The Score (2001)

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Released 16-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Train
Audio Commentary-Frank Oz (Director) & Rob Hahn (Director of Photography)
Featurette-Making Of
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Deleted Scenes-3
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 118:41
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:12) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Frank Oz
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Robert De Niro
Edward Norton
Marlon Brando
Angela Bassett
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $34.95 Music Howard Shore


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Score is a standard heist film staring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando.

    Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) is a professional thief who lives in Montreal where he runs a legitimate nightclub. He has come to a point in his life when he wishes to leave behind his illegal activities and focus on his legitimate business with his girlfriend (Angela Bassett). To make this move he must perform one last large job and break two rules he has always lived by: never work with a partner and never work in your home city. His long time friend and fence Max (Marlon Brando) tells Nick about a potential job with a large reward and apparent minimal risk. This job involves stealing an antique sceptre from the local customs office where it is stored in a high security safe. Unfortunately this safe is protected by a complex alarm system and to override it Nick requires the help of Jackie (Edward Norton). This job will provide a massive return but is this worth the risk and can Nick trust the people he must work with?

    This film was directed by Frank Oz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger) in his first attempt at making a thriller. As expected, the film contains excellent performances by all the lead actors and it is very enjoyable seeing these talented actors from three different generations working together. Unfortunately, the story is let down by the last fifteen minutes of the film when a very predictable ending provides no real surprises.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The feature is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is consistently sharp throughout and always provides excellent levels of detail. During the dark scenes, excellent levels of shadow detail are displayed allowing high levels of detail to be resolved. At no stage during the transfer was any low-level noise detected.

    The colours displayed during the transfer are always vibrant and well saturated. The palette contains a large number of greys and blacks reflecting the dark and hidden feel of the film.

    At no stage during the transfer were any MPEG artefacts detected. A small amount of slightly distracting aliasing may be seen during the transfer, such as at 7:47, 8:39, 11:09, 31:28 and 37:28.

    A very small number of film artefacts may be seen during this transfer. The rare occurrence of these artefacts ensures that they are not disruptive to the viewer at any time. Some examples of these minor artefacts may be seen at 9:24, 14:15, 14:55, 21:54 and 27:25.

    A single set of white English subtitles are included on this disc and are placed on-screen under the relevant character. I extensively sampled these subtitles and found them to be consistently accurate.

    The layer change occurs at 72:12 part way through Chapter 10. This change is placed on an angle change and is only slightly disruptive to the viewer.

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

Audio

    A single 448 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the main feature is included on the disc.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, but viewers unfamiliar with Brando's trademark mumble may have some slight problems with some of his lines.

    At no stage were any audio sync problems or dropouts detected during the transfer.

    The score by Howard Shore is effective and suits the on-screen action. The score is only used minimally throughout the transfer and Frank Oz mentions during the commentary track that this was intentional as he wanted to emphasize the silence.

    The surround channels are utilised minimally during the transfer and only make their presence felt during the club scenes and for occasional effects.

    The subwoofer channel is used throughout to provide support for both music and effects.

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

Extras

Menu

    The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

Audio Commentary: Frank Oz (Director) and Rob Hahn (Director of Photography)

    This feature length scene specific commentary track by director Frank Oz and Director of Photography Rob Hahn covers a number of different areas relating to the film but as expected deals mainly with camera and lighting choices. In addition to these areas, Oz discusses working with the different actors, locations, cast improvisations and how the script was not completed until shooting had begun.

Alternate Scenes

    This is a collection of three different scenes from the movie that were different takes or were removed due to time constraints. The first scene (5:05) is a series of improvisations with De Niro and Brando in the club. The second scene (2:08) is an alternate version of a scene in a coffee shop with De Niro and Norton, and the third scene (0:46) is an extended version of a musical performance by jazz singer Mose Allison. All of these scenes are presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and they are not 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette: Making The Score (12:32)

    This is a standard promotional making-of featurette containing a number of short interviews with cast and crew members and some limited behind-the-scenes footage. This featurette is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Biographies

    This is a collection of extensive biographies and complete filmographies, each around ten pages, for Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett, Marlon Brando and Frank Oz.

Theatrical Trailer (2:22)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    The Score is an entertaining heist movie that contains some excellent performances but is let down by a predictable and disappointing ending.

    The video transfer is excellent and is only marred by occasional aliasing.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is focused across the front three channels but this works well with the film.

    An interesting collection of extras is provided on this disc including an excellent set of biographies for the director and primary cast members.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Friday, April 05, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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