Thursday, February 9, 2012

DVD Review: Janie Jones, Starring Abigail Breslin, Alessandro Nivola and Elizabeth Shue

"a tuneful family flick…driven by impressive lead performances." Screen Daily

Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) and his band are on the comeback trail when a former flame (Elisabeth Shue) drops a bomb in his lap: their 13-year-old daughter, Janie Jones (Abigail Breslin). Ethan refuses to believe Janie is his kid, but when her mom suddenly leaves for rehab, the child has no place to go but into the tour bus and on the road with the band. With no inclination toward fatherhood, Ethan continues his hard-living ways, leaving Janie to fend for herself in the dive bars and sleazy motels along the way. As Ethan’s self-destructive spiral threatens to destroy his band’s future, Janie uses her own surprising musical talents to help guide him down the rocky road to redemption. Nivola and Breslin naturally embrace their musical characters both actually sing and perform in the film while developing Ethan and Janie’s relationship in a refined way to delicately express the emotional needs of the characters. Writer/director David M. Rosenthal blends the musical setting with road trip movie elements that add subtle layers to the dynamic of his two main characters.

Bonus Features

Interview with the JANIE JONES Team, presented by American Express Director’s Commentary

My Thoughts:

Who knew that Abigail Breslin could really sing?  In addition to being an Academy Award nominee, having starred in many blockbuster hits, and only being 16 years old, she is force to be reckoned with.  After first hearing about this film, and then seeing the trailer, I couldn't wait for it to arrive on DVD on January 31st.  I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this movie to review, and watched it the night I received it.  Inspired by true events in writer-director, David Rosenthal's life, viewers are introduced to Janie and Ethan, and watch how their unlikely pairing and connection as father and daughter play out.  If you are a fan of music films, like Walk the Line and Almost Famous, that also include road trip movie elements in their films, then you will love Janie Jones.  I loved each and every song that these two brilliant actors sung, but especially was fond of Janie's sweet and soulful ballads.  You couldn't help but root for this father daughter duo to find happiness as a family, and success in their music careers.  And, you can't feel for each of them, as they let down their guards and show their vulnerability.  Truly an amazing movie, that will touch your heart, while giving you a glimpse what it is like to be a rock and roll touring family.

 ---BUY NOW---

You can buy this DVD for only $26.95 at New Video.

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this DVD from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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