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Karyn Kusama
Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, Sal Cortez, Ryan Levine, Juan Riedinger, Colin Askey
Writing Credits:
Diablo Cody

She's evil ... and not just high school evil.

With a script from Juno scribe Diablo Cody, Jennifer's Body smashes together horror and high-school comedy. Megan Fox stars as Jennifer, a student whose lithe body hides a flesh-hungry demon. She begins targeting male students, while her friend (Amanda Seyfried) looks on in terror. Jason Reitman produces this film that stars Adam Brody, J.K. Simmons, and Amy Sedaris.

Box Office:
$16 million.
Opening Weekend
$6.868 million on 2702 screens.
Domestic Gross
$16.195 million.

Rated NR

Widescreen 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: Theatrical Version: 102 min.
Extended Cut: 107 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 12/22/2009

• Both Theatrical and Extended Versions of the Film
• Audio Commentary with Director Karyn Kusama and Writer Diablo Cody (Theatrical Version Only)
• Audio Commentary with Director Karyn Kusama (Extended Cut Only)
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Jennifer’s Body: The Dead Pool” Featurette
• Video Diaries
• “Megan Fox Is Hot” Featurette
• Megan Fox “Peer Pressure” PSA
• “Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School with Writer Diablo Cody” Featurette
• Previews
• Digital Copy


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Jennifer's Body [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 6, 2010)

After 2007’s Juno made her as Oscar-winner, writer Diablo Cody provides a supernatural take on high school with 2009’s Jennifer’s Body. At the start, we meet Anita “Needy” Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) in a psychiatric prison. We led her there? That’s what the rest of the film tells.

Set in small town Devil’s Kettle, resident hottie Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) convinces her BFF Needy to see a new band at a local bar. Jennifer sets her sights on Nikolai (Adam Brody), the lead singer. He shows intense interest in her as well, and they come together after tragic circumstances: the bar burns down and most of the folks there die.

But not Jennifer, Needy and Nikolai. They escape, and Jennifer goes off into a van with Nikolai and the other musicians. Needy heads home, but Jennifer soon visits her. Something’s up with Jennifer, though; she looks like she’s been beaten, and she vomits a strange black fluid all over Needy’s kitchen floor.

When the next day comes, Jennifer seems back to normal, though she appears totally unaffected by the tragic events at the bar. Everyone else mourns intensely, but Jennifer just bops along. It turns out that something funky’s definitely at work with her; she shows demonic influence as she starts to kill male classmates. We follow her changes and Needy’s attempts to deal with her friend’s strange new status.

Back when Pee-wee’s Big Adventure turned out to be such a great flick, most of us assumed it was due to the talents of Paul Reubens. None of us had ever heard of director Tim Burton, so we figured Reubens was the reason the movie was so delightful.

In 1988, we learned the truth. Burton’s Beetlejuice provided a fine piece of entertainment, while Reuben’s Big Top Pee-wee was an unfunny disaster. While Reubens had/has talent, it became clear that Burton was the main reason Adventure was so good.

Jennifer’s Body may indicate that Juno worked so well mainly because of director Jason Reitman. Cody won the Oscar, but she hits a serious sophomore slump with Body. Dull and tedious, the flick shows none of the spark or panache Cody exhibited with Juno.

On one hand, I respect the fact that Cody didn’t just write Juno Part 2. Though both focus on teens, Body offers a radically different experience. Juno was based in the real world, while Body provides a supernatural horror story.

It also lacks its predecessor’s overwrought sense of dialogue. Cody’s way with words both enchanted and annoyed in Juno. While she gave the characters hyper-clever lines that bore little resemblance to real speech, at least these moments were funny and entertaining.

In addition, Juno didn’t depend on its cleverness to survive. Sure, it started as a snarky view of teendom, but it became deeper as it progressed. The second half turned surprising full and emotional.

No such journey emerges during Body. Granted, it doesn’t need to go down that sort of path. Body aspires to be little more than a wacky horror-comedy, so it doesn’t pursue the same emotional goals of Juno.

If Body gave us a satisfying horror-comedy, I’d be fine with its emphasis. After all, not everything needs to follow an emotional arc; sometimes it’s good to get fun just for fun’s sake.

