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Denzel Washington
Michael B. Jordan, Chanté Adams, Jason Christian
Writing Credits:
Virgil Williams

Before he leaves for combat in Iraq, 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King authors a journal for his baby son.

Box Office:
$25 million.
Opening Weekend
$2,201,886 on 2500 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

131 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 3/8/2022

• “Heart & Soul” Featurette
• “Family Portrait” Featurette
• “Spectral Effects” Featurette
• “Words of Wisdom” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


A Journal For Jordan [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 29, 2022)

Back in 2003, Denzel Washington directed his first feature via 2002’s Antwone Fisher. Nearly 20 years later, Washington returns with his fourth effort behind the camera, 2021’s A Journal For Jordan.

Based on a true story and set in the early 2000s, we meet First Sergeant Charles Monroe King (Michael B. Jordan), a soldier who embarks on a romantic relationship with Dana Canedy (Chanté Adams). When they get engaged, they have a son they name Jordan.

After Charles gets sent to Iraq, Dana encourages him to write a journal that acts as a guide to life for his child. We follow how this text eventually inspires the youngster.

If you want to find a prime example of a tale that seems much better suited for the printed page than the movie screen, look no farther than Journal. A personal story that leaps about in time, this property feels tailor-made for text but not well-suited for a dramatic enactment.

Despite the hook that Journal wants to look at Charles’ efforts meant for his son, the vast majority of the film plays as a standard romantic drama. Though we occasionally dabble in later years, most of the movie concentrates on how Charles and Dana met/fell in love.

Some of this feels necessary, but Journal just goes overboard in this regard. To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm, one occasionally wonders if we’ll get a journal in this journal movie, as the flick avoids the titular topic for a shocking amount of time.

Admittedly, I suspect it does so because the text itself seems surprisingly underwhelming. One expects Charles to leave a slew of valuable insights for Jordan, but instead, the journal just comes with common sense platitudes like “treat women well’.

Granted, one can argue that the content of the actual journal seems less important than the impact it creates on Dana and Jordan. It matters more that the book leaves an impression on the youngster.

Still, if you make a movie that touts the significance of a journal, one anticipates something novel and really insightful from it. Nothing that we learn of Charles’ writings elevates his musings to become special or noteworthy, so this disappoints.

Perhaps Washington and the screenwriters got that, and this becomes why the movie ignores the actual journal and its lessons for so long. I also suspect they simply figured a story of young passion and love would interest viewers more than one about a kid who reads his dad’s life lessons.

And that makes sense, but unfortunately, Journal delivers a depressingly dull romantic journey. Even with the usually compelling Jordan as a lead, the main narrative becomes bland and trite.

Journal paints a very standard love story between its leads, and Washington finds nothing new or fresh to bring to the table. The flick hits all the expected beats and never threatens to makes its themes or characters especially engaging.

It doesn’t help that Washington makes Journal a slow journey, partly because – again – we start to wonder when the journal movie will get to the stupid journal. If the Charles/Dana romance proved more compelling, we might ignore the absence of the titular tome, but given the dullness of the leads and their relationship, we find ourselves more and more impatient to get to the point.

All of this leads to an oddly flat and unemotional tale. While Journal should pack a real dramatic punch, instead it becomes a draggy and leaden affair without a substantial payoff.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

A Journal For Jordan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.

Sharpness was almost always appealing. A minor amount of softness crept into a couple of long shots, but otherwise the image remained tight and well-defined at all times.

I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

To the surprise of no one, Journal opted for a palette that favored a mix of amber/orange and teal. Within the movie’s color design, the tones seemed solid.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness. This was a consistently satisfying image.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix of Journal, it showed scope typical of the drama genre. This meant a semi-limited soundscape, though it occasionally kicked to life.

That meant some combat scenes mainly, as those added real power. Street shots or parties added a bit of immersiveness. Most of the flick came with a lot of ambience, albeit pretty engaging environmental material.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music seemed warm and deep, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. The mix suited the story, though the occasional military scene nearly boosted it to “B+” level.

Three featurettes follow, and Heart and Soul runs 11 minutes, 32 seconds. It brings notes from director Denzel Washington, author Dana Canedy, and actors Michael B. Jordan and Chanté Adams.

“Soul” looks at the two lead characters as well as cast/performances. Canedy provides a handful of insights related to the reality behind the story, but “Soul” mostly feels like a lot of happy talk.

Family Portrait lasts 10 minutes, 42 seconds and features Canedy, Jordan, Washington, Adams, and production designer Sharon Seymour.

It covers Canedy’s book, the adaptation and shift to the movie screen, and a few aspects of the film. Expect another piece that brings handful of decent notes along with plenty of fluff.

Next comes Words of Wisdom, a seven-minute, 12-second piece that provides info from Canedy, Jordan, and Adams. They discuss the actors’ exposure to the actual journal and some other artifacts from the real-life folks’ lives. Canedy provides a smattering of interesting memories but this mostly feels like another blah featurette.

Seven Deleted Scenes span a total of six minutes, 38 seconds. These offer minor character bits and seem wholly forgettable.

A Gag Reel goes for three minutes, four seconds as we find the usual goofs and silliness. Don’t expect anything compelling.

The disc opens with ads for A Mouthful of Air, Nine Days, and Death of a Telemarketer. No trailer for Journal appears here.

Perhaps the source story behind A Journal For Jordan offers a dramatic, inspiring tale. As depicted in this film, however, we get a dull, inert piece with precious little to create audience investment. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio as well as fairly blah bonus materials. This turns into a disappointing character journey.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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