Blu-ray Review: Jack and Diane

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This is one that I’ve been hearing quite a bit about, so it’s great to get the opportunity to get up close, cheek and jowl, and get a good look at “Jack and Diane”. Our friends at Magnolia sent out a copy for us to review, and it’s certainly going to be unusual to say the least.

“Jack and Diane” focuses on the titular duo, a pair of teenage girls this time around. The pair meet on a summer day in New York City, and after a pleasant day together, spend the night making out in a frenzy that is bizarre even for teenagers. The slightly mismatched duo–Jack a brusque tomboy and Diane a bubbly, naive type–finds their time together quite pleasant indeed, until Jack discovers that Diane is moving at the end of the summer. Out to preserve her toughened heart, Jack keeps Diane at arm’s length until her move. But Diane, struck by the power of her relatively new feelings, finds herself gripped by a change that may well mean her death. Not to mention the death of everyone around her.

It’s always a good sign when I can call a movie “unusual”. Let’s face it, there aren’t very many movies like this one out there, and once you get into the movie you’ll see just how strange this sucker can get. The first minute is going to make it extraordinarily clear, and so, you’re going to have to come to grips with what you’re seeing here. It’s going to be largely unlike anything else out there, which is great, but there’s going to be a good reason for the uniqueness. Fair warning; they’re going to get rather graphic about the whole thing, so for those of you offended by such, you know to stay well away.

As a movie itself, “Jack And Diane” is going to spend a lot of time being graphic. As a horror movie, it’s the weakest of sauces, with minimal instances of monster. As a romance, it’s got way too much blood for its own good. As a drama, it’s trying way too hard to be scary. It just doesn’t succeed on a lot of fronts, which is sad, because it’s got a very unique plotline and unique should be encouraged. Especially given that it’s just so hard to find.

As for special features, they’ll be in abundance here, including a set of features specifically for Internet-enabled Blu-ray players thanks to the BD-Live functionality on this disc. For those without connected Blu-ray players or sufficient bandwidth to power them, despair not, as there will be plenty for you here too; some audio options for those with particularly potent home theater systems, your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, a featurette devoted to the special effects, an AXS TV look at the movie, and trailers for “Jack and Diane”, “Deadfall”, “Nobody Walks”, “Compliance”, and “A Royal Affair”, as well as an promotional bit for AXS TV itself will all be on hand.

“Jack and Diane” is an unusual idea that falls flat in the execution, showing clearly the value in both having a good idea and the proper follow-through. It’s a nifty idea, but it just can’t keep up with its own potential.

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