Unfortunately, that would only work if Body actually provided any fun. Entertainment is in short supply during this surprisingly slow, boring “adventure”. Sometimes when I glance at my player’s time display, I’m surprised to see how far into the movie I’ve gone; the story flies by so quickly that I’m astounded to see how much territory has passed.

The opposite occurred here. Every few minutes, I felt the urge to see how much time remained in Body. Every time, I was surprised to observe how little movie I’d watched. When I’d think 20 minutes had gone by, I’d learn only five minutes had passed.

This scenario constantly repeated itself, and that’s a bad sign. I don’t expect every movie I watch to be a non-stop romp, but I’d like to remain at least mildly interested in events. Boredom is never a good response to a film.

Unfortunately, that’s the only emotion it prompted in me. Okay, a couple of shots made me a little horny – it’s hard not to be interested in a make-out scene with Seyfried and Fox – but otherwise, this was a relentlessly dull piece of work.

It didn’t need to be. The subject matter boasts promise, as Body could’ve worked as a good hybrid. Heck, I don’t even require it to succeed as both comedy and horror; I’d be happy with just one of those two.

As a horror flick, Body lacks even the most rudimentary scares. We see its “terror” coming from a mile away, and none of these sequences offer any excitement or drama.

The laughs fail to materialize as well. Apparently if Cody avoids the super-stylized dialogue of Juno, she can’t deliver anything clever or funny. A few mildly amusing lines/situations occur – such as the sequence in which the band sacrifices Jennifer – but most of the flick just seems banal and ordinary. Attempts at social satire lack bite, and there’s just no spark to any aspect of the film.

Which makes Body a real disappointment. The tale boasts plenty of potential, but it fails to achieve any of its goals. Unless it wants to bore its viewers, in which case, it’s a smashing success.

Note that this Blu-ray includes both the theatrical “R”-rated version of the film and an unrated cut. The former runs one hour, 42 minutes, 21 seconds, while the latter lasts one hour, 47 minutes, 29 seconds. I watched the unrated edition for my review. I never saw the original “R”-rated Body, so I can’t comment on the changes, but I wanted to mention that the Blu-ray provides both options. I expect most fans will opt for the unrated edition.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Jennifer’s Body appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a good but unexceptional presentation.

Sharpness created some minor inconsistencies. While most of the film looked tight and concise, a few shots looked a wee bit soft. Those weren’t major concerns, though, as the majority of the film appeared well-defined. I witnessed no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement failed to appear. Source flaws didn’t show up at any point.

Colors were restricted but fine within the flick’s visual design. Most of the film went with a desaturated look, though some sequences gave us more vibrant tones. Across the board, the hues were solid within the cinematographic restraints. Blacks seemed to be dark and deep, and low-light shots exhibited nice clarity. This was a satisfying presentation that just lacked consistent excellence.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Body it worked quite well. The soundfield offered a nice range of information. When action-oriented sequences occurred, these gave us a lot of material. For instance, the bar fire used the various speakers in an involving way, and a few of the supernatural scenes also threw out good details around the spectrum. The surrounds added strong reinforcement and fleshed out the room well.

Audio quality appeared positive. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music was usually robust; I thought the band performance at the bar was a bit flat, but otherwise, score and songs seemed solid. Effects were also clean and dynamic. This was a very good track that served the film well.

Quite a few extras popped up here. We open with two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from director Karyn Kusama and writer Diablo Cody; it accompanies the film’s theatrical cut. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, sets and locations, script/character issues, editing, music and a few other subjects.

Kusama strongly dominates this discussion, as Cody offers little along the way. Not that Kusama fleshes out the flick with tons of interesting details. We do learn some decent facts about the flick, but usually Kusama just tells us how much she likes various elements. Her fondness for the word “totally” also lends an odd Valley Girl vibe to the proceedings. This is a generally mediocre commentary.

One more thought about the track: I must admit I find it distasteful at best to hear Kusama go on about how the Jennifer character should be “proud” she’s not a virgin. Yeah, I get it: girls shouldn’t feel like sluts just because they like to have sex. But I think it’s a questionable choice for Kusama to advocate high school sex. Those kids don’t have the best judgment, and I don’t think teen mothers are something we need more of in society. What the heck was Kusama thinking?

