The Jesus Rolls Blu Ray Review (Screen Media)
The Jesus Rolls is a 2019 crime comedy film written & directed by John Turturro (Romance & Cigarettes, Mac, Fading Gigolo, & Illuminata). It’s a spin off from 1998’s The Big Lebowski & a remake of 1974’s Going Places. It’s also based on the book Les Valseuses. It was produced by Sidney Kimmel (Adventureland, The Lincoln Lawyer, Hell or High Water, The Place Beyond the Pines, & Synecdoche, New York), Robert Salerno (Belly, All the Pretty Horses, 21 Grams, We Need to Talk About Kevin, & The Substitute 2: School’s Out), & Fernando Sulichin (Snowden, Savages, Malcolm X, Spun, & Spring Breakers). The Coen brothers had nothing to do with this production. It premiered at the Rome Film Festival. It had a very limited theatrical release & it grossed $64,569 at the box office.
Jesus Quintana (played by: John Turturro from The Big Lebowski, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, & Do the Right Thing) is released from prison by The Warden (played by: Christopher Walken from Pulp Fiction, The Deer Hunter, True Romance, & Joe Dirt 1/2) after being praised for his bowling skills. His best friend Petey (played by: Bobby Cannavale from Boardwalk Empire, Ant-Man 1/2, Mr. Robot, & Vinyl) is waiting outside to pick him up from this living hell. When they get in town, they quickly go back to their criminal ways & steal hairdresser Paul Dominique’s (played by: Jon Hamm from Mad Men, Baby Driver, The Town, & Bad Times at the El Royale) prized vehicle. They visit Jesus’s prostitute mother (played by: Sônia Braga from Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rookie, From Dusk Till Dawn 3, & Empire) to catch up with family. When they are caught, Jesus sees that his old flame Marie (played by: Audrey Tautou from The Libertine, Amélie, The Da Vinci Code, & Dirty Pretty Things) works for Paul Dominique. She decides to leave her dead end job & go with the two criminals for a new journey in her life. The trio goes on a road trip to get away from all their troubles. After ditching Marie, they randomly pick up long time prisoner Jean (played by: Susan Sarandon from Dead Man Walking, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Hunger, & Light Sleeper) right after she’s released with no where to go. They all have some fun together but it takes a tragic turn. The two unlucky losers Jesus Quintana & Petey hook back up with Marie, they decide to do something good for once. They find out Jean has a son named Jack (played by: Pete Davidson from Saturday Night Live, The Dirt, & The Suicide Squad) & that he is getting released from prison so they pick him up from there. They offer him a place to stay & help him lose his virginity to the horny Marie. They keep stealing rides & exploring what’s out there. What will be next for them? Can they adjust to a normal life after all these crimes????
The Jesus Rolls is a spin off & does feature a character from The Big Lebowski but it honestly nothing like that film. Jesus Quintana was something different anyways when it came to that universe & I thought The Jesus Rolls fit that role perfect. It has little bit of everything mixed in when it comes to sub-genres including crime, comedy, road picture, & drama because it does have it’s serious moments at times. John Turturro steps back into the Jesus Quintana like he never left it. I am a huge fan of Turturro & I think it’s one of his best roles in his entire career. Bobby Cannavale is always delivers when it comes to a supporting role, he can do any genre & he is very consistent. The two actors have great chemistry here & it brings back the buddy film in a odd way. Audrey Tautou is beautiful & she isn’t shy at all in this feature. She is a great actress & she seems to be very select when it comes to accepting roles. I haven’t seen her do anything like this before & she added something new to this bizarre story. She kept balance between the other two & it made an interesting trio. When it comes to the cast, those were the main actors in The Jesus Rolls when it comes to screen time. I will say one of the best things about this movie was the top notch cameos in it. Turturro called in some favors, he put together a great group of talent here which includes Christopher Walken, Jon Hamm, Sônia Braga, J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Tim Blake Nelson (Watchmen), Michael Badalucco (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), Gloria Reuben (E.R.), & Susan Sarandon. They all shined in their small parts & elevated the quality of the feature. Susan Sarandon had a bigger role than a cameo here & it’s her performance in a long time. The script had a nice balance of everything & it made sure to include a classic line from The Big Lebowski.I personally think this film has been misunderstood by most critics. They went into it expecting material more like a direct sequel to the 1998 cult classic but it’s an expansion of the Jesus Quintana role. It barely talks about bowling besides a few scenes. It’s a different kind of comedy compared to that. I thought it funny, entertaining, & it kept my attention the entire running time. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s discuss the high definition presentation & special features from Screen Media! It has two different audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 on the release. The true highlight when it comes to the technical aspects on this blu ray is the music here. The score & soundtrack sound great here. The dialogue is very clean & the crazy road trip is elevated on these tracks. It has English subtitles. It has an “Audio Commentary” with director/actor John Turturro & actor Bobby Cannavale. These two are great together & this track is beyond fun. They go over & cover all the basics from the production plus have some funny stories. They highlight the locations, cast, & crew. They mainly do a scene by scene commentary here. It’s available everywhere on May 5th, CHECK IT OUT!!!!