Tomcats (2001)

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Released 19-Sep-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Coming-Of-Age Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Joe Dirt; Animal
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 90:48
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Gregory Poirier
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jerry O'Connell
Shannon Elizabeth
Jake Busey
Horatio Sanz
Jaime Pressly
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music David Kitay


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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
French
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Czech
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Polish
Turkish
Smoking Yes, very minor
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, outtakes during the credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Tomcats is a recent entrant into a long and (not so) honourable genre known as the teen comedy, and alternatively known as the gross-out comedy or the T&A (that is, gratuitous nudity) comedy. Unfortunately for Tomcats, there is very little in the way of "gross", although what there is certainly qualifies, and there is no actual nudity involved at all with a fake breast being as close as this movie comes. The final stake in the heart of Tomcats is the lack of general appeal to the teen market, as all the characters are in their late twenties. Don't get me wrong, Tomcats is good for what it is - a brain dead comedy flick that will help you while away a spare hour and a half - it just doesn't have the teen connections of American Pie, the excess nudity of Road Trip or the gross-out value of Scary Movie.

    The plot follows Michael (Jerry O'Connell), one of a group of college graduates who all put down money for a bet to pay the last un-married member of the group the entirety of the pot. Cut to seven years later, and Michael finds himself attempting to impress an overly endowed red-head to the tune of $50,000. Michael's only hope of repaying the money is to somehow get the only other remaining bachelor, Kyle (Jake Busey), to marry and thus land himself the pot, now worth half a million dollars. To that end, he enlists the help of Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth), a woman who has her own history with Kyle. What could go wrong? Well, if you can't guess that, then you haven't watched enough of this genre, for Michael and Natalie find themselves falling for each other. How will they deal with these problematic feelings? Will Michael get the money he needs to get out of debt? Will Michael remember his own rule about "no more red-heads"? Well, you will just have to grab the movie to find out, but suffice it to say that if you have seen even one of the other films I listed above, you could probably write the remainder of the plot blindfolded and with one hand tied behind your back.

    Certainly Tomcats brings nothing in the way of enlightenment with it (aside from sage advice about staying away from red-heads), but it is a good way to switch off for an hour and a half and not have to think, and it will bring enough laughs to make it worthwhile.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is only just short of brilliant, with only a very few, mostly minor problems.

    Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely sharp, carrying an exceptional level of detail at all times. There is a small problem with background grain, but this really only becomes very obvious during a short sequence from 72:30-72:42, and for the most part is almost unnoticeable. Shadow detail is exceptional, with every detail coming out in the darkest scenes, which is somewhat important as there are a few key sequences that take place outside at night. There was no low level noise detected in this transfer.

    Colours were perfectly rendered, with highlights showing up nicely, while everyday colours were neither jumping out, nor receding back.

    There were no noticeable compression artefacts in this transfer. In general there were no film-to-video artefacts, and it was quite pleasing to see such a sharp film with so little aliasing. There are, however, a number of instances of quite disturbing wobble that occur between 74:56 and 76:00, although this is most likely source-related as the wobble seems to be restricted to one particular camera angle. There were a few film artefacts throughout the transfer, however all were small and while occasionally noticeable, never really created a problem.

    The subtitles were very close to the spoken dialogue, only dropping the occasional word or sentence for pacing. The jokes and comedy were still carried effectively through the subtitles.

    This is a single layer disc, and hence does not have a layer change

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

Audio

    The audio presented here was of a very high standard, with only a few niggling problems keeping it from being of reference quality.

    There are two audio tracks present on this DVD, being the original English dialogue, and a French dub, both in Dolby Digital 5.1, and both at the higher bitrate of 448Kbps. I listened to the English dialogue track.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Sound effects and score mixing never interfered with the dialogue, and there were no drop outs.

    Audio sync was generally not a problem, apart from a few lines that were just enough out as to be annoying.

    Tomcats features two varieties of music. Firstly, as is typical for this genre, there are a large number of contemporary songs from various bands used throughout the movie. Secondly, credited to David Kitay is the "score" music. This is very much a genre-typical score, being a contemporary sound of pop/rock stylings used to fill the gaps where an existing song could not be found. It generally does its job well, never calling attention to itself.

    The surround channel use is extremely frustrating. On the one hand, surrounds are used extremely aggressively to support the music, but on the other hand, they tend to fall silent when there is no music, and apart from a very few sequences are never used for ambient effects. It is these sequences that lend the frustration, for they demonstrate what could have been done with this soundtrack.

    The subwoofer track is very solid, supporting both the music, and the occasional effect perfectly. Certainly, it is not anything that is going to knock you off your lounge, but from what it has to work with, it is very impressive.

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

Extras

    The extras presented here are not really deserving of the name, and certainly do not provide any extra incentive to purchase this title.

Menu

    The main menu is animated and themed around the movie, is 16x9 enhanced and features Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The selector is easy to see, but navigation is not as easy as it might have been due to the alignment of the menu options.

Theatrical Trailers

    This section features the trailers for not only Tomcats, but Meet Joe Dirt and The Animal as well. While the latter two are 16x9 enhanced, in what seems a strange move the trailer for the main feature is not, being letterboxed instead. The quality of all trailers is similar, being somewhat overcompressed, and afflicted with far too many film artefacts. All are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The Tomcats trailer is available in dubbed French 5.1 as well.

Filmographies

    And only that, of the principal cast and the director. There was not even an attempt to add the typical "bio" dross. For that I suppose we should be thankful.

Dolby Digital Trailer - City

    I know that many people are sick of this, but I for one am not. It is present on so many DVDs these days that the crashing sound that accompanies it really says to me that I'm about to embark on a new adventure in home cinema. It is able to be skipped for those who do not wish to sit through it again..

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     As three trailers and a Pan & Scan version are hardly reason to favour the R1 over the R4, I will call this one a draw.

Summary

   
    Tomcats is a mediocre entry in the silly comedy genre, and while there are certainly better films than this, there are equally as many that are worse. I can certainly think of worse ways to pass an hour and a half, especially given the audio and video quality of this presentation.

    The video quality is very good, being marred by a few small problems.

    The audio is likewise very good, but is also let down by a very few problems that were just slightly annoying.

    The "special features" are not deserving of the name, and are very disappointing, although this can be overlooked given the content of the film, and its transfer quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Saturday, September 22, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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