HTF REVIEW: The Longest Yard (2005) - Widescreen Collector's Edition



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#1 of 24 Scott Kimball

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Posted September 19 2005 - 06:03 AM

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The Longest Yard (2005) - Widescreen Collector's Edition





Studio: Paramount

Year: 2005

Rated: PG-13

Length: 113 Minutes

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: Dolby Digital English 5.1, English / French 2.0

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Closed Captioned

Special Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Blooper Reel, Music Video

Suggested Retail Price: $29.99 USD
Release Date: September 20, 2005


Somehow, this poorly scripted, acted, and executed remake of the classic Robert Aldrich film actually made money. This, despite largely negative reviews.

The film follows the same plot as the original, while delivering none of its soul. After drunken, former NFL quarterback Paul Crewe steals his girlfriend’s car and leads the police in a high-speed chase, he gets thrown into a maximum security prison to serve a three year sentence. The warden, fully aware of Crewe’s credentials, orders him to put together an inmate football team as practice fodder for the guard’s league. Crewe and his players use the opportunity to settle the score, so to speak, against the cruel prison guards.

One has to wonder what studio executive envisioned Adam Sandler as a former pro NFL player. I’d believe Paul Reubens in the role as much as I believe Sandler. Not only is Sandler not up to the part physically, but he has absolutely no authority in the role.

Chris Rock is on hand merely to crack off-color jokes, most of which aren’t funny. He plays the role of “Caretaker,” originally played by James Hampton. And Burt Reynolds is on hand as Nate Scarboro - a role played by Michael Conrad in the original film. The role of the warden, played by Eddie Albert in the ‘74 version, is played by James Cromwell.

The original film was all about the experience. Humor was an afterthought. The improvisation in the original film made the characters seem real, and the chemistry was impressive.

This remake has people sleepwalking throughout their parts, while reading essentially the same script as the original, peppered with updated jokes that seem forced and only serve to take your attention from what matters... and what matters is handled so poorly as to diminish it to the point of not caring.

As in the original film, the best sequences are in the game footage in the final act. Of course, in this case, it’s all relative. The best parts of a bad film can be the highlights of the film and still not offer anything original or exciting.

This is an entirely forgettable film - and that is its saving grace. After 113 minutes of this playing out on your screen, you can move on, secure in the knowledge that there is nothing here that will stick with you. The only thing you have to show for it is a loss of two hours of your life.

I read Roger Ebert’s review of this film as it played in theaters. I recall that the entire review was an explanation for what amounted to his temporary insanity when he gave the film a marginal thumbs up on his syndicated television show, Ebert and Roeper. It is a sad commentary when a review of a film spends more time explaining itself than the film - and that review is more memorable than the film itself.

The Video is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is anamorphically enhanced. Like the film, the transfer leaves a bit to be desired.

The print is clean and free of damage

The picture is less than sharp, and yet suffers from halos at high contrast borders as a result of edge enhancement. Shadows are a bit muddy, colors are a bit inconsistent in hue and saturation, and brighter scenes suffer from a a bit of clipping in the bright whites

It’s not a terrible transfer, but it certainly could have been better - and one usually expects better of a new film.

The Audio is brought to you in a rousing and active Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Provided is a nice and open soundfield with active surrounds, good frequency response, and solid low frequency effects. Dialog is always crisp and intelligible. There is good panning across the front soundstage for offscreen action and dialog, and appropriate use of surround effects. While rap isn’t my thing, the music is strongly represented.

Special Features

The special features are not anamorphically enhanced.

First Down and Twenty-Five to Life
This is a 20 minute fluff piece, including on-set interviews with cast and crew. Certainly not earth-shattering in content. Traditional self-congratulatory stuff here, with a hint of “making-of” material.

The Care and Feeding of Pro Athletes
Would you believe a five minute piece about who eats more on-set? That’s what this is. That’s all it is. Really.

Lights, Camera, Touchdown
The most interesting featurette, also about 5 minutes long, is all about how the football scenes were cast, choreographed and shot. It’s the only featurette really worth you time.

Extra Points with Commentary by Peter Segal
5 quick featurettes, with commentary, about how specific visuals were achieved. The problem is, most of these are under 30 seconds. There isn’t much danger of gathering useful information in under 30 seconds. The last of the five is a bit longer, and talks about creating the appearance of a huge crowd out of about 100 extras. That one flirts with being informative.

Deleted Scenes
Nine in all, with a “Play All” feature and optional director’s commentary. All together, these add up to just over 6 minutes of content. I do always appreciate a director’s commentary on deleted scenes - and one is provided. Still, only six minutes split between nine scenes doesn’t allow to the director to get into much depth on the cuts.

