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Jumping the Broom(2011)
Two black families from divergent social and economic backgrounds get together one weekend in Martha's Vineyard for a wedding.
For more about Jumping the Broom and the Jumping the Broom Blu-ray release, see Jumping the Broom Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on August 8, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Meagan Good, Tasha Smith
Director: Salim Akil
» See full cast & crew
Jumping the Broom Blu-ray Review
Jump in and propose to add this well-made look at quick-charged marriage to your Blu-ray collection.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, August 8, 2011
Even a soulmate can really test you.
Getting married can be -- should be -- a joyous event, but it's also one of the most stress-filled times in a person's life. And that's with months of planning, preparation, and dealing with the reality that is life with the in-laws. Now imagine cramming all of that many month's worth of work and slowly-developing comfort with the soon-to-be-extended family into one whirlwind weekend. Oh yes, there will be drama. Lots of it. Tears of joy and anguish alike will flow, and all that could possibly save such a rush-job or potentially cataclysmic disaster is the strength of true love. Jumping the Broom looks at one such wedding, one that's planned and executed in the blink of an eye, one where families will meet and greet and question and doubt and hate and love, one where the past will catch up with the future, one where the future will be built on the bonds formed through the stresses of the present. It's a delightful Comedy and a serious Drama all at once, a well-balanced film that proves just what a necessary, unflinching, and ultra-tough asset true love can be.
Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) has fallen for her last "Mr. Wrong." She makes a vow with God to maintain her celibacy until she meets the man she intends to marry. It doesn't take long for God to give her Mr. Right. Enter Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso, and no, not that Jason Taylor), a lonely pedestrian who finds himself on the wrong end of a collision between his body and Sabrina's Audi's front fender. Fast forward five months, and their relationship has them both on top of the world -- until Sabrina drops the bombshell that she's off to China to pursue an opportunity of a lifetime. Not one to let a good thing go, Jason proposes and a whirlwind engagement turns into a quickly-planned wedding at Sabrina's parents's luxurious Northeastern estate. There's only one problem: Jason's and Sabrina's families have yet to meet, and Jason comes from far more meager origins than does Sabrina. Jason's mother (Loretta Devine) is a city postal worker with a temper, a far cry from Sabrina's mother and father (Angela Bassett and Brian Stokes Mitchell) who live the good life on a comfortable pile of money. It doesn't take long for the sparks to fly and the differences to be laid out on the table, but when Sabrina and Jason refuse Mrs. Taylor's wishes that the couple work the tradition of "jumping the broom" into their wedding ceremony, a firestorm of drama, backstabbing, hurt feelings, and shocking revelations collectively threaten to destroy an otherwise beautiful relationship.
Despite some evidence to the contrary -- generic Romantic Comedy airy music, the "uptown" versus "downtown" rich-versus-poor set-up, and a fairly cliché character roster -- Jumping the Broom rounds into a solid movie thanks to a fine cast and a better-than-routine script. Both keep the movie energized, entertaining, and moving at a solid clip. The characters may be unoriginal, but the surrounding dynamics are honest and the performances and script paint them as real people with tangible emotions and desires; while they may be cut from the same mold as the everyday throwaway sort of people usually seen in similarly-themed movies, those in Jumping the Broom exist just beyond the realm of ordinary and will touch audiences who take the time to get to know them. Even through all of the expected hardships that are both obviously telegraphed and typical of such movies and those revelations that will throw even hardened genre audiences through a loop, the characters react realistically and exhibit true-to-life emotions as the adrenaline, tears, and time all flow far too quickly but that promise to only make each and every person stronger, should true love prevail at day's end. It's certainly not groundbreaking cinema, but it's far better than the fluffy feel-good throwaway sort of movie its premise might suggest.
