Big Momma's House 2 (2006)

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Released 15-May-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes-Extended Scenes
Featurette-Big Momma's Secrets, Casting Session
Theatrical Trailer
Web Links
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 94:49 (Case: 99)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (48:38) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By John Whitesell
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Martin Lawrence
Cynthia LeBlanc
Nia Long
Emily Procter
Zachary Levi
Mark Moses
Kat Dennings
Chloe Moretz
Marisol Nichols
Josh Flitter
Dan Lauria
Jascha Washington
Preston Shores
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music George S. Clinton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

††† In this completely unnecessary sequel to a slightly amusing movie from 2000, Martin Lawrence returns as FBI Agent Malcolm Turner; whose best undercover work is as old, fat, outspoken, street-wise black grandmother Hattie Mae Pierce, far better known to moviegoers as Big Momma. There's so many things wrong with this movie it's hard to know where to begin. So start by imagining Kindergarten Cop in drag . . . but without the comedy . . . or the action.

††† I'm not sure what's going on in Hollywood with all the fat suits. Many of the current big-screen comedians, ranging from Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor movies, to Mike Myers in the Austin Powers movies, have pulled on the padded foam and latex for cheap laughs.

††† "The Momma Of All Comedies Is Back."

††† Screenwriter Don Rhymer, who co-wrote Big Momma's House, provides a completely unoriginal script which lurches around like a big mummy from a 1950s horror movie. Rhymer always goes for the obvious, and is happy to rely on racial stereotypes to provide major plot points. For example, according to Rhymer, black people get jobs that they are completely unqualified for by threatening charges of racism; and apparently white people can't dance unless they are taught by black people.

††† It also seems that Rhymer doesn't realise that a fat suit, a drunk dog and a toddler who keeps falling on his face is not comic genius.

††† As for the plot: As Turner's wife Sherry (Nia Long) is pregnant, he has taken an FBI PR desk job, making local school appearances as a "safety eagle", much to the embarrassment of his stepson (Jascha Washington).

††† However, when an undercover agent is killed in the line of duty, Turner wants to be assigned to the case. Turner will have to go undercover and not draw attention to himself as he carries out his secret investigation. Obviously, this will require him to dress up like an old, obese, black woman.

††† Strangely, although six years have passed, Turner still has the Big Momma full-body fat suit, wig, costume and makeup hidden in his cupboard at home. He has also managed to hide his Big Momma history from his wife.

††† Turner learns that Tom Fuller (Mark Moses), an IT company executive, has designed a computer worm that some bad-guy types want, as it will enable them to access certain secret government databases.

††† So, in this crude Mrs Doubtfire rip-off, Big Momma turns up at the Fuller doorstep and somehow gets hired to care for the Fuller's kids over all the other applicants, despite having no resume or references. Furthermore, despite being an awful Nanny, and doing crazy things such as throwing the family's laundry in the rubbish and giving their dog tequila, Big Momma also manages to stay employed.

††† The Fullers have three attention-starved kids - a non-speaking two-year-old, a 12-year-old wannabe cheerleader, and a rebellious and sullen teenage girl.

††† It will obviously fall to Big Momma to set them all straight, and also help their uptight, overly organised mother, Leah (Emily Procter) to unwind a little.

††† Yes, the inept nanny Big Momma will turn in excellent undercover work, well beyond the call of duty, and also provide cheesy, sentimental solutions for a dysfunctional family.

††† Meanwhile, Turner has lied to his (very unconvincingly) pregnant wife, telling her that he's off to attend a conference interstate. Why not just tell her the truth - that he's working undercover? Anyway, this leads to the absurd subplot, where Sherry thinks her husband is having an affair. Fortunately, this subplot seems to get forgotten somewhere along the way.

††† The film's Director, television sitcom veteran John Whitesell, now has a film resume that includes Big Momma's House 2, See Spot Run and Malibuís Most Wanted.

††† Thus, I think it's safe to say that Whitesell is a Director to avoid. He certainly seems to have made no effort here, other than perhaps shouting "action", and then relying on Lawrence to squeeze cheap laughs out of every improbable comic set-piece.

