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Tim Story
Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Colin Jost
Writing Credits:
Kevin Costello

A chaotic battle ensues between Jerry Mouse, who has taken refuge in the Royal Gate Hotel, and Tom Cat, who is hired to drive him away before the day of a big wedding arrives.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 5/18/2021

• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Bringing Tom & Jerry to Life” Featurette
• “Tom & Jerry’s World” Featurette
• “The Feud” Featurette
• “Jerry’s ‘A House for a Mouse’” Featurette
• “Guide to NYC Wildlife” Featurette
• “Inside the Wedding of Ben and Preeta” Featurette
• “A Scene Comes to Life” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Tom & Jerry [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 19, 2021)

With 2021’s Tom & Jerry, we get a mix of live-action and animation. These techniques bring the classic cartoon characters to the big screen in a different way.

When Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) seeks a job at the ritzy Royal Gate Hotel, she lies about her qualifications and uses a stolen résumé. This gets her the gig and she attempts to prove her worth, though her immediate supervisor Terence (Michael Peña) views her with suspicion.

At the top of the hotel’s workload: a massive upcoming wedding between Preeta (Pallavi Sharda) and Ben (Colin Jost), two wealthy “social influencers”. If the Royal Gate pulls off the elaborate nuptials, they’ll gain enormous publicity.

As Kayla attempts to deal with all these stresses, a new one enters her life when Jerry the mouse takes up residence at the Royal Gate. Kayla recruits Jerry’s archenemy, Tom the cat, to rid the building of the rodent. Chaos ensues.

But does hilarity? Meh.

I’ll say this about Jerry: it could’ve been much worse than it is. Frankly, the movie stinks of “cinematic product” and feels more like a cynical effort to revive the T&J franchise for a new generation than a movie with any creative purpose.

As such, I count it as a minor miracle that Jerry remains as watchable as it is, especially with Tim Story behind the camera. Story made a name via 2002’s Barbershop, an affable if not especially memorable comedy.

Since then, Story has helmed a long roster of mediocre or worse films. We last saw him in 2019 with the awful Shaft update, a movie that failed in almost all possible ways.

Jerry certainly works better than that atrocity, and given Story’s less than storied – ha! – history, this flick could’ve been a total dud. Like I noted, Jerry remains persistently watchable, and that seems like it must be worth something.

But not a lot, as I think a more talented director could’ve turned Jerry into a film that feels more than just “persistently watchable”. Jerry gives us a relentlessly safe piece of family entertainment, one that echoes dozens of other animated flicks and that brings virtually nothing new to the table.

Honestly, when Jerry succeeds, it does so mostly due to its able cast – and mostly mostly due to Peña, an actor who reliably saves or adds to virtually everything in which he appears. Peña turns a trite role into something that borders on a comic delight, as he steals virtually every scene in which he appears.

The remaining actors do fine as well. Moretz seems a little out of her element as our human lead, but she manages to give heart to a character who could easily come across as slimy, so she works out fine.

As for our lead cartoons, they seem less enchanting, partly due to the awkward form of animation. Jerry uses computer animation for its animal participants but it attempts to resemble traditional cel art.

This doesn’t work, as the CG never quite feels right. The semi-cel work simply looks “off” and fails to convince the eye.

While I love traditional cel animation, I think we’ve been so conditioned to see computer-animated characters in live-action movies that the essentially 2D drawings here become a distraction. I understand that the filmmakers wanted a classic look for Tom, Jerry and the rest rather than a CG reimagining ala Scooby-Doo and others, but because we’re so used to CG/live-action hybrids, this movie’s cel/live-action union flops.

It doesn’t help that the movie’s universe operates on an odd set of rules. Every animal gets turned into a cartoon, and it’s never clear if they look like cartoons to the humans or just to the movie audience.

Also, why can some animals talk and others can’t? Can the humans understand the ones who do speak? Does no one feel surprised a cat can play piano? Or a mouse can write English?

Yeah, I know this may resemble nitpicking for a movie like this, but when you plop animated characters in a live-action setting, these kinds of questions arise. The movie never attempts to answer them.

In a better-made film, I probably wouldn’t care, but when you get a product as mediocre as Tom & Jerry, the mind wanders. Despite occasional moments of entertainment, this movie remains uninspired most of the time.

Footnote: a tag scene appears after the end credits conclude.

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

Tom & Jerry appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.

Overall definition looked good. Virtually no softness materialized, so the film appeared accurate and concise.

I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. No print flaws cropped up either.

