|Category||Comedy||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1996||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||91.11||Other Extras||Biographies - Cast & Crew
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Polish (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96 Kb/s)
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mildly|
Eddie Murphy plays (as one of seven roles) Doctor Sherman Klump, a somewhat "height challenged" genetic scientist weighing in at 400 pounds, who works on a serum that reduces fat by genetically adjusting the fat gene. One morning, a rather attractive young doctor Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett) walks into his lecture room, and the old cupids arrows fly. Klump is determined to become something more normal in size in order to win the heart of the fair maiden, so he indulges in his serum and creates his alter ego, Buddy Love (Eddie Murphy), a trim, taut and terrific guy, albeit slightly obnoxious. Only problem is Buddy has a rather elevated testosterone level which creates an elevated sexual appetite, and the effects of the serum are short-lived, thereby created some rapid exits by Buddy as he returns to being Sherman. Will true love and honesty win the day and will Sherman win the babe despite being 400 pounds. Hey, this is Hollywood so what do you think?
For those amongst us who are height challenged, this runs a little close to the bone at times but is a quite funny look at the way society looks upon those of excess weight. There are genuinely funny moments here although to be blunt the second half of the film is a little too trite storywise. Highlights are Eddie Murphy in seven roles - Sherman Klump, alter ego Buddy Love, Papa Klump, Mama Klump, Grandma Klump, Eddie Klump and Lance Perkins (a whitish fitness guru!). Some great effects work makes the whole thing worthwhile. If you are looking for Citizen Kane, look elsewhere but this definitely has its moments.
The transfer is at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.
Overall, the transfer is very sharp and nicely defined, with no loss of focus even during the CGI effects work. Shadow detail is very good without being spectacular.
Colours are very well rendered, and nicely vibrant. There is no hint of oversaturation and there is a nice naturalness to the balance of the colours throughout.
There were no MPEG artefacts noted. Video artefacts comprised some very minor jitter at around the 6:25 mark, but this is not that distracting; not having seen this at the cinema, it could be possible that this is an inherent problem in the film. No other video artefacts were noted. As is almost inevitable for some reason with recent films, there were some minor film artefacts present but these in no way were a distraction from the film.
There are seven audio tracks on the DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the other options being: German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, Polish Dolby Digital 1.0 and Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound. I listened to the English default.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times, apart from the scenes involving Grandma Klump. This however is a film problem and not a transfer problem.
Audio sync was not a problem with the transfer at all.
The music score by David Newman complemented the film very well indeed. Some nice atmosphere music create the right mood throughout the film.
The surround channels were well used during the film, although I felt that the balance between the channels was a little bit off. The mix seemed to bit too far forward with limited use of the rear channels throughout the film. The detail could perhaps have been a little better.
The bass channel was a little too active during some parts of the film, but this may be my personal preference. This is not an exceptionally aggressive soundtrack so you should not be creating too much havoc for your neighbours.
The overall video quality is very good indeed with only a few minor problems denying this reference stature.
The audio quality is quite good, even allowing for the inadequacies in balance and detail.
The extras were not exactly jaw-dropping but at least Universal make an effort, unlike some in Region 4.
© Ian Morris
1st September 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|