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Keeping Up with the Joneses

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    68
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'Keeping Up with the Joneses' disappoints with lackluster humor, action, and tech specs.

    Keeping Up with the Joneses 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    79
  • The UHD upgrade of 'Keeping Up With The Joneses' offers slight improvements in color and detail, but struggles with judder and lacks a significant wow factor compared to Blu-ray.

  • Audio
    84
  • The DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack delivers a dynamic and full-bodied audio experience, with effective use of surrounds, though its low end and rear channel engagement vary, reflecting both high clarity and areas for improvement.

  • Extra
    65
  • The Keeping Up with the Joneses 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray offers the feature film with limited extras; 4 deleted scenes, Spy Game & Keeping up with Georgia featurettes, a gallery & trailer, understanding a deficit in special features in 4K UHD.

  • Movie
    60
  • Dive into 'Keeping Up with the Joneses,' a mild, spy comedy adventure that fails to fully entertain despite its star-studded cast and a potentially intriguing suburban espionage storyline.

    Video: 79

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Keeping Up with the Joneses" leverages an HEVC H.265 encoding with a resolution of 2160p, framed in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Despite being sourced from a 35mm film and finished with a reported 2K Digital Intermediate, the upgrade from its 1080p counterpart is nuanced, offering modest enhancements in color richness and detail clarity. While primary and earth tones display increased vividness, and certain close-ups reveal finer facial features and textures in clothing, the overall sharpness and resolution gains are less pronounced than anticipated. The presentation occasionally exhibits superior depth, particularly in wide shots of the neighborhood and during dynamic action sequences. However, these improvements aren't consistently evident across the board, leaving some scenes looking similar to their Blu-ray versions.

    The video quality benefits from HDR10, presenting a natural and aesthetically pleasing palette, alongside well-balanced contrasts that maintain excellent gradational differentiation between shades. Blacks are deep and inky without sacrificing detail, even in darker scenes, contributing to a more immersive viewing experience. Specular highlights add a realistic sparkle to light reflections, complementing the film's intentional photographic softness. Despite these visual perks, some viewers may notice occasional grain noise and judder in certain pans, which detracts from the presentation's overall clarity.

    Colors are more animated and varied thanks to HDR, with reds, blues, and greens appearing more vibrant and lively, enhancing the visual appeal of both indoor and outdoor scenes. Facial complexions benefit from this upgrade as well, showcasing natural nuances in skin tones that contribute to the filmlike quality of the image. However, despite these incremental improvements and moments of visual splendor, "Keeping Up With The Joneses" on 4K UHD doesn't consistently outshine its Blu-ray release in terms of sheer visual impact. The upgrade presents a mixed bag where the enhancements depend largely on the viewer's sensitivity to subtle differences in color grading, brightness levels, and grain structure management.

    Audio: 84

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Keeping Up with the Joneses" presents a consistent DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack that aligns with the level of quality found in its predecessor, the standard Blu-ray release. This soundtrack is noted for its full-bodied, articulate sound that delivers a dynamically satisfying experience. The audio presentation thrives on excellent tonal balance and high-level detail, making soundstage pans appear seamless while maintaining a robust low end when needed. Notably, the mix leverages the surrounds effectively for ambient sounds and discrete effects, providing a solid surround sound presence despite some reservations about its overall punch in the low frequency extension (LFE), which, while useful, could benefit from additional depth in action sequences.

    In terms of dynamics, the 4K UHD release exhibits a significant variance throughout its duration. Initially, the audio might require a higher volume adjustment until the latter half's more intense scenes, where the soundtrack comes to life with enhanced clarity and detail in both explosions and dialogue. The front soundstage is emphasized, with precise vocal reproduction and effective soundscape creation through balanced separation among channels. However, the soundtrack tends to underuse the surrounds until key action scenes, limiting the immersive potential of ambient effects and background activities in earlier scenes.

    Despite these minor discrepancies, the audio's performance during key moments—marked by car chases, explosions, and other dynamic events—is commendable, offering loud, clear impacts without overshadowing the score or spoken words. The LFE channel adds palpable weight to the music and action when it comes into play, and while the use of rear channels might seem reserved initially, they contribute to an engaging soundfield once the narrative escalates. Dialogue clarity is maintained throughout, although some viewers might find the need to adjust volume levels during quieter scenes. Overall, this audio presentation showcases a proficient albeit somewhat conservative approach to balancing dialogue, music, and effects within an action-comedy context.

