20 years ago, Jerry Maguire was still in theaters after its holiday debut. It’s been on DVD and Blu-ray before, but this month marks the 20th anniversary edition of showing us the money. It also marks the new releases of last year’s surprise hit The Accountant, as well as Snowden and Blair Witch.
The re-releases of Jerry Maguire comes from a 4K transfer, so even if you don’t have a 4K TV or 4K Ultra player, you’ll notice the high quality presentation. You see the grain of the film but it’s sharp and bright. Jerry Maguire looks very natural. It’s not a flashy film but it looks authentic in the world of sports, agents, and family homes. The details are in the sweat and disheveled appearance of Jerry Maguire on his roller coaster ride of stress.
The major new bonus feature is 55 minutes of newly released deleted and extended scenes. They are presented in work print quality, as if transferred to a VHS tape, as it was done in the ‘90s. There are some great scenes on their own, and this was classic Cameron Crowe writing in his prime.
There’s a whole scene where Jerry picks out the colors for his manifesto in the copy shop. There’s more baby Jonathan Lipnicki and Jeremy Suarez. Jerry tells his proposal story to a passenger on a flight. Regina King gets a good monologue. Rod Tidwell and Cush have a scene together on the plane and it’s electric. There’s a longer version of Cush firing Jerry and a longer version of the air drying scene too.
The new retrospective runs 40 minutes and includes some footage of rehearsals and some audio of Robin Williams reading the Jerry Maguire lines at a read through when Cruise was not available. I sort of wish we could hear the whole audio but I’m sure they picked the highlights, and kept it respectful to the late Williams. It’s fun to see alternate posters the marketing tried, when really all Jerry Maguire needed was that candid smile on Tom Cruise’s face.
The Accountant was certainly the autistic kung fu hit man accountant movie of the year. I never knew I needed an autistic kung fu hit man accountant movie but now I know.
Since The Accountant was shot on film, a rarity these days, it has a gritty look. You can see the grain in The Accountant just like in Jerry Maguire but to a very different effect. The Accountant boasts high contrast where the men in black suits stand out against light office space and outdoor scenes. It’s a very shadowy film noir look with lots of frames in pitch black, not the least of which is the climax. Seeing that silhouette of the gunman entering frame is striking.
The bonus features talk about the care put into determining the symptoms of autism that would manifest in the accountant. In that regard, they may have failed. It’s kind of all over the place in the film. But the bonus features do let you into the fight choreography and Ben Affleck’s acting process.
Oliver Stone’s biography of Edward Snowden came out December 27. It is a great looking film for Blu-ray, with locations in Hawaii, Hong Kong, Germany and Russia showing a high definition travelogue. Five deleted scenes run nine minutes but only embellish a few things. Snowden hacks a classmate and we see one of Lindsay’s art shows.
A 40 min Q&A with Joseph Gordon Levitt, Shailene Woodley and Stone with Snowden on skype is our Chance to hear Snowden and the cast speak about the issues of the movie. Stone is more restrained in front of an audience than if you really get him talking. Snowden’s description of meeting Stone seems quite accurate.
The original Blair Witch Project looked as rough on Blu-ray as it did in theaters. 17 years later, cameras are higher definition but the new Blair Witch still has that raw quality of personal cameras. The woods are clearer and brighter, but it still looks like a Blair Witch movie.
The in-depth behind the scenes feature is a feature film itself at 106 minutes. That’s longer than the 89 minute film. It goes in depth in all departments. Of particular interest is seeing the tunnel from the outside as a long box. In the second about the Comic-Con screening, you can see my bald head in the theater at 1 hour, 26 minutes and 33 seconds!
Screenwriter Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard are fun to listen to give a commentary too. They’re very self-deprecating about the film’s box office results but also grateful to the fans listening to them share in-depth information on specific scenes.