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Jerry Maguire (SE)
DVD disk
Oct 5, 2004 By: JoBlo
Jerry Maguire (SE) order
Director:
Cameron Crowe

Actors:
Tom Cruise
Renee Zellweger
Cuba Gooding Jr.

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A top-dog sports agent (Cruise) suddenly finds himself on the unfortunate end of a professional pink slip with only one client left on his short list: football player, Rod Tidwell (Gooding Jr). As he tries to jumpstart his own agency along with a cute lady (Zellweger), who was inspired by him at his previous gig, he soon begins to learn more than his share of lessons in life and in love.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is one of my favorite movies of all-time. It didn’t necessarily start out that way (I always enjoyed the film, but never to such an extent), but over the past few years, and many late-night viewings, I’ve come to appreciate it that much more, especially now that my own life has begun to parallel some of the film’s major overtones. Of course, the bottom line with this picture for anyone should be its acting, which is top-notch across the board, its screenplay, which is well-written, well-paced and effective in weaving the various topics along the same plot-line, and its message, which is inspired, romantic, funny and ultimately, thoroughly entertaining.

Give it up to Tom Cruise for playing a “typical” Cruise character (cocky and all), but giving it that extra zing with weaknesses, physical peculiarities and emotional instability. You might think that you knew the man before this film, but his performance here is simply dead-on. Renee Zellweger also blows everyone away with a role that she got above many other “name” actors at the time (this movie basically launched her career into another stratosphere), and her ability to be cute, motherly, professional and sexy, still blows me away every time. Then there’s Cuba Gooding Jr. (who won a golden Oscar statuette for his role here). Yet another career-making performance, this man will likely never get past his “Show me the money!” scene, but God knows that he played a great, proud, arrogant (but good-hearted) football hero, in the prime of his career. Of course, all good movies back their stars up with a similarly solid supporting cast and this film had dozens of those, but specific actors who stood out and solidified this puppy for me, included the hilarious Jay Mohr, the amazing Bonnie Hunt, as the “disapproving” sister and Jonathan Lipnicki as the cutest kid on the face of this planet.

I personally love this movie so much because it brings home the message about work being “important”, but love meaning more than anything in the world, including professional achievements or material goods. The soundtrack of this film is also above all (what did you expect, it’s a Cameron Crowe movie!), the directing is fun and complementary to the story at hand, the ending is peachy, the dialogue is sharp, the characters all memorable, the moments precious and unique, and above all else…the film feels real and is entirely relateable to anyone with love in their heart. See it for any of the many reasons that make this film great, but make sure that you see it, in the end, because movies like this don’t come around every day. Great drama, great characters, great humor….great movie!
THE EXTRAS
This 2-disc DVD features one major full-length commentary track, but presents it in two ways. You can either listen to the audio commentary from writer/director Cameron Crowe, actors Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr. on disc one, while watching the movie at the same time, or you can slap the second disc into your player, and actually watch the four personalities sitting on couches (Tom, lose the Gilligan hat, buddy…we want to see your face, dammit!), watching the movie along with you. In this instance, you actually see and listen to them, while a small screen at the bottom plays the film at the same time.

So is the commentary any good? Well, to be honest…it’s a lot like any other commentary track which includes many people…it lacks a lot of info but you get a good sense of the dynamics between the folks involved. In this case, Cruise remains pretty silent throughout (other than his major guffaws every now and again), but when he does speak, everyone in the room quiets down to hear the man. Overall though, he doesn’t offer much. Crowe is pretty good in terms of info, but unfortunately for us listeners, it seems as though all four of them haven’t seen this movie in a long time, and spend more than 50% of their time laughing at specific scenes along with us. Now that’s all fine and good, but as a commentary track, not too insightful, I’m afraid. But if you do listen to the entire track, you will note the pretty obvious “crush” that Zellweger either had (or still has) on Cruise. My favorite lines of hers was while watching the scene in which Tom has to grab her breast and she says “Not a bad day at the office” on the track. I like a girl who can be honest like that. Anyway, there ain’t much “meat” in this commentary, just lots and lots of laughs from these folks, so unless you just want to listen in on their sorted back-and-forths, I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone searching for info. You might want to check out the video track to actually see them laughing, if that turns your dial.

Yay! After having seen this movie so many times, the 5 deleted scenes included on this set are like finding missing baseball cards to a collection that I’d already completed. A couple of them are goofy and frivolous, but one particular 4-minute sequence featuring Jay Mohr ad-libbing some of his “agent talk” on the phone, is one that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. Amazing performance! I also enjoyed the scene in which Kelly Preston’s character promises Jerry a certain “oral” surprise-- Chicago Style! (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds great!) These scenes are a treat for any fan and can be watched with or without Cameron Crowe’s commentary (although I do have to say, the man doesn’t really say WHY he removed the scenes…strange).

“Rehearsal Footage” is yet another neat extra, featuring 3 short snippets of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise rehearsing a couple of their famous scenes (including “Show me the Money!”) in front of a video camera. I always enjoy seeing this type of pre-production footage. Nice addition. Again, these can be watched with or without Crowe’s commentary.

“Rod Tidwell Commercial” is a pretty cool 1-minute commercial of Gooding’s character in what looks exactly like many of those real celebrity sports athletes’ spots on TV. It’s a fun watch. “How to be a Sports Agent” is an excellent 4-minute testimonial from a real sports agent who is speaking in a room about what makes a great agent (apparently it has a lot to do with cell phones, kids). Anyway, this guy seems like he’s on speed, but I gotta admit, the man makes a lot of sense and seems to know and love what he’s talking about. Yet another fun and original addition to the disc.

“The Making of Jerry Maguire” is a 7-minute featurette that is lame beyond words. I swear that at least 5 minutes out of the total is just scenes from the movie, intercut with a star saying a word or two. This sucks on ice. I wish they would have made a “real” making-of featurette instead of slapping this studio garbage on the disc. But hey, I guess we can’t have it all, eh?

The 2-disc set also includes the music video “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen (which is a song that is also played in the background of the dvd’s slick menus—great tune, incidentally), Jerry Maguire’s mission statement (it’s not a memo, but it is definitely an interesting read, despite the fact that the man is rambling half the time), trailers, filmographies and a photo gallery. All in all, this puppy is mucho better than the original bare-bones dvd which I still have lodged in my collection.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
A supreme movie is complemented with a host of cool extras, including a rare appearance by Tom Cruise in the audio/video commentary track, some nifty behind-the-scenes stuff and deleted scenes, and definitely one of the greater romantic comedies from the 1990s. If you’ve already seen and loved the movie, buy this 2-disc set today, and if you haven’t seen and loved the movie yet, buy this 2-disc set today as well. Heck, the film’s got it all…what can I say…I adore it!
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