Review: The Joneses DVD

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Derrick Borte | CAST: David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Amanda Heard, Ben Hollingsworth, Gary Cole, Glenne Headly
RELEASE DATE: 8/10/2010 | PRICE: DVD $19.98, Blu-ray $29.99
BONUSES: deleted scenes
SPECS: R | 111 min. | Comedy drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1; DTS-HD Master Audio | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Comedy drama The Joneses kicks off with a clever premise: A perfect nuclear family (parents David Duchovny and Demi Moore, and high school-age kids Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth) moves into an upscale neighborhood, charmingly winning over all the new friends and neighbors with their latest stylish products and gadgets (cosmetics, cars, golf clubs, kitchenware, and so on). Only the Joneses aren’t an actual family; they’re four employees of the mysterious stealth marketing firm LifeImage, selling a consumer lifestyle to those who quickly feel they should be keeping up with them.

Yeah, the movie is clever … and dark and satirical. But when inevitable complications arise — Duchovny’s fake Mr. Jones falls for Moore’s fake Mrs. Jones, the teens start acting like, well, teens, and the neighbors (among them Glenne Headly and Gary Cole) start buying into marketing pitches they can’t afford — The Joneses takes a turn for the moral and loses its bite.

But until the film’s final third, when everything softens up a little too much, the ride is solid and well-acted, particularly by Duchovny and the always-fine Cole, whose supporting turn in The Joneses’ is the film’s finest performance. (Oh, there are also a couple of nice appearances by Lauren Hutton as the icy head of LifeImage.)

The disc’s sole supplemental materials are a pair of deleted scenes involving Duchovny’s character. We would have liked a commentary track by writer/director Derrick Borte, so he could talk about his radical change of direction towards the end.

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