Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)

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Released 19-Sep-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 80:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jay Duplass
Mark Duplass
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Jason Segel
Ed Helms
Susan Sarandon
Judy Greer
Rae Dawn Chong
Steve Zissis
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Michael Andrews


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Hindi
Norwegian
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The patron saints of Mumblecore, Jay and Mark Duplass (Puffy Chair, Cyrus), are back with another slice of quirky comedy with Jeff, Who Lives at Home. As with their recent film Cyrus this combines their unusual aesthetic with a blend of genuine Hollywood stars (there is not a Greta Gerwig in sight!).

     An overweight and shambolic Jason Segal plays Jeff, who doesn't just live at home, he lives in the basement of the Baton Rouge house of his mother Sharon (Susan Sarandon). He spends his days smoking pot and watching his favourite movie, Signs, over and over. In his marijuana haze and with no purpose or direction in life Jeff takes the movie to heart, believing that everything happens for a reason. Therefore, when he receives a threatening phone call asking to speak to Kevin he becomes obsessed with finding the mysterious Kevin to work out his connection to his own life.

     Jeff’s brother Pat (Ed Helms) is having his own difficult day. A self-absorbed paint salesman, Pat puts on a lovely breakfast for his long-suffering wife Linda (Judy Greer) only to calmly explain to her that he has finally bought the Porsche Boxster he always wanted. It is sitting in the driveway. Linda calmly pours her left over breakfast over the bonnet of a car. They live in a rundown rental and Pat has convinced her that they can't have children until their financial position is stabilised. And yet he goes out and buys the car…

     Sharon works in an unnamed office, a drone in one of numerous cubicles. It is her birthday and she is struggling with the task of getting some attention from her useless sons. She gives Jeff a simple task, go down to the hardware store and buy some glue to fix a broken wooden slat on a cupboard. For Jeff it is like taking the One Ring to Mount Doom. When Sharon begins getting messages from a secret admirer at work she thinks it is a joke. She has been a single woman for many years since the death of her husband and cannot see how anyone would find her attractive.

     How the characters come together is the goofy charm of this movie. It is no masterpiece, yet it is very funny at times with great lead performances from Segal and Helms as the dysfunctional brothers. Helms is often the gentle loser and it is good to see him playing someone with a darker edge. Segal is consistently funny and moving as the brother who has lost all sense of direction and can see no way forward. Judy Greer also makes good work of her short role as the wife whose husband's insensitivity may just have pushed over the line into an affair. Sarandon, as usual, puts in a quality performance as the mother just trying to get by.

     There is something which elevates the film over the somewhat ordinary plot-lines. I think it is the cast who, using the trademark Duplass language sell both the humour and the feeling in the movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Jeff, Who Lives at Home was shot on the RED camera and shown in the cinema at 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This transfer is in a standard widescreen 1.78:1 transfer which is close enough to the original ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The Duplass Brothers have never been known for their cutting-edge visuals. Nevertheless, using the high-definition digital camera they have come up with a fairly sharp looking movie. The colours are bright and accurate.

     The flesh tones are also accurate.

    Putting such a short movie on a dual layer that DVD means that there are no difficulties with compression.

     There are subtitles in English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish as well as descriptive subtitles for the hearing impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Jeff, Who Lives at Home contains a Dolby Digital 5.1 English track running at 448 Kb/s. There is also a French language track and an English descriptive audio track for the vision impaired.

     The films of the Duplass Brothers are also not known for their massive soundscapes, and this film is no exception. Most of the action comes from the centre channels.

     The dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout (not a trace of mumbling!). The music by Michael Andrews is quirky, in keeping with the spirit of the film, and there are a few indie tracks thrown in for good measure.

    There are no technical problems with the sound transfer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras on this DVD. I haven't been able to find a comparative DVD however I note from reviews of the Blu-ray version of this film in Region A that it also comes without extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

 

    Buy this Region if you want the DVD. Otherwise buy the Blu-ray.

Summary

     Jeff, Who Lives at Home is in many ways a gem of a movie. For those who like the Duplass trademarks, funny existential comedy mixed with genuine deep sadness, this film captures it all perhaps due to the quality of the cast on offer.

    The DVD transfer is very good throughout.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Monday, September 17, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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