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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damn Near Perfect
Not since American Beauty has such a film really nailed making a distinctly and delicately nuanced point about human behavior. In today's fake world --- fake from otherwise unsalable chicken parts pressed into the meat called chicken nuggets to toilet paper manufacturers cutting the size of the toilet roll down more and more while at the same time jacking up the price...
Published on April 25, 2010 by Ter

versus
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great.
"The Joneses" doesn't hit as hard as it thinks it does. The satire is all on the surface and because the film plays it much to safe, it ends up not really saying anything that important. While the performances by David Duchovny and Demi Moore are solid and the high production values make the film easy to digest, it's fantastic high concept is lost on a plot that really...
Published on May 13, 2010 by Steven Carrier


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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great., May 13, 2010
This review is from: The Joneses [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"The Joneses" doesn't hit as hard as it thinks it does. The satire is all on the surface and because the film plays it much to safe, it ends up not really saying anything that important. While the performances by David Duchovny and Demi Moore are solid and the high production values make the film easy to digest, it's fantastic high concept is lost on a plot that really goes nowhere. Now, a lot of people are giving the film flack for it's ending, but I think that is where the films strength really lays. When the film is showing what consumerism and greed really does to these people (the fake family as well as real ones) is where "The Joneses" works best. When writer/director Derrick Borte takes the film into darker territory (a gay bashing sequence, a suicide, a predatory Amber Heard) it gives the film a bit more edge. Overall, it's all really quite harmless and it goes down easy enough to be worth a viewing. It's just a shame the filmmakers didn't take more risks because they had a hell of a concept here.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damn Near Perfect, April 25, 2010
By 
Ter (Ventura, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Joneses [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Not since American Beauty has such a film really nailed making a distinctly and delicately nuanced point about human behavior. In today's fake world --- fake from otherwise unsalable chicken parts pressed into the meat called chicken nuggets to toilet paper manufacturers cutting the size of the toilet roll down more and more while at the same time jacking up the price --- it seems everything is unfortunately subject to much closer scrutiny than in the past. I was born in 1956 and from 15 on grew up near Rushville, Indiana, so I can still remember when the work ethic was strong and people actually believed and helped one another. It was a time of you did and meant what you said. This film brilliantly reflects just how far we have come from that long ago era.

David Duchovny and Demi Moore really shine as Steve and Kate Jones, a couple who move into an upscale community, complete with all the coollest gadgets, toys and cars. They look like such a NICE couple, like the kind you remember from Normal Rockwell paintings, or from the Andy Griffith show in the early 1960s. Just nice, honorable, pleasant people, the kind you'd want to have as your next door neighbors. But things are not as they seem. Without giving away the plot --- which is really refreshingly unusual --- we soon find that we do indeed need to be skeptical of them. But everyone in their neighborhood is totally taken in, and soon they are all competing with the Joneses to keep up with or even surpass them, with some distastrous and painful results.

Gary Cole, a highly underrated actor --- he was fabulous years ago as the convicted killer Jeffrey Macdonald --- brings touching tenderness to a role that could merely have served as a plot device. Glenne Headly as his wife is equally great as a woman desperate to make a career of home sales. The scene where they are in bed together is painful to watch, as both actors do a really excellent job of showing a couple who have long since passed the point of emotionally looking together in the same direction.

But the film is really carried by David Duchovny and Demi Moore. Their reaction shots to each other and the way they play off each other is quite breathtaking to watch, as opposed to many of today's prettier and younger actors who are barely competent. Duchovny has come a long way in my opinion since the pilot of The X-Files. His used car salesman Steve Jones who has fallen into a great money job and yet develops a late-blooming conscience is believable from start to finish. Demi Moore, a really great actress who in my opinion made some bad career choices the the '90s that held her back for awhile, gives a strong performance as a woman who for the first time is confronting the ethics of what she does for a living and believably goes back and forth about it. Duchovny's character causes her to think, and the thinking he evokes awakens in her the compassion she never before paid attention to. That is why the scene in which she comforts Amber Heard, the actress who plays her daughter, is both touching and understandable.

