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Bill Oliver
Ansel Elgort, Suki Waterhouse, Patricia Clarkson
Writing Credits:
Bill Oliver, Peter Nickowitz, Gregory Davis

Jonathan leads two separate lives in the same body.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 1/15/2019

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Jonathan [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 8, 2019)

A quirky form of sci-fi drama, 2018’s Jonathan focuses on a young man with an unusual situation. Brothers Jonathan and John literally live inside the same body (Ansel Elgort), and each one comes out in “shifts”.

Matters eventually complicate, as both fall for Elena (Suki Waterhouse). This conflict creates stress in the already tenuous fraternal relationship.

Based on the synopsis, you might expect Jonathan to feel like pretty much any other film that focuses on multiple personalities. You’d interpret matters correctly, as the story doesn’t separate itself from the genre in any notable manner.

Honestly, it never seems clear why the filmmakers throw in the twist that makes Jonathan and John literal different entities in the same body and not just one person with Multiple Personality Disorder. I guess they felt this curveball would allow the flick to stand out from the crowd, but as a story element, it lacks purpose.

As does Jonathan as a whole. This seems more like a concept with a movie attached than a well-drawn narrative.

Much of that stems from the filmmakers’ inability to draw out John and Jonathan as more than simplistic stereotypes. Jonathan offers the conscientious, introverted side whereas John provides a more outgoing, extroverted role.

I guess this attempts to give us a thesis on how people need different sides of their personalities to survive, but none of this manages to play out in a satisfying manner. Because John and Jonathan lack much dimensionality, they follow predictable routes and don’t allow the film to offer anything especially insightful or intriguing.

Elgort also fails to do much with his dual roles. He sticks with easy basics for the two characters and doesn’t make either one memorable or particularly believable.

All of this builds toward a climax, but it doesn’t seem like a satisfying finale. Too much of Jonathan meanders and the end result lacks impact.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Jonathan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though always watchable, the image seemed a bit iffy at times.

Sharpness became the most problematic area, as significant bouts of softness occurred. While much of the movie seemed well-defined, odd exceptions popped up as well. These might be intentional, but I couldn’t figure out a logical reason for the strange soft spots.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked any print flaws.

Colors tended heavily toward teal with some amber tossed in as well. These didn’t stand out as dynamic but they seemed adequate given the visual design.

Blacks were acceptable – albeit a little inky – and shadows worked fairly well. Low-light shots could be somewhat dense, but they seemed fine for the most part. Though much of the movie looked good, enough issues occurred to make it a “B-”.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it suited the material reasonably well. For the most part, the soundscape focused on score and general moody ambience, and it used those components in a moderately satisfying way.

That meant we didn’t get a lot from the soundfield beyond environmental material. Given the story’s character emphasis, though, I didn’t view this as a concern.

Audio quality held up well, with speech that appeared concise and distinctive. Music came across nicely, as the score felt full and rich.

Effects also succeeded. Those elements displayed positive accuracy as well as solid low-end response. For a character film, the soundtrack seemed satisfactory.

The disc opens with ads for Burning, Shadow and The Endless. We also find a trailer for Jonathan.

As a film, Jonathan feels like a concept expanded to feature length. The movie fails to explore its characters or themes in a compelling manner, so it feels superficial and forgettable. The Blu-ray brings acceptable picture and audio and it lacks supplements. Beyond a mildly intriguing premise, Jonathan fails to offer much.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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