Jesus Henry Christ (2012)

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Released 14-Sep-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-x 2 for other films
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 90:53
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dennis Lee
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Toni Collette
Michael Sheen
Jason Spevack
Samantha Weinstein
Frank Moore
Aaron Abrams
Melyssa Ade
Case ?
RPI ? Music Simon Taufique
David Torn


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Henry Herman (Jason Spevack) is a very intelligent, gifted 10 year old living with his feminist single mother Patricia (Toni Collette), his only other apparent relative his grandfather Stan (Frank Moore). Henry was conceived using donor sperm; on his 10th birthday his grandfather informs Henry that he has tracked down his probable biological father and that Henry has a 12 year old half-sister. The possible sperm donor is Dr Slavkin O’Hara (Michael Sheen) who, it transpires, has his own problems. He has brought up his daughter Audrey (Samantha Weinstein) free from gender bias and stereotyping and has published a book on the experience. The book, called “Born Gay or Made That Way”, results in Audrey being taunted at school as a lesbian, for which she hates her father. When Henry’s search for his father leads him to O’Hara, the two children, and the two parents, outsiders all, gradually form a bond of sorts.

     Jesus Henry Christ is directed and co-written by Dennis Lee, who has made only a couple of other films, including Fireflies in the Garden (2008) and an 18 minute short film also called Jesus Henry Christ (2003). This feature length Jesus Henry Christ is decidedly uneven. It certainly has quirky characters and some interesting ideas, although the comedic tone is perhaps too diverse blending wit and jokes (some of which work) with quite extreme gags, such as the shooting death of one of Patricia’s brothers. Indeed, the whole sequence around Patricia’s 10th birthday, which resulted in her mother’s death, is quite bizarre. The film also makes some comments / jokes about sexual, ethnic and racial stereotyping, using sexual, ethnic and racial stereotypes, which jar and add to the uneven tone.

     Yet, for all that, Jesus Henry Christ is light-hearted and likeable, with a good cast including Toni Colette, who is excellent as the mother, and a very good Jason Spevack. Jesus Henry Christ is also ultimately life-affirming, although some of the latter sections of the film are quite mawkish. It is intermittently amusing and its brand of humour and comedic tone reminded me of the films of Wes Anderson such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2007) or The Darjeeling Limited (2007). If you enjoyed those films Jesus Henry Christ may be worth a look.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Jesus Henry Christ is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The print is reasonably soft but detail in close-ups is fine. The film has a fair amount of colour graded sequences for effect. For example the sequence when his grandfather tells Henry about his sister is deliberately very yellow and glary (and as they are speaking Spanish as well, this is a scene that the filmmakers obviously wanted to emphasise). Otherwise colours are natural, if muted. Contrast and brightness varied, but again this was deliberate for effect. This also affected the skin tones. Shadow detail can occasionally be indistinct but blacks are fine.

     Marks and artefacts are absent except for some ghosting with movement.

     There are English subtitles for the hearing impaired in a white font. The subtitles also come on automatically to translate the Spanish dialogue section.

    The print is nothing special, but is OK.

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

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps.

     Dialogue was mostly easy to understand although some of the deliberate ethnic accents were a bit hard to understand. The surrounds did not get a lot of use, mostly ambient noise, music and the occasional weather effect, such as rain. The sub-woofer added effective bass to the music and thunder, but was really not needed.

    Lip synchronisation was fine.

     The original score by David Torn and Simon Taufique was augmented by a number of pop songs as well as classical music from Chopin, Mozart and Grieg. This was all an bit uneven as well, so I guess suits the film.

     The audio track is good and does what is required.

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

Extras

     Trailers for Café De Flore (1:35) and The Chef (1:47) play on start-up and must be skipped. They cannot be selected from the menu. There are no other extras.

R4 vs R1

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

     The US Region 1 release of Jesus Henry Christ includes the theatrical trailer and cast and crew interviews that reviewers suggest are EPK and lightweight. There is also some criticism of the NTSC video. There is a Region 2 Dutch release that seems similar to ours, but no Region 2 UK at the moment. I doubt the minor extras make an import worthwhile.

Summary

     Jesus Henry Christ is a decidedly uneven and quirky comedy but is mostly light-hearted and likeable and ultimately life-affirming.

     The video and audio are fine. There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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