has an average rating of 5.9 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
ALL in HD with Picture-in-Picture
– 90 minutes
Buy it for $25.95 @ Amazon.com
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself is based on the novel by Steven Gould, originally adapted into screenplay by David S. Goyer, Jim Uhls, Simon Kinberg and Directed by Doug Liman. The whole plot to this film involves the possibility of teleportation — being able to “teleport” or jump to one place or time at an instant. The story revolves around a boy named “David Rice” who in early teenage years (played by Max Thieriot) escapes a ‘near death experience’ of drowning by… teleporting to his local library. Yes, I know that sounds absolutely nuts in print which makes me wonder how David S. Goyer who originally worked on the first draft of the screenplay adaption of this novel decided to word that statement I just made — about ‘escaping to the library.’ Anyway, the explanation is that he has these mysterious powers that allow him to teleport to anywhere he wants which he’s explaining to us now in voice-over Narration at this point in the film.
David has grown up now and he’s in his late teens or early twenties and now played by Hayden Christensen of “Star Wars Episodes II & III” fame. Our main character here, David over these years has obviously learned to use his teleportation powers a bit better. His first real sign to him that he was figuring things out was when he decided to teleport into the local bank and make a withdrawal from the vault, leaving an ‘IOU’ claiming he’d pay them back. This is just the first example of the character abusing his newly discovered powers and seems to be the overall morale to this story. Things are going great for our buddy David until a man named “Roland” (played by Samuel L. Jackson) shows up unexpectedly in his apartment one night and says simply, ‘Don’t run.’ The fellow with the silver hair, Roland isn’t with the police (as he even admits) but is working for the government. He works as a “Paladin” hunting down these kids like David who have the special ability to “jump” (teleport).
While trying to escape from the “Paladin” our man David manages to teleport back to his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan which he’s been away from since the first time he teleported and decided to use this ability as what he thought would be his permanent escape. My how things have changed. He goes by his father’s house and then makes his way around looking for his childhood sweetheart which he eventually finds working as a waitress in a bar. “Millie” (now played by Rachel Wilson) once she notices David is immediately happy that he’s not dead. She’s apparently so smitten and glad he’s alive that she doesn’t think twice when he asks her to come with him to Rome. I mean he hasn’t seen this girl in who knows how many years and she figured him to be dead, honestly! Sure enough, she agrees to come with him except this time he actually has to ride an airplane to get to another continent. Bummer. In the process of trying to get away (again) he sure as you’d expect is caught up with a lad named “Griffin” (played by Jamie Bell) who happens to be a “jumper” like David.
I know this whole notion of ‘teleportation’ is obviously rather outlandish to some, well most anyone to be honest but it makes for a somewhat nice mindless movie experience. Just sit, eat your popcorn and enjoy the movie by not overly questioning what you’re seeing. This is the type of film, like “The Matrix” that is sure to just leave people of the scientific community outraged. Speaking of which, I wouldn’t suggest this film to Stephen Hawking who for example would obviously be typing in CAPS — shouting — at the screen.
Video Quality on this release is 1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Dual-Layered Blu-ray Disc). Back of the box claims this runs at an average of 35Mbps and I can confirm that watching the rate using the select button on PlayStation 3. This definitely boasts a good High Definition transfer from 35mm which was filmed using Panavision Cameras, Lenses and Red One Camera for second unit (according to IMDb). There certainly seems to be a solid black level found here and an overall pleasant color palette with good fleshtones. I say the color is good like that and then you get something as outlandish looking as Samuel L. Jackson‘s character in the film with his silver hair jumps that just “jumps” (pun intended) off the screen and screams at you. Aside from the color choice of Jackson‘s character this is again, pleasant to view.
The visual effects in the film are pretty impressive to a degree, especially if you take the time to see how they were done by watching the bonus materials. The “jump” process of teleportation does look cool and come across visually believable to the average viewer but probably not to someone as smart as say, Stephen Hawking. Yes I know I’ve poked fun at this film’s believability by referencing a great Scientific mind but I will say this — It certainly will keep audiences “on their edges of their seat” as they like to say in the business. This doesn’t seem to have any signs of compression at all just at times a lot film grain and noise present in those super fast scene changes — which this is full of — that isn’t totally consistent throughout the film visually. I give this a “4 Star Rating” for overall video quality. The biggest complaint I’ll leave this with is of the amount of film grain and noise — the fact that some shots contain a lot while others seem crisp and clear. This was enough to leave me not 100% (full rating) pleased with the High Definition video experience but still impressed.