For the second commentary, we get director Karyn Kusama all on her own; this chat discusses the film’s extended version. This is a very scene-specific piece, as Kusama only pops up for the sequences altered for the longer edition. The disc doesn’t execute this well. If you choose the commentary, a little icon will pop up as you view the film; this tells you that Kusama’s remarks are live.

What’s the point? If you could watch the flick with its standard soundtrack and just branch off to the commentary on occasion, those icons would be helpful. As it stands, if you select the commentary, you’re stuck with 2.0 audio, so you still can’t view the movie in a satisfying way.

This makes the extended cut commentary tedious. Oh, Kusama actually offers some good notes when she speaks, as she details the changes made to the unrated version. However, the format just doesn’t work well. Maybe there’s some easy way to access her remarks that I can’t discern, but to me, it looks like you’re stuck with a problematic presentation. If you want to hear Kusama’s sporadic notes, you’ll find it a chore.

Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of 13 minutes, 55 seconds. These include “Dead Boys” (1:08), “’Jennifer Check Is Gross’” (3:32), “Needy Confronts Jennifer” (1:59), “’Who’s Cindy Crawford?’” (0:35), “Needy Confronts the Band” (5:32) and “’Ass, Gas or Grass’” (1:09). “Cindy” is actually interesting, if just because it shows more of Amy Sedaris as Needy’s mom. “Band” provides more info about Needy on prom night and her pursuit of justice. The others aren’t as much fun, though a few add a little in terms of story material, so they’re worth a look.

A Gag Reel runs four minutes, 55 seconds. Should you anticipate anything more interesting than the standard assortment of mistakes and laughing? Nope, so don’t expect the reel to be too interesting.

Jennifer’s Body: The Dead Pool. It presents notes from Kusama, Cody, producers Jason Reitman, Dan Dubiecki and Mason Novick, visual effects supervisor Eric Nordby, special makeup effects creator Greg Nicotero, on-set key effects makeup Mike Fields, best boy special effects John Sleep, stunt coordinator Scott Ateah, special effects coordinator Rory Cutler, and actors Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, and Johnny Simmons. “Dead” looks at story and themes, cast, characters and performances, sets and production design, action and effects. “Dead” starts in a fluffy manner, but once it focuses on the pool scene that inspires its title, it becomes more absorbing. We get a good overview of the various methods used to bring this sequence to life in this useful program.

Under Video Diaries, we find four clips that last a total of 12 minutes, 50 seconds. These focus on “Megan Fox and Johnny Simmons” (2:26), “Amanda Seyfried” (3:19), “Diablo Cody” (4:04), and “Dan Dubiecki” (3:01). In these, the folks I named carry around video cameras on the set. We see occasional instances of interesting shots, but don’t expect anything fascinating, as it usually remains pretty superficial.

Megan Fox Is Hot provides a 56-second snippet. Essentially this is just a compilation of shots of Fox looking… well, hot. Or cute, at least. Does it serve a real purpose? None that I can discern other than to make a full viewing of Body totally superfluous.

Something unusual shows up under Megan Fox “Peer Pressure” PSA. This 40-secon clip offers a fake PSA intended to promote the movie. It’s mildly clever.

We hear more from the writer via Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School with Writer Diablo Cody. In this 26-minute, 27-second piece, three film students interview Cody about aspects of her experience in show biz. Cody’s “Anne Heche Circa 1998” haircut/dye job is a tragic mistake, but she’s a fairly enjoyable subject, so she offers a good array of interesting statements here.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Gentlemen Broncos, All About Steve, Whip It and Fame. Elsewhere on the disc, we find ads for (500) Days of Summer, Something Something Something Darkside and Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead. No trailer for Body appears here.

Finally, a separate disc provides a digital copy of Jennifer’s Body. This allows you to slap the flick onto a computer or portable viewing device. There you go!

How is it possible that a flick about Megan Fox as an undead teen could be so entirely dull? I’m not sure, but boredom is the only emotion Jennifer’s Body provokes. It fails as both comedy and horror. The Blu-ray presents good picture and audio as well as a generally positive package of supplements. While I have no problems with this release, the movie itself ends up as a dud.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.625 Stars Number of Votes: 8
2 3:
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main