( Max score: 100 )
Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a sports agent who is long on ambition but short on scruples. After he suddenly and ceremoniously loses his job and his girlfriend (Kelly Preston), both his personal and professional careers hit an all-time low. But when a single mother (Renée Zellweger) enters his life and his heart, he finds himself negotiating the biggest deal of his life...for the heart and hand of the woman that he loves.
Jerry Maguire is one of my favorite movies. I think what strikes a chord with me is the transition that Jerry (Cruise) makes from the fast talking, money grubbing agent to a legitimate person who sees people rather than dollar signs. That, and the fact that Cuba Gooding Jr. is absolutely brilliant as the kwan seeking Rod Tidwell. Cameron Crowe did a wonderful job with the script and direction which is where the strength lies in Jerry Maguire. What a great group of characters. This transcends the main players and extends down to those with smaller roles as well. Kelly Preston, Jay Mohr, Bonnie Hunt, and Regina King were excellent in their supporting roles. This film has a chick flick feel to it but has plenty of dialogue and football related elements (including sports celebrity cameos) for guys to appreciate it too. Crowe took his time and built a solid bond between Dorothy (Zellweger), Jerry, and Ray (Lipnicky). The various stages that Jerry and Rod go through on their way to becoming what they were by the film's ending was not only perfectly executed but is a large reason that this story works as well as it does. Jerry Maguire was nominated for 5 Academy Awards (including Best Picture) with Cuba Gooding Jr. winning for best supporting actor. In my opinion it was justly deserved and who could forget his acceptance speech? There are many who don't care for Tom Cruise based upon his personal decisions about politics and religion etc. In my opinion his personal life is his business. I can't say that I am a die hard fan who likes all of his films but this is one where he nailed it.
The rating is for language and sexuality.
Jerry Maguire comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.
The video presentation reminded me very much of the DVD in terms of color rendering and flesh tone reproduction. Colors were well saturated with excellent tonal depth and bold primaries (particularly red). Fleshtones were naturally lifelike with subtle delineation and rosy complexions. Detail and sharpness were inconsistent. There were many instances where images exhibited good dimensionality and resolute definition that allowed the perception of fine detail. On the other hand there were shots that looked fuzzy and less sharp by comparison. Grain was visible in fine layers and became more pronounced against lighter backgrounds. Whites were on the hot side. Bright whites tended to have a glowing effect to them. The white number 85 on Rod's football jersey and the white t-shirts that Jerry wore under his shirts exhibited this. Other shades of white appeared overcooked but didn't bloom as much. Blacks were more of a shade of dark gray and shadow detail was slightly above average. In looking at the DVD version (I have the original 1997 Deluxe Edition) it exhibited these same traits and added ringing/edge enhancement. In comparing the two the Blu-ray looks exceedingly better (as it should) with much better visible detail, sharpness and overall clarity. The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is a mostly dialogue driven affair that didn't feature any impressive dynamic moments. Dialogue was intelligible and the remaining source elements were clearly rendered. The mix did utilize the surround channels during a few sequences to deliver ambient sound effects and to broaden the presentation of the music. I compared this track to the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 audio on the DVD. I thought that the lossless audio had slightly clearer expression in both sound effects and dialogue. Of course this is not a demanding soundtrack but the difference was perceptible.
The bonus content offered here is the same as those included on the 2002 Special Edition DVD release. They are offered in standard definition and include Director/Cast audio commentary, five deleted scenes with optional director/writer commentary, rehearsal footage containing three separate sessions with optional director/writer commentary, Jerry Maguire's 45 page mission statement, a Rod Tidwell commercial, a short feature on How to be a sports agent hosted by Drew Rosenhaus, a short making of documentary, and Bruce Springsteen's Secret Garden music video. The disc is BD-Live enable however features are not active as of yet but should be by releases date.
I am happy to see Jerry Maguire released on Blu-ray Disc. It has been a personal favorite of mine since I first saw it and I suspect that I am not alone in that regard. Its high definition video and audio quality is not among the best that I have seen however it has never looked better on home video. Fans will probably want to pick this up as it offers an upgrade in A/V quality and includes the latest bonus features. For those who are curious I would suggest a rental first.