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4.2 out of 5 stars
Juno (Single-Disc Edition)
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2008
Format: DVD
Juno was Little Miss Sunshine of 2007 - the little independent film that could. Once the studio realized that it had a successful crowd-pleaser on its hands, the film was promoted from the art-house circuit to the multiplexes. Actress Ellen Page and first-time screenwriter Diablo Cody became the film's breakout stars garnering the lion's share of critical raves and awards with Page getting an Independent Spirit Award and Cody an Academy Award. Now that all of the dust has settled, Juno can be reassessed to see if it really has the staying power and substance to cut through all of the hype and stand-up to the inevitable backlash.

There is an audio commentary by director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody. The first thing that you notice when listening to Cody talking is how well Ellen Page mimicked her way of speaking. Reitman tends to dominate the track and, not surprisingly, talks about filmmaking aspects like the casting of minor roles, the attention to details for the sets, how he shot certain scenes, and so on. This is pretty decent track filled with lots of anecdotal stories and production details.

Also included are 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Reitman and Cody. We meet Juno's crazy next-door neighbour. There's also a different introduction to Juno's family. We see Mark and Vanessa's first attempt to adopt. There's also an amusing bit where Juno has a solo gig and sings a song about getting pregnant. These are all good scenes and Reitman explains why there were cut.

There is the obligatory "Gag Reel," a hilarious collection of blown lines and goofs with Bateman making Page break character time and time again.

The "Gag Take" is an odd scene where Rainn Wilson and Reitman get into it with a mock heated argument.

"Cast and Crew Jam" features the cast and crew members rockin' out to a song in this mock music video.

There are "Screen Tests" for Ellen Page and Michael Cera. In the scene they do together you already see them in character and displaying excellent chemistry. There is also a test with Page and Olivia Thirlby and one with Page and J.K. Simmons as well.

"Way Beyond `Our' Maturity Level" takes a look at the characters of Bleeker, Juno and her best friend Leah with interviews with the actors that inhabit them. Diablo Cody talks about how they are based on people in her life.

"Diablo Cody is Totally Boss" is a profile of this novice screenwriter who got her start writing a blog and got noticed by a film producer. Reitman recalls his initial impressions of the script and the cast gush about its "unique voice."

"Jason Reitman for Shizz" takes a look at the director. The producers gush about how he was the right fit for the material. He talks about establishing the right tone and how he shared the same vision for the film as Cody.

"Honest to Blog!: Creating Juno" features Cody and Reitman talking about how the film came together. She credits her stylized dialogue to spending lots of time on the Internet. Cody also talks about how she came up with the idea for the story. They talk about specific scenes and her knack for depicting an unconventional family.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 1, 2008
Format: DVD
It means the bonus disc includes a digital copy of the film that can be automatically downloaded to a laptop or iPod. Seems obvious after you know it, huh? The second disc also includes some extra bonus features not on the single-disc DVD -- four featurettes titled "Way Beyond 'Our' Maturity Level: Juno - Leah - Bleeker," "Diablo Cody Is Totally Boss," "Jason Reitman For Shizz" and "Honest To Blog! Creating Juno."
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68 of 83 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Teenage pregnancy is frequently a starting point for myriad philosophical arguments: some see it as a major problem, some see it as an argument for the need of early teaching of contraceptive technique and sex education, some see it as a reason for championing abortion, and some see it as a piece of life that confronts families in both positive and negative ways. JUNO is a beautifully written (Diablo Cody) and directed (Jason Reitman) version of unplanned pregnancy offered by a splendid ensemble cast: it is a movie that could modify the sociologic outlook of many people in a very strong fashion.

Juno (Ellen Page) is sixteen and talks her best friend Bleek (Michael Cera) into having sex: the result is a surprise pregnancy that Juno shares with her girlfriend Leah (Olivia Thirley) and the store clerk Rollo (Rainn Wilson) even before informing Bleek, a likable kid who seems fairly flat about the situation. After discarding abortion as a viable solution, Juno informs her father (JK Simmons) and stepmother (Allison Janney) of her status, and tells them she is going to complete the pregnancy and give the baby to some loving and needy barren couple. Her parents are at first flustered by the news, but quickly become supportive in a way that tells us many things about the durability of successful families. With Leah's help, Juno answers an ad for 'wanted: baby' in PennySaver and visits the Lorings (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) who desperately want a child and embrace Juno's gesture of adoption with eager excitement. The remainder of the film follows Juno as her abdomen increases in girth, finding new respect for her parents and for Bleek, and inadvertently walking in the troubled waters of the Loring's marital discord. Without giving the story away, the ending is so tender and free of cliché that it allows us, the audience, to appreciate all the vigor and sensitivity and humor and warmth of Juno - an example of developing maturity that is a fresh breeze compared to the usual teenage movies.