Many reviewers in the press seem to think the movie cops out in the ending. I thought it was all tied up too neatly, but the message of redeem yourself before it's too late I thought was a an excellent one. It seems to me that this film was a rarity in that it asks you to question who you are, rather than what you do or don't have. In a world of shoot 'em up/crash 'em up/kill 'em up movies that are little more than product placement and/or mindless vapid so-called entertainment, this film makes you THINK. And in my opinion, a film that makes you think is a very good thing.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High aspirations, but only moderate success, October 20, 2010
This review is from: The Joneses (DVD)
I hate to give this movie only three stars because I agree strongly with its message and admired its aspirations.

The Joneses is about a family (David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Amber Heard, Ben Hollingsworth) that moves into town. They're a beautiful family, a perfect family, with cool children and all the right products. So of course, seeing them, you naturally want what they have, you want to be them, and how better to be them than to buy the products they own, which they will so gladly and frequently tell you about.

If you've heard of stealth marketing (e.g., where popular high school students are given products by a company so that other less popular students will see this and also want the same product) you will figure out within the first few minutes of the film what the story is about. And you will be way ahead of the filmmakers, who continue to reveal the information in a way that shows they don't realize you've gotten it.

The movie is also about the neighbors (Gary Cole, Glenne Headly), who represent all of us, and who fall for the ruse, with tragic consequences.

This movie has the aspirations of a Truman Show or of a great novel. It tries to add some complexity into the mix by showing how human needs and motivations can disrupt even the best corporate schemes. It creates many admirable questions: In a society based on capitalism can you trust that the salesperson or even your neighbor is telling you the truth? Those products you see your neighbors using: did they even pay for those with their own money? Why do we allow corporations to do this? How is it some people are willing to lie and manipulate others so ruthlessly? What are the consequences to society of allowing our corporations to engage in this behavior?

But those aspirations are only partly achieved. The motivations of the characters are not filled in, as if the movie were taken from a novel and had not enough screen time to do the characters justice. The cathartic moments aren't cathartic because they haven't been set up properly and the chemistry between Duchovny and Moore is unconvincing. The tragedies are more paint-by-numbers than actually creating any emotion in the audience.

So, the movie is about capitalism and stealth marketing. But, finally, it's also about us: Do we have the intelligence, integrity, and strength to neither contribute to, nor fall for, the constant and ever-evolving forms of corporate manipulation?

Three stars.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars L'Artisan Parfumeur worn by Kate in "The Joneses", October 2, 2011
This review is from: The Joneses (DVD)
I did like this movie but I do not have a review. Instead I think I have the answer to a question I have seen expressed by other people.
We have all wondered what is the name of the perfume that Kate allows her fake daughter to use and I think either one of these is the correct answer:
L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons Extrême Eau de Parfum
or
L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubéreuse Eau de Parfum
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting concept, July 26, 2013
This review is from: The Joneses (DVD)
The Joneses are not a real family, but a marketing ploy, something that becomes evident in the first few minutes of the movie, which begins with Steve and Kate Moore (David Duchovny and Demi Moore), along with their two teenage children, moving into the largest house in an extremely upscale neighborhood. Although they give all the trappings of an intact family, they are really just there to get their new neighbors to want (and buy) all the expensive gadgets (from their sporty car to Steve's top-of-the-line golf clubs) they "own." Kate has been through this before. In fact, this is her fifth "husband." This is Steve's first go at it. Although he starts out slowly, Steve, a former (but failed) golf pro and car salesman, impresses his friends so well that he soon becomes the best merchandise peddler of the four of them.

In fact, he becomes too great a persuader. His next-door neighbor (played by Gary Cole) is so convinced that Steve's lifestyle is leading to happiness that he tries desperately to keep up with him, buying everything that Steve suggests and more. Unfortunately, he takes on incredible debt, falling behind on his house payments and his credit cards, and is soon headed for financial disaster.

Meanwhile, the "daughter" (played by Amber Heard) has an affair with a married man, one that comes to an end when his wife finds out and he unceremoniously dumps her. At the same time, Steve and Kate do the unthinkable. They actually begin to be attracted to each other, which clouds their judgment as marketers.

The concept behind the movie is great, although its point is rather obvious and can be summed up in a sentence: People want to keep up with the Joneses and will go to any extreme to do so. "The Joneses" does a tolerably good job of showing this.

