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Longest Yard, The - Lockdown Edition

 

Rating: NR

Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment

Release Date: May 10, 2005
Review posted: May 17, 2005

 

Reviewed by James Dickens

 

SYNOPSIS

 

In The Longest Yard Burt Reynolds plays a down and out ex-pro football player with one last chance to reclaim his former glory. Ex-pro football star Paul Crewe (Burt Reynolds) winds up in prison for drunk driving and “resisting” arrest. Upon entering prison, the warden (Eddie Albert) wants Crewe to gather a team of inmates to play against a team of semi-pro prison guards in a “friendly” game of football.

 

CRITIQUE

 

The 1974 classic The longest Yard is a simple and often very funny football movie, you got it? Good. Burt Reynolds is excellent as down and out ex-pro football star Paul “Wrecking” Crewe, not because Reynolds performance was Oscar worthy but because this was a perfect role for him play, you got it? Good. Eddie Albert is also very good as the warden who has his own agenda for setting up this football game. Albert could’ve been ridiculously over the top in his performance, but wisely chose to downplay the warden.

 

The Longest Yard works because you get the feeling that the cast (Burt Reynolds in particular) had a lot of fun making this movie. A cop asks Crewe, “Why did you dump your wife’s car in the river,” and Crewe responds, “Because I couldn’t find a car wash” - this is an example of the funny scenes in this movie. Call me old school but I also like that The Longest Yard is not directed in an MTV short attention spanned manner, the camera stays put and allows the actors to do their thing. The football game at the end between the inmates and the guards actually looks fairly realistic, no camera shakes or people getting hit and flying 50 feet in the air.

 

I guess it’s fairly obvious that I enjoyed this film, if you keep your expectations from boiling over you will like The Longest Yard too.

 

THE VIDEO

 

Paramount presents The Longest Yard in a widescreen format (the aspect ratio is not specified) enhanced for 16:9 televisions. Producer Albert S. Ruddy states in the director’s commentary that the film was shot in 1:33. This video transfer is especially good given the fact that this movie was made 70’s. A majority of the scenes take place outside and the colors look excellent, and again for an old movie the video itself is pretty much spec free, I can’t imagine this film looking any better. English is the only subtitle option available and the text actually appears in yellow above the bottom black bar.

 

THE AUDIO

 

Paramount presents The Longest Yard is presented in English and French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. Keep in mind that this movie was made back in 1974 way before surround sound so this is appropriate. All of the sound comes through the front speakers. I wish the rear surround speakers were used, especially in the football game at the end of the film. The audio certainly won’t show off your system, but it is good enough for this film.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

Commentary by Burt Reynolds and Writer/Producer Albert S. Ruddy is far and away the best extra feature on this disk. Reynolds and Ruddy tell a lot of funny and interesting stories regarding the film’s production. A particularly interesting fact is that this film was not intended to be comedy, but became one because of Burt Reynolds’s involvement. The commentary is excellent and is most definitely worth listening to.

 

Doing Time On The Longest Yard is about 11 minutes long and contains insight from the films producer Albert S. Ruddy, Burt Reynolds and the opinions of sportswriters from various publications. Nothing particularly exciting here, but I did like the stories told about some of the lesser known actors that were involved.

 

Unleashing The Mean Machine is also 11 minutes long and is basically an extension of the previously mentioned feature (Doing Time On The Longest Yard). The only difference here is the addition of pro football players giving their opinion of the movie. This is basically more of the same, nothing awe-inspiring.

 

Original Theatrical Trailer is also included for your viewing pleasure. This is an old school trailer for an old school movie.

 

EXCLUSIVE LOOK: The Longest Yard (2005) is the least interesting and is nothing more than hype for the upcoming film starring Adam Sandler.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

The Longest Yard is a very funny and entertaining film. It will be interesting to see how the upcoming remake starring Adam Sandler will compare. Speaking of the upcoming remake, you’ll get a voucher for $5 off the ticket price included with this DVD.  If you like football flicks you should give this movie a look. The commentary by Burt Reynolds and producer Albert S. Ruddy is excellent and should not be missed.

 

VERDICT: RECOMMENDED

 

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:: The DVD

 

:: DVD Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

8

THE VIDEO

8

THE AUDIO

5

THE EXTRAS

7

OVERALL

7

 

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