After been sentenced to three years for a number of drunk
and disorderly offences, former NFL football star Paul Crewe (Sandler) finds
himself sent to Warden Hazen's (Cromwell) prison. The problem is that Hazen
has got him there for a reason, to help the Warden make his semi-professional
team of guards state champions but because of a threat from Captain Knauer
(Fichtner) he is forced to decline. After a week in solitary, the Warden
asks him to put together a team of convicts to play the guards team as a
warm up for the season. Now he has four weeks to make a rag-tag team of
convicts into a mean football machine.
Hollywood's passion for remakes continues but can Adam Sandler
update the Burt Reynolds 70s American Football prison drama bring anything
new to the game?
The premise for 'The Longest Yard' has always been good but
the original movie didn't know what genre it wanted to be. Was it a prison
comedy or a prison drama? The same problem occurs with this movie and it
ends up becoming too much of a mixture.
Mixing drama and comedy doesn't always work and this and the
previous version of the movie suffer from this trouble. The premise of the
movie is a prime subject for comedy and with Adam Sandler been involved
you would expect it to be filled with comedy moments but this isn't the
case. There are a few funny moments and characters but this isn't a laugh
fest. Instead this new version of the movie is virtually identical to the
original, with all its same problems.
By adding drama into a comedic premise has subdued the amount
of laughs available to the viewer. The game isn't as funny as it could have
been either, with the filmmakers going more for the violent tackles and
hits than the more comedy approach. Yes there are some funny moments in
the game but they have gone more for the technical side of the game, which
will limit the appeal for anyone outside of the United States.
This fact means the good ensemble cast don't have much to
work with. Adam Sandler's Paul Crewe is one of his more restrained characters.
Gone is his usual loud, shouting Sandler that we are used to and in his
place you probably have the weakest and least charismatic character he has
ever played. Chris Rock is his usual self, cracking jokes about been black
and the differences between the races. This seems to be the only string
to his bow and makes you wonder how he actually still manages to make a
career of playing the same part. Bringing a piece of class to the proceedings
however is the star of the original movie, Burt Reynolds. Taking over the
role of Coach Nate Scarborough, Reynolds is as good as ever, making you
wish that he had more screen time and lines.
'The Longest Yard' remake suffers from the same problems
as the original. This is a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be,
meaning that it isn't a good prison drama or comedy. The over emphasis on
the more technical aspects of American Football also means that it will
have little appeal outside of the US. A remake really needs to improve on
the original but this one fails to make the yardage.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well with a decent picture and sound.
Blooper Real 'Fumbles and Stumbles' (3.53 mins)
Watch Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler and rest of the cast make
a complete hash of their lines.
Deleted & Extended Scenes (6.23 mins)
Entitled 'Hopscotch', 'Huddle', 'Broken nose', 'Chicken dinner', 'Battle
and Knaiver', 'Engleheart butt slap', 'Red McCombs: Minnesota Vikings
owner', 'Hurting now' and 'Ms Tucker tag, these deleted and extended scenes
have optional commentary from director Peter Segal.
Entitled 'Extra Points - Visual Effects', 'First downs and twenty-five
to life: The Making of The Longest Yard', 'Lights, camera, touchdown'
and 'The care and feeding of Pro-Athletes', these featurettes feature
contributions from director Peter Segal, executive producer Michael Ewing,
production designer Perry Blake, football coordinator Mark Ellis and stars
Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Michael Irwin, Terry Crews, Chris
Berman, Steve Austin, William Fichter, Bill Romanowski, Brian Bosworth
and Nelly. The featurettes cover the visual effects of the film, the realism
of the football and they also take you behind the scenes of the filming,
looking at the director and his stars.
Music Video 'Errtime' by Nelly (4.33 mins)
Watch the promotional music video that includes clips from the movie and
a contribution from Snoop Dogg.
The DVD treatment of 'The Longest Yard' is a decent collection of featurettes
but is sadly lacking a commentary track. This is a strange choice because
the deleted scenes have been accompanied by commentary by the director
but it is missing from the main feature. Fans of the film should be pleased
however, as the featurettes cover most of the film's production.
The Longest Yard (1974)
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