Juno (2007)

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Released 6-Aug-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes-11 deleted scenes with optional commentary
Featurette-Gag Reel
Featurette-Gag Take
Featurette-Cast and Crew Jam
Featurette-Screen Tests
Featurette-Making Of-Q & A with Director Jason Reitman and Writer Diablo Cody
Featurette-On the Writer - Diablo Cody
Featurette-On the Director - Jason Reitman
Featurette-On the Actors - Ellen Page, Michael Cera and Olivia Thirlby
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 92:07 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:18) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jason Reitman
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Ellen Page
Michael Cera
Jennifer Garner
Jason Bateman
Alison Janney
J.K. Simmons
Olivia Thirlby
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $32.95 Music Matt Messina


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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
English 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

Juno is the second independent feature produced by Fox Searchlight pictures to be successful critically, and at the box office, after the surprise hit of 2006, Little Miss Sunshine. Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) is a young 16 year-old teenager who falls pregnant to her friend, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). Initially, she seeks to abort the pregnancy, but with the support of her Dad, (J.K. Simmons) and stepmother, (Allison Janney) she seeks to adopt out the baby to a couple who can't have children, Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa Loring. (Jennifer Garner)

This is a wonderful film, with screenwriter Diablo Cody winning the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Ellen Page helps to bring out Cody's sharp and witty dialogue in her portrayal of Juno, while J.K. Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman trilogy) must be praised for his supporting role as Juno's Dad. This movie provides a funny alternative to the theme of teenage pregnancy, just like the aforementioned film, Little Miss Sunshine, provides an alternative view on the theme of success. This was director Jason Reitman's second consecutive successful film after his 2005 feature, Thank You For Smoking.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film comes on a dual-layered DVD which is 6.2 gb in size. The main feature is 92 minutes long and takes up 3.2 gb while the extras take up 2.8 gb of the disc and are 113 minutes in total. Due to the fact that Fox has released this film with special features on one disc, compression issues are evident within the transfer. The main feature averages 4.62 mb/sec, which is a bit on the low side for a DVD transfer.

    The movie is presented in a 1:78:1 aspect ratio and the widescreen presentation is anamorphically enhanced. This is very close to the theatrical release of 1:85:1.

    The cinematography is well balanced between light and shadow. Close-ups in the film are sharp, however due to the compression mentioned previously the transfer is soft from the beginning, with noise evident in the darker scenes.

    The colour scheme is vibrant throughout, with a range of colours utilised in the film to represent the passing of time with the seasons.

    There are no obvious film artefacts in the transfer.

    Subtitles are included for the main feature as well as for the commentary with the director and the screenwriter. Subtitles for a commentary are not used enough by DVD manufacturers in my opinion, and I found these subtitles very helpful in my appreciation of the background to the making of the film.

    RSDL change occurs at the 57:18 point of the film and is well-hidden by a fade out to black at the end of a scene.

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

Audio

    This is a dialogue-driven movie so surround effects are used sparingly.

    This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo commentary soundtrack at 192 Kb/s.

    There are no synchronisation issues and the dialogue is sharp and clear.

    The soundtrack assists the tone of the film with songs performed by Kimya Dawson, The Moldy Peaches, The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Mott The Hoople and even Buddy Holly! Matt Messina's background music also adds to the subtle tone of the film.

    Surround Channels are emphasised at the 18 minute mark with hand-tapping effects coming through all the speakers, but the majority of the film comes through the front speakers, including the soundtrack.

    The Subwoofer is not utilised at all.

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

Extras

Main Menu

The disc loads with an ad for another film as well as an anti-piracy ad. Thankfully, these are skippable. The main menu is animated with background music and easy to use.

Audio Commentary with director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody

There is a lot to learn from the making of the film from this excellent commentary. Jason Reitman offers detailed information about the shooting of the film. (For example, shooting took 31 days even though the period of the film covers 7 months and 4 seasons) Small details that are normally missed by the viewer are commented upon, such as the deliberate continuity error with Michael Cera's character carrying a donut windowed-box (Around the 37-minute mark). Diablo Cody mentions her cameo in the film when Jason Bateman's character is surfing the internet. The two participants have a good rapport with lots of humour and very few gaps. The commentary was done without the assistance of an audible soundtrack, so both Reitman and Cody comment on scenes without dialogue. I wouldn't have known had it not been referred to at the end of the film!

Deleted Scenes - 20:24

There are 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary from Reitman and Cody. These are presented in non-16x9 enhanced widescreen.

Gag Reel, Gag Take and Cast and Crew Jam - 5:11, 1:57, 3:12

The first two of these features are gags, the second gag shows the crew been quite emotional after multiple takes. The Cast and Crew Jam is essentially a music video with the cast and crew of the film.

Screen Tests - 22:34

Screen Tests shows Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby and J.K. Simmons rehearsing scenes from the film in a studio.

Way Beyond Our Maturity Level: Juno - Leah - Bleeker Featurette - 8:58

The main actors discuss the characters they play during this featurette.

Diablo Cody Is Totally Boss Featurette - 8:36

A discussion about the screenplay of the film and how the producers of the film came about meeting Cody.

Jason Reitman For Shizz Featurette - 8:09

A discussion about the casting process for the director of the film and why the producers chose Jason Reitman.

Honest To Blog! Creating Juno Featurette - 13:02

Reitman and Cody sit in a theatre and question each other about the film. The main actors also comment, via voiceover, on scenes from the film. Again, this is presented in non-16x9 enhanced widescreen.

R4 vs R1

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

    The R1 release comes in single disc and a 2-disc special edition. The 4 featurettes are exclusive to the 2-disc special edition, however, these are not on the second disc! The second disc contains a 1.1 gb digital copy of the film. Therefore, we are fortunate in Region 4 to have a single edition film with all the extras.

Summary

    Juno was the hit comedy of 2007. With its witty dialogue, excellent acting and diverse character portrayals, Juno stood out as a unique film. Apart from the screenplay and soundtrack, there are subtle cinematographic choices in the film that highlight the point of view of certain characters in scenes. This is evident for Ellen Page's character at the 20, 37 and 57 minute mark and also for Jennifer Garner's character at the 27 minute mark of the film. The director casts the main character of these scenes with more light to emphasise and drive the plot. As a viewer you hardly notice, but this choice in directing helps the audience to connect with the storyline. It's these small things and the attention to detail, as well as Reitman's commitment to maintain a consistent tone throughout that makes Juno an enjoyable viewing experience.

The movie and extras deserve to be spread out over two discs. There is no excuse why 20th Century Fox has not done this on their DVD releases worldwide. Lovers of films and DVD collectors deserve better. As things stand, this did not detract from my enjoyment of the film as it's presented on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Monday, February 23, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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