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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • None
  • Additional footage - Alternate Scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - Director Frank Oz and DoP Rob Hahn
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Awards/Nominations

The Score

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 123 mins . M15+ . PAL


Three partners in crime. One needs to repay a debt or face the wrong end of a gun. One just wants a final big payoff so he can own his club and settle in for the normal life. And one thinks he's smarter than the rest and deserves some respect. The story might not sound like anything special, but the cast certainly is. Who are they? If youíve been paying attention to filmmaking for the past 50 years, the names may sound familiar. They are Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro and Edward Norton.

Brando and De Niro have been in some of the more memorable films of the past few decades, A Streetcar Named Desire, Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, The Godfather and The Godfather 2 being just some of them. Then throw in Edward Norton, who is easily one of the best actors of his generation. In a short time he has already built up a worthy body of work with Primal Fear, Fight Club and American History X, and is destined for greater things yet. These three give The Score the pedigree of an ďactors pictureĒ, as opposed to films such as Oceanís Eleven which are just populated with famous faces.

The Score brings these three screen Masters of the Universe together for the first time in a crime caper which is cool, captivating and clever. De Niro is Nick Wells, a career thief handy with safes. Heís also sick of his life of crime and wants to go straight for the sake of his going nowhere relationship with his girlfriend (Angela Bassett). Nick is roped in by longtime friend and partner Max (Brando) for a big score and a guaranteed cool four million dollar payoff if heíll steal a priceless sceptre. Max isnít telling the whole story though, and needs the payoff as much as Nick.

Although his first instinct is to turn down the offer, the money sounds too good to Nick, and would make the perfect final job to enable him to pay off his club, settle down with his girl and set himself up for life. There are two problems though. First, heíd have to steal the sceptre from a high security building in his own city, something he always said heíd never do. Second, he has to work with Jackie (Norton), whoís brash and arrogant and talented and also happens to be the insider who set up the job in the first place. Jackie has all the details covered when it comes to the layout of the building and security, but he needs a pro like Nick to get into the safe. Between them they have all the angles worked out. The only problem is can they trust each other enough to get in and out safely with the sceptre?


Just like I can rely on my wife to tell me every morning before work that I dress like a 10 year old child, Roadshow these days can be relied upon to provide some of the best looking DVDs on the market. This one, framed at 2.35:1 and anamorphically enhanced of course, is yet another notch in their belt. This film is full of dark sets and exteriors of varying but mainly grim lighting conditions, and this transfer handles them all with great clarity. The detail levels reveal fine textures in both closeups and longshots, enabling you to easily make out that De Niro wears a black suede jacket in one scene, for example. Even elements which would normally raise clearly visible issues with aliasing, such as the windows and many horizontal lines of the Montreal Customs building pass by with only the most minor hint that will be barely noticed on most televisions. In fact this transfer looks so nice that any flaw is forgivable and really just silly nitpicking.


Bugger, I was starting to get so used to all the Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks on recent DVDs, that I was actually suprised to find that The Score 'only' comes with a 5.1 Dolby mix. But the good news is that even though itís the only track on this DVD, it isn't a let down in any way at all. The Score is more of a quiet talky film anyway, so the sonics of an action film donít really apply. Itís more important that the dialogue and the mood of the film, with its sparse score, is conveyed clearly and this it does easily and effectively. Dialogue? Check. Clear and easy to discern, even with Brandoís mumbling. Score? Check. Subtle, yet engaging and never overpowering. Surround use? Check. Minimal and effective when called in. Take a bow, Roadshow, The Score is yet another success.


Director Frank Oz and DoP Rob Hahn (mmm... Hahn Premium, now thereís a good beer) provide a scene specific audio commentary that while interesting in parts isnít always fully engaging of the viewer, or listener as it were. It really needed an actor for Frank Oz to bounce off for interest, but I guess a dollar is a dollar, so Iím not complaining. Making The Score is one of those twelve and a half minute featurettes narrated by that American guy with the deep voice, and it doesnít impart any interesting extra info for the viewer. The cast and crew bios are okay reading, and the theatrical trailer is pretty good, being presented in 5.1 (448kbps) and 1.85:1, 16:9 enhanced. The alternate scenes contains two variations of existing scenes and one of improvisations of a scene, but donít vary too greatly from the original nor hint at anything interesting.


Admittedly, The Score is probably not as good a film as itís made out to be, and in the hands of any other actors it would really struggle to rise above its average story. With three quality actors in the film though, itís gets by on cool (but not great) performances and perhaps the novelty of seeing them together at one time. Still, all negatives aside, it rises above the ranks of beer films, and is more suited to a bottle of Hardys Pinot Noir Chardonnay (a fine drop - I downed a bottle just writing this review, actually) and some Cadbury Dream white chocolate (try not to handle the DVD after eating a block of this).

The DVD manages to be yet another big thumbs up to the competent hands at Roadshow, and earns my thanks for making my job of reviewing their titles so damn easy and enjoyable.

Now, excuse me while I go and lie down for a bit.

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      And I quote...
    "The DVD manages to be yet another big thumbs up to the competent hands at Roadshow, and earns my thanks for making my job of reviewing their titles so damn easy and enjoyable."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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