††† Indeed, the story is largely formulaic and episodic, simply dropping Big Momma into a series of different locations and waiting for Lawrence to provide the laughs.

††† However, the premise behind each set-piece is usually illogical, irrational, or completely ludicrous. For example, why would someone disguised in a foam padded latex suit get a massage? And how on earth did the masseuse not tell? Also, why would Big Momma go to the beach?

††† In another scene the FBI provide an expert hacker to get past Fuller's computer password-protected security. The computer hacker's contribution is to ask Fuller personal questions, via Big Momma, to help him guess the password. Gee - I could have done that. Exactly where does the expert computer hacking come in?

††† Not surprisingly, actors Paul Giamatti, Terrence Howard and Cedric the Entertainer all declined to return for their supporting roles in this sequel. And when Cedric the Entertainer is turning you down, you know you have a problem.

††† Indeed, in the sequel, it's the film's Chihuahua that puts in the biggest effort - perhaps because he hadn't read the script?

††† And, as a final insult, just when you thought it was all over, Lawrence turns to the camera and threatens, "Keep a lookout. You never know when Big Momma might be back."

††† If anyone wants to start an online petition to stop Martin Lawrence from making any more movies, I'm happy to sign it!

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† As with many awful films, the transfer is very good.

††† The widescreen transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

††† The sharpness is excellent, as can be seen in the detail in the floor rug at 57:59. The black level is great, as is the shadow detail. Consider for example the shot of the interior of the car at night at 73:00.

††† The colour is excellent, with accurate skin tones.

††† There were no problems with film-to-video or MPEG artefacts.

††† A few small film artefacts appeared throughout, but they were never distracting.

††† At times there did appear to be some edge enhancement, but it was relatively slight.

††† English and English Audio Commentary subtitles are present, and they are accurate.

††† This is a Dual Layer disc with the layer change placed at 48:38. The feature is divided into 25 chapters.

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

Audio

††† There are three audio options: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s), and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). While many films benefit from the option of dts, this is not one of them. As a dialogue-heavy comedy, I did not spot any noticeable difference in quality between the dts and Dolby Digital surround options.

††† The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent.

††† The musical score is credited to George S. Clinton, and it is rather obvious and formulaic.

††† As an action-comedy, I expected many moments of surround presence and activity. But the rears are mainly used for the score, and they provide little ambience. I was disappointed with the film's sound design, and some scenes were in need of surround sound. For example, when Big Momma is in the crowded bingo hall the rears are silent. The subwoofer is mainly noticed when supporting the deep bass of the hip hop music.

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

Extras

††† There are a few extras.

Menu

††† An animated menu with audio.

Audio Commentary

††† Presented in Dolby Digital Stereo Surround (192Kb/s), Director John Whitesell, Producer David Friendly, and Actor Zach Levi provide a chatty and light, screen-specific commentary. Levi often reminds us that he had a much larger role in the original shooting script and most of his scenes were cut or trimmed.

Deleted Scenes and Extended Scenes (16:22)

††† Twelve scenes presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with stereo audio. There is an optional audio commentary by Director John Whitesell and Actor Zach Levi.

Featurette-Big Momma's Secrets (7:29)

††† Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced with stereo audio, this featurette is hosted by Director John Whitesell. The short content features VFX Supervisor Paul Reid, and there are a few before and after comparisons with some of the VFX work.

Casting Session (8:05)

††† Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with stereo audio, this bit of marketing fluff taken from Fox Movie Channel looks at the casting of actors to fill the supporting roles.

Theatrical Trailer (1:38)

††† Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with stereo audio

Web Links

R4 vs R1

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

††† Big Momma's House 2 has been released on DVD in Region 1 as a double-sided disc, with a pan & scan version of the film and some extras on side A, and a widescreen version of the film and some extras on side B:

††† The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

††† The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

††† While it is really no better in quality than the Dolby Digital audio track, the option of dts makes the R4 the winner.

Summary

††† The poster for Big Momma's House 2 shows Martin Lawrence in costume, digging out an underwear-wedgie. The poster tells you all you need to know about this movie.

††† The video quality is excellent.

††† The audio quality is also excellent, but the use of the rears is limited.

††† The extras are short.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Great review ! - Vieira4 (deleted bio)