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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Jerry Maguire: SE (1996)

"You see this jacket I'm wearing? You like it? Cause I don't really need it, because I'm cloaked in failure! I lost the number one draft pick the night before the draft! Why? Let's recap: because a hockey player's kid made me feel like a superficial jerk. I had two slices of bad pizza, went to bed, and grew a conscience!"
- Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise)

Review By: Brian Calhoun  
Published: April 28, 2002

Stars: Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Other Stars: Kelly Preston, Jerry O'Connell, Jay Mohr, Bonnie Hunt
Director: Cameron Crowe

MPAA Rating: R for language and sexuality
Run Time: 02h:18m:36s
Release Date: April 30, 2002
UPC: 043396020665
Genre: romantic comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A+ A+A-A- A

DVD Review

Sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is driving back from a career-saving meeting with one of his most important clients. Bounding with excitement, he flips on the radio and is greeted by the rockin' intro of the Rolling Stones' Bitch. Jerry belts it out in his loudest singing voice, only to realize he has no idea what the words are. Not wanting to lose the moment, he desperately changes the station, only to find the effeminate tones of Merrilee Rush and other mood-ruining tunes. The scene is not only hilarious, but heartfelt and personal. I cannot begin to say how many times I have been in a similar situation. This is just one of a countless number of ways in which writer/director Cameron Crowe has created a film with a level of emotional detail that so many others lack. I am not sure when I have seen another film that successfully ennobles so many emotions as seamlessly as Jerry Maguire.

An exhilarating opening montage quickly and effectively pries open the door to the scathing world of being a sports agent. According to Jerry, this is an "up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege" that includes 72 clients and an average of 264 phone calls a day. Nepotism goes with the territory, and one hysterical yet sobering line shows Jerry defending a client's arrest by stating "There's no proof of anything except this guy is a sensational athlete!"

It may sound as if Jerry is a number one jerk, and at the start of the film, this is the only side we see of him. However, the constant back stabbing, lying, and devotion to greed has gotten to him. When his aloof remarks regarding the degenerative physical status of a hockey player causes the player's son to powerfully retort, Jerry is zapped with a thunderbolt of conscience. Thanks to the creeping nature of Nancy Wilson's music and a slight shift in cinematography, the audience is barely aware of the fact that the emotional tone has transformed from fun and laughter to a chilling despondency.

Stricken with grief, Jerry sets out to preserve his racing thoughts, and begins writing a mission statement titled "The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business." The film has now moved from humor, to drama, to the feel-good moment of Jerry's revelation, which is beautifully accompanied by The Who's Gettin' in Tune. Numerous emotions have been delicately invoked, and this is merely the first 10 minutes.

The philosophy that business and truth seldom co-exist is exemplified when Jerry's honesty results in his termination from the prestigious firm, SMI. Bluntly fired by his protégé, Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr), in a crowded restaurant, Crowe takes time out to symbolize Jerry's mental breakdown by focusing on the forming beads of sweat on a water glass and the exaggerated sounds of melting ice within.

During Jerry's humorous yet humiliating departure from SMI, he is able to salvage one client, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and persuade a co-worker, Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger), to follow him on his quest to begin his own sports management company. The rest of the film is a continuing roller coaster of love, heartbreak, joy, sorrow, and personal redemption.

In case I have not already made it abundantly clear, Cameron Crowe has admirably created a genre-crossing masterpiece. Jerry Maguire is a careful combination of romance, sports, music, drama, comedy, and even slapstick, yet these constant mood shifts never feel forced or contrived. Much of the success of this emotional juggling act is thanks to Crowe's magical way of embracing many different art forms and molding them into one venerable piece of work. Both he and veteran cinematographer Janusz Kaminski have delivered these elements through an unforgettable visual style. Particularly remarkable are the exquisite close ups; I am not sure what types of lenses were used, but the camera has a way of gazing directly into these multi-layered characters.

At age 16, Crowe traveled the world with rock bands as a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. Apparently, spending his youth around musicians, who are often as profoundly passionate as they are neurotic, has given him tremendous insight into this aspect of the human psyche. His screenplay for Jerry Maguire exudes a keen understanding of people and their interpersonal relationships. The dialogue is so rich that I found it difficult to extract a perfect quote to begin this review. The endlessly quotable script is not entirely thanks to Crowe, however; as with any motion picture, the true success of the lines is through the performances, and all of the actors have made memorable icons out of their characters.

