A sleeper hit in 2000, The Whole Nine Yards finally makes its Blu-ray debut courtesy of Sony’s MOD program.
The Production: 3.5/5
Montreal dentist Nichlas “Oz” Oseransky (Matthew Perry) is leading a rather mundane life. His wife (Rosanna Arquette) loathes him, and does his mother-in-law (Carmen Ferland). Oz isn’t all that fond of them, either, and a divorce is out of the question, as he has been saddled with his late father-in-law’s debt. As he says to his office assistant, Jill (Amanda Peet), he’s worth more dead than alive, to which Jill suggests he find a hit man to take her out for good. Things change when just released from prison hit man Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski (Bruce Willis) moves in next door. Oz recognizes him almost immediately, at first freaking out until his wife suggests he rat Jimmy out to mob boss Janni Gogolak (Kevin Pollak) and collect the finder’s fee. What follows is a series of crosses and double crosses as everyone takes out hits against everyone else, as Oz falls for Jimmy’s wife (Natasha Henstridge), and Jill turns out to be a wanna-be hit woman originally hired to take out Oz and falls for Jimmy.
Director Jonathan Lynn has a knack for building a comedy with a slow simmer in films like My Cousin Vinny, Clue, and The Distinguished Gentleman, and would return to the subject of hit men again ten years later with the under-rated Wild Target. The laughs start slow in The Whole Nine Yards, but build to a rather satisfying conclusion thanks to Lynne’s direction and Mitchell Kapner’s screenplay. Matthew Perry gets the bulk of the physical humor, bouncing off of walls and hit man Michael Clark Duncan like a pinball. Amanda Peet and Bruce Willis are obviously having a great time in these roles, taking almost too much glee in killing their marks. The Whole Nine Yards is not a great film nor is it one that will knock you on the floor laughing, but is still very enjoyable.
3D Rating: NA
The Whole Nine Yards was never a great looking movie to begin with, as I recall when I first saw it theatrically back in 2000. The transfer supplied by rights holder Morgan Creek to Sony for this release is acceptable. Colors are accurate and not overly saturated. There does appear to be some evidence of minor use DNR and edge enhancement, with haloing around characters in some of the scenes and some occasional pastiness on faces, but only if you are really looking for it. Contrast and black levels are very good, with minimal crushing in some of the darker sequences.
The default DTS-HD MA 5.1 track on The Whole Nine Yards is a fairly standard comedy track with a nice wide front soundstage and some occasional surround activity, mostly music extension and atmospherics like street noise. LFE adds some low end to the jazz-infused score by Randy Edelman, but effects like gun shots are anemic. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.
Special Features: 3/5
Audio Commentary with Director Jonathan Lynn: Lynn talks rather candidly about the production, centering around the performances and shooting in Montreal.
Interview Gallery (480i): EPK interviews with the cast and crew, including Bruce Willis (1:28), Matthew Perry (2:56), Michael Clark Duncan (1:13), Natasha Henstridge (1:45), Amanda Peet (2:52) and Jonathan Lynn (2:46).
Theatrical Trailer (480i; 2:21)
While not a comedy classic per se, The Whole Nine Yards is a darkly funny movie that is still enjoyable today.