Ellen Page does indeed deliver a pitch perfect performance, but her co-stars are equally fine: Simmons and Janney break away from their usual type cast roles brilliantly, and the other members of the cast (the entire cast) flesh out this well written story with great skill. The mixture of animated graphics and the imaginative musical score enhance the flavor of the tale. JUNO offers an unbiased look at the topic of teenage pregnancy and wins on every level. Grady Harp, April 08
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2008
Format: DVD
Juno a teen who becomes pregnant by her friend and decides to give up the baby for adoption to a lovely couple or does she change her mind. I reccomend all teens to see this, not to get the idea to just go out and have sex to so call (get a baby) but let the teen see what Juno has to go through on her own being pregnant without the baby's father having anything to do with her or the child. It happens all the time in the world we live in. Being puzzled about how it was going to end....Well I wont give the ending away you just need to view it for yourself. This movie is a serious subject, but has humor by Juno. I was happy to have purchased this myself. Ellen Page (Juno) a rising actress. Through friendship and pregnancy, there is a bond of LOVE forever.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2008
Format: DVD
Just saw this film for the first time on DVD. I liked it a lot. I thought the performances were great from the supporting players like J.K Simmmons, Allison Janney, Olivia Thirlby, and the main characters of Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner were also very good. Ellen Page and Michael Cera are phenomenal in terms of their work Page getting more kudos obviously since the film is about her but Cera improves on crafting a good portrait of teen angst from Arrested Development to SuperBad to now Juno. Everyone knows the story Juno a spunky sixteen year old has sex with her track star best friend Paulie Bleeker (Cera) and becomes pregnant. Originally considering abortion she decides that she can't go through with it and settles on looking for couples hoping to adopt. She settles on the Lorings (Garner and Bateman) and decides that they are good and deserving people. The rest of the film is Juno adapting to being pregnant and trying to sort things out with Paulie who is obviously in love with her but she is not as quick to return his affections. Her dad and step mom (Simmons and Janney) are tough but loving of her and support her in whatever way they can. That was very refreshing to find in this movie that they don't make her feel ashamed and ridicule her on what a bad decision she has made. They initially voice their disapproval but ultimately take active stands in helping her get through this. Step mom tells off a snooty ultrasound technician who is quick to lump Juno into a class of irresponsible teenagers who find themselves pregnant, and Dad goes with her to meet the Lorings so that she won't be taken advantage of. Dad is also instrumental in helping Juno discover how she really feels about Paulie and giving her that needed advice that lets her know how she should tell Paulie. The subplot with Mark Loring and Juno did raise several questions for me as it did for other critics and reviewers. I know that in interviews writer Diablo Cody is very defensive about whether Mark is or isn't getting too close to Juno. This was one big part of the script that I had a problem with. Not all of Cody's cool dialogue works but enough of it does and even for people who are miffed that her dialogue has been praised and singled out since the film opened in December the performances of Page and everyone else involved bring the realism and real emotion to the film that the dialogue takes away from. It's a great film with some great dialogue, brilliant acting from everyone involved, and a cool soundtrack. With all that being said Juno has been the most talked about film long before it even opened in theaters generating such buzz at film festival screenings. Diablo Cody has become a legend in the press who constantly point out her stripper and phone sex operator jobs which she worked at while penning this script. My point is that it is a film that is sure to disappoint some or annoy some just in terms of its hype. I have just finished reading Peter Travers review of the film on DVD and I think it is extremely true and indicative of the reactions to the film. Travers was championing the film when it opened theatrically and by the time Oscar noms came in he was commenting that the new found praise was starting a backlash against the film. He still sided with the film even then and didn't give in to the skeptics. The DVD release did rile him however and I agree. He maintains that the film is no longer the little indie that could but a Hollywood product based on the fact that you have to pay extra just to get featurettes that detail Cody and the cast and the packaging. I agree with that it sucks that you have to pay an additional six dollars just to get a little more than a half hours worth of featurettes. The single disc has plenty of good extras like commentary, deleted scenes, gag reels, auditions and so forth. Much like her working days you have to shell out to see Cody and I admit I did pay the extra six so I could view the nine minute featurette Diablo Cody is Totally Boss. Either way I like the film and I like Cody so the double disc was worth it but the single disc is also a very good deal for all the extras you get with it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2008
Format: DVD
I read somewhere that in ancient times, a woman's soul or a window into her thoughts was called "juno". There was also a separate masculine word for the same thing.

