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13 Going on 30(2004)
With the help of some magic wishing dust, 13 year-old Jenna Rink becomes 30 and gorgeous overnight, with everything she ever wanted, except for her best friend Matt. Now, this grown woman must create some magic of her own to help the little girl inside find the true love she left behind.
For more about 13 Going on 30 and the 13 Going on 30 Blu-ray release, see 13 Going on 30 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 9, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis, Kathy Baker, Phil Reeves
Director: Gary Winick
» See full cast & crew
13 Going on 30 Blu-ray Review
Sony delivers this fine Romantic Comedy to Blu-ray in a package worth wishing for.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 9, 2009
30 and flirty and thriving...30 and flirty and thriving...30 and flirty and thriving...
Movies like 13 Going on 30 restore faith in the Romantic Comedy. While most of the genre's offerings are generic re-tellings of the same story with the same formula but only different actors, this one puts the magic back in the romance, literally. 13 Going on 30 may be the most honest and sincere Romantic Comedy out there, even if the film's premise is brought about by a bit of magical dust, and even if the events in the film may be either real or imagined. Regardless of the hows or the whys, 13 Going on 30 is clever, charming, funny, and heartfelt. For the guys, it's among the better of its kind to watch; for the girls, it's like a good friend, reliable, truthful, and always there to offer that much-needed pick-me-up, tickle of the funny bone, or reminder that life is about caring, honest friendships, being who you are, and being "original" rather than "cool." Punctuated by an interesting set-up, fine performances all around, and a rad 1980s-inspired soundtrack, 13 Going on 30 is a Romantic Comedy for everyone.
13-year-old Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) isn't satisfied with her life. She wants to be glamorous like the models she sees adorning the pages of her favorite magazine, Poise, and to be part of the in-crowd at school. She'll do anything to get what she wants, including her classmate's homework, if it means a shot at getting into the clique. Her best friend, Matt (Sean Marquette), the school photographer and resident chubby nerd, builds her a model "dream home" and sprinkles it with wishing dust for her birthday. Despite being touched at the gesture, Jenna quickly scrambles to hide it when her "friends" come by for a party. When they leave after getting their homework, Jenna blames Matt, hides in the closet, wishes to be 30, accidentally becomes covered in wishing dust, and wakes up -- as a 30-year-old woman! As the initial shock wears off, Jenna (Jennifer Garner, The Kingdom) slowly learns that everything she had ever wanted has come true. She's a fully developed woman, the editor at Poise, and remains friends with the girls from the clique she desperately wanted to be a part of -- and eventually came to lead. Nevertheless, her first coherent thought is of Matt (Mark Ruffalo, Zodiac), whom she finds as a successful 30-year-old photographer -- and engaged. As the two rekindle their friendship and reminisce about the past, a past that Jenna can't remember and Matt would like to forget, they discover long-lost feelings for one another, feelings that are hampered by Matt's engagement and Jenna's world that she finds herself a part of but unsure if it is where she belongs. Meanwhile, Poise finds itself on the brink of ruin, and Jenna scrambles to give it a make-over that only a 13-year-old could dream up. Will she save the magazine, get the boy, and live happily ever after, or will reality come crashing around her and allow fate to sneak in and give her a second chance at life?
13 Going on 30 is both pleasing and innocent, a feel-good movie at heart, punctuated by plenty of laughs, a terrific ensemble cast that understands the nuances of the Romantic Comedy, and a good life lesson. One thing it isn't is completely original. The concept of instantly being transformed from childhood to adulthood has been around, seemingly, almost as long as cinema itself; perhaps the best example is Tom Hank's Big, the standard-bearer of the concept and certainly one of the more popular films of the 1980s, perhaps even enjoying "classic" status in some circles. 13 Going on 30 offers the idea from the female perspective, and the movie works wonders with it. It finds the perfect blend of humor, charm, and importance. The laughs come steadily and genuinely, rarely forced into the script, and delivered naturally by the actors. The characters and the concept enjoy a sort of harmonious symbiotic relationship; one just wouldn't work without the other being just as it is, and combined they make for a whole that is more than satisfactory, the end result being a delightful little movie that is easy on the eyes (lest that ending cause them to tear up), palatable, and rather high on the replay value. 13 Going on 30 also nudges a solid life lesson into its story, conveying the importance of being true to oneself and living not necessarily for the moment, but for the whole of life; making smart decisions; and never forgetting what true friendship is all about. Don't misunderstand; this isn't groundbreaking or even classic cinema, but it's just incredibly good at what it tries to be. That's high praise for this sort of movie.
