Osmosis Jones (2001)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 27-Nov-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Menu Audio
Audio Commentary
Featurette-HBO First Look Special
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Deleted Scenes
Trailer
Easter Egg-Gas Next Exit
Easter Egg-The Earl of Hurl
Easter Egg-Extra Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 91:30
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (38:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Bobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Chris Rock
Laurence Fishburne
David Hyde Pierce
Brandy Norwood
William Shatner
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Randy Edelman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish 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
German
Spanish
French
Dutch
Norwegian
Danish
Swedish
Finnish
Icelandic
Portuguese
Greek
Hebrew
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
German 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

    This film has almost given me a split personality. Half of me likes the film, in particular the animation. The other half of me thinks this is the greatest waste of talent that there has ever been.

    The half that likes this film really enjoyed the animation and some of the quite original concepts that they have come up with. The animation is great - these are the same people that brought us the fantastic Iron Giant. The body jokes, where they don't go over the top, are funny. I particularly liked some of the little jokes in the background. The parody of the buddy cop genre is also quite well done.

    The other half can't believe that this film ever made it out of pre-production. I suppose if we make allowances for a target market that just has to be younger teenage boys, the comedy probably does appeal to them. But they really do take some of the body jokes far too far and end up in the gutter. Considering the quality of some of the material, I wonder why they thought it necessary to include fart, pimple and vomit humour. Unfortunately, the live action sections belong in this section as well. Bill Murray is a great comedic actor, but he has little to work with in this script.

    Our story revolves around Frank (Bill Murray), both inside and out. On the outside he is a slob of the worst kind, working as a manure shoveller at the local animal park. There is nothing that he won't eat, even if it has been on the ground in the monkey cage. Combine this with a solid diet of deep fried chicken and the like, and Frank does not look too good in the longevity stakes. He lives with his young daughter after his wife's death a number of years ago. On the inside, which is where we switch from live action to animation, is where this film starts to be a little bit original.

    Inside Frank is an entire world with inhabitants both good and bad, roadways (veins and arteries), buildings and structures that mimic their function in anatomy. Overall, they have managed a very clever representation of the gross (in some ways) anatomy of the human body. One of the inhabitants is Osmosis Jones, a white blood cell. In the city of Frank, white blood cells are the police officers, whilst germs and other invaders are the bad guys. Osmosis Jones is not the best cop on the force. In fact, he is near the bottom of the pecking order,  the consequence of an embarrassing blunder earlier in his career, and has been assigned to the mouth patrol, responsible for checking for plaque.

    Enter the villain, a virus that is evil distilled, who is out to shorten Frank's life by a large amount. The chief of police, after yet another embarrassing blunder, assigns Jones to partner a cold tablet that is coming in to deal with a dose of the flu. The cold tablet appears as a big terminator style robot who is ready for action. The two buddies do not hit it off at the start and thus begin that perilous journey from enemies to buddies that all new police partners go through (at least in the movies). As the only two that suspect that the evil virus Thrax is more than a common cold, the battle is on to save Frank.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     Unfortunately, the bit rate of this transfer is down a little from where it should be. While this has had no discernible effect on the animation portions, it has lead to some problems in the live action sections.

    The movie is presented at 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness in the animation section is great. In the live action sections, the foreground is good but the background does suffer from a loss of resolution. Shadow detail is good throughout and there is no low level noise.

    Colours in the live action section are good but they really shine in the animated sections.

    Thankfully, MPEG artefacts are mainly limited to the background of the live action sections. Have a look at the bushes and trees in the background of the shot at 1:10 to see a clear example. The live action also suffers from posterization, such as in the girl's face at 0:56. There is a fair amount of aliasing present in both the live action and the animated sections - 1:15 in the live action section and 5:00 in the animated section are both good examples of this. The transfer is free of any film artefacts.

    There are multiple subtitles available in a range of languages including two sets of English subtitles. The first are the regular kind and the second are for Hearing Impaired viewers. They are a little disappointing as they paraphrase what is being said and leave out a lot of the colour of what is being said.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change at 38:15. It occurs on a scene change and is not too bad.

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

Audio

     There is a very clear delineation between the soundtrack for the live action and the animated sections. The soundtrack for the live part is a fairly boring effort, though to be fair all the action occurs in the animated sections. The soundtrack for the animated sections is great with good subwoofer activity and some great surround speaker use.

