Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) (NTSC)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Notes-Making A Sequel
Notes-The Look Of The Film
Notes-Animals, Animals, Animals
Trailer-Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
|Year Of Production||1995|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,4||Directed By||Steve Oedekerk|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.0 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is the very worthy sequel to the very successful comedy, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Much bigger and bolder in its content and scope, this sequel manages to be even funnier than the original, and has become one of my favourite Jim Carrey movies.
Jim Carrey was born in Ontario, Canada in 1962. After starting his stand-up comedy career in Toronto, he moved to LA, where he achieved considerable success. Carrey then went on to star in the comedy variety television show, In Living Colour from 1990-94. While he had made a few appearances in movies during the 1980s, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was his big break in 1994. In an amazingly short period, 1994-1997, he starred in a string of movie hits, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Cable Guy, Liar Liar, and The Truman Show.
Carrey met fellow stand-up comedian Steve Oedekerk while working at the Comedy Store, and they later worked together writing for In Living Colour. In the early 1990s, Carrey had the idea for the character of Ace Ventura, and Oedekerk wrote a script, which became the surprise hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Following its success, Carrey and Oedekerk got the green-light for a sequel, which Oedekerk wrote and directed himself.
The plot for Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is fairly straightforward, and provides the perfect vehicle for Carrey's wacky antics, crude humour, and hilarious improvisations and impressions. Set in the fictitious African land of Nibia, Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey), who has a bizarre affinity with animals, has been hired by a local consulate to recover a sacred bat, which in turn will prevent a war between two local tribes. His assistant, and straight-man, Fulton Greenwall (Ian McNiece), tries desperately to keep Ventura on track, as time is quickly running out. There are also a few twisting comic sub-plots, with great supporting actors such as Simon Callow, Bob Gunton, and Aussie Bruce Spence.
Like its predecessor, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the transfer is of relatively poor quality and NTSC. On the brighter side, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is in its original aspect ratio, and 16x9 enhanced.
The grainy, NTSC transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness varies throughout, but is often poor, as seen in the early shot at 2:03. The shadow detail is poor in the darker scenes, such as at 21:49.
The colour is also disappointing, with many whites appearing grey, and skin-tones often looking too orange.
MPEG artefacts appear in the form of pixelization, and by grossly accentuating the film grain throughout. Film-to-video artefacts are present in the form of aliasing, such as the slight shimmer on the jacket at 77:54, and as telecine wobble, which is most noticeable during the opening credits. Film artefacts appear throughout, but were not too distracting.
English, French, and Spanish subtitles are present on the DVD, and the English subtitles are accurate.
This is a single-sided, single-layered disc.
There are three audio options on the DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.0 (384Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s). The English Dolby Digital 5.0 track has no dedicated LFE track, but there is a great deal of bass present anyway.
The dialogue quality is fine, but the audio sync slips out occasionally on the default English audio track.
The musical score is credited to Robert Folk, and is a combination of traditional orchestral score and some African tribal-themed music. There are also a few songs along the way, such as The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
As a dialogue-based comedy, the surround sound mix is quite front-heavy, but the rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score and provide some ambience, for example the flying plane at 12:27 and the bats at 41:21. While the rears do get separate channels, they tend to sound fairly mono.
As I noted earlier, there is no dedicated LFE track, but there is a great deal of bass present anyway, such as the waterfall at 68:00.
|Surround Channel Use|
There a few, mostly text-based, extras. The text information is far too brief, and not very informative.
A very simple menu, static and silent.
Theatrical Trailer - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Theatrical Trailer - Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo surround-encoded audio.
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Text-based bios of key cast and crew members.
Making A Sequel
Text information about how the idea for a sequel came about.
The Look Of The Film
Text information about the art direction.
Text information about Ace Ventura's wacky hairstyle.
Animals, Animals, Animals
Text information about (you guessed it) the animals in the movie.
Text information about the locations used for filming.
Text information suggesting other films viewers might like, based on actor or genre.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was released on DVD in Region 1 back in 1997. Our version appears to be the same as Side A of the R1 DVD.
The Region 4 DVD misses out on:
The Region 1 DVD misses out on:
Considering I have no regard for the "full-screen" version, I would call them even.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is a great comedy (if you enjoy this particular gross-humour genre), on a disappointing DVD.
The video quality is disappointing but still watchable.
The audio quality is okay, albeit quite front-heavy.
The extras are slim.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|