Jerry Maguire: Collector's Edition (1996)

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Released 13-May-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-directory and cast
Featurette-director and cast video commentary
Deleted Scenes-with / without commentary
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-rehearsal footage
Featurette-Rod Tidwell commercial
Featurette-How to be a sports agent
Featurette-Making Of-Making of
Music Video-Secret Garden - Bruce Springsteen
Notes-Jerry Maguire's Mission Statement
Theatrical Trailer
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Gallery-Photo
DVD-ROM Extras
Easter Egg
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 133:01
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (59:39)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Cameron Crowe
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tom Cruise
Cuba Gooding Jnr
Renee Zellweger
Jonathan Lipnicki
Kelly Preston
Bonnie Hunt
Jay Mohr
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $44.95 Music Nancy Wilson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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
German
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

No one said winning was cheap!

    I remember seeing Jerry Maguire during its theatrical run and was not so much disappointed, rather bewildered that I didn't quite get the film I thought I was going to see. Tom Cruise was a big drawcard and I thought I was going to see him in a sports film playing a sports agent. That's certainly how the story plays out for the first half, but it soon shifts a gear and becomes a lesson in self-discovery wrapped up in a romantic comedy style of tale.

    Director Cameron Crowe is much smarter than to cop-out and make a simple romantic comedy with archetypal cardboard characters and obvious plot development. He's the director and writer of such gems as Say Anything, Singles, and Almost Famous (I've left Vanilla Sky out of the mix as I am still trying to work that one out). And he's also a master at creating multi-dimensional, believable, and completely real characters, characters so real that you ultimately end up caring about what happens to them. Couple this to his scripts which ooze passion, intelligence, wit, and warmth and you have all the makings of a truly classic piece of cinema.

    For those who may never have seen this 1996 classic, the title character, Jerry Maguire, is a sports agent. He works for SMI, which is a rather large, brash and obnoxious sports management agency which employees dozens of agents, has over a thousand clients and rakes in the big commission dollars. The smell of success is everywhere and the trappings of it are very much on display. Maguire doesn't just have the money, though. He has a extremely hot fiancé named Avery (Kelly Preston), a flash pad, and an ever-present winning smile. The guy can do no wrong. But while away on their annual conference of back slapping and cash-counting, the handsome Maguire, who has been beginning to have some doubts about the morals of the business, sees his life flash before him. He finally sees all that is wrong with the world, and in a moment of unbridled passion and vision prepares a 'Mission Statement' for the company. It chronicles his ideas for the future of SMI. More personal attention, fewer clients, and less money. It's the way of the future he argues and a copy is distributed to all in the company. Of course, management don't agree and Jerry is summarily fired.

    He takes the dismissal on the chin, and, armed with his phone book, attempts to take as many of his clients with him as he can. Unfortunately, only one will remain loyal to Jerry - Arizona Cardinals NFL wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr. in his Academy Award winning role). Jerry also inspires one of the young accountants in the office with his statement and she somewhat hesitatingly agrees to leave SMI and join him on his crusade. Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) is somewhat smitten by the confident Maguire, but is also worried about the care of her young son, Ray (the adorable Jonathan Lipnicki). Jerry must rebuild his career and at the same time his personal life, and with Rod Tidwell and Dorothy in tow sets about finding who he really is.

    One of the real strengths of this film is surely the casting. Tom Cruise IS Jerry Maguire. In fact, Cruise is so good at portraying the mega-successful agent that I find it impossible to actually think of another actor that could have portrayed this character so well. The character could have been written with him in mind. He oozes confidence, but has self doubt just simmering below the surface, ready to burst out at any moment. Cuba Gooding, Jr. won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his character Rod Tidwell. He's brash, he's loud, he can be dead annoying and obnoxious, but he can do this in a caring and decent sort of way, if that is possible. He also gets some of the best lines of dialogue. In one of those rare cases when a line of movie dialogue enters the mainstream vernacular and becomes a part of popular culture, we were all shouting "Show Me The Money" wherever we went after this. As he mentions in the commentary, Gooding is apparently still haunted by this line, even at funerals.

    This is one of a handful of films I can return to many times, and it all feels as fresh as it was when I first saw it. The signature scenes are classic Cameron Crowe. Often there are no words, just a memorable song, a look or a glance, and a moment shared by the actors who all understand what he is trying to do. Beautiful film-making.

    Finally and thankfully, one of the true gems of the 1990s has been given the full two disc Collector's Edition tag. The wait is finally over.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Jerry Maguire was one of the earliest Columbia Tristar titles to be released in Region 4. It was reviewed here way back in September 1998 and was given excellent marks in terms of video transfer. I own that disc and after comparing this one, I'd say the same transfer has been used again. The initial release was a single layered disc only, and with no real extras fitted on the disc with few problems to report. This transfer benefits greatly from the dual layered formatting with the only noticeable problems being attributed to the original film source.

