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October 29, 2008
Jerry Maguire Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
6/3/199727/10/2008Sony PicturesCameron Crowe
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MTom Cruise

THE MOVIE
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Tom Cruise at the peak of his career.

In the mid 1990's Tom Cruise was on a high. He was undoubtedly the biggest movie star of the time and with Mission Impossible storming box offices, and Interview with a Vampire generating equally impressive box office numbers the year before, Jerry Maguire looked set to be another big movie. This wasn't an action movie though, but rather a drama/romance/comedy.

In the game of life, sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is long on ambition but short on scruples, until one day he writes a mission statement that awakens his conscience… and costs him his job. But with the help of one loyal colleague and one outrageous client, Jerry's about to discover that he’s a man willing to lose everything, to win the one thing worth fighting for.

For me, this movie really succeeds in creating a fine balance between the dramatic story of a man losing his entire life and retaining a romantic side with a woman in love with a man she never thought she could have. The movie is not overly soppy nor overly funny, but provides a little of each. In order to achieve this the filmmakers had a brilliant script, and a great cast with superb acting on display.

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Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise.
It is not, though, just myself that enjoyed this movie as Jerry Maguire was nominated for Best Picture at the 1997 Academy Awards (it lost to The English Patient), as well as Best Actor in a Leading Role (Tom Cruise lost out to Geoffrey Rush for Shine), Best Film Editing and also Best Writing - Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and deservingly so.

Unfortunately while it lost in those previously mentioned categories this movie didn't go home empty handed as Cuba Gooding Jr. did win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. While it screen time isn't anywhere near as big as Tom Cruise's, Cuba does a brilliant job in as the football star in need of a contract, and a reliable sports agent. Who could ever forget Cuba's joyful acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. It is one which will never be forgotten. There was another big surprise for me in this movie though. For the most part I can't stand Renée Zellweger as an actress. This is though, the one movie where I actually really enjoy her. She's bubbly, full of life, and really brings out the emotion during the ups and downs of Jerry's lifestyle.

A great movie Jerry Maguire is a welcome addition to Blu-Ray and a movie which will satisfy both male and female audiences on different levels.

VIDEO
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Time to check that contract.

Jerry Maguire comes to Blu-Ray with the AVC MPEG-4 codec at 1080p in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which is equivalent to the theatrical release. Indeed it is true that the increased resolution of this disc sees a major increase in detail with some scenes - such as the football matches - looking vibrant, active and detailed.

While this disc is a major improvement over the DVD release, that isn't to say this is the best looking Blu-Ray disc. It's acceptable, but with some contrast issues, and slightly inconsistent colouring this isn't a transfer to show off the format. Still, it's not terrible, and fans will enjoy the upgrade from the DVD.

AUDIO
As is the case with almost every Sony Pictures release these days the audio is provided in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and despite the nature of the film (that being quite dialogue driven with few effects), this is still a solid release and the audio improvements don't suffer any issues like the video. Compared to the Dolby Digital 5.1 448kbps track on the DVD this release offers an increased level of clarity with improved surround channels, and vastly improved fidelity.

Other languages on the Jerry Maguire Blu-Ray disc include Italian Dolby TrueHD 5.1, as well as Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 each at 640kbps. All are quite acceptable in quality from the samples of each track, however the Polish track simply dubs the Polish dialogue over the English which remains audible at the same time.

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Renée Zellweger is brilliant as Dorothy Boyd.
Subtitles are provided in English, Italian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovene, Swedish, and Turkish. While sampling the English subtitle track we noticed that much of the dialogue has been shortened, obviously to help keep pace. Subtitles are also provided in English and Italian for the commentary track.

EXTRAS
For such a stellar movie it's great to see a decent set of extras provided on this disc although, sadly, they are all presented in Standard Definition.

Director and Cast Audio Commentary: This audio commentary features director Cameron Crowe and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Renee Zellweger. This is really quite an interesting track in that it is one of the few that Tom Cruise has ever participated in. This is quite a lively commentary with some insights into the production of the movie. The major disappointment is that this commentary has been made available on DVD as a PIP track, but only appears on this Blu-Ray as an audio commentary.

Deleted Scenes (8:45): Absolutely terrible quality (looking more like VHS then even Standard Definition MPEG-2) these five deleted and extended scenes include some interesting content. They can also be played with optional director and editor commentary.

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Jonathan Lipnicki in Jerry Maguire.
Rehearsal Scenes (2:00): This series of three rehearsal scenes are interesting in that they show Cuba Gooding Jr and Tom Cruise rehearsing prior to shooting. It looks like they were originally recorded on VHS and the quality is poor as a result.

Jerry Maguire's Mission Statement: A series of 45 text based pages which contain the mission statement by Jerry Maguire as featured in the movie. An interesting read.

Rod Tidwell Commercial (0:51): A pretty amusing Reebok commercial starring Rod Tidwell.

How To Be a Sports Agent (3:40): A look at all the items needed by Sports Agents in today's (well, the late 1990's) era. Somewhat interesting with a real sports agent Drew Rosenhaus - although this featurette is quite brief.

Making Of Featurette (7:15): One of those promotional styled featurettes which retells the story, and includes scenes from the movie, more then actually providing in-depth production details. Lightweight, and underwhelming.

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Time for the big game...
Music Video "Secret Garden" by Bruce Springsteen (4:30): A great song presented here in Standard Definition with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio at 224kbps.

Trailers (10:04/HD): Trailers for Men In Black, Surf's Up, Made of Honor, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the promotional Blu-Ray Disc is High Definition.

OVERALL
Jerry Maguire really is a fantastic movie created at a time when Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr were at the peaks of their careers. This Blu-Ray release provides an impressive transfer and quite a few extras, although not exclusives. If you're a fan, then don't hesitate to add this to your collection. You can hear it now, Sony Pictures shouting "Show Me The Money!"...

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
8/10
THE VIDEO
7/10
THE AUDIO
8/10
THE EXTRAS
4/10
OVERALL
7/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.