Kangaroo Jack (2003)

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Released 9-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Casting Sessions - Uncut
Featurette-Behind The Gas
Featurette-Jackie Leg's Dance Grooves
Outtakes
Featurette-Marsupial Magic
Featurette-Kangaroo Commentary
Audio Commentary-Cast And Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Listing-Cast & Crew
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 85:25 (Case: 80)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David McNally
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jerry O'Connell
Anthony Anderson
Estella Warren
Christopher Walken
Marton Csokas
Dyan Cannon
Michael Shannon
Bill Hunter
David Ngoombujarra
Mark Sellito
Damien Fotiou
Christopher Baker
Ryan Gibson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $249.95 Music Paul Linford
Trevor Rabin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Much like the previous Head of State DVD that I reviewed, Kangaroo Jack is another one of those movies where you watch and think "They spent millions making this?". For the Chris Rock comedy we had the Dreamworks founders to blame, and for Kangaroo Jack we have Jerry Bruckheimer.

    The movie centres around long-time friends Charlie Carbone (Jerry O'Connell) and Louis Booker (Anthony Anderson). A childhood incident results in the two guys being best friends. We jump to the present and see both of them in strife with Charlie's mobster step-father Sal (Christopher Walken). For reasons that I won't reveal here for risk of spoiling the movie, Sal sends Charlie and Louis to Australia to deliver $50,000 to a client.

    Here the introduction to Australia almost seems like the Australian tourism industry hijacked the movie and created a commercial. Nevertheless, the various shots of Australian landmarks are excellent and do show off Australia's best. Anyway, once the friends arrive in Australia, they "cross paths with Kangaroo Jack, a prankster of a 'roo who sprints off with the loot", as so succinctly put by the DVD blurb.

    Needless to say, mayhem ensues with the guys trying to find ways to catch the kangaroo. On the way they meet beautiful Jessie (Estella Warren), who really lends nothing more than a pretty face and body to the show. Other baddies show up on their trip to spoil the fun and there is action aplenty as they try to escape.

     The CGI work is seamless and of excellent quality in some scenes, but shows up fairly obviously in others. The actors all do a decent enough job with the material that they have. It would have been a fun shoot roaming around the beautiful Australian outback.

    All in all, the movie is fun for about an hour and is instantly forgettable. As for the DVD presentation itself the video belies the B-grade status of the movie and is of excellent quality. The sound quality is not as good, but does an adequate job.

    As I mentioned for Head of State, this movie is disappointing, and may it forever live in peace in bargain bins across the world.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality provided for this mediocre film is exceptional, but this is probably as expected for a recent Bruckheimer production.

    The movie is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (consistent with the original theatrical aspect ratio) and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness in the transfer is excellent with quite a lot of fine detail in close and on wide shots. Grain is bordering on non-existent, but you can pick up a little every now and then in the outback shots if you look carefully (eg. bright backgrounds). Black levels are spot on, and shadow detail isn't too bad either in the few night scenes.

    Colour is full and vibrant, with the deep shades of the red earth in the outback showing up really well. Skin tones are also nicely done and natural. I did not notice any instance of aliasing, and film artefacts are absent. The source material for this video transfer is obviously very clean. Edge enhancement is minimal, and only shows itself slightly against trees and other sights in the background - not distracting at all.

    This is an RSDL-formatted disc, with a layer change that I could not detect.

    Overall, the video transfer is excellent.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Only an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 Kb/s) soundtrack is provided, and is not to the same standard as the video quality.

    Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, with no audio synchronisation problems.

    The use of music is quite good in the movie, with a mix of contemporary US pop and Australian classics (I'm sure you can guess which Aussie tunes they use). The choice of music at particular points in the movie was great, and is actually discussed in the audio commentary. Stereo separation is nice in support of the music. I liked the use of the Superman theme towards the beginning of the movie.

    Surround activity is adequate, but only really shines in one or two instances. For most of the movie the surrounds are pretty much silent or only used to support the music. Some standout moments of surround use occur at 35:10 during the kangaroo stampede and at 74:40 with the helicopter flyby. Still, with these moments being few and far between, they are a little jarring when they occur.

    Subwoofer use is not all that much to write home about. It is put to use in support of the music and the occasional crash or explosion.

    Overall, a decent soundtrack for such a release.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are a  number of extras with this release, but none are of any particular interest.

Casting Sessions - Uncut - 1:49

    A pretty ridiculous extra that looks like an excerpt from Funniest Home Videos. We have footage of various animals doing weird things, with a voice-over pretending that the footage was of animals auditioning for parts in the movie.

Behind the Gas - 3:27

    Another ridiculous extra that almost makes a mockery of sound design. It is a featurette showing the sound designer working on various fart sounds and effects for the camels.

Jackie Leg's Dance Grooves - 5:38

    An extra that is strictly for the kids, unless you're into this kind of thing - a series of dance lessons with a young teacher and the CG kangaroo.

Gags and Outtakes - 3:01

    Outtakes and other blunders shot during the movie. Presented with pretty average audio and video quality.

Marsupial Magic - 3:59

    This is perhaps the only extra that interested me in the slightest (maybe I'm just too old to review this DVD). A short featurette on the CGI creation of the kangaroos, and the animatronics used in the design and conception of various scenes. A lot of work seems to have gone into the process.

Kangaroo Commentary - 12:31

    Yet another ridiculous extra with some Australian bloke effectively voicing the kangaroo as though the kangaroo was a real actor in the movie. This tries to be funny with stories about things that happened on set, but is not funny at all. Even kids will be bored with this extra.

Audio Commentary

    The main stars of the movie, the director, and the visual effects supervisor are all present for the audio commentary. It is a fairly light hearted commentary as you would expect, with all the guys being very gushing about Estella Warren. There is quite a bit of discussion on the CG and matte painting work, and some insight into the casting and preproduction process. It is also interesting how Jerry Bruckheimer has so much power that he can simply add a scene to the movie as he wishes.

Theatrical Trailer - 1:46

    Presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced. The good video and sound preview the movie well.

Cast and Crew

    A list of the cast and crew involved in the movie.

DVD-ROM Content

    Aboriginal Jammer Game - Game played in Internet Explorer where you click on instruments to play songs.

    Kangaroo Kickbox Game - Game played in Internet Explorer where you kick items on the screen to gain points.

    Bola Fling Game - Game played in Internet Explorer where you throw the Bola at things on the screen to gain points.

    Jigsaw Jack Game - This game did not run in Internet Explorer. I'm not sure if this was due to my security settings, but I am sure I did not miss out on anything great.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 and Region 4 releases of this DVD appear to be identically specified. I would recommend the Region 4 release.

Summary

    Kangaroo Jack is probably good for a slow Sunday afternoon when you need something to get the kids out of your hair. Some action and comedy (some of which may be inappropriate for young kids) should keep them occupied for a couple of hours. There's not much else in the movie that will be memorable for most of the movie going public.

    The video quality is excellent, which great colour and sharpness.

    The audio quality is adequate for a movie such as this.

    The extras are not particularly interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Chanh-Khai Ly (My biodegradable bio)
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo DV-SP500, using Component output
DisplayRK-32HDP81 HDTV. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD/DD-EX/DTS/DTS-ES matrix and discrete. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600
SpeakersKef KHT 2005 5.1 Home Theatre System

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