    Extra: 65

    The 4K UHD Blu Ray set of "Keeping Up with the Joneses" significantly lacks in supplemental material, with none included on the 4K disc itself. However, the accompanying 1080p Blu-ray fills this void modestly with a quartet of extras, albeit not groundbreaking in content or depth. The highlight, Spy Game, offers a standard behind-the-scenes glimpse featuring cast interviews and on-set footage, somewhat elevating the overall package. The deleted scenes provide additional content, but like the other extras, they don't substantially enhance the viewing experience. Keeping Up with Georgia serves as a short ode to the film’s location, sharing insights into Atlanta's role in the movie’s production. Alongside a still gallery and the film’s trailer, these extras present a basic yet somewhat informative complement to the main feature on the Blu-ray disc.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Spy Game: Cast and crew interviews mixed with behind-the-scenes footage.
    • Deleted Scenes: Four scenes not included in the final film.
    • Keeping Up With Georgia: Featurette on Atlanta's significance to the film.
    • Gallery: A collection of still images from the movie.
    • Theatrical Trailer: Original cinematic preview of the film.

    Movie: 60

    "Keeping Up with the Joneses" merges the suburban comedic trope with spy-thriller elements, attempting to craft a narrative around an ordinary couple, Jeff and Karen Gaffney (played by Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher), whose humdrum suburban existence is turned upside down with the arrival of their new neighbors, Tim and Natalie Jones (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot). The Joneses, with their implausible attractiveness and worldly sophistication, are soon revealed to be spies, nudging the Gaffneys into a web of international espionage. Directed by Greg Mottola and written by Michael LeSieur, the film aimed to blend laughs with action in a way reminiscent of earlier spy comedies. Despite its alluring premise and the star-studded cast, the movie struggles to hit its comedic targets or fully exploit its spy-genre potential, often falling into the trap of cliched gags and undercooked jokes.

    Critically, the execution falters predominantly in its humor quotient. With high expectations from Mottola, who has directed acclaimed comedies like "Superbad," "Keeping Up with the Joneses" surprisingly elicits only a few genuine laughs—most notably, Galifianakis's mishaps, which arguably generate the film's sparse chuckles. The contrast between the Gaffneys' mundane life and the glamorous, adventurous lifestyle of the Joneses serves as fertile ground for comedy. However, the film's pacing and comedic timing languish, stretching thin the audience's engagement. The neighbors' dynamic teeters between enviable and intrusive, leading to predictable outcomes and tepid laughs. Furthermore, despite it being set against a backdrop of spy intrigue, the screenplay shies away from leveraging this fully, making the espionage feel like an afterthought rather than a thrilling narrative engine.

    The visual and auditory enhancements provided by the 4K UHD Blu-ray release do little to uplift the film's fundamental shortcomings. Although technically proficient, with vibrant colors and crisp soundtracks that elevate the overall viewing experience, these technical merits can hardly mask the narrative and comedic flaws inherent within the movie. "Keeping Up with the Joneses" ultimately feels like an opportunity missed, squandering its potent blend of espionage and comedy—and the charismatic allure of its leading quartet—on a story that plays it too safe. The film navigates through familiar suburban satires and spy clichés without ever fully committing to or innovating within either genre, resulting in a feature that seems content to linger in mediocrity rather than striving for something memorably amusing or thrilling.

    Total: 68

    "Keeping Up with the Joneses" endeavors to merge spy intrigue with suburban mundanity but falls considerably short, delivering a film experience that is both underwhelming and forgettable. The 4K UHD Blu-ray release by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents a divergent viewing quality, featuring an Ultra HD presentation that offers only marginal improvements over its Blu-ray counterpart, such as slight enhancements in detail levels and shadow definition. Despite the presence of an excellent high-definition video and lossless sound quality that might appeal to audiophiles, the overall visual upgrade fails to justify the transition to the 4K format for this particular title. Moreover, the supplementary content provided is described as uninspiring, failing to add significant value to the package.

    The film itself struggles with its comedic aspirations and action sequences, resulting in a disconnection with its audience despite the talents involved. The director, known for his works on 'Superbad' and 'Adventureland,' unfortunately does not leverage the potential of his cast, leading to a project that neither excites nor entertains to expected levels. Critics agree that while there are occasional moments of humor and a technically satisfactory audio-visual presentation, they are not enough to salvage the overall lack of suspense and originality.

    In conclusion, "Keeping Up with the Joneses" on 4K UHD Blu-ray seems to be a proposition only for dedicated fans of the film, given its shortcomings in delivering a compelling narrative and significant technical improvements. Others might find it prudent to seek out this title at a lower price point or through rental options. Despite its solid audio presentation and the potential draw of a slightly improved visual experience, the film itself, paired with an unremarkable collection of extras, makes it difficult to recommend for anyone outside its core fan base.