The ending (which for obvious reasons I will not divulge) is perhaps the most disappointing moment of the film, not because it's not a happy ending. It is. However, it's rather predictable, and given the negative impact the Joneses have had on various members of the community, is incongruous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie/Excellent Product Turnaround, August 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Joneses (DVD)
My daughter first introduced me to the movie via rental after it first came out and I thoroughly enjoyed it with her. About a month ago, a group of friends/family and I were discussing it and I decided to make it a purchase and to get one for my other daughter who lives out of town and had yet to see it. My movies arrived a little earlier than I expected and I was able to send it immediately on to my out of town daughter and since then, she and her husband have enjoyed this movie as much as we have at my house.

Thanks for the excellent service in getting my movies to me and my out of town family! And, at a good price too, I must say! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Look Into the Drive for More..., April 30, 2011
This review is from: The Joneses (DVD)
As a reviewer I watched The Joneses with great interest. After all, people, including me, make decisions based on what we reviewers say.

The premise of this movie is a chilling what if. The Jones family is a living, breathing, slickly packaged selling machine. Imagine the hottest high school classmates, the coolest family in the neighborhood, the most powerful and seemingly wealthiest family in town taking an interest in the normals and trying to impart some of that cool just for the mere asking (and a credit card or two).

However, all is not paradise when surrounded by glitter and toys. Each member of the Jones family has a handful of issues. And those issues spill out into the town and cause some serious consequences for them all. It is a gawk-at-the-accident type of fascination to watch the facade crumble and to see the depths some will dive to possess what they think is the key to happiness.

Be forewarned. This is not a happy, light film. It's a look into the psychology of want and drive. The R rating is for F-bombs (not excessive) and a female nude scene early in the film when the family dynamics begin to tarnish though the sex scenes are off camera. The ending felt sweeter than the rest of the film predicted and I'm not sure I fully buy it. But it wasn't empty and harsh so those who want "happy" endings won't feel the need to throw things at the television. I do think it's a watch once kind of movie, though, so if you are intrigued you might want to view before purchasing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT WILL THEY SELL NEXT?, August 15, 2010
This review is from: The Joneses (DVD)
The starts out with the perfect family moving onto a posh community. Their home is perfect and they have all the high tech gadgets to the envy of all their neighbors. However you start to realize not everything is normal behind the scenes as the parents sleep in separate bedrooms. When the daughter sneaks into her dad's bedroom (brief nudity) mom has to drag her out. The "secret" we find out about 20 minutes into the movie is that this family is a plant and not really a family. Their job is to make friends with everyone and show off the products so others will buy them. Their success is measured by how much luxury stuff their neighbor's buy to keep up with them. The real story comes as their perfect world unravels during a music montage as their own life gets in the way of their facade. The acting is good with strong performances by all the main characters. Today computer companies do this type of thing by placing a shill in someplace like Starbucks pretending to be a regular guy when they are actually trying to soft sell a laptop.

The movie is amusing, but not laugh out loud funny. It is heart warming, but doesn't make you cry. It moves along at a good pace.

The movie shows a great juxtaposition with the neighbor, who tries to be a great cosmic salesperson by listening to motivation tapes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The perfect family, August 30, 2010
This review is from: The Joneses (DVD)
When I watched "The Joneses" I did not have high expectations, because it had a limited release into theaters, which sometimes means the movie is not very good. However, "The Joneses" was entertaining and enjoyable.

"The Joneses" is about a bunch of marketers who pretend to be the perfect family that has all the latest items. Steve Jones (Duchovny) plays the part of a very successful business man who has a great family, house and items. While his wife Kate Jones (Moore) dresses in head to toe in the latest designer cloths. Steve and Kate's kids play the role of being the most talked about kids at school. They have the latest cell phones, cloths, and accessories.

While the overall and execution of "The Joneses" is not the best, it's the acting that saves this film. Both David Duchovny and Demi Moore have great chemistry as they play husband and wife.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie with a timely message, September 3, 2010
By 
Ed "edshull" (Henderson, NV, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Joneses (Amazon Instant Video)
I enjoyed this film, and found the message to be pretty dead on. I enjoyed the way the make-believe family carried with it some of the same disfunction a real family might have, but to an extreme. I think Duchovny was a great choice, bit didn't really think Demi Moore was the right fit for the role. Gary Cole and Glen Headly were great support, and possibly the best part of the film.
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The Joneses
The Joneses by Derrick Borte (DVD - 2010)
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