The Man (2005)

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Released 15-Feb-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Additional Footage-Bloopers
Outtakes
Deleted Scenes-Alternate Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 80
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Les Mayfield
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Samuel L. Jackson
Eugene Levy
Luke Goss
Miguel Ferrer
Susie Essman
Anthony Mackie
Gigi Rice
Rachael Crawford
Philip Akin
Christopher Murray
Joel S. Keller
John Hemphill
Kathryn Greenwood
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music John Murphy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 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

   The Man is an odd-couple action/comedy featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy. If the mention of those names together seems to you like a promising combination then chances are that you will like the movie. If not then steer clear as this film is unlikely to win either actor new converts.

    The plot is about as slim as the 80 minute running time. Jackson plays tough Detroit cop Derrick Vann who is under suspicion from internal affairs. His partner has been gunned down in circumstances that suggest he was involved in the theft of a cache of police weapons. Vann has only limited time to get to the bottom of the gun theft, nail the bad guys and clear his name. Levy plays Andy Fiddler, a dental supplies technician coming to the big city to deliver a speech. Through a series of mix-ups he is wrongly identified by the thieves as the fence for the stolen guns and becomes an unwilling partner to Vann in the attempted bust.

    Through the course of the movie Vann and Fiddler come to understand each other and a little of the best of each rubs off on the other. Vann learns to care about others and Fiddler gets more punch in his manner.

    Pairing tough guy Jackson and nebbishy Second City Television and American Pie alumni Levy may have seemed a good idea on paper but the film is hampered by the struggle to keep it within the PG rating. The script lacks a subplot which places too much pressure on the leads to drive the whole movie. The sex, swearing and violence which often underpins this genre is noticeably absent which means that although it is probably aimed at the 12 to 15 year old audience they might find it a bit twee. In fact, a whole featurette on the DVD is devoted to curbing Jackson's cussing. Given that he is a master of the potty mouth he comes into the film hamstrung and limited to a few inventive invectives and a cold stare. Levy is all googly eyes and caterpillar eyebrows and he makes the best of his role although I can't help wondering whether he is forever destined to be a supporting player. His character bears a striking similarity to the goofy dentist from the Christopher Guest mockumentary Waiting For Guffman. It seems that the filmmakers were aiming for a Beverley Hills Cop/48 Hours vibe but couldn't quite catch it.

    Still, the film is amiable enough and there are some pretty funny scenes. As always, the fart gag brings the greatest payoff. Although he brings a killer stare Luke Goss (that's right, he of pop band Bros fame) is a fairly weak bad guy. Again, the PG rating limits the evil guy brutality quotient.

    All in all, The Man is good for a weeknight giggle but is more of a rental rather than purchase option.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   The Man comes to DVD in a 1.85:1 transfer which is its original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The look of the movie is as good as could be expected from a recent Hollywood film. Although set in Detroit it was filmed in Canada and the streets look suitably grimy as needed.

    The picture is sharp and Jackson's face in particular is well defined as to each scar and wrinkle. The colours are good and there are no signs of any artefacts or other defects.

    There are English subtitles for the hearing impaired which give a good account of on-screen action and dialogue.

    In short, the picture looks as good as you would expect.

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

Audio

    The sound for The Man is English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). For an action film there is not a great deal of surround use except for a few musical interludes and a shootout at the end.

    The sound is clear and the dialogue is easy to understand. The actors are in perfect audio sync.

    The incidental music by John Murphy even has, at times, a Beverly Hills Cop feel to it. It backs up the film without standing out.

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

Extras

    The Man comes with quite a few, albeit brief, extras.

Additional Footage Bloopers and Outtakes (2:00)

    Although described as hilarious these bloopers are pretty ordinary and good for only a chuckle or two.

Outtakes Deleted/Alternate Scenes (6:18)

    These consist of five scenes which are really just extended scenes from the film. The longest is a different approach to the trash can drop scene from the film which is pretty funny as Andy is told to put a bag into a certain trash can only to find that it keeps dropping out as the can is too full.

Sam Jackson's Guide to Cursing Like a Bad A&% Mothaf&#@* (3:52)

    As said, Jackson had to curb his cussing for the movie. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if they had chosen to make the film for an older audience.

Who's the Man? (12.08)

    This is a Making of feature that includes interviews with all the main players in the film cast and crew and has some behind the scenes footage. A fairly lightweight piece.

Making the Action Scene (5:43)

    This is actually quite fun as we meet the head of the effects team who demonstrates the making of squibs for the shoot out scene. Interestingly, he puts powder into the squibs instead of fake blood due to the rating system.

The Ride: A Look at the '83 Cadillac (5:40)

    To suit Jackson's style the filmmakers settled on a big black Cadillac for his ride. Being Hollywood they used a total of five cars for the film. As Luke Goss laments the car gets more screen time than him! The car has hydraulics which play a role in a few key scenes.

Theatrical Trailer

    Like any good theatrical trailer for a short comedy this extracts the best moments from the film and makes it look funnier than it is.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 DVD has the same features but also has a DTS soundtrack. This would have been nice on the Region 4 release but I can't see this as a strong reason to buy the Region 1 release as the sound is perfectly adequate and the overall sound design is unlikely to benefit much from the better mix.

Summary

    The Man is a slight comedy which is mildly amusing, more so if you like the actors involved, but fails to engage on the level it should perhaps due to the weak script and desire to keep the film at a PG rating.

    The transfer is quite good and portrays the film in its best light.

    The extra features are pretty slight although I couldn't help but laugh when one of the producers said with a straight face that Jackson started building his character the moment he came on set!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo DV-SP300, using Component output
DisplayNEC PlasmaSync 42" MP4 1024 x 768. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJBL Simply Cinema SCS178 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
The Region 4 DOES have a DTS track.... - REPLY POSTED