Jennifer's Body Blu-ray Review
PictureJennifer's Body comes to Blu-ray presented with a solid 1080p High Definition rendition in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen. Detail is spot on, clarity resounding with no signs of digital defects despite the fact that this transfer has clearly had some significant DNR work done on it, and grain is kept to a minimum, only coming across as unintentional in a few sparse instances. The colour scheme is often quite sombre, to reflect the black nature of the narrative, but there are a few instances where a wider range is required and this presentation stands up when necessary. Skin tones are accurately represented, including the title star's own varying pallor, and black levels - commonplace in this feature - are superior, allowing for excellent night sequences. This may not be a big Hollywood blockbuster, and consequently may not have the kind of material you need to showcase your equipment with, but it is a solid presentation nonetheless, and it makes the film look superb.
SoundThe film also gets a stomping soundtrack, of the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio variety. Dialogue, which is all-important in a Diablo Cody film, gets clear and coherent presentation, predominantly emanating from the front and centre channels. Effects are quite punchy too, allowing the surrounds to do a surprising amount of work, particularly when things get more exciting on-screen. This is not exactly an effects-laden Hollywood blockbuster action movie, but with enough attention paid to the material on offer, we still end up with a superior track that will definitely surprise viewers. The score is arguably the high point of the whole affair, and is populated with well-picked song tracks (including a litany of Emo/Indie offerings from Dashboard Confessional, Florence and the Machine and Diablo Cody favourite, Hole) which are also all presented extremely well and, in return, give us some noticeable bass. This is not a benchmark affair, nor one which can really be used to show off your equipment with, but it is still a prime example of bringing us the absolute best that the format can offer - even on a non-blockbuster release.
ExtrasThis release comes packed with a bunch of decent extras. Not only do we get both the Theatrical and Unrated versions, but we also get a different Audio Commentary track for each of them. The Theatrical version comes with a Commentary by the Director Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody herself, whilst the Unrated version just has the Director contributing. Although both tracks offer up information that fans will want to know, I cannot - in any way - advocate your sitting through the Director-only one. Not only is she far less interesting by herself, but she pops up for scant few tracks across the duration, and there is just no point in sitting through the entire Director's Cut again for 30 minutes' of Commentary peppered throughout. If, however, you do, you will find that the majority of her comments come during the scenes where there have been some changes between the cuts, and offers some insight into why the changes were made - helpful when many of the changes are very difficult to notice. The Theatrical Commentary is much easier to digest, and more interesting in its observations on the concepts that they tried to put forward during this movie. I still can't see how these two women can sit there and try and justify the lesbian kiss as being far more meaningful than just sheer titillation. There's nothing wrong with it, it's a particularly engaging part of the movie, but there is absolutely no point in trying to dress it up as more than it is. In the revealing comments strewn across this Commentary it becomes apparent that the Director and Writers' intentions for the movie were much more than what comes across to the viewers, and perhaps that is one of the biggest flaws in the production.
Next up we get a selection of Deleted Scenes, entitled Dead Boys, Jennifer Check is Gross, Needy Confronts Jennifer, Who's Cindy Crawford?, Needy faces the Band and Ass, Gas or Grass. It's fourteen minutes' of extra footage, but there is really nothing special here, most of it amounting to extended scenes, as well as a couple of all-new sequences. The Needy Confronts Jennifer segment in the shower room has some interesting dialogue on offer and could have thus been left in, but the rest is all basically watch-once stuff. The 5 minute Gag Reel is not particularly funny, just the cast members laughing at their own jokes.
Jennifer's Body: The Dead Pool is fourteen minute long Making-Of Documentary that features insightful comments from the main cast and crew looking at the messages and undercurrents throughout the production. Diablo Cody, Megan Fox and the Director are all very honest in their comments, even if their intentions are far more honourable than the end result captures. This is quite a solid Making-Of, eschewing final film footage in favour of some interesting behind the scenes footage, some storyboarding excerpts and the aforementioned soundbites.
We get Video Diaries from Megan Fox and Johnny Simmons, as well as Amanda Seyfried, Diablo Cody herself, and Dan Dubiecki, each just lasting a few minutes, but at least showing the cast and crew in something closer to their natural state. Most of the diaries (and most of the extras) focus on the 'Pool Scene', which allows an interesting backdrop, but these are really very fluffy diaries.
The Megan Fox is HOT segment is a stupid, out of place minute-long promo for all the sexy things Fox does in the movie. Surely this goes against everything the Director and Writer set out to satirise with their production?
Megan 'Peer Pressure' PSA is just forty seconds of Fox providing quite a funny, f-bomb-tastic anti-peer-pressure mock-campaign ad. Far more in-line with the production than the HOT segment.
'Life After Film School' from the Fox Movie Channel features Writer Diablo Cody giving three film students a 26 minute interview and 'class' about filmmaking. Interesting for all those budding filmmakers out there.
Finally we get a Digital Copy of the superior Extended Cut.
VerdictJennifer's Body is far more than what it seems on the face of things - it is more than just another teen horror featuring the gorgeous chica Megan Fox. But with Diablo Cody behind the script, I suspect audience members were hoping for something profoundly insightful, and for those unfamiliar with her work there was probably a hope for just pure entertainment. The end result rides an uncomfortable line between the two, mixing gore and shocks with very black humour, but not succeeding to either scare or enlighten. Still, there is more to this than just teen frivolity, and the film has a very interesting concept, even if it fails to live up to the promising potential this offers. On Blu-ray we get both versions of the movie, both presented with superb video and audio, as well as a bunch of decent HD extras that should please fans. If you liked this movie at the cinema, then this is the release to own, but newcomers should consider it a rental as its strange mix of Peanut Butter and Jam may not be to everybody's tastes.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.79
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.