I feel the need to get something off my pulmonary cavity before I even begin here. Make no mistake; I am a gargantuan fan of the Diablo Cody horror comedy film Jennifer’s Body. Since owning the Blu-ray disc last Tuesday it has frequented my Blu-ray drive a total of seven majestic times. I just can’t seem to get enough of it. Like most movies I have seen this past year, the second viewing at home has been the most crucial in determining its cultural relevance within my life and usually the most applauding, as is the case here. Let’s take a closer look to see why Jennifer’s Body may not have been the most successful film at the box office last year, but why it will live on in the hearts of many as an instant cult classic in their home video collection.
First, let’s be perfectly honest with ourselves. The main draw of Jennifer’s Body is Megan Fox’s body. Oops! I meant to say actress Megan Fox. Is there really any dispute in the fact? Would the opening box office turnout even have been so high with only Amanda Seyfried in the starring role? I would like to think not. I, like probably half of the moviegoers here, was really interested in one thing here. No, it wasn’t to see what if anything more would be shown of Megan Fox’s sexy body after the leaked production photos last year. That’s what Google Search is for. C’mon guys! Get your perverted minds out of the gutter. I simply wanted to know whether Miss Fox could sink or swim in her first leading role or if she was just another pretty face destined to become just a Hollywood fad after her 15 minutes of fame had expired. However, I personally don’t think Michael Bay would let that last part happen as long as he is still making movies.
So just how awful was Megan Fox in her first starring role? I am going to go out on a proverbial limb here, hoping not to go out too far and risk a branch breaking and boldly say that she truly was the charm of this film. From her quirky, adolescent delivery of corny one-liners to her sh#$-eating, bloody grins, I found myself engaged, amused and entertained throughout. While her performance is hardly good enough to warrant any Oscar nods, it was exactly the kind of deliverance that I was expecting from her in this juvenile role. Actually I did not know what to expect, but let me state what I just said in a different way you all can understand. Simply put, if you were satisfied with her performance in the Transformers films, then there is no way she can disappoint you here. I believe Miss Fox deposited a sincere portrayal of the yuppie high school cheerleader, we have all come to know and love, that just so happened to have a need for feeding on the flesh of the living and practicing male population control. But what else is a succubus to do?
So does the inclusion of Megan Fox make Jennifer’s Body a Blu-ray movie worth plopping down your hard earned Benjamin’s for? If you were initially curious like me, a Megan Fox fanboy, or just a fan of Cody’s quirky writing style, then I think this Blu-ray warrants a purchase. However, if you are easily annoyed by the slow moving nature of Cody’s writings or a Megan Fox hater, then your time may be better spent scouring ebay looking for a still sealed mint condition Hordak figure. I am not saying this because Jennifer’s Body is a bad movie, but on the contrary I believe it to be much of an acquired taste like beer first is in your youth. It was just the right mixture of homogenous ingredients to get me over the hump of some of the bad movies I had seen in the August/September 2009 timeframe. The film is a dark, brooding horror-comedy that feeds on your brain much like the undead zombies feed on fresh flesh. Aligning perfectly with the split mixed critical reviews, you are either going to find this movie appealing in a guilty pleasurable kind of way or you will simply be appalled by it.
If you found the vomit scenes in Drag Me To Hell too gross to handle, then just keep moving on, as this is not the film you are looking for (as I make my Jedi-like wave). Although the film is violent in nature, much of the gore is kept to a minimum. In retrospect, if you cut out the very infrequent F-bombs that were used, I really cannot see a reason as to why this film could not have achieved a PG-13 rating. The R-rating is probably what kept the box office numbers low. But who does not like a good, abrasive, cutting edge R movie anyway? The movie studio is really going to hate me for this, but I feel this is my civic duty to let all the fanboys know that Megan Fox does not have any nude scenes. You have actually seen more nudity of her on the Internet (hence my reference to Google Search before), during production of this film, then you will ever see within the movie’s 102 minute runtime (or 107 minutes depending on which version you are viewing).
It has been said that writer Diablo Cody wrote Juno at Starbucks in a Target store. So don’t be alarmed when you hear a random shout out to Super Target within the movie. Little inside jokes like this are what I find clever in filmmaking; with the exception of Revenge of the Sith’s lightsaber handle swaps. Besides the eye candy of Megan Fox, Jennifer’s Body also stars Mamma Mia!’s Amanda Seyfried and everyone’s favorite newspaper editor, J.K. Simmons. In addition to the well-known cast members, the film also rocks a sonic soundtrack that will appeal to even the broadest range of alternative fans. If you are like me and you enjoy a hot female lead, a campy B-movie storyline/feel and essential horror gore, then you will probably like Jennifer’s Body. Notice, I used the word ‘probably.’ As I stated before, this film will not appeal to everyone. You just have to keep an open mind, accept the fact that you have bought this Blu-ray for Megan (or Amanda if she is your cup of tea) and be able to appreciate the mundane from time-to-time. If I had to break the film down in mathematical terms, I would quantify a statement that Jennifer’s Body equals the quirkiness of Juno plus the horror comedy elements of Drag Me To Hell. Take that for what it’s worth.
