'Jersey Boys' (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)
(John Lloyd Young, Christopher Walken, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, et al / Blu ray + DVD / R / 2014 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: After losing her job and learning her husband has been unfaithful, Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) hit’s the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother (Susan Sarandon) on the trip of a lifetime.
Blu ray Verdict: I have to fully admit that I was really excited for this movie. I saw the play in Chicago about 5 years ago and loved it. Clint Eastwood is one of my favorite directors and I thought 'Jersey Boys' would be one of my favorite films of this year, but I was disappointed by Eastwood's adaptation of the hit Broadway play. Maybe I set my expectations too high. It's hard not to compare it to the play.
The acting is top notch (particularly John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for the play), the sets are authentic, and the music is great. However, I felt Eastwood decided to add more talking moments and put the music to the side. The music becomes more background noise and not the driving force of the film. The film becomes more of a standard music biopic than the musical on Broadway. I understand why they made some of the choices and some of them work very well, but I would have liked to have seen more musical moments.
A lot of time is placed on the exposition and I thought it kind of slowed the film down. The actors break the fourth wall throughout the film, but I don't think Eastwood's style worked as well with it. Films that break the fourth wall and talk directly to the camera (like Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall' or Martin Scorsese's 'Goodfellas') have a particular energy that drives the film. Eastwood, though, has a slower and more patient style and I'm not sure if breaking the fourth wall always went well with the film. The actors are good enough to make it work though.
The movie is at its best when the music comes to the forefront. Eastwood does a good job of showing the fun the band has creating music and the audiences' reaction to the music. It shows the power of their music. One of my favorite moments is when the band plays "Cry for Me" for the first time. It's music being created so naturally and shows why Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons are great. Other great song moments include "My Eyes Adored You" and the tear jerking rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You."
And so, in closing, Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys"' has its faults, but the sheer power of the music and the acting makes it a treat worth seeing. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
From Broadway to the Big Screen Featurette
To Good to be true Featurette
“Oh, What a Night” to Remember Featurette