Tuesday, April 24, 2012
High-Powered Action Pack: "The Yards" (2000)
The Yards, a great crime drama from director and co-writer James Gray (We Own the Night and Two Lovers) and co-writer Matt Reeves (Director of Cloverfield and Let Me In) about a family and it's downward spiral. Leo, played by Mark Wahlberg, returns home from his prison sentence and is met with celebration by his mother and aunt and her family. His buddy Willie and new uncle Frank give him a job offer and soon Leo is off with Willie to pay off a night guard and destroy the train parts. When the guard declines and police are called; Leo's world comes crashing down and is on the run.
I felt that this was a pretty good crime drama. It seemed that everyone put in a good performance and I feel it helps the overall emotional tone of the film. Wahlberg's quiet presence he has mostly throughout the film is different from most of the films he does now. James Caan is always great and as Leo's uncle, you see him in a tough spot and his acting is great as it shows his conflict in trying to handle the situation. Charlize's character confused me a bit in terms of how old she is supposed to be; maybe the early twenties. Also, the plot twist was easily predictable in the opening film and a bit later on before it's spilled out. The film scores a 3.5/5.
Before I go on about the video presentation, whenever a film is cropped from it's original aspect ratio, I cut the score in half and go on lower from 2.5/5. I am not sure if this is the same encode from the individual release but the video presentation is a complete nightmare as it is cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1. The framing is ok, but it would help if this film was presented in it's intended scope. The grain is overblown to the max. It is frustrating as hell whenever the grain is as white as snow and it's a scene that takes place at night. And the film has a jitter and it does not stop; it goes on throughout the whole entire film. Also, I am not sure if this is really 1080p as there is some interlacing in some scenes; especially in the opening when Leo is on the train. Video scores a horrifying 1/5.
The audio presentation is DTS-HD MA 2.0 despite being listed as 5.1 DTS on the back cover. I feel that this audio is adequate. It's not a "high-powered action film" and the audio gives an overall calm when it needs to be, but it is average. The audio scores a 2.5/5. Overall, this movie is a miss on the disc; we still have Hidden Assassin and No Code of Conduct on this disc of the set to go through as well as the three films on the other disc. With no extras included for this film; this portion of the disc's content for The Yards, I give it 1.5/5.