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From the director of 'The Bourne Identity' and 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' comes the evolution of extreme — a high-powered shot of adrenaline that stretches the very limits of imagination. David Rice is a young man who knows no boundaries — a Jumper, born with the uncanny ability to teleport instantly to any place on Earth. When he discovers others like himself, David is thrust into the midst of an ancient war while being hunted by a bloodthirsty band of zealots sworn to destroy all Jumpers. Now, David's extraordinary gift may be his only hope for survival. Based on the best selling science-fiction novel by Steven Gould.
For more about Jumper and the Jumper Blu-ray release, see Jumper Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 9, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane, Michael Rooker
Director: Doug Liman
» See full cast & crew
Jumper Blu-ray Review
'Jumper' isn't worth jumping in line to buy.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 9, 2008
Only God should have the power to be all places at all times.
Do you know those movies that look good in the trailer, but the trailer shows you most of the best parts, and in reality the movie itself stinks, as do said intriguing trailer moments in the context of the whole movie? That's what we have here, unfortunately. Jumper has solidified itself as one of my most memorable movie disappointments in quite some time. The trailer had me intrigued, and the subject material, ideas, and themes introduced in the movie are undeniably fascinating. Unfortunately, I was completely let down by the movie's slow pacing, haphazard storytelling, bad acting, meandering plot, and forgettable characters (I cannot even remember their names, except for "Millie," and only because we hear it about 80 times in 80 minutes). The idea is good enough that my interest in the novel this movie is based on (written by Steven Gould) has been piqued, but my interest in this film and the sequel it so plainly sets the audience up for at the end has plummeted. Who knows, maybe Jumper 2, if it ever comes to fruition, will be better than this, and the open-ended finale to the film leads me to believe that it could be good, if done right.
David Rice (Hayden Christensen, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith) has the seemingly unique ability to teleport himself instantly anywhere in the world, and at any time. He first discovered this talent while drowning in icy water one day after school in front of his crush, Millie (played by AnnaSophia Robb, Bridge to Terabithia in this segment). One moment, he was near death, and the next, he found himself in the stacks at the Ann Arbor public library. Years later, his talent mastered, David lives the high life off of the easy money he's accumulated by jumping into and emptying bank vaults the world over. Upon returning home one day, David finds a man named Roland (Samuel L. Jackson, Unbreakable) in his apartment, armed with a weapon specially made to counter Jumpers and their ability. David escapes the clutches of this man who says he's been searching for David for eight years, and rekindles his relationship with Millie (now portrayed by Rachel Bilson, TV's "The O.C.") after a surprise return into her life. Traveling to Rome with Millie, David meets Griffin (Jamie Bell, Flags of Our Fathers), another Jumper who (finally!) lets us in on the backstory and explains the premise of the film, that being a centuries-old war between Jumpers and "Paladins," those who would kill Jumpers on religious grounds. David and Griffin must work together to stay alive, keep Millie safe, and learn the deeper secrets of the Paladins, and of Roland in particular.
Among other things, the putrid acting of everyone in the film, save for Jamie Bell who was not great by any stretch, but at least passable, proves to be one of Jumper's many downfalls. Hayden Christinsen, unfortunately, has shown us that Star Wars was no fluke: he really is this stiff and uninteresting of an actor. He delivers his lines with a nonchalance that redefines "going through the motions" or "cashing his check," both of which also apply to the venerable (and white haired) Samuel L. Jackson. I really don't get it when it comes to Jackson. He's one of the finest actors around, yet recently, filmmakers have decided he needs something extra, a gimmick, if you will, to make sure we notice his presence. In XXX it was his badly scarred face. Here, it's his snow-white hair that looks completely ridiculous and serves no discernible purpose. Oh, he also has a long scar running down his face. I have no doubt that actress Rachel Bilson is right now in line auditioning for the next loser of a horror movie, probably something along the lines of Two Missed Calls or Do You Remember That One Summer Where I Knew What You Did? She'll fit right in as the interchangeable, forgettable, brainless, and "oh my God!" uttering teen (even though she's in he late 20's according to her IMDb page).
On a more positive note, Jumper represents an incredibly interesting concept that works on paper, in theory, and even in our own imaginations as we long not only for the ability to jump, but also for a coherent, entertaining movie. It takes too long to really get going, even with the film's short runtime. We can only watch David jump and wish we could do the same so many times before boredom strikes and we can only imagine that jumping into a war zone, or shark-infested waters, or a burning building might be more entertaining than this. In fact, and sadly, the movie gets stale early on and never manages to recover, despite a final act that is far superior to the first two. If this were real life and we were involved in what was happening on-screen, it would be fascinating, but as a movie, at least as presented here, it doesn't work. Director Doug Liman has some decent-to-good work under his belt (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity, and Swingers), but his stale, lifeless direction coupled with a script marred with plot holes and unresolved questions (even taking into consideration the potential sequel) that takes far too long to get going and lets us in on what the crux of the plot will be makes for a disappointing movie that, even at 88 minutes, couldn't be over soon enough.