Before we move on to the technical aspects of the Blu-ray release I guess it would be nice of me if I gave you a very brief synopsis of what Jennifer’s Body is even about other than spending 5 paragraphs talking about that fact that Megan Fox stars in it. Cody is on record saying that she wanted the film to speak to female empowerment and explore the complex relationship between best friends. I find it hard to digest the word ‘complex’ in Cody’s statement. There is nothing about Jennifer’s Body that is complex. Yes, the film does explore the affinity between best friends (Fox and Seyfried), but I would hardly call this relationship complex. They wear BFF necklaces. How much more juvenile can we get? In case you are wondering, BFF stands for Best Friends Forever and is pronounced ‘biff’ with a short ‘i’ (as a tribute to Back to the Future I have read). But think about this. What if your best friend was so completely the opposite of you that no one outside of your relationship really understood you or why you two were friends in the first place? Now, what happens if your best friend all the sudden transforms into an unstoppable flesh eater that will stop at nothing until her male appetite is relinquished? Will you stand by her or would you put a stop to the killing even though you know she would never harm you? Jennifer’s Body never markets itself as a true horror film, but in my belief that won’t stop the film from achieving a modern day cult classic status due to its sometimes witty and clever dialogue and brilliantly fun performances (in which Megan Fox really does deliver the goods). All right, enough fluff, let’s get move on to the Blu-ray vitals!
Jennifer’s Body sinks her teeth into Blu-ray with a delectable 1080P video presentation that will leave even the most petite succubus wanting seconds. The nectarous video transfer sees an AVC MPEG-4 encode celestially filling your entire HDTV screen real estate with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The seductive Megan Fox never looked better as every delineated shadow is accounted for. The video presentation is almost perfect as the exceptional transfer is consistent throughout and exquisitely captures Diablo’s vision and moody undertones. The movie looks exactly the way I saw it in the theater, minus the annoying teenagers kicking the back of my reclining chair. After much internal debates with myself, I finally settled on a score of 4. While this presentation is hardly reference quality, it does however faithfully reproduce the theatrical exposition of the film in the privacy of your own home. Isn’t that what the Blu-ray format is supposed to do? If the answer to that question is a Rob Zombie “Superbeast”-like hell yeah, then Jennifer’s Body is a bloody victory.
Everything is done right in this transfer (skin tones are “dead” on, Megan’s tattoos are flawlessly covered, detail is staggering, colors are vivid when required and the print is cleaner than a fat kid’s plate after eating cake), but what really stands out the most are the exceptional black levels. For a movie that is consistently drenched in dark shadows and horror-like atmospheres, the black levels are unrivaled. One scene that comes to mind takes place near the end of the movie where Jennifer is laying in bed and then she turns out the remaining lights in her teenage bedroom. Even with all the lights off, the subject matter (Megan Fox) and all her surroundings are brilliantly captured and visible just like I was there on the set seeing it through my own set of 1080P eyes.
Jennifer’s Body is even more bodacious and infectious on the Blu-ray format thanks to the rocking and thunderous DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. The surround track is sumptuous on a number of accounts. Sure, the track will never be a true reference quality that rivals the great action movies on the Blu-ray format, but the quirky and brooding atmosphere of Jennifer’s Body is faithfully intact here thanks in large part to its impressive audio. I never thought I would have ever been reaching for my remote control to turn the volume down. I initially thought the other way around. When the action heats up on the screen the surround track kicks it up into high gear and encompasses you in the center of it all. The dialogue always remains loud and clear throughout. But most of all, it is the score and alternative pop songs that are truly the masterpiece here. You want to talk about a film soundtrack? I bought it as a blind buy weeks before the movie’s theatrical release last year and it is still a heavy hitter in my car’s CD library (and in Gregg’s iPod). The songs rattled my Onkyo subwoofer and gave it an exhausting workout like it has not had for a long time. Just like the movie is to many fans, I think they will be pleasantly surprised here with a Blu-ray audio track that deserves to be recognized for what it is…killer.
