The Longest Yard Peter Segal

Adam Sandler is back on the football field, but this time he's not a sissy waterboy turned aggressive tackler. For this remake, Sandler steps into the cleats of original star Burt Reynolds (who makes a coaching cameo) as disgraced NFL quarterback Paul "Wrecking" Crewe, who ends up in a Texas prison where he is delegated the job of organising a team of inmates destined to lose to the nearly professional prison guard team. Crewe must overcome the apathy of the oddball inmates in order to form a team, a task that proves much easier once they realise this is their chance to put a hurting on the guards. The Longest Yard is neither as funny nor as surreal as early Sandler fare like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, but the laughs are a plenty. It certainly doesn't hurt that Chris Rock plays on his stand-up shtick as Sandler's right-hand man, Caretaker, often with some great adlibs. However, the most impressive aspect of The Longest Yard is that director Peter Segal, who previously worked with Sandler on Anger Management, has successfully given the movie an authentic football feel. He accomplished this with a crew that consisted of cameramen trained and experienced in filming professional football games and a cast that includes professional football players and other athletes. While the non-actors add to the hard-hitting realism, they also perform admirably in their comedic roles. Even rapper Nelly does a good job as both an actor and a running back. The special features include the typical deleted scenes (with some very funny fat cut from what was originally a three-hour movie), bloopers, a "making of" documentary and the expected music video that comes with any DVD that features a rapper in the cast. There's also an interesting featurette on the feeding of these huge and hungry athletes and another that reveals the extensive amount of effects that went into producing this movie, as well as far too little director's commentary over a few select scenes. (Paramount)