Jumper Blu-ray, Video Quality
Jumper lands on Blu-ray with a highly impressive 1080p, 2.35:1 framed image. The first thing I noted about the transfer was the excellent attention to detail, colors and lifelike imagery. Look at one of the movie's earliest scenes that takes place outside after school on a cold winter's day. Everything looks both amazingly film-like and real: the multi-colored jackets; the textures of clothing; the realistic and "reach-out-and-touch-it" appearance of the school bus; the snow; and even the chips of ice we see in a few close-ups. Flesh tones are excellent, maybe a bit too rosy in a few shots, but definitely more than acceptable. Indoor scenes fare extremely well, too. A bar scene in chapter nine features highly detailed, well, everything. In a locale that is generally depicted as dark and dreary in movies, here it is bright, colorful, and alive. Obviously, this is completely due to director intent, where he could have opted for the same tired bar scene we've seen countless times before, but here, it was a nice change of pace. The exterior shots of Rome are beautiful. A fine layer of grain that is visible everywhere brings with it a wonderfully cinematic look. This grain adds a depth to the movie that perfectly recreates the theater experience. The interior of the colosseum looks excellent as well, and if nothing else, this movie (and this disc) has me yearning more so than ever to visit Rome and the other wonderfully shot locales around the world. Likewise, the nighttime exterior shots of Tokyo in chapter 18 look amazing with the too-many-to-count bright neon lights and impeccable detail that is seen all over the city. Black levels are good, appearing perhaps the slightest bit gray rather than true black in a few scenes. I was very impressed with this transfer. It doesn't quite reach the level of excellence of something like The Chronicles of Narnia or Saawariya, but it comes awfully close.
Jumper Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Jumper makes the Blu-ray leap with an active but ever-so-slightly underwhelming DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound mix. Dialogue volume is fine, but dialogue itself sounds slightly muffled at times. Jumper offers up a solid, crisp, and detailed surround presence that remains active throughout most of the movie to create a natural ambience rather than just kicking in during the film's few action pieces. From the ringing of bells off in the distance in Rome to some background communications chatter in a holding facility in chapter 10, this track does an excellent job of recreating the subtleties of real life. Bass is also solid, but not overpowering. Here, I didn't get the impression it was meant to tear away at the foundation of your house. Rather, it played just right, providing enough "oomph" to feel the jumps in your gut but never overstating its presence or overextending its welcome. The jumps are definitely a highlight of the track, proving to be both fun to listen to as well as feel. Still, some of the sound effects struck me as just a bit weak. The action scenes, like the first major one in chapter 13, present listeners with some nice, powerful activity. The war zone scene in Chechnya near the end of the film sounded wonderful with the popping of weapons off in the distance in the rear channels and the rumbling of tanks in the front, but again, it sounded just the slightest bit underwhelming. This is still a top-notch track, however, and any perceived low-level effects can certainly be compensated for by cranking up the volume a few notches, should you choose to do so. Listening to this track just might distract the viewer from the fact that this film lacks a truly good plot, but the video and audio experience, as well as some of the following-discussed supplements, quite easily encompass this disc's highlights.
Jumper Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Jumper bounds onto Blu-ray with an impressive helping of extra features. A commentary track with director Doug Liman, writer/producer Simon Kiberg, and producer Lucas Foster is first. This trio does a commendable job of defending the various issues with the movie without calling out the criticisms one-by-one, and it's a worthwhile listen not only for the movie's fans, but also its detractors. Jumpstart: David's Story (1080p, 8:07) is an animated graphic novel and short extension of the movie's main character that provides a bit more insight into the world of Jumper. Jumping Around the World is a Blu-ray profile 1.1 ("Bonus View") picture-in-picture feature. The feature is not continuous, but rather pops up here and there on your screen. This feature showcases the various world locations seen throughout the movie and the rigors of filming around the world. This feature is also accessible to those without profile 1.1 players as a standalone extra.
Doug Liman's 'Jumper:' Uncensored (1080p, 35:34) takes an unforgiving and candid look at the filmmaking process, and that of Jumper in particular, including the hardships of the shoot, the ebb-and-flow of the nonstop writing and re-writing process, and some more of your standard-fare "making-of" segments. Making An Actor Jump (1080p, 7:36) is next. This feature examines the creation of the film's special-effects-heavy jumping shots, as well as the more scientific aspects of the jumping process. Jumping From Novel to Film: The Past, Present, and Future of 'Jumper' (1080p, 8:08) features interviews with Doug Liman, author Steven Gould, and others about the story found in both the original novels and the film. Six deleted scenes (1080p, 11:17) are next. Previz: Future Concepts (1080p, 4:34) showcases some animated storyboards for a few of the movie's action sequences. Along with being D-Box equipped, Jumper also includes a second disc which contains a digital copy of the film for playback on personal computers or various portable digital video devices.
Jumper Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I don't ask much of movies like Jumper. That they be entertaining, concise, coherent, action-packed, and imaginative doesn't seem all that tall an order for a big-budget Hollywood sci-fi/action extravaganza. Unfortunately, Jumper fails at all of these, except, perhaps, for "concise," but then again, even at a sub-90 minute runtime, the movie offers far too little of the other factors to truly be concise. It is a hodgepodge of ideas where several "cool" scenes ("car jumping" through the streets of Tokyo in a stolen Mercedes, anyone?) fail to carry the entirety of the movie. Few movies have disappointed me as much as Jumper, and the more I think about it, the more I regret having seen it and the more disillusioned I become. As always, however, Fox has provided fans a first-rate Blu-ray disc. With excellent audio and video quality, not to mention a healthy serving of supplements, the disc itself, based on its technical merits alone, is worth looking into. I have jumped to the conclusion that Jumper is C-grade material in the guise of an A-list movie, all packed into a head-of-the-class Blu-ray disc. Recommended only for the staunchest of fans.
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Jumper Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Fox Announces Jumper for Blu-ray - April 2, 2008
Fox Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'Jumper' to Blu-ray on June 10th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Video will be presented in 1080p AVC and be accompanied by a 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack. Presented on a BD-50, the release will ...
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