Tom Cruise perfectly portrays the tortured sports agent who learns deeper values while still maintaining success in a career driven by dollars. Renee Zellweger is remarkable with both her bold strength and timid sweetness. The moment where her lip gently quivers as she is listening to Jerry speak from a distance is an amazing achievement in subtlety. Furthermore, the chemistry between these two performers is exemplary.

The supporting side of the powerful roster certainly deserves mention as well. Cuba Gooding, Jr. won a well-deserved Oscar® for his expert performance as Arizona wide receiver Rod Tidwell; every moment he is on screen glows. Bonnie Hunt delivers her wonderfully sarcastic enthusiasm with charming grace as Dorothy Boyd's sister, and newcomer Jay Mohr gives a tour-de-force performance as the mile-a-minute shark, Bob Sugar.

I could go on for days trying to spurt out witty and profound statements. All I will say in wrapping up is this movie is one of my favorites. Throughout the film, I was laughing one moment and misty eyed the next. When it was over, I was filled with joy. Jerry Maguire truly has something for everyone.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: While far from perfect, the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is excellent, and better than Jerry Maguire has ever appeared on home video. The overall image displays a smooth film-like appearance, complete with a touch of film grain. Film flecks, dirt, and other source artifacts are nearly non-existent. The blazing cinematography may bother some, but this overly warm presence is all part of Janusz Kaminski's trademark style. His sepia browns and sapphire blues shine with stunning vibrancy. Compression artifacts and shimmering can be quite distracting when evident, yet fortunately these deficiencies are kept to a minimum. Blacks never seem washed out or gray; this is a perfect example of how properly executed black level can add significantly to a film's visual aesthetic. Contrast is equally perfect in the darkest scenes, with no perceived loss of shadow detail. Lighter scenes, however, often appear overblown and somewhat fuzzy, which proves to be the transfer's greatest disappointment. Those who are pleased with the original DVD transfer should be equally pleased with the special edition, as there is little discernable difference between the two.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, French, Spanish, Portugueseyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is outstanding in terms of multi-channel creativity, yet overall fidelity suffers. I was expecting a front-heavy mix, but was pleasantly surprised to hear the surround speakers aggressively utilized throughout. Split surrounds engage more than I would have imagined for a dialogue-driven film, often conveying a tremendous sense of spatiality with the whizzing sounds of airplanes and roaring spectators at football games. Particularly noteworthy is Jerry's struggle with his conscience during chapter one, which exhibits a fully enveloping dream-like presence. Lack of dynamic range is the tranfer's major downfall, as the entire track appears as if it has been mixed too hot. As a result, dialogue frequently sounds distorted, particularly when the actors raise their voices. Low end is never a significant factor, though when it pumps in for the many pop songs, it displays the right amount of kick.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring As Good as it Gets
1 TV Spots/Teasers
5 Deleted Scenes
Screenplay
Production Notes
2 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Writer/director Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Book Gatefold
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:24m:46s

Extra Extras:
  1. Video Commentary
  2. Rehearsal Footage
  3. Bruce Springsteen Music Video
  4. Mission Statement
  5. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: This is the make or break portion as to whether fans will shell out the extra bucks for a new special edition of Jerry Maguire; I recommend fans keep extra cash handy. Beginning with the packaging, this is truly a collector's item. The two-disc set is housed inside a slick foldout case complete with an inner mini-booklet containing brief production notes. All of the extras are on disc two, with the exception of the feature-length commentary.

The audio commentary by Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding, Jr. is a blast. What the commentary lacks in learned information, it makes up for with a sense of cheer. All of the participants have a great time basking in the fine work they have created, even if their comments rarely exceed "Look at that! That's great!" Cameron Crowe dominates the technical talk, and the few professional statements that he offers are interesting and insightful. While certainly not witty or profound, this is definitely one of the more fun commentaries I have heard.