What's more, Jumping the Broom juggles its drastic shifts in tone remarkably well. There's plenty of comedic elements that surround some hefty drama normally reserved for pictures with a more serious undercurrent. The material can become quite heavy and audiences might be surprised with the amount of dramatic content the story employs, but it gives greater weight to the central themes that revolve around the bonds of love and the coming together of families through the best of times and the most challenging of times alike. The personable character roster certainly helps the film maintain its even keel, even through some of the more predictable story arcs that define the bulk of the film. For those more drama-intensive elements, there's an adorable sweetness and a true sincerity behind the story and the characters that exist within it to counterbalance the difficult obstacles that arise and threaten to destroy both love and family. Director Salim Akil handles it all expertly; his film aims to tell a story and that's what his direction achieves, accentuating the critical elements but leaving his strongly assembled cast to carry the bulk of the film's emotional content at both ends of the spectrum. Akil is more often than not -- and rightly so -- content to sit back and allow the strengths of his cast and the story at large take center stage, which is the perfect approach to a movie that's as sometimes light, sometimes weighty, and always heartfelt and sincere as Jumping the Broom.
Jumping the Broom Blu-ray, Video Quality
Jumping the Broom's 1080p, 1.78:1-framded transfer is breathtakingly spectacular. Sony's hit yet another one out of the park; this digitally-shot film may often be mistaken for film, for it's so natural with lifelike details and extraordinary colors that it bests pretty much every other digital movie on the Blu-ray market. Colors are straight out of the real world; even low-light scenes are no problem for bright shades of red or splashes of white. The stability throughout the entire palette is marvelous, and there's no hint of either color drain or color excess. Black levels are perfect, too; the nighttime segment that plays near film's open that sees Jason propose to Sabrina delivers the inkiest, truest blacks of any digital movie out there. Fine detail is equally exquisite; skin textures are particularly revealing, with the transfer picking up the slightest streak of makeup or the finest beads of sweat on character faces. The image is clean as a whistle with no noise to speak of, and various maladies that normally accompany digitally-shot movies -- banding, blocking -- are nowhere to be found. This is just another ho-hum, A+, first-class transfer from Sony.
Jumping the Broom Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Jumping the Broom may not feature the most dynamic DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack out there, but it's every bit as refined as the accompanying video transfer. Music is beautifully smooth; speakers just disappear in favor of the perfectly-rounded, seemingly weightless notes that produce a positively wondrous and big cinematic sensation. Heftier music outside of score is just as accurate; the beefier low end is no challenge for Sony's lossless presentation, nor is greater volume an enemy to the track's always-balanced feel. The surround channels carry just the right amount of musical support and ambience; the back speakers do help to pull the listener into the Northeastern environment where seagulls, crashing waves, and occasional light background music round out every sound-critical environment. Made complete by pitch-perfect and center-based dialogue, Jumping the Broom excels in the delivery of each of its sonic elements.
Jumping the Broom Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Jumping the Broom features a trio of film-related extras, headlined by an audio commentary, featuring a behind-the-scenes piece, and fortified by an enlightening look at the tradition of "jumping the broom."
Jumping the Broom Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Jumping the Broom is a strong film designed around likable characters with real problems and real emotions. They're all in some way relatable, despite their grossly different backgrounds, which is from where the film collects most of its strength. That only goes to solidify the idea that true love conquers all, a notion that definitely has to hold true in a time of familial crisis and a whirlwind of emotions, introductions, budding relationships, and revelations that could only be held together by the truest of hearts. This is a better film than it may appear to be on its surface, for it manages to grow beyond the clichéd plot elements and characters that are at the center of it all. Sony's Blu-ray disc of Jumping the Broom is a technical marvel; both video and audio sparkle, supported by a quality movie and a handful of extras. Recommended.
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Jumping the Broom Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Jumping the Broom Blu-ray - July 4, 2011
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will bring Jumping the Broom to Blu-ray this August. This romantic comedy stars Paula Patton (Déjà Vu) and Laz Alonzo (Miracle at St. Anna) as a couple whose wedding plans bring out the worst in their very different families. ...
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