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The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Overture Films - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega
Directed by: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Music by: Grizzly Bear
Written by: Bob Glaudini
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 18, 2010

"Some People Tell Lies. Others Live Them"

Film Synopsis:

Jack Goes Boating is a tale of love, betrayal, friendship and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples. The film stars John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Amy Ryan and Philip Seymour Hoffman, with Hoffman making his feature directorial debut. Bob Glaudini ("A View From 151st Street") adapted his acclaimed Off Broadway play for the screen.

My Take:

'Jack Goes Boating' poses tough questions for the audience, wrapped in neat little package of limited locals, whimsical humor and realism. First time director Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) plays Jack, a quite soul who is a middle age Rastafarian, complete with dreadlocks and an old cassette player filled with Reggae. When his best friend Clyde (John Ortiz--American Gangster) and wife Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega--Broadway’s "Rent") set him up on a blind date, Jack finds someone as strange as he, is as they start to hit it off. As their new relation slowly blossoms, the couple that introduced them starts to come apart.

Based on Bob Glaudini's off Broadway play, 'Jack Goes Boating' is a real slice-of-life story. Things move slowly, locations are limited and emotions take center-stage over Hollywood's action and super-models preference. I enjoyed the break from the norm this film offered. The cast were all impeccable, as they should be seeing that Hoffman, Ortiz and Rubin-Vega were all in the stage-play. Jacks relationship with Connie, played as awkwardly perfect as can be by Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), felt organic and kept me interested and wanting of these characters to find happiness. On the other hand I wanted the other couple, rather then living in torture, to admit they needed to look elsewhere for what was missing in their lives; it was a strange parallel.

'Jack Goes Boating' is an original piece of work (with a smoking pot/paranoia scene that was so pitch-perfect, it made me feel buzzed!), well acted and directed and worth a viewing for the more patient film buffs out there. My only major concern was that at 90 minutes, I did fell a few too many moments where things did drag.

Parental Guide:

Rated R for language, drug use and some sexual content.

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)

Audio: 82

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 90

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:
'Jack Goes Boating' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.2 mbps and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 2.5 mbps.

'Jack Goes Boating' video presentation looked extremely natural, and Hoffman's directing gave us spot-on flesh-tones and colors that seemed like you were in the room too. Black levels, though limited were nice and inky and fine details were well above average, all making this a very nice Blu-Ray release. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track was natural as well, with articulate and always discernible dialogue. However, it is not a super dynamic track with room shaking LFE, nor does the source ask for that. The soundtrack has some nice smooth bass in the musical portions and everything seemed in its right place. The Surrounds were utilized with care, as not much happens besides in the front sound-stage. I heard music and light atmospherics, but noting that added or detracted to the Stage-play like LCR mix.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) From the stage to the big screen

  • (HD) Jacks New York

  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) Theatrical Trailer

  • (HD) Trailers: Stone, Jack Goes Boating, Let Me In, City island, Solitary Man, Sunshine Cleaners, The Visitor, Last Chance Harvey

Final Thoughts:

'Jack Goes Boating' is decent movie with superb acting. It is an exercise in awkward emotions that can get heavy, but is lighthearted enough to not take itself too seriously. That injection of humor and realism, coupled with the great performance saved Jacks boat from sinking. The A/V presentation from Anchor Bay is very enjoyable, with a clear, natural look and sound. Give it a shot if you are in the mood for some tough questions about relationships in a unique indie-film. A rental recommendation.

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS50 3D 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen

Denon AVR-4311CI Receiver

Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)

SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer

2,947 Posts
Thanks, Lee....I've been wondering whey my boy Phillip Seymour-Hoffman has been hiding....glad to see his into directing now!

3,696 Posts
Thanks, Lee!

It always seems I am drawn to films which Hoffman in them. It will be interesting to see one where he directed too.

Again, great review!

2,947 Posts

Originally Posted by graphicguy /forum/post/19857242

Thanks, Lee!

It always seems I am drawn to films which Hoffman in them. It will be interesting to see one where he directed too.

Again, great review!

That's because he's the best character actor if his generation

Have you ever seen Love Liza? I saw that movie almost 7 years ago and it still stays with me. Maybe my favorite Hoffman performance ever.
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