Music Video “ERRTIME” by Nelly

Here comes the Boom

Clips from the film cut to music. Under 3 minutes.

Fumbles and Stumbles
Almost 4 minutes of bloopers - a pretty decent blooper reel.

Previews for other coming attractions

(There is no trailer for The Longest Yard)

Final Thoughts

A dog of a film with an uninspired video transfer can’t be saved by the meager special features. The dvd does include a nice Dolby Digital 5.1 track, however.

#2 of 24 Jordan_E

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Posted September 19 2005 - 09:15 AM

I'm probably going to rent this one simply for the Train Wreck vibe it has going; I don't want to, but something is drawing me to this mess.
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#3 of 24 Andrew Radke

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Posted September 19 2005 - 02:53 PM

I actually loved this movie. I haven't yet seen the original, so I have no basis for comparison, but on its own, I can't deny that I really got a kick out of this.

It's more or less what I'd expect from a Sandler film. In other words, plenty of slapstick and a dose of vulgarity. I went into the theater with low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised with how funny this really was. To make a long story short, I'm definitely picking this up tomorrow.
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#4 of 24 Jordan_E

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Posted September 20 2005 - 08:58 AM

Andrew, you should watch the original, if only to see Burt in the role of Paul Crewe, and then see if you can believe Sandler in the same role ever again. The original was raw, more vulgar than anything a PG-13 movie could muster, and simply one of the best football movies ever made.

BTW, rented the remake today and will be spinning it tonight.
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#5 of 24 EnricoE

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Posted September 20 2005 - 02:03 PM

Quote:
Previews for other coming attractions


which are?

#6 of 24 Steve Tannehill

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Posted September 20 2005 - 02:58 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Previews for other coming attractions


which are?


Short ads to try to entice you into seeing another DVD or movie, but that's not important right now.

(With apologies to Leslie Nielsen in Airplane)

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#7 of 24 TonyD

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Posted September 20 2005 - 05:05 PM

Quote:
One has to wonder what studio executive envisioned Adam Sandler as a former pro NFL player. I’d believe Paul Reubens in the role as much as I believe Sandler. Not only is Sandler not up to the part physically, but he has absolutely no authority in the role.

Chris Rock is on hand merely to crack off-color jokes, most of which aren’t funny. He plays the role of “Caretaker,” originally played by James Hampton.

The original film was all about the experience. Humor was an afterthought. The improvisation in the original film made the characters seem real, and the chemistry was impressive.

This remake has people sleepwalking throughout their parts, while reading essentially the same script as the original, peppered with updated jokes that seem forced and only serve to take your attention from what matters... and what matters is handled so poorly as to diminish it to the point of not caring.

bold added by me because this is exactly what i was thinking.

i've had my fill of rocks' "off color" humor, enough with the racial humor already. get a new act.

origional was a drama that had funny moments here and there.
this one is trying to hard to be funny.

the origional had more of a sense of tension, or something could go wrong.

the death of
rock/caretaker
in this one seemed out of place.

just rent the first one, a better movie and a classic football movie at that.
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#8 of 24 Scott Hamilton

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Posted September 20 2005 - 11:55 PM

Of course like all remakes they made it too PC don't want to offend anyone.

I can't believe Burt was is this horrible remake, this movie should have not been remade. Why remake a perfect cast and acted movie?

Buy the original and don't waste your time, even on a rental on this waste of time.

#9 of 24 Rhoq

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Posted September 21 2005 - 03:51 AM

Is everyone bashing this film just because the reviewer did, or did you all genuinely not like this movie?

Personally, I thought it was entertaining. It wasn't the greatest movie ever made, but it's hardly the dog everyone that has posted so far is making it out to be. If you are looking for some mindless entertainment and have no ill-fellings towards Sandler, then you'll probably enjoy it.

#10 of 24 TonyD

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Posted September 21 2005 - 04:09 AM

people are offering their opinions on the film because this is a thread about the dvd of the film.

some will say they like it some will dislike it.

what does the reviewers' opinion have to do with mine or anyone elses feelings about the film.

and why would anyone have to justify their opinion on the film.

i wrote down my thoughts, they just happen to be the same as
scott's.

if he said he loved the film i wouldnt have said i love the film.

"So...Is everyone bashing this film just because the reviewer did, or are you actually expressing your own sentiments?"
thats one of the strangest things i've seen.
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#11 of 24 Rhoq

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Posted September 21 2005 - 04:29 AM

Tony - what I'm saying is that some people people are easily influenced, while others hate Sandler so much that they'd bash any movie he's in without even giving the film a fair chance. I wouldn't call myself a Adam Sandler fan, but I don't dismiss a movie just because he's in, either.

