Jasper Jones (Blu-ray) (2017)
Featurette-6 Making Of Featurettes (43:50)
More…-ATOM Study Guide
Trailer-Madman Propaganda x 4
|Year Of Production||2017|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Rachel Perkins|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
English Descriptive Audio Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Christmas 1969; Corrigan is a small isolated town in country Western Australia fractured by racist and anti-Asian sentiments where fourteen year old Charlie Bucktin (Levi Miller) lives with his schoolteacher father (Dan Wyllie) and mother Ruth (Toni Collette). Charlie is a bit of an outsider; he is intelligent and bookish, rather than sporting, and his best friend is Jeffrey Lu (Kevin Long), the son of Vietnamese immigrants. Late one night Charlie is awakened by mixed-race outcast Jasper Jones (Aaron McGrath) rapping on his window. Jasper is distressed and asks Charlie to come with him, leading Charlie into the forest where there is the body of a young woman, Laura Wishart, hanging from a tree. Jasper is adamant that he did not kill Laura, but he is convinced that he will be blamed; he asks Charlie’s help to hide the body and then to help him prove that the real killer is Mad Jack Lionel (Hugo Weaving), a reclusive war veteran who lives nearby. Charlie reluctantly agrees, his agreement complicated by the fact that he is becoming friendly with Laura’s younger sister Eliza (Angourie Rice). As the police mount a search for the missing girl, the fear and racial prejudices within the community become more open. In a town where many have secrets, on New Year’s Eve matters will be resolved, and secrets revealed.
Jasper Jones is directed by Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Day (2009)) based on the novel of the same name published in 2009 by Craig Silvey, who is co-screenwriter of the film with Shaun Grant, screenwriter of the chilling The Snowtown Murders (2011). The result is a wonderful film that deals with prejudice, isolation, courage, family and secrets, a film that is a murder mystery, a tragedy and a story about growing up that has a fabulous cast, humour, beautiful locations, an intelligent script and a compelling conclusion.
The cast, from top to bottom, are wonderful. Screen legend and multi-AFI award winner Toni Collette is superb as a mother who loves her son but is trapped and going mad in the small town with a husband who is busy writing his great Australian novel. Dan Wyllie, as her husband, could have been stereotyped as the dull and uncaring husband but he is excellent, eliciting sympathy and dignity in the role. The young adult actors are all pitch perfect; Aaron McGrath (Redfern Now) and a cheeky and funny Kevin Long are both great while Angourie Rice, who also appeared in The Beguiled the same year, is compelling as a young girl with a terrible secret. She also works well with Levi Miller, through whose eyes the story unfolds. He is a young man rapidly growing up as he deals with a mystery, the disintegration of his family and first love, all at the same time, and he gives a mature performance for such a young man. Hugo Weaving, another multi-AFI award winner, has less to do although the revelation of his secret is a pivotal moment in the film.
Filmed in the W.A. rural town of Pemberton by cinematographer Mark Wareham, Jasper Jones uses natural bright colours, suggesting a time of innocence, at least on the surface, the secrets, racism and tragedy hidden just below. The film has some disturbing themes but it does not dwell on them and, in fact, is humorous in places, such as when Charlie and Jeffrey discuss who is the best superhero. But even these amusing discussions have a purpose as they lead to a definition of true courage, such is the complexity of the screenplay. The ending is satisfying, sad and poignant as issues are resolved, although not necessarily as some of the characters expect. For, in a small country town, life will go on. Oh, and the 1960s Holdens look amazing!
Jasper Jones is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
The print shows the strong detail of the rural landscapes including the forest, the wooden construction of the town, the cars and faces. Colours are natural, without that digital glossiness. Blacks are rock solid, shadow detail very good, skin tones natural, contrast and brightness consistent.
I did not notice any marks or artefacts.
English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.
The audio is a choice between English DTS-HD MA 5.1 or English LPCM 2.0 plus an English audio description track using a female voice (Dolby Digital 2.0).
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The film is not action based but the surrounds and rears provided ambient sounds such as the insects of an Australian summer, the wind and music, plus the crowd voices and barracking at the cricket and the bang of the fireworks. The sub-woofer did not have a lot to do but supported the fireworks and the music.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
The original score by Antony Partos was atmospheric and effective.
|Surround Channel Use|
This is subdivided into six sections which feature film and on-set footage plus interviews. All sections include comments by director Rachel Perkins and author / co-screenwriter Craig Silvey and some add comments by cast members Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving and Dan Wyllie and DP Mark Wareham. The contents are clear from the title of each subsection (except “Jeffrey Lu on Debut” which is about author Craig Silvey teaching Kevin Long how to bat and bowl for the cricket sequence in the film); they add up to a decent making of that is worth a look. Each must be selected individually as there is no play all option.
BD-ROM study guide. Not reviewed.
Trailers for Backtrack, Partisan, Fell and The Hunter.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This Australian Region Free Blu-ray of Jasper Jones is the only one currently available.
Jasper Jones is an impressive Australian film. There are some bleak themes but it is not a dark or depressing film; instead it is a humorous, a well written and impeccably acted story about a young man learning about courage, prejudice, families and love in an isolated rural town.
The video and audio are very good. The extras are worthwhile.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|