The Blu-ray debut of Jennifer’s Body is outfitted with a pretty succulent supplement package. The succubus tale of Jennifer’s Body is accompanied with quite an arsenal of Hi-Def goodies. Unfortunately, most of these extras are quite short in runtime, thereby preventing me from awarding a higher score in the special feature category. The real crown jewel of this Blu-ray release is the inclusion of a Director’s Cut version of the film, which appears in addition to the theatrical one. The Unrated version of the film adds an extra 5 minutes of runtime to the feature. Make no exception here; the inclusion of this extra footage is a much welcomed addition to an already tantalizing film. Usually, unrated editions add unnecessary footage and end up burdening the overall viewing experience, but that’s definitely not the case here. The seductive story of Jennifer Check only benefits from the add-on treatment. How often can you say that? Anyway, let’s get down to business and check out every special feature of Jennifer’s Body.
Below are some pictures I took of the back cover art, the inside packaging of the 2-disc set (Digital Copy on the left and the Blu-ray disc on the right) and the paper insert with the Digital Copy activation code on the flip side (valid until December 28, 2011). Click on the below images to enlarge for maximum viewing pleasure.
Below are some screenshots I took of the Blu-ray disc main menu selections. The menu choices remain static on the bottom of the screen as different movie scene images cycle in the background. Click on the below images to enlarge for maximum viewing pleasure.
- Unrated Version – As stated before, you can choose between the theatrical version of the film and an Unrated Director’s Cut. The runtimes between the two differ by only 5 minutes (theatrical – 102 minutes & Unrated – 107 minutes).
- Audio Commentary on the Theatrical Version – The audio track features Director Karyn Kusama and Writer Diablo Cody.
- Audio Commentary on the Unrated Version – This audio track features only Director Karyn Kusama.
- Deleted Scenes (HD) – Here you will find 6 polished deleted scenes clocking in at a total runtime just shy of 14 minutes.
- Jennifer’s Body: The Dead Pool (HD) – This 14-minute featurette takes a quick look behind-the-scenes into the production of the film, set locations and special effects such as the unhinged jaw of Jennifer Check used during her feeding scenes. This was really worth it for me. I recommend checking this one out.
- Cast & Filmmakers’ Behind-the-Scenes Video Diaries (HD) – There are near 13 minutes worth of short video diaries from various members of the cast and crew. There’s nothing of real substance here so let’s move on.
- Gag Reel (HD) – I was kind of surprised this one lasted as long as it did clocking in at almost 5 minutes in length.
- Megan Fox is Hot (HD) – When I first heard about this special feature I thought what a great way to market to the Megan Fox fanboys and move Blu-rays. Naturally, this was the first extra I watched. I hate to say it, but it was nothing special. Heck, it does not even last one minute in length. Boo! Give me more!
- Megan Fox Peer Pressure PSA (SD) – I was actually quite bummed that this 40-second charm was not present in Hi-Def. The quick satire was fun and right to the point.
- Fox Movie Channel Presents Life After Film School with Diablo Cody (SD) – The longest special feature on the Blu-ray disc features a 26-minute interview of Diablo Cody by three film school students.
- Trailers (HD) – There are trailers for Gentlemen Broncos, All About Steve, Whip It and Fame. Sadly, there are none for Jennifer’s Body.
- Digital Copy (SD) – Last but not least, the included DVD disc in the set contains a portable copy for your favorite media player. Enjoy it on the road!
I am sure by now you have grown tired of me singing nothing but praise for Jennifer’s Body. Ordinarily, on a movie such as this one that is split equally amongst critics, I would be obligated to give this one a rating as a rental. However, due to my over poignant fondness of this film, the Blu-ray’s sonic audio surround track and an equally impressive video transfer, I am going to whole-heartedly recommend a purchase of this title. For the fans who somewhat enjoyed it during its theatrical run, give it a second chance on the Blu-ray format, and I am confident you will be pleasantly surprised like I was. For all the Megan Fox fanboys out there, well then this goes without saying. I was so surprised to see that by 7 PM all the Best Buy stores in my area were completely sold out of this Blu-ray title. Either there were only a few copies to go around or the cult following buzz that was missed as an opportunity in the film’s initial marketing is taking off faster than I expected. Whatever the case is, you will definitely get your money’s worth here. If nothing else, you always have good eye candy (I can just hear Gregg snarling at me now as he is reading this). For what it’s worth, I am in love with Jennifer’s Body, the Blu-ray of course. Thanks for reading!
I hope you enjoyed my review of the Fox’s Jennifer’s Body Blu-ray release. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below. I look forward to receiving any and all feedback from my readers.
Jennifer’s Body was released on Blu-ray December 29th, 2009. If you like what you read in the review above, then please show your support for our site by clicking the shopping cart link above to order and save with Amazon’s Everyday Lowest Prices. Thanks!