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Greg Mottola
Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot
Writing Credits:
Michael LeSieur

A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.

Box Office:
$40 million.
Opening Weekend
$5,461,475 on 3,022 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Czech Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Turkish Dolby 5.1
Brazilian Portuguese
Supplements Subtitles:
Brazilian Portuguese

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 1/17/2017
• “Spy Game” Featurette
• 5 Deleted Scenes
• “Keeping Up with Georgia” Featurette
• Gallery
• Previews and Trailer
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; 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.


Keeping Up With the Joneses [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 8, 2017)

Almost eight years after 2009’s Hangover catapulted him to fame, Zach Galifianakis remains best-known for that film. Hangover also placed him fairly firmly in the “supporting character” realm, but Galifianakis attempts to take the lead with 2016’s Keeping Up With the Joneses.

Married couple Jeff (Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (Isla Fisher) lead a fairly mundane suburban existence, but their lives get a jolt when new neighbors arrive. Not only do Tim (Jon Hamm) and Natalie Jones (Gal Godot) provide extremely attractive physical specimens, but also they seem much more worldly and sophisticated than the other locals.

Jeff and Karen soon learn that the Joneses hide a secret life as government spies. Amidst a major incident, the Gaffneys find themselves embroiled in the Joneses’ action and intrigue.

Though the premise of Joneses lacks a lot of zest, I held out hopes it might entertain. It includes a good cast, and director Greg Mottola’s Superbad offered amusement.

Unfortunately, Joneses does little to produce entertainment across its 105 minutes. This becomes a dull-witted melange of action and comedy that doesn’t deliver in either domain.

The absence of laughs becomes the bigger disappointment, as the film clearly emphasizes the comedic realm. Given the personnel involved, I didn’t expect much from the action side, but I thought the attempts at humor could’ve worked.

For the most part, they don’t. Oh, Joneses scores minor chuckles here and there, and a late-film cameo from Patton Oswalt adds brief zest to the proceedings, but those amusing moments occur too infrequently.

Instead, we get a predictable package of characters and situations with a serious “been there, done that” vibe. We’ve seen stories like this via movies like Date Night and Joneses does nothing to reinvigorate the genre.

None of the actors stretch their talents either. A newly-svelte Galifianakis tones down his naif act somewhat, but not to a substantial degree, and the others don’t find much to develop. Along with a decent supporting cast, they do produce sporadic entertainment, but not much, as the film tends to squander their skills.

All of this leaves Joneses as a passable but wholly forgettable comedic adventure. It never turns into a chore to watch, but it also never manages to become anything especially compelling. You watch a movie like this to pass time and that’s about it.

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

Keeping Up with the Joneses appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a surprisingly bland image.

Sharpness became the most glaring weakness, as the movie could look strangely fuzzy at times. While much of the film exhibited good clarity, more than a few shots came across as soft and uunfocused. Jagged edges and shimmering failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws also caused no distractions.

Colors were fine. The movie went with the usual orange and teal, and the hues looked full and rich within stylistic constraints. Blacks were dark and tight, but shadows lacked clarity, as they could suffer from inconsistent detail. This wasn’t a bad presentation but its softness made it a “C+”.

Despite its action sequences, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Joneses remained fairly restrained much of the time. Every once in a while, the mix came to life, though, such as during a chase scene or via explosions.

Nonetheless, the track emphasized the “comedy mix” side of things much of the time. This meant music and general ambience dominated. We got some pizzazz every once in a while but no one should expect great vivacity from the soundacape.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech appeared natural and concise, while music sounded smooth and warm. Effects demonstrated positive punch and accuracy, with nice low-end as appropriate. Though the track didn’t excel, it became strong enough for a “B”.

A handful of extras fill out the disc, and we open with Spy Game. This 11-minute, 44-second piece offers comments from director Greg Mottola, special effects supervisor Michael Lantieri, and actors Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, and Gal Gadot.

“Game” discusses story/characters, cast and performances, Mottola’s impact on the shoot, and stunts/action. “Game” offers a basic promo piece without much substance.

Five Deleted Scenes run a total of 18 minutes, 17 seconds. We find “Original Opening” (3:44), “Original Jeff’s Day at MBI” (6:05), “Tim Bandages Jeff’s Hand” (0:46), “What Ales Ya?” (5:52) and “Original Carl Pronger” (1:50).

Most of these give us minor extensions of existing scenes, and the extra footage adds little. The “Original Opening” sets up the couple who sell the house into which the Joneses move, which makes it moderately interesting. Otherwise, the cut footage remains unremarkable.

Keeping Up with Georgia fills five minutes, four seconds. It features Hamm, Mottola, Fisher, Gadot, Galifianakis, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Steven Ritzi and art designer Jeremy Woolsey. The show looks at various sets/locations as well as stunts and action. A smattering of insights emerge, but mostly this feels like an ad for Atlanta.

A Gallery brings us a collection of stills. Here we see 24 shots from the set and movie images. It becomes a mediocre compilation.

The disc opens with ads for Why Him?, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Masterminds. Sneak Peek throws in a promo for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and we also get the trailer for Joneses.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Joneses. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Unfocused and without much wit, Keeping Up With the Joneses devolves into lackluster comedy. Despite the presence of a decent cast, the film lacks much purpose and never gets into a groove. The Blu-ray offers acceptable picture and audio along with a smattering of bonus features. The film winds up as a bland journey.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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