    There are four audio tracks on this disc; English, German and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 commentary track. I listened to the English soundtrack and the commentary track.

    There are no problems with the dialogue quality and audio sync was good for both live and animated action.

    The music, particularly accompanying the animated sections, is what I would call rap. This works well with the characters and the overall feel of the film.

    The surrounds are in constant use during the animated sections and there are a number of split surround effects as well. While it is an artificial soundtrack, so is the animation and the world we are in at the time.

    There is some good action from the subwoofer, at times actually shaking the couch.

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

Extras

Menu

    A static menu with the two main characters from the film on the left with the menu selections on the right. The menu selections initially say one thing and when selected say another. An example is at the top where it initially says Bowel Movie. When selected, it says Play Movie. The other menu selections have similar jokes attached. There is a short sound bite as the menu appears.

Frank's Gross Anatomy

    Once selected you are presented with a picture of Frank. There are a series of menu entries with pointers to various parts of Frank's anatomy. Selecting this takes you to a second picture with some alternate joke titles based around the part. A selection is then made available which will play the scene that this part of Frank features in.

Commentary: Zak Penn (producer), Piet Kroon (animation director), Tom Sito (animation director), Marc Hyman (writer)

    While I found myself reasonably interested in this commentary and occasionally laughing, it was more at the commentary than with the commentary. There is the occasional nugget in amongst the other material but a fair proportion is them telling us that this is a cool scene or that this is their favourite scene.

HBO First Look Special (14:09)

    This is the typical 'special' that is little more than an extended ad for the movie, although we do get to meet the voice artists and the director and hear a little about the film. Interspersed between 2.35:1 letterboxed excerpts from the film are various people involved with the film telling us about their character and other information according to their role. Presented at 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack..

Behind the Scenes (5:12)

    The is a great little featurette. It talks about the evolution of the characters from the voice actors on through how the actors decided on their voice characteristics and how this then influenced the animation. They videotaped the actors as they recorded the voices and then played these tapes to the animators. The animators used the facial and body cues to help merge the voice and the character. Presented at 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Deleted Scenes (5:49)

    A series of scenes that were deleted for various reasons. The deletion sometimes occurred after all the animation had been completed but at other times all we have available is only the first outline animation. They actually move back and forth between these quite smoothly at times. The quality is not the best and the footage is a bit blurred. These scenes are presented letterboxed at 2.35:1 inside a 1.33:1 frame (not 16x9 enhanced) and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Theatrical Trailer (1:11)

    I get the feeling from this trailer that they expected this film to be a summer blockbuster. Actually, from the trailer you do get a pretty good idea about who the target market for this film was. Presented at 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced, the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.

Easter Egg

    Moving left from any of the menu items on the special features menu selects the road sign - "Gas Next Exit". Pressing Enter takes you to the appropriate scene in the movie where, you guessed it, Frank passes some gas. Hardly worth the effort really.

Easter Egg

    From the Frank's Gross Anatomy menu, select the Earl of Hurl. From there, press Up to select a bone at the top left of the screen. Pressing enter takes you to the appropriate scene in the movie. As the default selection Take Me To The Scene does the exact same thing, this is somewhat strange.

Easter Egg

    From the Languages menu select Subtitles. From here, keep selecting Continue until Drix appears. Select his head and you are taken to a 1:16 montage of scenes from the movie. Presented at 1.85:1 (letterboxed) and not 16x9 enhanced, the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

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 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    Reviews in R1 seem a little happier with the transfer than I am with the R4, though not having seen the transfer myself it is a little hard to judge. I'll call this one a draw though I personally don't like some of the artefacts inherent in NTSC material.

Summary

    With Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce, Brandy Norwood and even William Shatner as voice actors, there is a wealth of talent here and in many cases they have made good use of this talent. The featurette mentions that up to 30% of the dialogue was improvised and in truth there is a real flow to the film and its dialogue. With the right audience this film will be a hit, but you will have to put up with body jokes for at least a week after your kids watch this one.

    The video is good, particularly the animated sections.

    The audio is excellent.

    There is a good selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Friday, December 06, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Amy F
MovieHole - Clint M
AllZone4DVD - Kevin S

Comments (Add)
$1 - Anonymous