Jerry Maguire comes from a seemingly lost era. It’s a 140-minute, moderately budgeted romantic comedy-drama, featuring Tom Cruise, Rene Zellweger, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and others talking about life, love and other things. In addition to being an awards winner, it became one of the biggest hits of 1996. Cameron Crowe’s memorable and very quotable film has had a good shelf-life over the years and it now celebrates its 20th anniversary. To honor this, Sony has put out a new Blu-ray, featuring a brand new transfer, remastered in 4K, along with a new lossless soundtrack. There are also plenty of new bonus features, ensuring any fan that they should show stores the money in order for this Blu-ray to complete them.
Cruise stars as the titular character, Jerry Maguire, a hard-working sports agent who has a life-altering epiphany. It leads to him calling out his superiors and the industry in general for all the poor choices being made, which ultimately gets him fired. This leads to Maguire going out on his own, with only single mother Dorothy Boyd (Zellweger) going along with him.
Maguire will need all the help he gets, as his only remaining client is the boisterous Rod Tidwell (Gooding), the wide receiver who feels he deserves more than he’s got, especially since he needs to support his family. One thing Maguire did not anticipate, however, was falling for Dorothy, in addition to befriending her young son Ray (Jonathan Lipnicki).
There is a lot of story, which gets off to a large-scale start right in the opening minutes. It’s why the film lasts nearly two and a half hours, but it is never an arduous watch. Crowe was in peak form here and getting help from James L. Brooks certainly helped turn in a story that really moved away from the level of cynicism found in the career of agents and into the heartwarming territory that makes this film such a winning success.
As noted in the film’s terrific commentary, Crowe explains how Brooks’ basically told him to make a movie that seems like the continuation of the end of an 80s movie where the hero comes up with the epiphany and tries to make things right. The result is seeing the struggles of a man who is trying to do right by himself and those involved in his life. This is part of why Cruise shines, as it is an interesting position to put a superstar actor in. It was a time where Cruise was accepting these sorts of dramas and even while he had just come off starring in and producing the first Mission: Impossible, he was clearly fully committed to building such a great character.
Speaking of great characters, this film is full of great performances, large and small. Cruise gets great support from Zellweger, in her breakout role that finds her in one of her most tolerable and likable performances. Gooding is absolutely fantastic and radiates charisma throughout this entire movie. Fun work also comes from Jay Mohr as Maguire’s protégé and rival Bob Sugar and Kelly Preston as Maguire’s fiancée early on. There’s also Bonnie Hunt, Todd Louiso, Jerry O’Connell, Regina King, Beau Bridges and even in a minor moment. It’s this great cast that helps to bring Crowe’s words to life.
Crowe’s writing has a way of feeling very pronounced and even quite big in its quiet moments. There is a certain style and rhythm to it and it serves this film well. There are great monologues and lines in this film, which have obviously connected to many, given how it still gets quoted. The film also makes the relationships feel so natural and earned. You connect with the romantic pairings, as well as the friendships formed in this film.
True to form, the film also features a great soundtrack. Featuring both classic tracks and music by Crowe’s former wife, Nancy Wilson, this film sounds great. It also looks great, thanks to cinematography by Spielberg mainstay Janusz Kaminski. There’s a reason why this film holds up so well and it’s because it is so incredibly well-assembled and very watchable.
Jerry Maguire is such great 90s movie. In addition to many great crime, action, sci-fi and comedies to have come out during the decade, this was easily one of the better romance stories to satisfy so many. It is good to know it holds up so well, as it shows a lot of good actors doing fine work with a director who really knew how to deliver.
Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Clarity/Detail: The first Blu-ray release of Jerry Maguire was one of the earlier titles to hit the format. This is easily why the new release is such a huge improvement. With a 4K remaster (despite no 4K UHD release), Sony has really managed to turn in one stellar-looking release. While many may think of the film more for its characters and story, it is also incredibly cinematic and this Blu-ray plays well to the level of detail found in every scene. From the offices to the locker rooms to the homes, there is plenty to take in, as the story meshes well with Kaminski’s camerawork.
Depth: There is a good level of depth to find here, as characters are constantly seen interacting in the foreground and background, with smooth levels of movement seen throughout.
