Jennifer's Body (UK - BD RB)
Our Marcus tries to concentrate on the movie as he watches Megan Fox in HD
Needy (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer (Megan Fox) are best friends. Well, sort of best friends. Jennifer’s sort of a bitch and Needy is just dowdy enough to make Jennifer look even better than she does already, so they work well together.
After the two friends survive a devastating bar fire, Jennifer hitches a ride with upcoming indie band Low Shoulder and leaves Needy to fend for herself. Later that evening, Jennifer arrives at Needy’s house, covered in blood and puking up lots of black spiky stuff. Something has changed with Jennifer and to make matter worse many of the local boys are turning up dead. Is there a connection? You bet your ass there is!
Jennifer’s Body's more than underwhelming run at the box office really surprised me. For starters, the movie has one of, if not the most media covered/hot actresses on the planet strutting her stuff front and centre and even more so the movie has a whole lot more to offer than a whole lot of the dross forgettable teen horrors that Hollywood serves us up on a regular basis.
Diablo Cody’s screenplay balances genuinely well handed comic book demonic horror, laughs and drama with ease, and even though I can understand a section of the audience rolling their eyes at her funky dialogue, I personally find it quite refreshing that a screenwriter is allowed to have a voice all of their own and who isn’t afraid to aim their own slang at the world. It worked for me in Juno and it works for me here.
So what of the cast? I think the two leads bounce off of each other very well. Seyfried has a whole lot going beyond being just the plain little best friend. Cody plays with the spiritual side of Needy and Jennifer’s relationship well and scenes where you see Jennifer through Needy’s eyes can add a whole lot of weight to the situation, especially all of the stuff revolving around Jennifer’s admiration of Adam Brody's devil worshipping band, Low Shoulder. I’ll admit that a lot of the mental home stuff doesn’t work quite so well, as it’s a bit too ‘I’m all dark now – rarrrrr’, but she carries almost all of the emotional weight of the movie on her shoulders effortlessly.
And then there’s Megan Fox. You’re not really going to get a bad word against her from the Marcus camp. I thought she was great in Transformers and I honestly think she’s brilliant in this flick as well. I know, it’s very easy to say she’s just playing her own media persona as the hot girl that’s seen as a bitch, but that sweeping generalisation is pretty unfair. Yes she’s playing that element very well, but there’s so much more going on here than that. There’s a real character here with a twisted sense of humour and her own selfish desires but Megan Fox is going at this role with one hundred percent commitment. Her dialogue is sold as all her own and it never feels forced, the small mannerisms she has whether it be in awe of the band or snide responses to the people around her are subtle and genuine and when the band sacrifice her (to be ‘awesome like that guy in Maroon 5’) there’s a performance there that isn’t just the usual girl screaming to get away. Also besides all of that, the sheer amount of fun she’s having with the demonic side of her character just makes for a great villain, with a wicked smile and one I enjoyed watching doing her thing.
I’m in total agreement with Gabe on this one, when he said ‘Kusama shoots Jennifer’s Body to look a little rough around the edges, so this 1080p transfer isn’t picture perfect, but there’s a gorgeous garish quality to the whole film that would likely be lost in standard definition’. The image is pretty damn great and its level of detail can sometimes be astounding.
Little unintentional details like seeing the marks left by clothing elastic against character’s skin after they take clothes off, or the redness of a frown line on Seyfried’s forehead after she’s been showing concern over Jennifer’s actions or how the fabrics of clothes feel almost touchable on the screen all show off just how detailed this transfer is.
Also showing off the HD transfer is the the colours. The bold pinks and yellows of Jennifer’s wardrobe pop in HD and in exterior daylight shots make everything look rich and warm and really impressive. Even the darker scenes, of which there are many, are well lit and still shine in HD, and with the majority of the movie using a dark back drop in brightly lit interior scenes, the entire thing looks pretty incredible in 1080p even with the high level filmic grain preventing it from being the cleanest of transfers.
(P.S. On a side note to any non-Megan Fox fans, I ran my thoughts on the transfer via my wife and she concurred. So I wasn’t just seeing the movie through rose tinted Megan Fox loving glasses—okay, maybe a little bit).
I found the DTS-HD 5.1 track to be a pretty great one, with a whole lot of power when called for (mainly to make you jump or celebrate the metal on the soundtrack) and pulling off the quiet moments with just as much thought.
I wouldn’t say there were a whole lot going on beyond all that and the dialogue but as this is a horror and its bread and butter is shocking you with sound, its hardly a surprise there hasn’t been too much put into the soundscape because it wants to shock the shit out of you when it arrives.
The musical scenes with Low Shoulder sound pretty great in the track, with a wide feeling sound to the mix, and the handful of Jennifer’s demonic screeching stretched out across speakers nicely, using the bass to sell the garish things she’s doing to the boys.
As with (500) Days of Summer last month, Fox dicks us again, giving us less features than the U.S. release. This time we lose out on the two commentaries, the video diaries, the awesome Megan Fox PSA and all of the featurettes, leaving us with just the six deleted scenes (13:55 HD) a Gag Reel (04:55 SD) and both the theatrical and extended versions of the film itself.
The second disc is just a digital copy.
All in all this is a bit of a travesty, but with region coding stopping the majority of us from having any other options we’re sort of stuck. Please stop doing this Fox.
As a side note, and not really a special feature, but the cover comes with an embossed effect on Megan's body. It's actually pretty good and no where near as naff as I thought it would be.
I’m not saying that Jennifer’s Body was one of my favourite films of last year, but it’s certainly towards the top end as opposed to the middle. I found it to be a refreshing entry in the teen horror genre that had a whole lot more to offer than the usual garbage we get served up and it’s certainly a movie I can see myself throwing on for a fun re-watch, much in tune with movies like Tremors or the Child’s Play sequels.
Also I want to see director Karyn Kusama take a shot at a comic book movie. Her sensibilities seem pretty spot on, so maybe she’ll get a shot at the rumoured Megan Fox fronted Hack/Slash adaptation.
The less said about how much we got screwed on the features the better, but the disc looks and sounds great and made for another great viewing of a fun and thoroughly enjoyable horror romp.
*Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray release.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 22nd February 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, DTS 5.1 Audio Descriptive Service English, DTS 5.1 French, Dutch, Italian, German, Italian, Russian
Subtitles: English, French, Danish, German , Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Spamish, Swedish
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Extended Version
Easter Egg: No
Director: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, J. K. Simmons, Kyle Gallner, Amy Sedaris, Cynthia Stevenson, Lance Henriksen
Genre: Comedy, Drama and Horror
Length: 107 minutes
Follow our updates
OTHER INTERESTING STUFF
Fringe: The Complete First Season US - BD RA Ravenous US - BD RA Watchmen: Directors Cut US - BD 24: Season Three AU - DVD R4 Right at Your Door US - DVD R1
Spring Breakers UK - BD RB Quantum Leap: The Complete First Season AU - DVD R4 Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her AU - DVD R4 Danny Roane: First Time Director US - DVD R1 From Hell US - DVD R1