One of 13 Going on 30's primary strengths comes from the well-written characters that populate the film and the cast that understands and plays them fantastically. Jennifer Garner is superb in her role as Jenna Rink. She does a terrific job of acting, particularly in the early scenes when she appears as a completely discombobulated 13-year-old inhabiting an adult version of herself. As the film moves on, she is seen to slowly become more comfortable in her shoes and use both her childhood and (albeit brief) adult experiences to her and her company's advantage, all the while piecing together what happened and discovering why being part of the "in" crowd at any cost isn't always the smartest course of action to take. She handles the smallest of nuances very well to sell the audience on her sudden and traumatic experience; she tries to fit in as an adult, but retains several charming adolescent qualities, like asking to be excused for a restroom break in the middle of a business meeting, raising her hand before speaking, writing her name on her notebook paper as would a young girl of 13, or enjoying a slumber party and sharing gossip with girls who share her age mentally and emotionally, but not physically. The film also incorporates plenty of 1980s flair, particularly noted during the modern-day segments, from the wardrobe to the soundtrack, to tie it together and further solidify the themes, the laughs, and the characters. Mark Ruffalo also delivers a splendid performance as Matt, a man who is shocked and confused by the sudden re-emergence of the Jenna he once knew and, perhaps, even loved, and dealing with his rekindled emotions while preparing for his own wedding to another woman. Perhaps what sets 13 Going on 30 apart from every movie of its sort is in how it handles the Matt character and resolves the burgeoning romance between he and Jenna; it's one of the best, most honest, and moving resolutions ever to grace a Romantic Comedy, and the film manages to offer viewers what almost plays out as two endings, both of the "real world" and "fairy tale" variety, each making perfect sense in the context of the film.
13 Going on 30 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Sony's Blu-ray release of 13 Going on 30 features an excellent 1080p high definition picture quality, presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The movie looks very good, marked by a colorful yet natural appearance. 13 Going on 30 is defined by its color palette; much of the retro feel of the film is brought to life by the rich hues that adorn most every scene, and the Blu-ray never fails in delivering each one vibrantly and precisely. The transfer offers a well above average level of detail in both indoor and outdoor shots, and in both lighter and darker scenes. The film retains a rather heavy layer of grain that allows for a nice theatrical look to the Blu-ray. Flesh tones are generally strong, perhaps slightly reddish in appearance in some instances. The print is generally free of blemishes; only the occasional speckle and pop appear evident through the course of the film. Black levels are superb; a scene in chapter eight on a wet New York street at night looks wonderful, with every damp street brick standing out nicely, particularly with the street lights reflecting off of them. 13 Going on 30 is another excellent transfer from Sony that seems to capture the essence of the filmmakers' vision nicely.
13 Going on 30 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
This flirty and thriving soundtrack with a 1980s flair travels onto Blu-ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Dialogue is a little muddled over the first minutes of the movie, and while it is intelligible, it's not necessarily as crisp and defined as expected. It seems to improve over the course of the film, but always sounds slightly garbled. However, the 80s music heard throughout the movie sounds fantastic; a tune heard in chapter two as the party gets underway presents robust and bass-heavy beats. The music is definitely the star of the show, and rarely does it disappoint; it's completely satisfying, filling the soundstage cleanly and effortlessly, even with minimal rear channel support. Indeed, 13 Going on 30 is an almost exclusively front-channel presentation, but that is never a hindrance to what is a warm, inviting soundtrack. Other than the music, this one is very basic in its delivery, but it works and sounds just as it should.
