French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish
Jumpin' Jack Flash
20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 101 mins .
M . PAL
There are two types of people who would have not been able to see Jumpin’ Jack Flash at one point or another in their lives. Everyone else surely has at least seen some of it. These two types are those born after 1986, the year of the film’s release, and those living as hermits away from the likes of cinemas, video stores and network television.
But age doesn’t have to be an excuse - yep, that’s right, Jumpin’ Jack Flash is coming home to Region 4 DVD at long last. Hoorah!
Eww, there's that cat I ran over earlier on your head...
Penny Marshall’s classic Jumpin’ Jack Flash really is Whoopi Goldberg at her best. It’s full of action, comedy, intrigue and thrills. Ooh yeah baby - yellow Reeboks are the scariest thing yet! This is definitely a check-your-brain-at-the-door-type film, with some truly outrageous circumstances, unbelievable situations and some effing hilarious dialogue from Goldberg.
This reviewer knows the network television version back-to-front, including where the ad breaks go. What I didn’t realise was that the television network had butchered the film to buggery, resulting in an abridged version of the dialogue. This DVD shows Jumpin’ Jack Flash in all its late-'80s goodness, with the full M rated dialogue intact. Who knew that Whoopi Goldberg has a mouth on her like New York City slang dictionary? The supporting cast, which includes Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman and Stephen Collins, add to the level of humour, resulting in a riotous 100 minutes that is now proudly standing in my collection and one that will definitely get plenty of play time.
"[Sings] I was raaiiiised by two les-bi-ans..."
Terri Dolittle (Goldberg) works at the First National Bank in New York City, communicating with international banks and clients using a computer. One day she receives a mysterious riddle within a knock-knock joke which enters her into a totally different world full of deception, spies and truth serums. After solving the riddle, hidden within a Rolling Stones song (can you guess the song title?) Terri meets Jack, a British Intelligence agent stuck in Eastern Europe and in desperate need for an exit contact. But when you’re trying to help a secret agent, who can you trust?
Attack of the Paper Shredder
Jumpin’ Jack Flash is presented in its original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1, and is anamorphically enhanced. Compared to some of the slick transfers released for brand new films, this transfer is lacking in a few areas. However, when you consider that this was originally released in 1986, this transfer is well above par for a film nearing 20 years of age. Film artefacts sporadically flash onto the screen, and grain is limited to an ever-so-fine, non-disruptive wash that faintly covers the image. The focus is generally rather nice, however at times the image can appear a little soft, resulting in a slight loss of clarity and a bit of fuzz over some details. Colours are as you would expect for an '80s film - luminously bright and in-your-face, with blacks deeply mastered showing no sign of low level noise. The layer change, placed just after the 60 minute mark, is discrete and quick, and ultimately incredibly well placed.
What's worse - the glasses or the fact that she is playing with a Pokey doll?
With five Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks included, the English track is the prime listening option. Dialogue comes clearly from the front of the soundstage, in perfect synch, and is easily distinguished throughout the film. Surround action is rather limited, but given the film’s stereo origins it's to be expected. These channels generally take off during the action sequences, or those which require spooky ambience. Regardless of when they take off, however, they are rather quiet, forcing the soundstage to lead from the front. The subwoofer is used to provide a smidge of depth to the soundtrack, but offers very little in the way of discrete bangs and bumps. The soundtrack is made up of a well-themed score by Thomas Newman, as well as a variety of music tracks by The Rolling Stones (duh!), The Pointer Sisters and The Supremes, resulting in a well-mixed and well-sequenced musical soundtrack.
Well, they’ve delivered the DVD but no extras. *sigh*
For an asking price of $19.95, this disc, whilst still lacking extras, is a great one to add to your collection if you're a Goldberg fan, it shows Goldberg at her best. The video, while not remarkable, is hugely serviceable for a film of such age, accompanied with a healthy Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
So do yourself a favour and next time you need a good laugh, Jumpin’ Jack Flash is a quality answer. After all, “it’s a gas, gas, gas.”