Black Levels: Black levels are very strong here. No sign of crush, and lots of darker scenes that register as deep and inky. Especially given how the film was shot traditionally, it is great to see such a vibrant film work on this level with such sharpness.
Color Reproduction: Colors pop here and it’s great. This is a very warm film and it shows thanks to its use of color. Hints of green, blues and reds all stand out well, as the dynamic mix of environments really works to this Blu-ray’s advantage.
Flesh Tones: Facial textures are incredibly strong, as you get a great level of detail and complexity found in all the characters the film comes across. Matching them against environments, all the features standout as they should.
Noise/Artifacts: An expected level of grain does nothing to harm this terrific presentation.
Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, French Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Dynamics: The brand new lossless audio track for this film is also worthwhile. The film is strongly supported by an audio track that properly finds its way to do everything to emphasize the dialogue and the soundtrack. It’s a clean and clear track, despite how much happens within the same scene.
Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel gets to work with the music presented, as well as some of the few sports scenes found in the film. It satisfies.
Surround Sound Presentation: There is a great sense of balance here, given all the dialogue and finding the rhythms that help to create an interesting mix with the music.
Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone is heard loud and clear.
Sony went all out for this release, as it features nearly two hours’ worth of new extras to go along with all the features already found on previous releases. It’s a great selection of material, including a three-part retrospective, an hour of new deleted scenes, a great commentary track and so much more. Additionally, the Blu-ray comes packaged with the film’s original soundtrack and a booklet containing a new note from Crowe along with a full version of the mission statement written by Maguire.
- NEW – Jerry Maguire: We Meet Again (HD, 38:53) – This is a three-part look at how the movie came together. Featuring interviews from 1996, archive rehearsal footage and some newly recorded interviews, there is a lot to take in concerning the development and making of Jerry Maguire. Most fascinating is hearing how Robin Williams was involved in an early rehearsal stage, helping Cuba Gooding, Jr. get the role in the process. There’s also discussion of how involved Cruise was in making this film a hit.
- NEW – Deleted & Extended Scenes with an intro by Cameron Crowe (HD, 55:38) – While not remastered in any way, this is a lot of raw footage that didn’t make it into the film or was shortened. Best of all is a lengthy bit with Morh improving his way through a series of phone calls.
- NEW – Photo Gallery (HD)
- Picture-in-Picture Visual Commentary featuring Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Cameron Crowe – This is a great commentary track that has the actors and Crowe enjoying taking a look back at the film, which can be seen clearly, thanks to the video that takes up a small box on the corner of the screen.
- Behind the Scenes at the Video Commentary (HD, 6:40) – A brief look at the cast & crew before they sit down to record the commentary.
- The Making of Jerry Maguire (SD, 7:14) – A standard making-of.
- “My First Commercial” by Rod Tidwell (SD, 0:51) – A humorous commercial.
- Drew Rosenhaus: “How to Be a Sports Agent” (SD, 3:46) – One of the men who inspired the character.
- Original Deleted & Alternate Scenes with Optional Commentary by Cameron Crowe (SD, 2:42)
- Rehearsal Footage with Optional Commentary by Cameron Crowe (SD, 1:58)
- “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen (SD, 4:30)
- Theatrical Trailer (SD)
- UltraViolet Copy of the Film
- CD Soundtrack:
- “The Magic Bus” by The Who
- “Sitting Still Moving Still Staring Outlooking” by His Name Is Alive
- “Gettin’ In Tune” by The Who
- “Pocketful of Rainbows” by Elvis Presley
- “World on a String” by Neil Young
- “We Meet Again (Theme from Jerry Maguire)” by Nancy Wilson
- “The Horses” by Rickie Lee Jones
- “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen
- “Singalong Junk” by Paul McCartney
- “Wise Up” by Aimee Mann
- “Momma Miss America” by Paul McCartney
- “Sandy” by Nancy Wilson
- “Shelter from the Storm (Alternate Version)” by Bob Dylan
Jerry Maguire remains a highly enjoyable experience. This features a lot of actors and Crowe at the top of their game in a winning comedy-drama that has a lot to accomplish and pulls it off. The new Blu-ray is quite terrific, as you get a fantastic new video transfer and an audio track that does proper justice as well. Add to that a great set of new and old extras that really round out this package. This is a great purchase for any fan that wants their hands on this film.