The Whole Nine Yards

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Rosanna Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan
Extras: Commentary Track, Interview Gallery, Trailer, Filmographies

With his macho-action-hero-image, Bruce Willis has earned the loyal following of legions of fans, but it is easy to forget that the actor is also a brilliant comedian, who has actually spent a greater amount of time making people laugh, than blowing things to pieces in his movies. While a new action film with Bruce Willis is eagerly awaited by his fans, "The Whole Nine Yard" is a comedy that reminds us, just how versatile an actor Willis actually is. It is also a reminder how great his comedic films can be, as this film clearly has to rank as one of his funniest movies of recent memory. While the film wasn’t the smash hit at the box office that many would have hoped, I am sure on this DVD it will find many new fans who will get love this movie for its wicked cat-and-mouse story.

Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky (perfectly played by "Friends" regular Matthew Perry) is a small, hapless dentist in Montreal where he lives with his bickering wife (Rosanna Arquette), the spoiled daughter from a rich family. One day he realizes that his new neighbor is Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis), a know Mafia hit man. When he tells his wife about the new arrival, she has a plan. Since Jimmy is a wanted man, she forces Oz to go to Chicago and sell the information about Jimmy’s whereabouts to the Yanni Gogolack, a mobster who wants to see Jimmy dead. From here the story begins to take hair-raising turns as Oz sells out Jimmy to Gogolack. But Jimmy knows – and he doesn’t care. On top of that Oz’s wife asked Jimmy to kill Oz for her, but he refuses – until he hears that Oz has an affair with is wife. In the meanwhile Oz’s looks for another killer to rid herself of her husband, who eventually gets in between the fronts of Jimmy’s and Gogolack’s private little war when the mobster also arrives in Montreal. In the end, we are watching a story in which everyone seems to try to kill everyone and no one really seems to succeed until Jimmy "The Tulip" takes the reigns and decides to sort out the mess – with some unexpected, beautiful help.

Perfectly cast and perfectly told, "The Whole Nine Yard" is hilarious form the first to he last minute. Matthew Perry’s agitated portrayal of Oz is laugh-out-loud funny, and Bruce Willis’ sly portrayal of the cool hit man is another one of his greatest performances. Complemented by a fantastic supporting cast that includes Michael Clarke Duncan and Natasha Henstridge, this movie is so wild you have to see it to believe it.

Bold and beautiful, Warner Home Video’s version of "The Whole Nine Yards" presents itself as a great release that is sure to please DVD fans. Containing an <$16x9,anamorphic> <$PS,widescreen> version of the film, as well as an <$OpenMatte,open matte> <$PS,full frame> transfer. The <$16x9,anamorphic> transfer exhibits an incredible clarity and a breathtaking level of detail. Throughout the movie you will notice that the image perfectly reproduces every intricacy in the production design, and even the smallest details. The black level on this disc is perfectly adjusted, creating shadows that are deep but never lose their definition. The highlights are well-balanced and never over-saturated, giving the image a very natural look. The color reproduction is nicely restoring the film’s naturalistic look that never relies on artificial lighting set-ups and presents us a picture that is entirely realistic with fine color gradients and powerful hues. Skin tones are absolutely neutral and realistic and the presentations is without grain or other source related problems. No signs of edge-enhancement are evident in the transfer, resulting in a natural presentation that is sharp, yet free of any distracting ringing artifacts. The compression of the material is flawless and virtually free of compression artifacts of any sort.

"The Whole Nine Yards" contains <$5.1,5.1 channel> <$DD,Dolby Digital> audio tracks in English and French. The track has a wide sound stage that makes good and sometimes aggressive use of the surrounds. With a good bass extension, the track sounds very modern and has a lot of punch in the bottom end. Dialogues are well integrated, but the mix does show some imbalances, as dialogues are generally too low in volume compared to the music. Sometimes the music drowns out the dialogues, and sometimes you will find yourself scrambling for the remote control as a powerful music theme begins to shake up the neighborhood.
The music score is also presented in an engaging mix that makes good use of the discrete rear channels. Wide and highly dynamic, the music is nicely reproduced form the lowest ends all the way to the highest overtones, entirely free of distortion.

The DVD also contains a <$commentary,commentary track> by director Jonathan Lynn. The track offers a lot of insight into the production aspects of the film. Lynn often explains in quite some detail how he achieved certain shots and why he decided to do certain shots the way he did. Especially for those of you interested in the technical aspects of a director’s work will get to appreciate Lynn’s candidness about his procedure. The DVD is rounded off with an interview gallery with the cast, filmographies and the movie’s theatrical trailer.

"The Whole Nine Yards" is a hoot. Masterfully the film takes a rather serious matter and then turns it into such an abstruse parody that you will find yourself giggling all through the movie. There are so many elements that come together and the filmmakers always found a way to put yet another hilarious moment on top of their funny observations that the fun never stops. The release Warner Home Video is serving up here is once again a prime example how much DVD can improve the experience of any movie, be it the latest action or science fiction film or something as frugal as a good comedy. "The Whole Nine Yards" is a lot of fun that you don’t want to miss!