Jojo Rabbit Blu-ray review

Feb 22, 2020- Permalink

Jojo Rabbit is a polarizing film with people either loving it or looking upon it with disdain. Some dismissed a comedy that featured Adolf Hitler as a boy’s imaginary friend as a travesty, even if they hadn’t seen it. Mel Brooks once told NPR, “Listen, get on a soapbox with Hitler, you’re gonna lose — he was a great orator. But if you can make fun of him, if you can have people laugh at him, you win.” I happen to be in the love Jojo Rabbit camp. Director Taika Waititi, who adapted the screenplay from Christine Leunens’ book Caging Skies and also plays the imaginary Hitler, gives us the story of a young boy whose father is gone so he has sought a hero figure. For him that figure just happens to be Hitler. It’s an examination of the cult of celebrity, the seduction of populism. At one point, the young boy is told that “You’re not a Nazi, Jojo, you’re a 10-year-old kid who likes dressing up in a funny uniform and wants to be part of a club.” It’s not hard to see parallels with populist movements currently growing around the world and when it’s not being funny, Jojo Rabbit is a warning not to lose your individuality and critical thinking skills and allow a movement to steer you in the wrong direction. So you might love it or hate it. If you want to see for yourself, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has now released it for your home entertainment library. I had a chance to review the Blu-ray, which also comes with a digital code.

The 1080p AVC-encoded digital transfer is in the theatrical release’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The video presentation is sharp and full of detail, from facial features to the clothes and uniforms and environments. The colour palette isn’t just the drab olives and browns that we’d expect from a wartime film. There are pops of colour, especially in Jojo’s home, as this is a world seen through a young boy’s excited eyes. Contrast and black levels are generally very good, though there are a few darker scenes in the home that lack some shadow detail.

On the audio side, your ears have a choice of an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 descriptive audio track and Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French and Spanish. Surrounds provide good ambient effects and the dialogue is clear and well-prioritized.

Besides the digital copy, the extras include some deleted scenes, outtakes, a half-hour “Inside JoJo Rabbit” featurette, trailers, and audio commentary from Taika Waititi that includes the director calling up some of the cast and interviewing them.

With a great cast, excellent video and audio, and a small collection of extras, I think Jojo Rabbit is a worthy addition to your home library.