H D - S E N S E I

A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze

 

Introduction: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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Jerry Maguire [Blu-ray]

 

(Cameron Crowe, 1996)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Columbia TriStar
Video: Sony

 

Discs:

Region: A

Feature Runtime: 2:18:33

Chapters: 24

Feature film disc size: 41.6 Gig

Dual-layered

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 9th, 2008

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG4-AVC

 

Audio:
Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English, French, Portuguese) Spanish Dolby 5.1

Subtitles:
Feature:  English, English (SDH) French (Parisian), Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Arabic , Dutch, none
 

Supplements:

• Commentary with director Cameron Crowe, actress Renee Zellweger, actors Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Tom Cruise.
• 5 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary from director Cameron Crowe and editor Joe Hutching.
• 3 video clips of Rehearsal Footage with optional commentary from director Cameron Crowe and editor Joe Hutching.

• "My First Commercial" with Rod Tidwell

• Drew Rosenhaus How To Be A Sports Agent

• Bruce Springsteen "Secret Garden" video

• Making of Featurette

• Text 'Jerry Maguire Mission Statement'
BD-Live
Enabled

 

Product Description: Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a top sports agent, long on ambition but short on scruples. After he suddenly and ceremoniously loses his job and his fiancée (Kelly Preston), both his personal and professional lives hit an all-time low. The only two people who stand by him are his sole client Rod Tidwell, a second rank football player (Cube Gooding, jr. in an Oscar winning role) and Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger), a single mother inspired by his zest for life...

 

 

 

The Film:

Cameron Crowe spent four years writing and researching this film, surprising even himself that he was writing a story about a sports agent. In the film's production notes online HERE, Crowe explains, "I wasn't a jock growing up, but I thought the world of sports agents was something that hadn't been written about at the time, and where can you get more of a highly concentrated pursuit of pure money? I wondered, what if love and honor attempted to flourish in that world? And so I embarked on a wild little journey of research, going around and talking to a lot of sports agents and athletes. Basically, I just clanged around the NFL for a few years and picked up conversations, went to people's homes and saw what their world was like. It was fun, and a lot of it shows up in the movie."

 

 


During his interviews for the film, Crowe came across one NFL player who inspired the character of Rod Tidwell. The pro player told him, "I've gotten my butt kicked for five years. My contract is finally up. And I've told my agent one thing: Show Me The Money.'" This sent a chill through Crowe. "I just knew that this was such a defining thing for him," he explains. "I couldn't get the line out of my head".

Excerpt from TCM located HERE
 

Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Blu-ray image quality is generally quite strong but has some inconsistent moments with some high noise/grain showing unusual prominence. It does occasionally exhibit the 3-dimensional appearance that many fans of the new format crave but I'm happier with the strong level of color representation and detail which, considering the film is 12 years old, far exceeded my expectations. The, 2 1/4 hour, feature takes up a healthy 41.6 Gig of space on this dual-layered Blu-ray disc. We can safely assume that this is an improvement over the Special Edition from 2002. This new Blu-ray looks impressive at times although is a mostly dialogue driven film without extensive action controlling any scenes. It jumped off the screen at me right from the beginning but certain close-ups look inconsistently grainy (not that I mind good grain) and I suspect this has more to do with how Jerry Maguire was shot than errors in the transfer process. I don't see any Digital Noise Reduction used to compensate for background artefacts that do still exist but are quite minor and shouldn't impinge upon normal viewing. What looks like dirt can also be infrequently seen. Resolution, though, proves this as the best Jerry Maguire has ever looked for home theater presentation. Hopefully the enlargeable screen captures below will give you an idea of how it should look on your system.

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music:  
The
5.1 TrueHD (the only English option) is, clean and supports the film's fairly bland track quite well. As I said above, Jerry Maguire is mostly dialogue-driven and there is nothing too aggressive to make your speakers sit up and start pumping (well, maybe the football game in the end). Your surround system will offer a more sedate response this time around. The clear and consistent dialogue is translated into a host of subtitles including English.

 

Extras:
Supplements seem to fully duplicate the old Special Edition with the, sometimes amusing - mostly PC - back-patting, commentary. Deleted Scenes and Rehearsal Footage with optional commentary from Crowe and his editor. The rest is kind of filler and nothing is in HD. This disc does have
BD-Live Enabled.

 

 

Bottom line:
I'd forgotten that this is a fairly long film - which is not necessarily a bad thing seeing as it is reasonably entertaining with strong performances. Cruise is quite perfect and I could watch a lot of Zellweger. I *think* Jerry Maguire may have suffered a bit with time (from the sports sense) but the humanist soul-searching theme Crowe is circling around is universal enough and certainly endemic of western society - it seems. As for the
Blu-ray - yeah I'd give this a thumbs up. Time is still an important factor in 1080P appearances (and expectations) and this holds up well enough for more than a decade old film. Nothing new on the extras front is a minor black-mark but a sign of the times. Enjoyable, fun, with a non-pandering message plus a solid image - decent price - yes, recommended!

Gary Tooze

September 4th, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

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