Jerry offered a fair amount of amber, with some teal tossed in as well along with occasional splashes of other hues. The disc made the colors look solid.

Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots showed good clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this fine image.

Given its slapstick action orientation, the film’s Dolby Atmos opened up pretty well. Though the film didn’t include as many slam-bang set pieces as a typical action flick, it brought out some good sequences. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, when the track needed to expand during battle elements and the like, it used the full spectrum well.

Elements were properly placed and moved about the setting in a convincing way. The surrounds contributed a nice sense of space and involvement. Music depicted positive stereo imaging and the entire presentation offered a good feeling of environment.

Audio quality fared well. Speech was accurate and distinctive, without notable edginess or other issues. Music sounded full-blooded and rich, as the score was rendered nicely.

Effects showed good range and definition. They demonstrated solid low-end and were impressive across the board. Ultimately, this was an appealing track.

10 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 13 minutes, 34 seconds. Note that sum includes intros from director Tim Story, though doesn’t comment on all of them,

We find a prologue that explains what brought Tom and Jerry to New York, and we see Kayla’s unusual job before she came to the hotel. We get a little more other exposition.

Because the film already runs 101 minutes – a little long for a movie like this – I can’t claim any of these needed to make the end result. Still, some interesting material results.

A Gag Reel runs three minutes, one second. It shows some of the usual goofs, but it adds improv bits and unique – though very rough - -animation. These factors make it above average.

A slew of featurettes ensue, and Bringing Tom & Jerry to Life goes for 14 minutes, 41 seconds. It involves comments from Story, producer Chris DeFaria, costume designer Alison McCosh, animation historian Jerry Beck, film comedy historian Joe Adamson, animator Eric Goldberg, head of story Rob Stevenhagen, story artists Aya Suzuki and Dino Athanassiou, pre-vis supervisor Adam Coglan, animation story artist Phil Vallentin, puppeteer Michael Taibi. and actors Michael Peña, Jordan Bolger, Pallavi Sharda, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ken Jeong, Colin Jost, Rob Delaney, Daniel Adegboyega and Patsy Ferran.

“Life” looks at the original cartoons and their path to the big screen as well as the “hybrid” mix of animation and live action, sets and locations, animation, cast and performances,

Tom & Jerry’s World lasts four minutes, 17 seconds and provides notes from Delaney, McCosh, DeFaria, Story, Moretz, Ferran, Peña, Bolger, Jost, Sharda, and Jeong.

We get a hint at camera techniques used to bring the title characters’ POV, but much of it pretends Tom and Jerry are real. It’s a mixed bag.

Next comes The Feud, a four-minute, 15-second reel that features Story, DeFaria, Jeong, Moretz, Sharda, Delaney, Ferran, Jost, Bolger, Peña, Taibi, director of photography Alan Stewart, puppeteer Robin Guiver, prop dresser Robin Traynor, script supervisor Rowena Ladbury, AD Michael Stevenson, stunt performer Chelsea Mather, and on-set art director Hazel Keane.

This looks at the cast/crew’s preferred character as well as more comments about T&J as actors. The whole “T&J are real” concept didn’t work in the prior featurette, so it doesn’t get better with age.

Jerry’s “A House for a Mouse” spans three minutes, 58 seconds and shows movie clips that focus on Jerry’s domain. It gives us a decent look at the details of Jerry’s small home in the hotel, though it tends to feel like an advertisement.

With The Tom & Jerry Guide to New York City Wildlife, we locate a four-minute, 52-second piece. It offers some basics about the animals featured in the film. This mixes promotion with creature specifics.

Inside the Wedding of Ben and Preeta occupies five minutes, 24 seconds and gives us remarks from Sharda, Jost, Delaney, Peña, Moretz, and Jeong. We find another puff piece that sticks more with movie clips and general notes than actual insights.

Finally, A Scene Comes to Life splits into two segments: “Ben and Preeta’s Wedding” (5:11) and “Animal Lockup” (3:54). Across these, we hear from Story, Jost, Delaney, Moretz, Sharda, Peña, McCosh, Ladbury, Coglan, DeFaria, Mather, Athanassiou and Stevenhagen.

As expected, we get some details about the elements involved with these two scenes. Expect a mix of facts and fluff.

The disc opens with an ad for SCOOB. No trailer for Jerry appears here.

Nothing about Tom & Jerry makes it an embarrassment, but neither does anything here stand out as inspired or memorable. The film provides a passable piece of family entertainment at best. The Blu-ray offers strong picture and audio along with a decent mix of bonus materials. Tom & Jerry doesn’t flop but it doesn’t impress either.

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