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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Jack Goes Boating [Blu-ray]


(Philip Seymour Hoffman, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Olfactory Productions

Video: Overture Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:49.444

Disc Size: 24,976,153,640 bytes

Feature Size: 20,457,744,384 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.92 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 18th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3194 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3194 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)



English (SDH), Spanish, none



• Jack’s New York (3:51)
From the Stage to the Big Screen (4:35)
Deleted Scenes (1:51)
Theatrical Trailer (2:22)





Description: "Jack Goes Boating" is the story of four New Yorkers. Jack and Connie are two single people who on their own might continue... to recede into the anonymous background of the city, but in each other they begin to find the courage and desire to pursue their budding relationship. In contrast, the couple that introduced them, Clyde and Lucy, have been together a long time and are confronting unresolved issues in their marriage.


Jack (Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, making his directorial debut) and Connie (Amy Ryan) are two single people who on their own might continue to recede into the anonymous background of New York City, but in each other begin to find the courage and desire to pursue a budding relationship. As Jack and Connie cautiously circle commitment, the couple that introduced them, Clyde (John Ortiz) and Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega), confront their own unresolved issues, and each couple comes face to face with the inevitable path of their relationship.

Based on the acclaimed Off-Broadway play of the same name, this unconventional romantic comedy is a tale of love, betrayal, friendship and grace.



The Film:

By Hollywood's staunchly risk-averse standards, the film adaptation of Bob Glaudini's 2007 stage play "Jack Goes Boating" is an exceedingly brave venture. It's an intimate, slice-of-life story in which things move deliberately, character goals are modest, and emotions — both of the internal and external kind — take center stage. The movie, adapted by Glaudini and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in his feature directing debut, is a vanishing — one could say vanished — breed, harking back to such small, sensitive dramas as Paddy Chayefsky's 1950s classic "Marty," to which "Jack" owes a distinct shout-out.

Excerpt from Gary Goldstein of the L.A. Times located HERE

It's expected in a four-character play that all four characters will come into play, and they do, in an unexpected way. The interplay between Clyde and Connie is awkward and initially promising, but it's clear they have a lot of shyness to overcome in catching up to Jack and Lucy. Still, even happy marriages have their secrets.

You can sense the familiarity the actors have with their roles, but there's not the sense they've been this way before. What has traveled this path is the screenplay, which follows a familiar pattern and is essentially redeemed by the meticulous performances. The actors make it new and poignant, and avoid going over the top in the story's limited psychic and physical space. Even at their highest pitch, the emotions of these characters come from hearts long worn down by the troubles we see.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE


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

Jack Goes Boating appears quite modest on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay. The image quality has an intentional less-polished look. The film itself is not very demanding in terms of appearance. Jack Goes Boating avoids a glossy, pristine expression. This is only single-layered and aside from some limited noise seems to give an authentic presentation. I expect that the film looked quite similar theatrically in terms of color and detail. Contrast is adept - the transfer appears heavy and thick - a pleasing film-like look. Daylight scenes or in the pool are more impressive but nothing is stagnantly dark. This Blu-ray, like the film, has a nice realistic feel with no strong deterrents or flaws to the visuals. This is not a film filled with explosive eye-candy to make you sit-up and stare, but the transfer doesn't expose any limitations and represents the film experience as well as one could anticipate. Aside from the small amount of digital noise - I have no complaints.

















Audio :

A generous track offered for the mostly dialogue-driven film. We get a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 at a healthy 3194 kbps. There aren't a ton of effects or separations - it's not that type of movie experience - but there are some which respond well when called-upon. There are only a couple of instances of more intense bass. So while it is not a track that you would use for 'demo' purposes it does its job via the lossless rendering. Dialogue is delivered in a vérité style and the scattered-ness is intentional. There is some Bill Evans, Mel Tormé and The Melodians and a variety of artists in the score and they all sound clean and crisp. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.



Extras :

The supplements are kind of lame. I've enjoyed Hoffman in other commentaries and am surprised one wasn't offered here - for his very own film. I can promise you that I would have indulged. What we do get are some brief snippets - Jack’s New York is less than 4-minutes of exactly what the title suggests, the piece From the Stage to the Big Screen gives us less than 5-minutes with Hoffman, some of the cast and producer giving sound bytes on production and what there involvement was, the play etc. . I had an issue with the 2-minute 'deleted scene' as it showed as a tiny square in the upper left of the screen (both on computer and home theater system). Lastly, there is a theatrical trailer and some previews. I think the film deserved more and some form of more extensive interview with Hoffman would have been something to talk about.



I thought this was a great film. I really liked Jack Goes Boating and Hoffman is his usual 'magnificent' in front of the camera and now impressive behind it too. This is such a humanist drama with subtle humor and looks at people as flawed, neurotic, shy, fearful and essentially...real. The film quickly put me in the precise mood to enjoy its charms. The Blu-ray gave me as goods a presentation as one could expect from this grassroots movie. It exports the film experience very well - and that's about all we can ask. We strongly recommend Jack Goes Boating

Gary Tooze

January 12th, 2011




About the Reviewer: 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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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