#12 of 24 EnricoE

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Posted September 21 2005 - 04:31 AM

erm steve, i wanted to which trailers are on this dvd Posted Image

#13 of 24 Jordan_E

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Posted September 21 2005 - 04:53 AM

Feel like taking my DVD player outside to get the STINK of this remake out of it! I gave it a chance, but it fell flat on almost all points. Sandler should have called it a day with the football movies with The Waterboy.
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#14 of 24 TonyD

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Posted September 21 2005 - 05:03 AM

ok rhoq, i see what you're saying.

you can put me in the dont like sandler.
but if he's in a good movie it doesnt bother me.
spanglish and one or two others.

anyone get this from best buy?

whats the bonus disc?
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#15 of 24 Paul Hillenbrand

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Posted September 21 2005 - 05:37 AM

Andrew Radke wrote:
Quote:
I actually loved this movie. I haven't yet seen the original, so I have no basis for comparison, but on its own, I can't deny that I really got a kick out of this.


Rhoq wrote:
Quote:
Is everyone bashing this film just because the reviewer did, or did you all genuinely not like this movie?


Both these quotes are similar to the three people who saw the movie with me. None of them saw the original first.

My 29 year old son-in-law, 28 year old daughter and 14 year old son loved this movie. My opinion was that it was greatly inferior to the original and I told all three of them that we had to go home to watch the original.

After we viewed it in my home theater, I couldn't believe the comments made by all three of them.

"Boring", "Explain why you think this one was better", "The original may have had a couple chuckles, but didn't keep entertaining" and all three unanimously agreed that the new version "rocked with action and humor!" Posted Image

For those that thought the original was far superior, I need to say that this really began to hurt my ego and I was beginning to think that old age and senility must be advancing.:b Told them that Burt Reynolds had a background in football and that he made the situation believable and the comment was, "never heard of him" and "where?".Posted Image

A different generation.

These two here that have posted (so far) that they like it, seem to also fit this category that they haven't seen the original movie first and are impressed by the remake.

Who knows why?

Paul
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#16 of 24 Rhoq

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Posted September 21 2005 - 07:02 AM

Paul,

I'm 29 myself and I have never seen the original. One of these days, I'm sure I'll get around to checking it out. When I do, I'll post my impressions. However, I suspect that I might find the original to be the better film.

Now being as though the original was a drama with comedic moments, will it be hard to compare the 2, since the remake is a straight-up comedy?

#17 of 24 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted September 21 2005 - 08:24 AM

I've seen both the original and the remake. The remake prompted me to buy the original on DVD. I liked them both and for different reasons.

I picked this up yesterday and watched it for the first time on DVD 3 viewings in the theater. I wish we had gotten a commentary track but oh well.

Actually, the people I liked most in this movie were Bob Sapp and Kevin Nash.

#18 of 24 jonathan_govols

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Posted September 21 2005 - 03:03 PM

Chalk me up in the category that thinks the remake is a much, much better film than the original. And yes I am a huge Sandler fan. But I am also a huge fan of football and football movies. This movie is a pure comedy and the film knows that. The original didn't know what it wanted to be, in my opinion. It certainly wasn't funny enough to be a comedy and I didn't really think it was serious enough to be a "drama". But this one is a pure comedy with very few serious moments. The ONLY thing I didn't like about this remake was the use of MTV-esque music (But it was an MTV films production). Other than that, I can say that I think this is definately Sandler's best film since Gilmore and that's saying alot for me.

Can't wait until I get this in the mail this week.

#19 of 24 Christopher*KH

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Posted September 21 2005 - 04:36 PM

I really liked this movie. I also like the Original.

As far as this DVD/film I would have to say that there was alot of scenes that seemed overly dark or Not Well Lit, mostly outside scenes during practices at sunset.

You would think that they [directors,producers etc] would want their actors visible on screen. There were times I could not see their faces.

But as far as story and acting, this is a "90s/2K" version of a film that now tweens and teens can get into and perhaps lead to the "real deal".....

As for other Burt films we ought to watch out for remakes is "DELIVERENCE" could you imagine what that would be like?

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#20 of 24 AlanZ

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Posted September 21 2005 - 08:31 PM

I happened to see the original film about a year ago....I almost wish I hadn't, cause this piece of crap remake pales in comparison. With the exception of "Little Nicky", I've enjoyed every Sandler film. This one was truly a disappointment. I agree with Casey about Kevin Nash, though...his was the only performance that I really enjoyed.

I'm sorry, but while I can see how someone could enjoy this film more than the original, anyone who thinks this is a better film has absolutely no taste Posted Image
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