13 Going on 30 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
13 Going on 30 matures to the high definition Blu-ray format with plenty of supplements. Two commentary tracks are first. Director Gary Winick mans the first, an honest, informative commentary that comes off as very endearing. He discusses the mistakes he made in what was his first feature-length Hollywood production, the strengths of his cast, the editing, and plenty more. The second track features Producers Donna Arkoff Roth, Gina Matthews, and Susan Arnold. The trio runs the gamut of information, discussing costuming, the cast, the music, the dialogue, and more. They don't offer deep insight, basically describing the movie as it moves along, but intercut with more of the inside information that fans crave. Neither track is particularly worthwhile for the average viewer, but fans will enjoy these well enough. The disc also offers viewers the opportunity to view an alternate opening and alternate ending (480p, 11:35) to the film. Up next are 18 deleted scenes (480p, 27:10) and a series of bloopers (480p, 3:16).
Four featurettes are next. Making of a Teen Dream (480p, 18:52) is a cookie-cutter feature that showcases the cast and crew heaping praise on one another, discussing the strengths and charms each brought to the film. The piece also delves into some of the nuances of the film, discussing the costuming, for example. Making of a Teen Dream: Another Take (480p, 7:37) seems like a superfluous feature that basically continues in the same tradition as the previous piece, this one featuring heavy doses of Producers Donna Arkoff Roth, Gina Matthews, and Susan Arnold, and more interview clips with star Jennifer Garner and other cast members. I Was a Teenage Geek (480p, 8:01) features cast and crew reminiscing about their own childhoods. Fashion Flashback: Into the '80's (480p, 6:50) features teen models discussing how great 1980s fashion was (and still is), a look at the styles that are making a comeback, how to find or create an 80s style, and more. Two music videos -- Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield" (480p, 5:21) and Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" (480p, 3:17) are included next. Also available is a still photo gallery and 1080p trailers for Big Fish, Mona Lisa Smile, and Maid in Manhattan. Finally, this disc is BD-Live (Blu-ray profile 2.0) enabled. Currently, the feature takes viewers to a basic Sony page that contains trailers, a FAQ, a survey, and more.
13 Going on 30 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Perhaps it's time to acknowledge that a well-done Romantic Comedy isn't just for the girls. Films like Made of Honor, 27 Dresses, and 13 Going on 30 might not be any guy's idea of a good time at the movies, but they offer feel-good stories, interesting premises, and good entertainment value in the midst of the sappy romances and, yes, some tired but effective clichés. If nothing else, sitting through these sorts of movies earns points with the fairer sex, and darn it all if some of them don't actually make for some pretty decent movie experiences. 13 Going on 30 might just be the best of the bunch. Endearing, funny, and honest are but a few adjectives that describe it. Though far from the perfect movie, 13 Going on 30 may be the perfect Romantic Comedy, which definitely counts for something. Sony has released this fan favorite just in time for Valentine's Day. It makes for an excellent gift for just that occasion, providing the lady with a movie she'll love, and the guy with a disc that does right by his home theater, all the while offering him a movie that is tolerable at worst and highly entertaining at best. 13 Going on 30 comes highly recommended to the ladies, as a Valentine's (or any time) gift, and to the guys who aren't afraid to give a Romantic Comedy a sincere shot.
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13 Going on 30 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - January 20th - January 20, 2009
In the heat of the format war, a great deal of emphasis was placed on player prices, an area where the rival HD DVD format had somewhat of an advantage. Highlighting that advantage was the Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD Add-on, which came packaged with one of the most ...
• 13 Going on 30 Gets Detailed - November 14, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of '13 Going on 30', which is due to hit store shelves on January 20th. For this Jennifer Garner film, video will be presented in 1.85:1 1080p ...
• 13 Going on 30 Coming to Blu-ray - November 10, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have announced that they will bring the Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo romantic comedy '13 Going on 30' to Blu-ray on January 20th, day-and-date with the DVD re-release. Video will be presented in 1.85:1 1080p AVC accompanied ...
» Show more related news posts for 13 Going on 30 Blu-ray
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