Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Robert De Niro plays a weary thief tempted by wily old associate Marlon Brando into, yes, one last job, a plan to rob a priceless scepter from Montreal's Customs House. Director Frank Oz's heist thriller partners De Niro w... more »
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GOOD RATHER THAN GREAT BUT WELL WORTH WATCHING!!!
Mr. N. Carnegie | Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK. | 02/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aren't heist movies great? Warm and familiar like a comfy old armchair, they are one of the oldest and (if done well) most enjoyable film genres around. You can sit back at the movie theatre with your popcorn in one hand or at home in front of the TV with a beer, safe in the knowledge that some craggy, world weary old thief set on retirement will be persuaded to do one last job, with a rookie understudy whom he doesn't trust, on a job which you just know wont go as smoothly as planned.The Score is no different in that respect in that it stars Robert De Niro as a craggy old world weary thief, persuaded to take on one last high risk job before retiring. Ed Norton plays the rookie understudy scamming his employers by posing as Brian, a man with a disability and learning difficulties. Of course Robert De Niro's character Nick, always works alone and doesn't trust anybody but he is persuaded by his camp bloated old fence, Max (Marlon Brando) to work with Jack (Ed Norton). You see Max (Brando) is in up to his eyeballs in gambling debts and is likely to be forcibly shuffled off this mortal coil unless he comes up with the money, Jack (Norton) is working on the inside and Nick (De Niro) is the only man with the knowledge and the skills to get the job done. Like most heist movies it's a bit of a slow burn build up, it's all about building up the tension until showtime. Inevitably there are a few scares along the way and Director Frank Oz (yes that's right Yoda, or at least the voice of Yoda) does a decent job in building up the tension. Of course one of the great draws of this movie is Frank Oz's coup in getting Brando, De Niro and Norton all on screen at the same time in the same movie. Brando was in his day was considered to be the world's greatest living actor, a mantle De Niro has carried for the past 20/25 years. Edward Norton is not far behind and is generally considered by many (including myself) to be the greatest actor of his generation on the back of great films (American History X, Fight Club) and great performances (Primal Fear, Rounders, Keeping The Faith, The People Versus Larry Flynt, Everybody Says I Love You). Robert De Niro is of course reliably good but not at his brilliant best and it is Ed Norton in the dual role of Jack and Brian who has the meatiest part and adds some energy and vitality to the whole production. Marlon Brando's role however, is something of an oddity. It's not much more than a cameo and its something that he could do in his sleep, which is just as well because it looks like that's exactly what he did.If there are any criticisms to be levelled at The Score it has to be on the basis that it really is a by the numbers crime caper and lacks none of the originality or vitality of something like Reservoir Dogs and nor does it really take full advantage of its AAA list cast. The opening sequences whilst interesting, perhaps lack the action and intensity you might wish, although they do serve as an insight into Jack's MO (he always works outside the country, he always plans meticulously, doesn't take chances and is never greedy). That said The Score is enjoyable first and foremost for its excellent cast and the opportunity to see them share screen time. Secondly the last forty minutes of the movie where we eventually get to witness the heist are excellent; the heist is great edge of your seat stuff and there are plenty of unexpected twists and turns and an excellent climax. Ultimately though, you are left with the feeling that you've seen this all before and done better. It's more like that trusty old arm chair, warm and comfortable rather than new and exciting. That said it's an enjoyable yarn. Good rather than great BUT still well worth a watch."
The Score Scored Nicely
Edward Lee | 07/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hollywood heavyweights Robert DeNiro, Marlon Brando, and Edward Norton together with Angela Bassett deliver very nice performances in this beautifully shot, nicely edited, and well directed film.The cinematography is beautiful and even without the cast, the visual elements alone -- the film noir lighting and atmosphere, the elegant and stylish set designs, the framing, and the editing -- make this a very enjoyable film.Although some reviewers comment that DeNiro is on "autopilot" or that he and Norton "phone in their performance," this is not true at all. DeNiro delivers a very smooth and appropriately subtle character without going "over the top". Likewise, Norton also gives a very good performance.Each character in each film should be viewed on its own merit. People who are disappointed because they don't see the "fireworks" of DeNiro in "The Deer Hunter" or Norton in "American History X", frankly, should go see those movies instead. DeNiro and Norton both are right on the mark for this movie.Marlon Brando brings comic relief with his superb timing and lines that land every time. Angela Bassett also is very good and shares the scenes nicely with DeNiro, which is no easy task.The heist is a genre that arguably has been overdone and is almost a cliche, but in this film, the direction is excellent and the editing, the pace, and the rhythm all support the suspense and the tension that kept me on the edge throughout.There are a few weaknesses, however. Although the music score is good at the beginning, by the third or fourth time the same melody appears, it stops being a motif and turns instead into a bit of a bore. A definite cliche that we can do without is the proverbial computer hacker.All in all, this film provides for a nice movie experience and is worth owning on DVD. A must see for DeNiro fans."
What does `one last one' mean?
Steven Hellerstedt | 04/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's a fence, a weary veteran safecracker, and an eager outsider. There's a valuable whatsit in the Montreal Custom House that's guarded as if it were the crown jewels. It ain't quite that, but it is a many-centuries old scepter that's worth tens of millions of dollars. It's got `last big score' written all over it. The eager young one has an assistant janitor job at the Custom House and is in the perfect position to case the joint, get the schematics, cut the video feed, what have you.
Sound familiar? Save for a end game twist or two THE SCORE is pretty much the same heist movie you've seen time and again. It's a strong enough story that doesn't stray too far at all from the tried and true. What sets this movie apart is its cast. To say THE SCORE is actor rich is an understatement. Its three leads - Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Ed Norton - have all been hailed the greatest actors of their generation. Brando plays the fence, De Niro the old pro who wants to pull off one last job before calling it quits, and Norton the neophyte looking for respect. Director Frank Oz wisely highlights characters and the `job' intrudes only when necessary. With a different cast I probably wouldn't have liked this one nearly as much as I did, but Brando, De Niro, and Norton are all on their game and a joy to behold.
The special features includes trailers, a short `making of' feature, a commentary track with Oz and cinematographer Rob Hahn and three or four unused scenes, one of which features Brando and De Niro improvising a scene. The track lasts about four minutes and shows the two going through the same minute or so long bit of business three times. I've never seen two actors of this caliber building a scene before, and it's fascinating to see them hit the same marks - Will you do it? , six million, I always pay your fair - while shading each take differently. It's my favorite four minutes on the dvd.
What the heck, heist movies have been done but they're fun. The characters in this movie are layered and interesting. A strong recommendation for THE SCORE.
A Film Worthy of its TOPKAPI antecedent
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE SCORE delivers. All the ingredients of a fine escape story are here - an impossible technical theft, an exploraton of the minds of heisters, visual tension that is matched by a fine musically scored atmosphere. Add to this mix the bravado acting talents of Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Angela Bassett, and the amazing Edward Norton and you have a terrific little diversion of a film that is reminiscent of that fine film standard TOPKAPI.
The twists and turns of these very real characters keep you on the edge of your seat, and what more can be asked of films of this genre?"