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Jasper Jones DVD Review

Jasper.jpg

“Jasper Jones” is an unfocused movie.

Based on the novel by Craig Silvey, “Jasper Jones” is set in a small Australian town and focuses a young boy named Charlie. Charlie finds himself in a big predicament when a young man named Jasper Jones come to him for help. It turns out a woman (Laura) was found hung on Jasper’s property and Jasper had nothing to do with it. Knowing he would be blamed for the death, Jasper needs Charlie’s help in hiding the body. Charlie reluctantly helps out and things only become more complicated for the young boy as he tries to find answers about her death, struggles with family quarrels, supports his friend Jeffrey from racist people, and interact with a girl he clearly has feelings for (Eliza).

“Jasper Jones” sounds like a promising coming of age tale/murder mystery on paper, but the execution by screenwriter Shaun Grant leaves much to be desired. While director Rachel Perkins creates a real sense of place and coaxes strong performances out of the cast (I’ll get to that shortly), the material she has to work with is all over the place. The movie begins with the reveal of a dead woman and yet that plot almost becomes a side story afterwards. There’s not much of an investigation by either Charlie or Jasper nor is there any sort of suspenseful whodunit element. Instead, the answer just comes into their lap in a rather anti-climactic fashion. Even more puzzling is the fact that the titular character isn’t really on screen all that much. When he is, the movie is infinitely more interesting as there’s clearly a lot to his character. Unfortunately, most of the movie just focuses on Charlie’s life which is depicted in a less than engaging fashion. Essentially, it just feels like the movie is tackling many ideas and characters, but it never digs into them enough. You’re left wanting more development of, well, everything.

Where the film does succeed is with the cast. Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Aaron L. McGrath, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie and Levi Miller are all impressive in their roles (despite the fact that the characterrs are underwritten). They make the movie watchable.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1. How does it look? A quality standard definition transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo. How do they sound? The tracks do their job. No more, no less.

Extras: * Interviews with Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice and Rachel Perkins. * Film Movement trailers and a “Jasper Jones” trailer. * “Death For A Unicorn”- An artsy short film about a boy and a phantom.

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May 26, 2018 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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