The movie JUNO seems to give us a glimpse or a window into the thoughts and soul of our young 16 year old protagonist. In fact, in the movie, Juno discusses how her father was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology at the time she was born.

As a movie viewer, I have to admit that I felt that I was indeed looking into the mind, soul and heart of this young girl who faces a pregnancy she wasn't counting on. Ellen Page does a tremendous job with the lead character of Juno MacGuff. There are moments when the language is a bit quirky like some other reviewers noticed; but you overcome this because of the depth and the soul of the performances. Michael Cera is magnificent as Paulie and is perfectly lovable in his portrayal of the ill prepared, ill equipped young father.

Though I loved Cera's and Page's performances, the movie does deal with teen age pregnancy, discussion of abortion, has some sexual scenes and some other segments which a parent may or may not want their family to view. I believe in fairness to the film that all of the above was handled incredibly well.

Despite the above and maybe because of the expert handling of some very sensitive subjects, Jason Reitman hits a home run with his second feature film. It is a stunner and definately the standout that critics say it is. Deserving a lot of the credit is Diablo Cody who really is the creative mind behind the story itself.

Recommended as a wonky, dorky, quirky experience of family values both good and bad. B++
Juno (Single-Disc Edition)Juno (Two-Disc Special Edition with Digital Copy)Juno [Blu-ray]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2009
Format: DVD
and that will cover any logic gaps and plot holes in the story. The movie starts down one path and changes lanes halfway through as the story goes from being a dark comedy about teen pregnancy with Juno looking for a guilt free way to unload her unwanted baby while dropping "ain't I so jadedly world wise" knowing references and cynically detached remarks then the movie changes to a soapy chick flick about relationships focusing on the Loring's problems and Juno's realization that perfect families don't exist.
The story has several plot threads running through it that are left as loose ends. It's believable that a 16 year old could be interested in music beyond hit du jour, but to have her claim to be into "the raw power of the Stooges" while singing folksy emo or whatever the style is called doesn't make any sense in the context of the movie. Is her ragging on Sonic Youth & preferring to listening to the Hoople while Mark is getting cold feet supposed to represent maturing on her part? Also Juno's as hip as it fits the plot of the moment, she knows Soupy Sales, but not Bob Marley? Overall the movie seems to be trying to make some profound statement that never quite makes it to the surface and leaves me wondering exactly what point they were trying to make.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2008
Format: DVD
but not me.
Ellen Page was reasonably good but a basically one note quirky character, with the most ridiculous unbelievable words coming out of her 16 yr old mouth, though granted, I would rather have heard more of those strange phrases instead of the inevitable " totally" and "like" that she and her blonde friend used way too much throughout. From wacky to banal, it seemed way too forced.Juno's robotic quirkiness ( and I mean the character not the actress) continued pretty much throughout the movie ( except for below mentioned van scene).
I did like Jennifer Garner, she conveyed desperation and longing that was very sweet and real. But I found it completely impossible to connect or believe in any of the other characters or the story line, starting with the 1st scene where Juno is on the lawn looking at the recliner chair. Later, her friend has to help her move the chair to Juno's van, but then somehow Juno was able to pull the chair out of the van and set it up by her little self on the boyfriend's lawn along with the rug and living room accessories ( not to mention the pipe? Uh.. why?). Why did she do that? How did she do that by herself? Just an example of oh-so-lets be quirky but just not engaging.
And wait! for a supposedly smart girl who took health classes ( she refers to the health class) , it was not believable that she would not have used condoms or foam or some kind of protection. It did not fit with the smart ( although unbelievable) worldliness of the character. It wasn't as if there was an unstoppable heat of passion and she lost her head... it was clear that she was the instigator ( which I am not against, but it just was not believable)
And the unfortunate music chosen... I ended up muting whenever any of the music came on.
The movie did pick up when Juno had the emotional breakdown in the van, there was finally a human being being portrayed instead of a snappy dialogue spewing actress pretending to be a teenager.
Oh and PS the pregnancy prosthetics were the worst. It looked like she had pillows tucked and falling...
OK I gave 2 stars because the last few scenes were pretty good. Or maybe they seemed good because I knew the movie was almost over.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2008
Format: DVD
Have you ever known someone who put a tremendous amount of effort into being cool? They played guitar 'cause it was cool, were obsessed with classic rock even though they were born after Boy George was popular 'cause that's cool, say quippy little remarks and not care about anything because they are so cool, can rattle off obscure horror film directors, hang in living room furniture on the front lawn, have wacky bedroom decor and accessories like a food-shaped utilities cause they are so cool? If those people bug you, then like me, you will not enjoy this film. I get that sixteen-year-olds thought this film was really awesome. I think it is kind of pathetic that people who have gone to their ten-year high school reunions thought this was a really good film. It tried so hard to be cool it actually hurt to watch. This movie simply will not stand the test of time.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Juno is a great movie that has gotten a lot of hype, and deserves it ALL!!! Yes, it's about a high school girl who gets pregnant. But don't get confused, this movie is not so easily classified. It's not an after school special. It's not "pro" or "anti" anything. It's just a really well written and well executed film about a unique girl dealing with an all too common situation.

