Review by Michael Jacobson
Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr., Regina King, Jonathan
Lipnicki, Bonnie Hunt, Kelly Preston, Jay Mohr September 9,
Director: Cameron Crowe
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Features: See Review
Length: 139 Minutes
September 9, 2008
me the money!” – Rod Tidwell
that line has haunted me ever since.” – Cuba Gooding Jr.
people called Jerry Maguire a comedy, others a sports movie.
Some said it was a buddy story, some said it was a romance.
I’ve always described it as one of the most beautifully optimistic
films I’ve ever seen. And you
know what? We’re all right.
too, laugh at the humor, get caught up in the love story, and feel for the
characters every step of the way. But
for me, what makes Jerry Maguire one of the best films of the 90s is its
unerring message of faith. Here is
a guy who loses almost everything by making a stand for what he believes in, and
has to start again from square one in order to see whether or not his
convictions are worth anything. It
becomes a romance because of a woman who sees in him the man he wants to
be…and risks her future because she believes he can be it.
(Cruise) is a sports agent at the top of his game. He makes his money wheeling and dealing rich juicy contracts
for his athletes, both in their sports and with endorsements and other
opportunities. He works for one of
the biggest companies representing sports stars anywhere, and he was a guy who
helped make it what it is.
the story doesn’t start with a man clawing his way to the top of his position.
It starts with a man at the top, who looks around and knows that
somewhere along the way, things have gone very awry.
He is going through a turning point, and the exclamation point for it
comes in the form of a hockey player’s son, who, in a hospital hallway, tells
Jerry like it is in two succinct words.
a moment of catharsis, Jerry has a moral epiphany, writes a mission statement
and submits it to everyone in his company.
In a moment of clarity that comes too late, however, he realizes that his
“fewer clients, less money” philosophy might end very badly for him.
He’s right…he’s fired shortly thereafter.
a fast past series of humiliation, Jerry finds himself stripped of all but one
of his clients, the brash, no-nonsense Rod Tidwell (Gooding), a wide receiver
for the Arizona Cardinals who has maybe one last chance to land the contract
that will take care of him and his family for life. Jerry walks the walk of shame out of the office, but is
joined by Dorothy Boyd (Zellweger), who has her own moment of clarity.
She read Jerry’s mission statement, and believes enough in him to walk
toward the uncertain sunset with him.
that point on, it’s three people united by an uncertain, yet resolved faith.
Rod begins to play out the last season of his contract, risking the hope
of his future against not getting injured.
Dorothy begins to fall in love with Jerry.
Jerry enters into a relationship with Dorothy that could be a perfect
loving one, if he weren’t still so unsure of himself.
life, their story is fraught with possibilities and disappointments, love and
heartbreak…and like life, it’s a journey well spent. Cameron Crowe is that rare kind of writer/director that can
make hope seem real instead of hokey, and who’s willing to put it through the
ringers in order to see it come out better on the other side.
is an amazing cast, too…three terrific central performances.
Tom Cruise delivered the performance of his career and garnered his
second Oscar nomination as Jerry. He’s
completely unafraid to slowly strip away the swagger we associate with Cruise
and replace it with hesitance and vulnerability…he earns every moral victory
for his character. Renee Zellweger,
who got robbed of a nomination, showed the world that she was a talent to be
reckoned with. Her star has been
rising ever since, but I’ll probably always think of her warm, loving
portrayal of Dorothy when I think of her. And,
of course, Cuba Gooding Jr., who rocked the film playing Rod and then rocked the
world with his Oscar acceptance…he teased the audience at first by making it
seem that his character was going to be little more than a stereotypical
athlete, but won filmgoers over by investing an amazing amount of heart into
Rod. His victory became our
victory…and Cuba’s victory on Oscar night became our victory, too.
more cast members deserve recognition: the
amazing Regina King, who played every sports agent’s worst nightmare, the
devoted player’s wife…and brought as much heart to her role as Cuba did to
his, and young Jonathan Lipnicki, perhaps the only male who could have
stolen the female audience’s attention away from Tom Cruise.
give Cameron Crowe all the credit for bringing everything together into an
amazing story about love, courage and redemption. Many filmmakers would have been content to tell the story of
a hungry, slick agent who suddenly finds his heart, but Crowe tells the story of
a hungry, slick agent who suddenly finds his heart and then dares to ask,
“what happens next?”
Maguire is a
movie I love with all my heart and soul. I
never get tired of watching it or of sharing a couple of hours with some
terrific characters who found it in themselves to be extraordinary.
This Blu-ray offering finally corrects some of the issues I thought were prominent on the DVD releases. There seems to be less grain and noticeable texture this time around, and I couldn't see compression evident in the backgrounds. Some of the color schemes still seem a tad muted here and there, but detail leven and contrast are improved overall.
This is a lively, dynamic
TrueHD mix that offers crisp, clean dialogue, terrific
music, and plenty of open stage sounds during crowd scenes, football games, and
so on. The .1 channel accents the
songs and the action. The mix is
very good, well balanced, and keeps you in the heart of the story…high marks.
The true highlight is a group commentary with Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise,
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renee Zellweger. I can’t say that
it’s one of the most informative Cameron Crowe commentaries I’ve ever heard,
but it is one of the most fun. It’s
clear these four stars have remained friends since making this movie, and they
seem to have a blast watching the film together…it’s almost like sitting in
on a cast party! I personally
enjoyed how the guys kept trying to get Renee to do a little Bridget Jones for
them. Funny stuff!
I do miss the video commentary that was included before...with Blu-ray's picture in picture capability, why not have it here? But still, there are deleted scenes and three rehearsal reels with option commentary by Crowe and his film editor. Included in the rehearsals is the evolution of the “show me the money” scene…priceless! Also included is the famous but rarely seen Rod Tidwell Reebok commercial, Bruce Springsteen’s video for “Secret Garden” (love that song), a making-of-featurette, the full text of Jerry Maguire’s mission statement, and a short “how to be a sports agent” featurette with Drew Rosenhaus.
Shony shows us the money this time around with this Blu-ray edition of Jerry Maguire. If you love this movie, it's worthwhile to retire your old copy and snatch this high definition one up with both hands.