Audio Quality on this release is in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. While (at times) the visuals found on this release ‘jump’ off the screen at you the sound presentation here never really leaves you ‘jumping’ out of your seat. Sure the sound effect of teleporting sounds kind of neat, it holds a decent little boost of bass in it and all but it’s just nothing amazing. The dialogue is delivered very clearly and doesn’t require any volume adjustment at all, I can say that. The music found in the film at times can have a slight rear channel presence as do some sound effects occasionally but this really seems to be a ‘front heavy’ 5.1 surround mix.
Bonus Materials are ALL presented in High Definition video using AVC MPEG-4 and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound.
- Audio Commentary by Director Doug Liman, Writer / Producer Simon Kinberg and Producer Lucas Foster
- Jumpstart: David’s Story – Animated Graphic Novel (8 minutes) looks visually impressive but features some rather “campy” voice acting. Fans of the film and/or novel will enjoy this most likely but I didn’t really find it to be worth watching personally, although I did watch it.
- Jumping Around the World is both a PIP (Picture-in-Picture) using “Bonus View” (Profile 1.1) capable Blu-ray Disc Player and also a non-PIP version which not only allows users not capable of Bonus View to see the bonus materials included separately. This also gives the user the option to view each featurette full screen if you so choose. The graphical user interface (GUI) for the non-PIP version is a bit confusing to navigate through though I will say. You get lots of behind-the-scenes footage here, Interviews with Director Doug Liman, Writer / Producer Simon Kinberg and the cast members.
- Doug Liman’s Jumper: Uncensored (36 minutes) focuses on the film’s Director and his approach at this film and filmmaking in general. This proves to be really informative, at times hilarious in it’s spontaneity and definitely shows how much effort Liman puts forth into his films. Interviews from the other filmmakers like Writer / Producer Simon Kinberg and the members of the cast are included. This isn’t really really worth watching to the average viewer. Fans of Liman‘s past work and/or the film will enjoy this though.
- Making An Actor Jump (7 minutes) takes a look at the visual effects used in the film to make the “jump” effect when a character (actor) teleports. This shows some of the original screen tests done and includes commentary throughout by Director Doug Liman. The other interviews we get here from the guys at WETA are very informative and make this featurette worth watching.
- Jumping from Novel to Film: The Past, Present and Future of Jumper (8 minutes) gives us insight at how the original Novel by Steven Gould was adapted originally by David S. Goyer into a screenplay and later co-wrote by Jim Uhls and Simon Kinberg. Interviews are included with Steven Gould (Author of the Novel), Director Liman and the films Producers. This discusses the obvious intentions of making sequels, two more films to be exact so that’s the future of this newly created franchise.
- Deleted Scenes (11 minutes) gives you six total that contain obvious things like green screen, cameramen, film crew and so forth. It’s obvious these weren’t finished as the video quality varies in each camera shot change. These are totally worth watching if you enjoyed the film despite the variety in the video quality.
- Previz Future Concepts (4 minutes) is a nice glimpse at the computer animated storyboards that Director Doug Liman & the other filmmakers used to help plan out the camera shots and so forth. This probably isn’t going to be worth the watch to the average viewer.
- Digital Copy is provided on the second disc included (DVD-ROM) which allows you to copy the film to your personal computer or portable device(s). This supports both Windows Media Player and iTunes so you’ll be able to copy to your Zune, PSP, iPOD or etc. Always love to see this feature included.
Overall the batch of bonus materials we get here from FOX prove to be most pleasing, even if you weren’t a huge fan of the film it is fun to watch how this was made. I think the growing trend of adding PIP (Picture-in-Picture) on Blu-ray titles is encouraging and so is the fact they decided to include the videos from that PIP in a non-PIP standalone mode for people without “Profile 1.1” (Bonus View) capable Blu-ray Players. Also always great to see Digital Copy included and it would appear it’s definitely becoming ‘the norm’ on FOX‘s new releases. Kudos go out to FOX in the bonus materials department for this one, good job!