Blu-Ray™ Review: Blue Like Jazz

Claire Holt (Penny) and Marshall Allman (Donald Miller) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's Blue Like Jazz

Everybody belongs somewhere.

Blue Like Jazz (on Blu-Ray™ August 7th) is a film based on the New York Times bestseller by Donald Miller. Just as in the book, the film focuses on a young man’s tale of stepping out of his comfort zone to embark on a journey of discovering where he stands on religion. The film may not be for everyone, although it is a thought-provoking portrait of life, acceptance, and viewpoints that people maybe at different times, may hold themselves to.

True Blood‘s Marshall Allman stars as Donald Miller, a 19-year-old college student in Texas who was raised as a Southern Baptist. Donald regularly attends church and is the leader of a youth group; a model child for his religious mother (Jenny Littleton). His father–known as The Hobo–(Eric Lange) encourages him to go to Reed College in Portland, a liberal arts school where Christianity isn’t seen in a favorable light by the student body. After finding out that his mother is cheating on his father with Kenny, the church pastor (Jason Marsden), he is motivated further to flee to Oregon to adapt in his new surroundings. At his new University, he meets an array of different people and situations that challenge his beliefs and cause him to examine his identity.

A journey of self discovery.

Claire Holt (Penny) and Marshall Allman (Donald Miller) in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's Blue Like Jazz

Reed College is a beautiful campus and was the perfect choice as the setting of the film. The party scenes and the soundtrack were major highlights, aside from the location, and the characters were likeable. In particular, “The Pope” (Justin Welborn). Blue Like Jazz isn’t, unlike many mainstream film. The movie doesn’t strictly promote a belief system; it is plain to see that belief, guidance, and influence leads the audience to observe belief differences (atheism and conservative Christianity), allowing viewers to come to their own conclusions by valuing and respecting the opinions of others. Blue Like Jazz is a blend of many important and philosophical aspects of life, which are referenced and molded together, facilitating respected differences in perspectives.

If you get a chance to check out the Blu-Ray™ special features, you can really tell that the cast had a really great time filming. It is always nice to see that behind all the bright lights and takes, being onset is a relaxed atmosphere. The featurettes included are just hilarious including featuring several people who embraced the Blue Like Jazz novel as their story. The Animator featurette is the strangest of the bunch, with a child wearing unusual clown makeup reciting a passage about animator Jonathan Richter. The special features contain as much uniqueness as the film itself.

A heartfelt film about faith arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand August 7th 2012.

Blue Like Jazz Blu-Ray™ edition is presented in outstanding quality with 1080P  High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78: 1). The film will show beautifully on any television with no discoloration. The audio is astoundingly clear in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio specifications–no need to worry about missing dialogue. Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, and Spanish.

Blu-Ray™ & DVD Special Features Include

  • Audio commentary with author/cowriter Donald Miller, Cinematographer Ben Pearson and cowriter/director Steve Taylor
  • Making Blue Like Jazz
  • Master Class: Directing Actors on Set
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Photo Gallery
  • “Save Blue Like Jazz” Featurette
  • “The Cast” Featurette
  • “The Animator” Featurette
  • “This is My Story” Featurette
  • “The Music” Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

Source: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Blue Like Jazz
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
  • Good

  • Blue Like Jazz
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  • Last modified: 09/03/2012

Review Summary:

Don, a pious 19-year old, who uproots himself from his Southern Baptist upbringing and ventures to Portland where one new experience after another teaches him the true meaning of life.

Sandy Hoffman
My name is Sandy +AIDY Hoffman. I am the creative writer and film reviewer of the AIDY Reviews website.
Sandy Hoffman

@aidyreviews

I want to write for games, movies and television. Sandy Hoffman. Writer. Gamer. Awesome. In that order. Avid supporter of #indiefilm and #indieartist #booyah
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Sandy Hoffman
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