One for the Money (2011)

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Released 21-Jun-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Comedy Deleted Scenes-1
More…-Gag Reel
Trailer-x 3 for other films
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 87:28
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Julie Anne Robinson
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Katherine Heigl
Jason O'Mara
Daniel Sunjata
John Leguizamo
Sherri Shepherd
Debbie Reynolds
Case ?
RPI ? Music Deborah Lurie


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Things are not going well for Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl); she is divorced and has lost her job, her car has been repossessed, she cannot pay her bills and she is facing eviction from her flat. Evening meals with her parents are a trial; her mother thinks she should get married again. Stephanie gets a job as a bail bondsman with her cousin Vinnie (Patrick Fischer), tracking down convinced felons who have skipped bail. The case of Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara) piques her interest; Morelli was a policeman who reportedly shot dead a known, but unarmed, drug dealer before skipping bail. Joe also happens to be an old flame of Stephanie!

     Finding Joe is not too difficult for Stephanie, but keeping hold of him is. He maintains the shooting was self-defence; the key to what happened seems to lie with a missing witness, a prostitute whose boyfriend, fighter Benny Ramirez (Gavin-Keith Umeh), works out at the gym run by Jimmy Alpha (John Leguizamo). Stephanie follows up the leads aided by the more experienced bail bondsman Ricardo “Ranger” Manoso (Daniel Sunjata) and policeman cousin-in-law Eddie Gazarra (Nate Mooney). But when Stephanie starts to get too close to the truth she becomes a target and is forced to join forces with Joe in order solve the case, and to stay alive long enough to collect the bounty on Joe.

     At last count, Stephanie Plum has appeared in 23 novels by author Janet Evanovich, although as far as I know One for the Money, based on the 1994 novel of the same name, is her first screen appearance except for a 2002 TV movie of the same novel which stared Lynn Collins. Evanovich is on record as saying she thinks Katherine Heigl is “the perfect Stephanie Plum” but a lot of critics of One for the Money don’t agree. I have not read the books, so I cannot comment on that, but for me the biggest issue with One for the Money is its writing and tone.

     One for the Money tries too hard be witty and romantic, becoming self-aware of its own cleverness. There is a tongue in cheek voiceover, plus wise-cracking dialogue that thinks it is funny and, indeed, tries to be clever in situations where someone is being brutally beaten which does not work. The plotting is also jumbled. The antagonistic romance between Katherine Heigl and Jason O’Mara does not convince while other characters such as Ranger get short shrift. He may take a greater part in the series of books but in this film the part is underdeveloped: I have no idea why he just decides to help Stephanie, as he is never put forward as an alternative love interest. The score, by Deborah Lurie, sounds very much like the score by David Holmes for Out of Sight (1998), a similar type of crime / action / romance film by Steven Soderbergh that more successfully mixed clever dialogue, romance and violence. Indeed, I can imagine Soderbergh making a far more interesting film of One for the Money than director Julie Anne Robinson. Her work has mainly been on TV and she struggled to get the best out of the material; it ends up just being bland.

     Initially I found One for the Money hard to get into, although it did grow on me. It tries too hard to be witty and romantic, but is by no means a bad film. It has its moments, but it is too bland and we have seen it all before, and better.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     One for the Money is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the original theatrical ratio being 2.35:1. The film is 16x9 enhanced.

     This is a nice print. Unlike so many films currently it has not been excessively colour graded, so the colours look pleasingly natural. Detail is sharp, skin tones natural, contrast and brightness consistent. Blacks are solid, shadow detail good. There was minor aliasing on things like a car grill or the check suit coat (61:45) but otherwise artefacts were absent. Slight grain was nice to look at.

     The English subtitles for the hearing impaired are in a white font and missed out the odd word in the section I sampled.

     I did not notice a layer change on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps or Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps plus an English descriptive audio for the vision impaired Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps.

     I listened to the 5.1 audio track and it was very good. Dialogue was occasionally a bit hard to understand, which is a problem in a film where the repartee was integral, but there are the subtitles. The surrounds are not overused but gave a nice enveloping feel with music and ambient sound. When action occurred, the gunshots had a nice deep resounding sound. The sub-woofer mostly supported the score but gave a satisfying bass to the explosion.

    Lip synchronisation was fine.

     The original score by Deborah Lurie sounded like David Holmes and was supported by a variety of popular music, plus a bit of Haydn. It was nicely balanced in the audio mix.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     On start-up the following trailers play and need to be skipped (total 6:33): Dark Shadows, Mirror Mirror and W./E..

Deleted Scene (0:45)

     One scene featuring Katherine Heigl and Jason O’Mara. No commentary or indication on where it fits.

Gag Reel (2:29)

     Goofs, some funny.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The only reviews I can find are for the Blu-ray release in Region A US and Region B UK. Both add a couple of 10 minute featurettes to the two extras we have on our DVD in Region 4 – one a “making of” and the other a look at real women bail bondspeople. I don’t believe either is essential viewing; for DVD make it a draw.

Summary

     One for the Money tries to be romantic and witty but I don’t feel that director Julie Anne Robinson got the best out of the material. It is by no means a bad film, but it is too bland and we have seen it all before, and better.

     The video and audio are good. Extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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