The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Gary Cole, Glenne Headly, Ben Hollingsworth, Amber Heard, Lauren Hutton
Written & Directed by: Derrick Borte
Music by: Nick Urata
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 10, 2010
"Can you keep up?"
The Joneses seem like the most stylish, trendsetting family on the block. But in reality, they have a hidden agenda that will affect their closest friends and neighbors in surprising ways. As the Joneses' plan unfolds, secrets will be revealed and lies exposed - forcing them to turn to the last people on earth they thought they could ever trust...each other.
The flawless and fashionable Joneses are the envy of their posh, suburban neighborhood filled with all the trappings of the upper middle class. They are the ultimate trendsetters with an endless supply of high-tech toys, designer clothes, fast cars and the latest gadgets. But as the neighbors try to keep up with the Joneses, none are prepared for the truth about this all too perfect family.
I knew absolutely nothing about this film going into this review other than David Duchovny and Demi Moore were in it. Once I picked up on exactly who the Joneses were and why I was intrigued. Since it is revealed early in the film I wouldn't say that I am giving anything away so read on. Steve, Kate, Mick and Jenn Jones appear to be the perfect family. They are close knit, have just purchased a beautiful home, and live a life of luxury that allows them to surround themselves with the best that money can buy. The Joneses are the envy of everyone in their new community. The problem is that they are not at all what they seem. The truth is that Steve and Kate are not married and there is no familial connection between any of them. They are all employees of an advertising company known as Life Image.
Their job is to promote the products of Life Image's clients by lauding them via exhibition to the consumer base they would appeal to most. This is something that the Joneses are trained to do and each has become skilled at the art of creative enticement. The product's the Joneses use runs the gamut from food/beverages all the way up to high end sports cars. Each implanted family is called a unit with every member/employee being responsible for specific products and the cache of consumers those products target. The unit's progress is closely monitored and rewards are given for percentage increases within each member's respective product category.
It doesn't take long for the Joneses to develop a large base of new friends/neighbors/acquaintances and begin to exercise an almost subliminal level of desire to have/own everything they do. While this all seems to work seamlessly the problem is that the Joneses are far from perfect. They are fallible people with problems, desires and worst of all, in Steve's case a conscience. No matter how hard they try they soon find themselves unable to avoid the pitfalls associated with real life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! I found its satirical conceptual spin refreshing and thought that Duchovny and Moore were pitch perfect in the roles of Steve and Kate. There is no mistaking the film's anti-materialistic and thought provoking cautionary message. While it is a bit in your face the implementation is well executed and proves entertaining. The clichéd finale takes a little bit of the polish off of it but its acceptance is made easier by the excellent chemistry between the two stars. It has been a while since I have seen either in a film role that made me stand up and take notice. I am happy to report that The Joneses is a sleeper and one of the more entertaining movies I have seen of late.
The rating is for language, some sexual content, teen drinking and drug use.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Joneses comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.
This video presentation has a filmic quality that doesn't always lend itself to razor sharp images however resolution is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with clear definition that at times is meticulously resolved. The color palette isn't a diverse one and sticks mainly to sepia and de-saturated neutral tones that render a cooler overall appearance. Flesh tones are on the bland side but fit right in with the visual style of the video. Contrast is boldly applied which dynamic enhances sequences containing brighter elements. Blacks are punchy with visible gradational stages that emphasize depth. Sequences containing uneven/dim lighting reveal ample detail in shadowy backgrounds and darkened areas. Images onscreen generally have a pristine quality that makes for terrific looking high definition presentation.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivered dialogue that was crisp, tonally descriptive and well articulated. The front three channels delivered the bulk of the sound and did so with excellent clarity and imaging. The surround channels and sub saw occasional use and appropriately supported this dialogue driven presentation with ambient effects and the bass reproduction that matched those required by the film's elements.
- 2 Deleted scenes
The Joneses is a conceptually refreshing look at consumerism and our dependence on material things as seen through the eyes of Steve, Kate, Mick and Jenn Jones as they sell themselves as the family everyone wants to be like. The film's anti-materialism and thought provoking cautionary message is a bit in your face but is made easier by a well executed and entertaining implementation which is highlighted by strong performances from stars David Duchovny and Demi Moore. Its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Fox looks great in high definition but unfortunately sports a barebones features package that only includes a pair of deleted scenes. Regardless I recommend that you give The Joneses on Blu-ray a spin as it is 96 minutes that is time well spent. Enjoy!
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