Get Carter (2000)
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted February 14, 2001
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The Movie:

I think the only time I've been somewhat impressed with a recent performance from Sylvester Stallone was "Daylight". Director Rob Cohen's distaster picture featured Stallone as a character that was both human and, if not one-dimensional, maybe one and a half. Although many were simply annoyed that Stallone wanted to remake such a highly regarded picture, it's not helped any by the fact that Mel Gibson played this role much more impressively in 1999's "Payback".

Gibson's darkly comedic performance in "Payback" remains much more engaging, in my opinion. Gibson essentially does the same thing - he's a guy out for revenge (and his 70,000 dollars back), but there was a loopy undercurrent to Gibson's performance that made it all the more unpredictable, and watchable. Not only Gibson, but Terrence Stamp covered this same terrain better as well in "The Limey". Stallone, on the other hand, mopes about, looking for the identity of the villian who he thinks took out his younger brother.

The film is directed by Stephen Kay, who wrote the awful "Mod Squad" remake and presents this film in a way that is all about images - music video tricks, a cold look, all to distract viewers from the reality that there's really no script to be found here. The first hour of this film makes a mistake that it really can't come back from - attempting to build story around a legion of characters that are barely one-dimensional. The result is a first half that is, at times, impressively boring. The dark, rainy atmosphere only helps to drag down the pace even further.

Stallone plays Jack Carter, an enforcer who works for a Vegas loan shark. He goes to Seattle to track down what happened to his brother and finds his remaining family (played by Miranda Richardson and Rachel Leigh Cook) and the possible bad guy (Mickey Rourke), as well as other folks who want to cause trouble, such as a computer geek played by Alan Cumming and - the original "Carter", another character played by Michael Caine. The best performance in the film is actually one of the smallest, from Leigh Cook.

Stallone will still find work, but he really needs a very strong project now more than ever as "Get Carter" simply was a completely wrong choice. Stallone isn't a particularly lively actor and to take a role that actually seems to make him even flatter than usual didn't help matters. "Get Carter" isn't a film that needed to be made, but the final product isn't anything very entertaining, either as it makes for a very, very slow 103 minutes.


VIDEO: Warner Brothers presents "Get Carter" in the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and it is anamorphic. On this release, never did the film look any less than fantastic. Sharpness and detail are absolutely outstanding - never did the picture quality seem even the slightest bit on the soft side, and even night scenes looked wonderfully well-defined.

The only flaw that I noticed a couple of times were some very, very slight print flaws. A couple of speckles, but hardly noticable. No instances of pixelation or shimmering came into play, making for a picture that seemed natural and impressively "film-like". There's a nice depth to the picture often, as well.

Colors looked great throughout the movie, with cold, crisp, natural colors that always looked vibrant and often beautiful. Say what you will about the over-stylish music-video look of "Get Carter", but Warner Brothers has done a phenomenal job of showing the movie here, and it's certainly a reference quality presentation.
SOUND: The Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation for "Get Carter" is fine, but I didn't think it was anything particularly special in the realm of action picture presentations. Much of the early half of the movie is mainly dialogue and attempts to build the characters. There's only one little audio trick that stood out to me as rather fun in the whole film - about 58 minutes into the picture, the computer geek played by Cumming starts driving around a little remote-control car, which the viewer can hear driving around the room.

Surrounds are used decently at times for the effects and some loud music, although for a movie like this, their use, or at least noticable use, seemed pretty infrequent. The score was nicely presented, sounding deep and rich, often enveloping, but I've heard better and been more impressed by other soundtracks that offered this sort of techo-ish score. Dialogue remained clear and easily understood, with no problems. Although there's nothing bad about the audio for "Get Carter", it didn't help me to become anymore engaged in the movie itself.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic images, although there are some slight animated transitions after you make a selection, as well as music behind the main menu.


Commentary: This is a commentary from director Stephen Kay. Although I didn't particularly like the idea of sitting through this film once again, director Kay has quite a bit of interesting tidbits throughout the commentary, starting it all off with a short discussion of how he got involved with the project, as well as his ideas about the visual style. I was pleased to hear that, although Kay doesn't talk consistently throughout the track, he at least keeps things interesting by discussing some of his concerns and obstacles as well as some little things that were fixed and worked on rather than simply discussing what's currently going on in the story. Not a particularly outstanding commentary track, but an enjoyable one that's certainly a more entertaining experience than the film itself as Kay adds some humor to the proceedings on occasion as well as some informative information.

Trailers: Trailers for both the 1971 and 2000 versions.

Deleted Scenes: About seven minutes worth of deleted footage, which plays out with no stops - you can't select a particular scene. There is also no commentary for these sequences. They wouldn't have added anything to a movie that's already too lengthy as is, but as with any deleted scenes, they're always interesting to see.

Cast/Crew: Cast and Crew bios.

Final Thoughts:

Positive: Warner Brothers provides a nice presentation with image quality that's nearly perfect and strong, if not stunning sound quality. The $19.99 retail price is also good, although...

Negative: ... the movie is not. Although as a DVD this is perfectly fine, I'm not even sure I can recommend "Get Carter" as a rental.

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