    The aspect ratio here is slightly unusual. The original theatrical ratio was 1.85:1. The Region 1 disc is presented as a 16x9 enhanced 1.78:1 transfer and I would have assumed the Region 4 disc would follow suit, but it doesn't. This is presented in the rare aspect ratio of about 1.80:1 (measured) and is also 16x9 enhanced. Unless you have markings on your display you are highly unlikely to pick the difference between this and the Region 1 version, but there is a difference, albeit a very minor one.

    While this is a relatively sharp transfer, there is a solid amount of edge enhancement present. It isn't completely annoying in its appearance, but it does pop up on quite a few occasions. I had no trouble with shadow detail at all, and there is no low level noise. It is quite grainy in some of the early scenes, but this is not overly bothersome and soon clears up.

    The colours are interesting. There is a real spectrum of shades present. The interiors of Dorothy's house are warm and inviting, while the business world of SMI is harder and less vibrant. The scenes featuring any on-field NFL action are deeply saturated and highly vibrant with deep reds, greens, and blues. There are no colour associated problems.

    There are no MPEG artefacts. Aliasing is thankfully absent. There are numerous film artefacts, mostly small, and mostly unobtrusive, and they don't harm the viewing experience in any way.

    There are plenty of subtitles to choose from. I watched the English variety during the audio commentary and found them mostly accurate and well positioned on screen.

    Disc one is a dual  layered disc that is RSDL formatted. The layer change occurs at 59:39, just as Jerry looks at the goldfish in their bowl in Dorothy's lounge room and says "we meet again". It is perfectly placed as he doesn't move and there is no sound present at all. Perfect and extremely difficult to spot.

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

Audio

    There are three audio soundtracks on this disc. There are two Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in English and German, both encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kb/s. These are joined by an English Audio Commentary track.

    This isn't a soundtrack to wake the neighbours with, but it contains enough crash and bang at a few opportune moments to keep you on your toes. There is plenty of separation across the front channels with a few decent panning effects. Dialogue is pretty important in this film and thankfully it is the clear winner in this decent soundtrack. It is perfectly clear with no audio sync problems at all.

    The music is always a major part of any Cameron Crowe film. His ability to marry certain songs with certain visuals and come up with something which is far superior than the sum of its parts is truly an art form. Many signature scenes in his films have few lines of dialogue - they are simply visuals with a well chosen song to accompany them. Jerry Maguire is no different to his other films and, from the opening credits accompanied by The Who's Magic Bus, through to songs like Bruce Springsteen's Secret Garden and a personally selected version of Bob Dylan's Shelter From The Storm over the closing scenes, this is a fine soundtrack all the way.

    As I've said, this isn't a demonstration style of soundtrack, so if you are looking for excessive surround activity you should think again. Early on at 5:21-5:40 we have some consistent surround use and during the NFL games in the latter half of the film you'll also find a bit. Otherwise, the soundtrack is mostly anchored to the front speakers.

    The subwoofer is used during the punchier moments, such as the big hits the players take during the NFL games (though not to the level used in Any Given Sunday). Otherwise it remains mostly silent and unobtrusive.

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

Extras

    We got no extras on the original disc. This time round we get the full treatment with a second disc packed full of goodies.

DISC 1

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Audio Commentary

    A screen specific audio commentary which is repeated on disc two as a video commentary (see below for full details). While it doesn't work as well as the video commentary it is fun to listen to, though not overly informative in a technical sense. More entertaining than informative, which is why it works so much better on disc two.

DISC 2

Featurette - Video Commentary - Director and Cast

    Director Cameron Crowe and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Renee Zellweger got together a couple of years ago and recorded this commentary which I believe is unique in that it is Tom Cruise's first ever attempt at one. This is exactly the same content as the above audio commentary but, in a seldom seen move, we actually get to watch the four participants recording the commentary as they sit in comfy lounge chairs watching the film. This appears in a small postage stamp size window at the bottom of the screen. The cameras are pointed directly at them as they look up at the screen so you get to watch all the reactions close up.

    This commentary works so much better when we can see the participants as they tend to banter and joke quite a bit, and some of it is visual. It is really like sitting down to watch the film with these four stars in the room with you. Well worth a look even if the content is a little repetitive and gets stuck along the lines of "Oh I love this scene". While it is fun and entertaining, there is little technical information present. I still enjoyed it, regardless.