There's a lot of plot elements to explore. How will her friends and family react? What will she do? How will the experience change her? No spoilers here: watch the movie and see it unfold. :)

First things first. Everybody can't love every movie. Some will under-rate this movie just because it has been SOOOOO hyped. Believe me, I understand. All I can say is this: see the movie twice, THEN make up your own mind.

The way that mainstream movies get made, it's hard to have a script survive the teams of experts who want to appeal to this and that audience. I could only detect a handful of planted lines. The writing is SUPERB and very well presented with front to back execution - directing, acting, editing. The dialogue is funny and original, like a much more literate Pulp Fiction. That's what makes this movie special. It has SOOO much going for it. Diablo Cody has opened my eyes, and I'm anxiously awaiting her new project currently in pre-production, "The United States of Tara."

The acting of Ellen Page really is TOP NOTCH. Is it Oscar worthy? YES! Without a doubt. If Julia Roberts can win for Erin Brokovich, they should give Ellen Page her Oscar RIGHT NOW. Once again, some will say it's overhyped. Some only think that top notch acting occurs when characters are dying or demented. I say real acting is good acting. I walked into a screening before I saw a single review. I watched the movie twice to confirm it - this performance needs to be seen and studied.

The cast is chock full of big names who do very well in some good roles. Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Michael Cera all have good performances. But Ellen Page IS this movie. She steals every scene, hits every mark and nails every line.

And of course, the music ROCKS! Those who are into indie rock, alternative and punk rock will recognize most of the music here. Those who aren't will want to buy the soundtrack, because this is a great introduction. There is a great mix of new and old, from Velvet Underground and the Kinks to Cat Power and Kimya Dawson. The songs are used well and you will find at least one new favorite if you don't know this music already.
Juno

The camera work is also very good. High quality camera and film equipment has either dropped in price by a lot, or films like this are finally starting to get decent budgets. Either way, this is not epic filming, but it is flawless and effective. Good directing by Jason Reitman is no surprise to me.

Now here's the hard question with 2 honest answers: Is this a movie best seen in theatres, or can it "wait" for DVD?
Answer #1: There's no special effects that make the movie visually different when seen in a theatre. So some might say wait. Still, it was worth it for me just to see how the crowd reacted to Juno's phrases, the music, everything. So that's an honest, qualified YES.
Answer #2: This is really the best overall movie I've seen in a LONG time. I saw it twice in the theatre. If you like really good movies, and good acting, SEE IT NOW. YES, it's definitely worth seeing sooner than later. You will still want to buy the DVD if you're like me.

I really hope you'll check this one out. This is something special.

Enjoy!!!
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