Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)

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Released 10-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 101:00
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:17) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Penny Marshall
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Whoopi Goldberg
Stephen Collins
John Wood
Carol Kane
Annie Potts
Peter Michael Goetz
Roscoe Lee Browne
Sara Botsford
Jeroen Krabbé
Vyto Ruginis
Jonathan Pryce
Tony Hendra
Jon Lovitz
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Thomas Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Greek
Italian
Spanish
Swedish
French Titling
German Titling
Italian Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Sperry
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Jumpin' Jack Flash is a Rolling Stones song. We get to hear the Rolling Stones version, and another, by Aretha Franklin, during this film — both are good. This movie is not quite so good, but it could have been worse.

    Terry (Teresa) Doolittle (Whoopi Goldberg) works for a bank, entering foreign exchange transactions on a computer screen (this dates the film a lot — foreign exchange doesn't work like this today). Her boss isn't too thrilled because she has little chats (over the computer channel) with her counterparts in foreign banks at the end of each transaction (it doesn't affect her work negatively — she is the most productive of the operators). He takes her to task over the subject. That very evening, just as she is finishing for the day, an unexpected message appears on her computer screen. It's not one of her friends, however — it's a guy calling himself Jumpin' Jack Flash who wants to chat with her. She's wary, wondering if it's her boss trying to entrap her, but it turns out to be a man working for British Intelligence who has hacked his way into the banking system because he needs help to escape from the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. Yeah, that sounds a bit difficult to believe, but it gets further from reality...

    As a comedy / spy thriller, this is not the best you'll see, nor the worst. Whoopi Goldberg's over-the-top antics are distinctive — I don't recall any other movie featuring a character defending herself with a giant toothbrush. Some of the slapstick material (like the phone booth) is quite funny.

    If you approach this film not expecting too much, it's rather entertaining.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. I'm guessing that's the original theatrical aspect ratio, judging by the framing.

    The image is adequately sharp, but a little soft — basically displaying slightly lower resolution. Shadow detail is not very good, but you've seen worse. There's no low-level noise, but there's what looks like some light film grain.

    Colour is fairly well-rendered, which is just as well, given the bright colours of the clothes Terry wears. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are some small noticeable film artefacts, mostly spots and flecks, but they are nothing to worry about.

    There is some very mild aliasing. There is no moiré. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are subtitles in nine languages, including English. The English subtitles are English for the Hearing Impaired. They seem to be as accurate as usual, well-timed to the dialogue, and easy to read.

    The disc is single-sided, dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 57:17, directly in between two scenes — it's essentially invisible.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is available in five languages, including English. All of them are encoded as Dolby Digital 5.1, but only the English is 448 kbps (the rest are all 384kbps). It's quite a frontal soundtrack, with the dialogue mostly confined to the centre channel, and the score in the mains.

    The dialogue is mostly clear and easy to understand, although it gets a bit difficult to understand a few of Whoopi's lines at her most manic. There are no audio sync problems.

    Thomas Newman's score is fine, but the real musical stars of the film are the songs.

    The subwoofer gets nothing of any significance to do unless the bass management in your amplifier redirects bass into it. The surrounds are used in a minor way for ambience, but if you don't have surround speakers you won't miss them.

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

Extras

    No extras. Nothing at all.

Menu

    The menu is static and silent, with nothing on it but scene selection, language selection, and play.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this film was released a few months ago. It includes both full-screen and wide-screen versions. Reviews vary, but it doesn't sound like it has a better transfer than this one, and I would not be surprised if it were worse (the dual aspect-ratio discs are often restricted to a single layer per aspect ratio). It doesn't have any extras, either.

    You'll probably get pretty much the same thing buying either version.

Summary

    A medium-grade comedy/spy thriller film, on a bare-bones disc.

    The video quality is adequate, but not fabulous.

    The audio quality is good enough.

    The extras are not to be found anywhere on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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