Moving over to disc two, we begin with one of the more unique special features I have seen. The video commentary shows the footage of Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding, Jr. dictating their audio commentary, while the actual film is presented in a small box in the lower portion of the screen. If this were simply a one-man commentary by a stern-faced director spouting off mundane dialogue, I would call this a disaster. However, when you have a group as fun and animated as this, it is a really neat idea. While I do not necessarily recommend viewing the entire commentary in this video format, it does provide a wonderful choice for the viewer to watch certain scenes with not only the participants' hilarious comments, but their corresponding facial expressions as well. Additionally, I have always wondered if they stop rolling tape when one or more of the commentators has to make a trip to the restroom. Now I know.

Next are five deleted scenes, presented in nonanamorphic widescreen. Several of these are well worth seeing, including a pair in which Rod Tidwell attempts to film a commercial with a human pickle, and show the insane nature of his rabid fans. The most outstanding addition is an outtake of the scene where Bob Sugar steals Jerry's clients over the phone. While in the film this scene is heavily edited, here the viewer gets to witness four continuous minutes of improvisational prowess from Jay Mohr. Each scene contains optional commentary with Cameron Crowe and editor Joe Hutshing. Most of their remarks border on blasé, with the exception of a few worthwhile editing tips and Mr. Crowe's brief comments on his journalistic experiences with the NFL.

The rehearsal footage is a rare gem consisting of raw video clips of the actors working out the beats and style of several important scenes. Cuba Gooding, Jr. delivers his "kwan" speech solo, and quite admirably, I might add. While this section is short, it is a worthwhile peek into the infancy of this large-scale production. As with the deleted scenes, an optional commentary is available with Crowe and Hutshing, yet the scenes are not long enough to warrant their brief observations.

Rod Tidwell's Reebok commercial is better than most real television commercials. It is a smoothly edited, humorous advertisement that ties in nicely with the comedic nature of the film.

How to be a Sports Agent presents raw video footage of real-life sports agent Drew Rosenhaus preaching on what it takes to be a successful negotiator. Rosenhaus' heightened energy and enthusiasm almost makes the frenetic nature of Jay Mohr's performance seem toned down. He is so high-strung that I found myself wondering if he was acting. Genuine or not, this is yet another entertaining and unique supplement.

The featurette is the greatest disappointment amongst the extras. Running roughly seven minutes, most are merely filled with clips from the film. The rest of its short running time contains interviews with the cast and crew, most of which are quite insightful, but too few and far between. The noticeable lack of music also contributes to my apathy towards this piece.

I was thrilled to find that the Bruce Springsteen Secret Garden music video is not the horrendous radio edit that plagued the airwaves in 1996. Inserting random lines of Jerry Maguire dialogue over Springsteen's melodies may have helped sell the soundtrack, but it severely undermined the impact of the song. Here, the tender piece is fortunately allowed to speak for itself.

Jerry Maguire's mission statement is the icing on the cake. Presented in its entirety, viewers can now leisurely read the unedited version of the manuscript that got Jerry fired, yet ultimately led to his personal redemption. The paper is quite long (44 pages!), and written with just the right touch of eloquence. Never does the writing become unnaturally philosophical or convey a sense that these might be the words of someone other than a conscience-stricken sports agent. This humorous, touching, and insightful reading experience is a perfect special feature for the Jerry Maguire DVD.

The theatrical trailer is presented in full frame with 2.0 Dolby surround sound. Unlike most trailers, this one effectively encompasses the many emotional aspects of the film and does not lean heavily towards one genre.

Rounding out this long list are filmographies for the cast and Cameron Crowe, as well as a brief photo gallery. The original screenplay and weblinks are also available for those who have access to a DVD-Rom drive.

Extras Grade: A

 

Final Comments

While his first and second directorial outings could easily be hailed as masterpieces, Jerry Maguire marks the first time that Cameron Crowe seamlessly encompassed innumerable genres. This beautiful film has finally been given the honorable treatment it deserves on a two-disc set with a lengthy and inimitable set of special features. This is not simply a money-making attempt to repackage an old release in an attractive box marked "Special Edition." Those who are skeptically holding on to their original copies of Jerry Maguire can now safely let go.

 


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