You’re Dead

Dom Robinson reviews

You’re DeadIt’s the bank robbery of the millennium
and with a gang like this what could possibly go wrong?
Distributed by

Entertainment in Video

    Cover

  • Cert:
  • Cat.no: EDV 9074
  • Running time: 93 minutes
  • Year: 1999
  • Pressing: 2000
  • Region(s): 2, PAL
  • Chapters: 12 plus extras
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dolby Surround)
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Widescreen: 1.85:1
  • 16:9-Enhanced: Yes
  • Macrovision: Yes
  • Disc Format: DVD 9
  • Price: £19.99
  • Extras : Scene index, Interviews, Trailer, ‘Making of’

    Director:

      Andy Hurst

    (You’re Dead)

Producer:

    Marco Weber

Screenplay:

    Andy Hurst

Music:

    Robert Folk

Cast:

    Maitland: John Hurt (Contact, Dead Man, The Elephant Man, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Frankenstein Unbound, Heaven’s Gate, Midnight Express, Rob Roy, Wild Bill, You’re Dead, TV: I Claudius)
    Eddie: Rhys Ifans (Dancing At Lughnasa, Heart, Notting Hill, Twin Town, You’re Dead)
    Ian: David Schneider (The Tribe, TV: Friday Night Armistice, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge)
    Jo: Claire Skinner (Clockwork Mice, I.D., Life is Sweet, The Wingless Bird, TV: A Dance to the Music of Time)

You’re Deadtells the tale of three bankrobbers – the experienced Maitland (John Hurt), pluspartners-in-crime Eddie (Rhys Ifans) and Ian (David Schneider). The premiseis simple – enter a posh London bank at 5.50pm, ten minutes before the time-lock safe dooris usually opened, score the cash while waving around bullet-free guns, then leave aftertwenty minutes with enough money to live forever without worry.

Told in flashback, the film mixes in happenings inside the bank as the quick in-out turnsinto a prolonged siege lasting days, with an interview between undercover cop Jo(Claire Skinner) and Professor Corner (Barbara Flynn), head of the mysteriousCyclops corporation. It all feels like such a mess as one set of predicted circumstances isplayed out after another – people die, but a few minutes later they’re alive because anothertheory is being tested. Add to this a 70s-flashback where Barbara Flynn can be heard saying“You’ve destroyed the evidence” (I won’t say who to), while she’s obviously sayingsomething else (looks like ‘fraudulent’), all of which makes for very scrappy film-making.

So, we have a bank robbery, a shoot-out, a bank manager who lets them in in the first place,swearing, some humour that doesn’t really make you laugh, John Hurt not really trying,Rhys Ifans effecting a cockney accent instead of his usual Welsh tones, David Schneidergrinning away as usual and Claire Skinner in ice-queen mode. Oh – doesn’t sound too gooddoes it?


The picture is mostly good with an anamorphic picture and a widescreen ratio of 1.85:1.However, while the framing looks fine most of the time,imdb.com states a ratio of 2.35:1and there are a few scenes which would lend some weight to that but it could just be downto the way certain scenes are framed if it really is 1.85:1. There’s also a layer of grainthat occasionally hangs about and doesn’t help some scenes.The average bitrate is a steady and good 8Mb/s.

The sound seems okay for what it does but it only gets to shine at times during gunfireor a rendition of Englebert Humperdinck’s “Please Release Me”. However, none of itis in the original Dolby Digital 5.1 sound – we just get surround-only here.


Extras : Chapters :There are just a mere 12 chapters. Not enough. They’re also timed to tell youwhen they should change – at least they start from zero this time and are notan hour or even ten hours out like on some EiV DVDs. Languages and Subtitles :There’s just one language on this disc – English in ProLogic and no subtitles.Again. And there’s more… :Not a great deal or anything to return to time and again, but at least there’ssome effort made in the form of the Theatrical Trailer, a 15-minuteMaking Of mixing in clips from the film with chat from the cast andcrew, plus a selection of Interviews from most of the main cast membersand its director and producer. However, they each only get a minute or twoto say their piece. Menu :A static and silent menu with options to start the film, select a sceneor view the extras.


Overall, this film is at least quick enough to pass by without harm, but it does makefor an entirely pointless 90 minutes so if you have to see it, rent first. I don’t know ofa Region 1 release so this could be the only digital version we have for now.

FILM CONTENT
PICTURE QUALITY
SOUND QUALITY
EXTRAS


OVERALL
Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 2000.

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