Deleted Scenes

    There are five deleted scenes, and for someone who has seen the film as often as I have, it's always nice to see something new. One of the scenes is an absolute corker. I won't spoil it here, but the scene titled Chicago Style with Kelly Preston's Avery on the phone to Jerry is a gem. The scenes run for between 52 seconds and 4:12 minutes and are able to be watched with an optional commentary from Cameron Crowe and the film's editor. I suggest watching them with the normal soundtrack first and then the commentary, as the commentary drowns out most of the dialogue.

Featurette - Behind The Scenes

    This is some rare rehearsal footage of Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr. practicing their roles. The scenes are pretty brief, only running for between 25 and 52 seconds and the footage is rather dark and muddy, but it's still an all-too-rare look at some actors at work. The 'Show Me The Money' scene is featured.

Featurette - Rod Tidwell's First Advertisement

    Rod's Reebok ad. Apparently added into the cable television version of the film because of a contractual arrangement. Running for 52 seconds, it is generally amusing as the livewire Rod Tidwell explains what he will and won't do to sell stuff. A man with principles is our Rod.

Featurette - How To Be A Sports Agent

    A bizarre addition. This is a 3:47 home made (well it looks like it was shot on a handycam and you can hear the cameraman breathing!) featurette on how to be a sports agent. Starring an apparently real sports agent by the name of Drew Rosenhaus, he proceeds to tell us what sort of personality is needed to survive in the big league and what goodies he has in his survival kit.

Featurette-Making Of

    This was probably the most disappointing extra on the disc. If you were expecting a serious behind-the-scenes featurette here, forget it. This one only runs for 7:14 minutes and contains a few of the standard interviews grabs from the stars and director, intermingled with images from the film that are almost exclusively from the trailer.

Music Video - Secret Garden (Bruce Springsteen)

    The sweet song found at the sweetest moment of the film. This is the music video which runs for 4:30 minutes. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and contains image from the film in addition to a few shots of 'The Boss' strumming his guitar. This song also plays in a thirty second or so loop on the main menu of the extras disc.

Notes - Mission Statement

    This is cool. This is the item in the film which started it all. Fictionally, in a moment of guilt, Jerry Maguire penned his mission statement. Factually, in a moment of accuracy and completeness, Cameron Crowe actually wrote the entire thing out in full. You are now able to read it. Very entertaining. There are some forty-four 16x9 enhanced pages of the mission statement, entitled "The Things We Think and Do Not Say"

Theatrical Trailer

    This is the offending trailer that made me think I was about to see a sports film. Running for 2:27 minutes and unfortunately presented in the old full screen aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Filmographies-Cast & Crew

    Selected filmographies only for the principal cast and director Cameron Crowe.

Gallery-Photo

    Divided into categories, or you can simply flick through the whole lot all at once, these are 16x9 enhanced photos presented on a background that is in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. There are around 60 photos, some black and white, some colour. Predominately of the three main stars, there are also a few behind-the-scenes type of  shots.

DVD-ROM Extras

    Pop disc 2 into your DVD-ROM drive and via the InterActual player you'll be able to visit the Sony or Columbia Pictures websites or view the entire script for the film. The latter is quite worth it.

Easter Egg

    Well hidden on the Video Commentary sub-menu on disc 2 is this delightful 5:41 minute Easter Egg of backstage footage of the four commentary participants clowning around getting made-up and the like. Very amusing and worth hunting for.

R4 vs R1

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

    At long last the Region 4 disc is now up to the same specification as the Region 1 Special Edition. I've owned the Region 1 disc for quite some time and can happily report that, apart from the minor difference in the aspect ratio, all the Region 1 has additional is a bonus trailer for As Good As It Gets. They are otherwise the same right down to the menu navigation and audio.

    These discs are a draw in content terms, although I'll favour the Region 4 version since you should be able to pick it up far cheaper.

Summary

    So few directors make films like Cameron Crowe does, and few writers can pen scripts like Cameron Crowe can. The fact the man does both so sensationally is a testament to his film-making skills. He creates believable characters that exhibit everything that is good about the human spirit and then coaxes these same qualities out of his stars.

    This is Tom Cruise's film. He is Jerry Maguire and all those that say he can't act and he's just a smiling big-head - well bugger off!  Renee Zellweger is just gorgeous, as is Jonathan Lipnicki in his first role. Cuba Gooding, Jr's Rod Tidwell cracks me up every time I see him on the screen.

    The video is unusually framed at 1.80:1, but is still clear, colourful, and free from almost all imperfections.

    The audio is hardly demo material, but when combined with a exquisite set of songs, and the touching and humorous lines the characters deliver, is a gem to listen to.

I Love My Wife, I Love My Life, and I Wish You My Kind Of Success

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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