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The Score
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
The Score order
Director:
Frank Oz

Actors:
Robert De Niro
Ed Norton
Marlon Brando

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An aging safecracker (DeNiro) goes for one last big score along with a young, cocky partner (Norton). As they meticulously plan the heist of a $30-million sceptre from the Montreal customs house, egos begin to clash and the caper gets more and more complicated.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
A solid premise for a movie that simply does not deliver up to its great potential. Too much time is spent on a slow set-up and some more is wasted exploring Robert DeNiro’s love life. Supposedly his motivation for his upcoming retirement from the thief game, Angela Basset does nothing more than fill the screen for time that would have been better spent adding some action to the heist itself.

On a more positive note, rarely will you see three actors of the calibre of DeNiro, Norton and Brando on the same screen, but unfortunately they spend their time chatting away some heist movie clichés (“big payday”, “I walk”, etc.). Norton and DeNiro are solid and Brando is his usual charismatic self, but one can’t look at Brando and not remember the way he looked in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE without shedding some tears. The man has not aged well, my friends. All in all, the movie’s an okay way to kill a couple of hours, but make sure you drink plenty of coffee before you load it up.
THE EXTRAS
In addition to the theatrical trailer, the DVD contains eight minutes of additional footage, split up in three deleted scenes. One of them in particular shows three takes (improvisational) of DeNiro accepting the job from Brando. Pretty funny stuff, although it doesn’t really look like these two are having much fun on the job. Pretty serious mood considering the nature of the scene…

Another feature is a 15-minute Making-Of spot. I don’t know why they called it that way, because they never show you anything about how they made the movie, they just pretty much run through the plot and turn the thing into a really long trailer. Of course, it features cast and crew throwing around some various niceties about each other. Lame.

Last but not least, this DVD contains one of the worst commentary tracks I’ve heard in a while. Director Frank Oz and Director of Photography Rob Hahn basically explain in detail the lighting techniques used for every shot. I don’t care how big a movie fan you are, I’m pretty damn sure you don’t want to listen to an hour of these two guys explaining why they used a filter to cover a portion of the overpass in the shot where a guy hands a bag to another guy. Not only that, but they’re pretty pretentious as well. They gloat over having been able to reunite three great actors in the same shot over and over again. Now I like these three great actors as much as the next guy, but we’re not talking about the cure for cancer here, it’s just three guys acting!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
To my great disappointment, I can’t really recommend this. I wish I could, since the film features my hometown of Montreal and it looks damn good in it, but the film is just way too slow for a heist movie. This movie would never have even gone through were it not for the names collecting a paycheck to appear in it. If you want to see a good DeNiro heist movie, I suggest you set yourself up with HEAT or RONIN, unless you’re snowed in an evening this winter and have THE SCORE available. It’s definitely not one of the worst films I’ve seen, but I was hoping it might be one of the best. Unfortunately, I can’t say as that happened…
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