Review by Leonard Norwitz
Blu-ray: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
(as verified by the
Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 35,616,446,003 bytes
Feature Size: 34,733,801,472 bytes
Video Bitrate: 18.10 Mbps
Case: Locking Blu-ray Case
Release date: April 27th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4359 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4359
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• Feature Commentary with Director Michael Caton-Jones *
• The Making of The Jackal – on the DVD side (46:45) *
• Production Notes *
• Cast & Filmmakers Notes *
• BD-Live 2.0
Ruthie Stein's theatrical review in the San Francisco
Chronicle is more entertaining than the movie. Here are some
"Along with Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, Bunny Parker
should get star billing for The Jackal, a thriller that's
more preposterous than thrilling. Parker, who is Willis'
hairdresser, came up with a dozen hairdos for him -- from
strawberry blond curls to a dark ducktail -- and pasted them
on his head so they would stay put during the action scenes.
For all its moving around. . . from Moscow to Helsinki,
London, Montreal, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Phoebus,
Va. . . The Jackal is stuck on very familiar ground. Amusing
performances -- especially from Willis, who takes on a new
personality with each new hairstyle -- can't disguise the
fact that the film is basically a pastiche of recent movies.
Director Michael Caton-Jones and writer Chuck Pfarrer would
have been better off borrowing more from the original The
Day of the Jackal and less from recent thrillers. Although
The Jackal is an adaptation of the 1979 Fred Zinnemann movie
(based on a real-life plot to assassinate Charles De
Gaulle), it lacks the earlier film's stylishness and
Excerpt of review from San Francisco Chronicle located HERE
captures were taken directly from the
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence
compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale.
The second number places this image along the full range of
DVD and Blu-ray discs.
A solid transfer of an unremarkable picture. The image is
not big on resolution despite a high bit rate, rarely
permitting much in the way of texture for faces, hair or
clothing. Film grain is evident, as it should be, but
doesn't get in the way. The lighting for the original
photography generally shows the actors with little fill
light, as suits this sort of cloak and dagger thriller. But
for all its dark shadows, there is hardly any noise. Edge
enhancement is rarely in evidence. Same for other transfer
artifacts. Print is clean. It's quite possible that the
Blu-ray is a faithful representation of the original movie.
Audio & Music:
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is quite good: It nails dance club
ambiance perfectly, being attentive to where and how far
away the music source is in relation to the actors. Gunfire
is effective, with one effective instance that swirls
machine gun fire around the room. It's hardly realistic but
it does reinforce the emotional state of the victim. The
music score opens up the soundstage nicely, but except for
some background voices and arms fire, there isn't a great
deal of localization of effects (not that I missed it.)
Despite what could be assumed from the rear box cover, the
extra features are on the DVD side, not the BRD side, which
makes a sort of sense for the Making-of feature, but not the
commentary, which could have been on both without much
trouble! Maybe there's something amiss with my review copy.
And taking my cue from Letterman, here are the Ten Best
reasons why the double-sided presentation for this Blu-ray
is imaginative and courageous beyond my wildest:
10. Universal has taken my criticism about unimaginative
artwork to its logical conclusion: No distracting artwork on
either side of the disc.
9. A new concept in video games: Try placing the disc back
in the box without getting your fingerprints on it. 5 for a
smudge. 10 points for a clearly recognizable print. With 20
points, you get to clean the surface and start all over
8. If you damage one side, the other side is still
7. You can always slap some artwork on the disc; the
question is: which side?
6. The Blu-ray movie is on the side that doesn't have the
blue ring, and since your player reads the bottom of the
disc, place the disc in the tray with the blue side facing
up. Got it?
5. Can double-sided Blu-ray TV seasons be far behind!
4. You no longer have to worry about to whom you're going to
give your unwanted DVD .
3. If you lose the DVD you get to re-purchase the Blu-ray,
thus doing your bit for the economy.
2. You no longer need to exercise a smile when opening the
case, for there is nothing there to smile at.
1. Now with only one disc instead of two, there is less
stress to the shelf.
The extra features are on the DVD side, not the BRD side,
which makes a sort of sense for the Making-of feature, but
not the commentary, which could have and should have been on
I liked this movie somewhat less than Ms. Stein. Willis is
entertaining in his trademark half-asleep way. Gere seems
uninterested. Jack Black is something of a kick. Poitier,
though nice to seem him back on the big screen after 20
years (during which he made only three movies), isn't enough
to bring the movie to life. The movie isn't inoffensive,
just dull and (I think) unintentionally funny.
April 24th, 2010