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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
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Jersey Girl Blu-Ray ReviewBlu-ray Echo Bridge
- Studio: Miramax
- Distributed By: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
- Subtitles: English
- Rating: PG-13
- Run Time: 1 Hr. 42 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray
- Case Type:
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: A
- Release Date: 5/7/2013
- MSRP: $14.97
The Production Rating: 3/5Jersey Girl is Kevin Smiths' film completely unassociated with the Jersey Askew Universe. This is somewhat a matter of necessity, as a comic book writing Affleck simply wouldn't have made the script work. Ben Affleck plays Ollie Trinke, a PR Flack representing a lot of acts within the music industry, we hear him discussing George Michael "He's all about the women", and other acts. At a Christmas party, he meets his soon to be wife - Jennifer Lopez playing Gertrude.
As time goes on, their relationship grows and he proposes. Before the opening credits are finished, they are married and expecting their first child. It's easy to forget, but once upon a time.. before a series of bad films, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were THE buzz couple; stories about them hanging around and booking their films together were a big deal. That is, they were a big deal until both Jersey Girl and Gigli died at the box office, as well as in their films, as happened here.
Gertrude makes her way to the hospital to give birth to their first child, and the procedure doesn't go according to plan. The child is born and is in fantastic health, but Jennifer Lopez character, Gertrude dies during child birth. Struggling to deal with this new reality, Ollie uses his father - played by George Carlin - to help manage the newborn child while he balances his job.
Stressed and worried about coming to work, Ollie's first big announcement comes with a little known music act. Will Smith - or as he calls him "The Fresh Prince" is giving away a model house that appeared on one of their albums. The Fresh Prince, Ollie thinks, has a music career that is stalled, and as a music flack he doesn't understand why he's being bothered with it.. he's a non-factor. Informed that he has a film coming out called "Independence Day", he tries to pan the project off on the film division in his PR firm but is told that Smith wants his music and film careers to stay separate.
On the day of the big presentation for Smith at the Hard Rock Cafe, Ollie's father announces he's "had enough" and that he must straighten out his life and put his child first.. stressed with a child and career, Ollie melts down in the Hard Rock, insults the press and his client and finds himself without a job.
At this moment, at least for me, the film loses all of it's momentum and becomes a series of implausible outcomes, bad to horrible advice and cliches that simply don't make much sense.
To sum the film up into short segments: Ollie becomes poor. Ollie moves in with Father. He becomes a street worker (I guess his education worthless and he had no money saved and no life insurance on Gertrude), raises a daughter, renounces sex for the next seven years until he meets Liv Tyler in a video rental store. A relationship blooms but he still can't give in. He gets offered a chance at a high paying job to go back to what he was doing as a PR broker.. and decides it's not worth it if it will take him away from his kid and returns to be a street crew worker.
It is hard, at times, for me to sum up how much of the storyline is simply wrong; their are assumptions made here as to what makes a "good" parent that are completely at odds with reality. Ollie points out that getting back his old job and career would mean he could pay for college for his daughter, good schools.. but in the end, it's the time away from her that he can't give up, so living poor and in his fathers home is more amenable.
That said, the film has some great moments, and all of those seem to flow from Kevin Smith's unique writing style that is often absent. Affleck and Tyler have some solid moments and the final production of "Sweeney Todd" as performed for an elementary school is a blast.
But this uneven production never really finds its legs and it is easy to see why so many view this as one of Kevin Smith's lesser works. This film was designed to be a "multi-quadrant" film that would attract daters and others and drive up box office. It is different from other Smith works in that it played relatively safe with all of the choices. But as a result, it lacked anything to make the film really special or memorable.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
Video is presented in 1080P AVC at an AWBR of 25Mbps, framed at 2.40:1. This is a surprisingly effective presentation of the video, and in comparison to the previously released DVD a SUBSTANTIAL upgrade. If you are a fan of this film or a Kevin Smith completist, this is finally the way to own this film. Blacks are presented with solid depth, and colors look very good. There is a natural film grain to this film that looks right on the blu-ray where on the DVD it simply makes the picture blurry and poorly presented.
It's hard to ask more of a video transfer than to faithfully present the work, and this is the best I've seen Jersey Girl look.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5Audio is presented in DTSMA 5.1 and effectively delivers the film. There aren't a lot of moments that truly engage the surround channels, but musical cues, ambient noises are well presented - and in the few moments where surrounds do play a role they sound great doing it.
In comparing the Blu-Ray to the prior DVD release the audio again has a significant improvement; dialog is crisp and easy to listen to and the music when it matters sounds good. This is a much better sounding mix than the prior DVD release.
Special Features: 2/5I have almost no idea what to say on the extras. If you have the DVD, you have the extras. In fact, you have MORE extras. The Bluray includes the Ben Affleck / Kevin Smith from Mallrats to Jersey Girl segment (480I, MPEG), Kevin Smith Roadside (1 segment instead of the four on the DVD) and commentaries are also included.
I have thought about how to rank this.. I can't give it a "zero" because the commentaries and the segments are quite good, but they add absolutely nothing to someone who already have the DVD. Removing some of the items that were on the DVD release also seem ridiculous considering there is plenty of room left on the disc in light of the fact they were moved wholesale as MPEG.
This is a major let down to a lot of the fans of Jersey Girl who may have wanted more - but at this price point, I don't know if you could expect more.