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It’s nice to see the Farrelly Brothers expanding the comedic horizons by moving into a slightly different genre. By combing live action and traditional animation, the Farrellys have created a unique and enjoyable comedy. With OSMOSIS JONES ($25) the kings of gross out humor take on bodily functions, with a story that takes place inside the human body. The live action section of the film concerns a slob named Frank Detorri (Bill Murray), whose poor hygiene and eating habits are a major concern to his young daughter Shane (Elena Franklin). As for the animated action, it takes place inside the City of Frank, which also happens to be inside the body of said slob. The first line of defense in the City of Frank is a white blood cell named Osmosis Jones, who has been policing disease from inside the mouth. However, when a germ gets past Osmosis, he finds himself teamed up with a cold capsule named Drix to stop the infection. Soon these two mismatched body cops find themselves on the track of a deadly virus named Thrax, who intends to make Frank his latest victim.

Fans of the Farrelly Brothers will find the OSMOSIS JONES features plenty of gross humor, but the animation, plus the PG rating and the Family Entertainment label on the packaging signals that this film is interested in a different demographic. In fact, all of the film’s heavy-duty bodily humor indicates that OSMOSIS JONES was produced with kids in mind. As the voices of Osmosis and Drix, Chris Rock and David Hyde Pierce make a great comic team, perfectly suited to the mismatched cop/buddy formula. Laurence Fishburne is wonderfully sinister as the voice of Thrax, but it is William Shatner that steals the show as the voice of Mayor Phlegmming, the self-serving politician in charge of the City of Frank. Other performers in OSMOSIS JONES include Brandy Norwood, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliott, Joel Silver, Danny Murphy, Kid Rock and Ron Howard.

Warner Home Video has made OSMOSIS JONES available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Owing to the fact that OSMOSIS JONES is a brand new movie, Warner has produced a great looking DVD. The image is clean, crisp and nicely detailed. Colors are completely stable and strongly rendered. Additionally, the live action section has natural looking flesh tones, with only a couple of intentional exceptions. Blacks are right on the money in both the live action and animated portions of the film. Digital compression artifacts usually remain a low profile.

OSMOSIS JONES includes a lively Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack that utilizes the discrete encoding quite well. Directional effects are employed in an active manner, with something always going on during the City of Frank sections of the film. Dialogue is reproduced cleanly and with a natural vocal timbre. The bass channel is very solid, firming up the sound effects and the film’s music. A French 5.1 channel soundtrack and Spanish Dolby Surround track are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and French subtitles.

Animation, and sound serve to enhance the DVD’s goofy interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the DVD’s supplemental features. Starting things off is an audio commentary with animation directors Piet Kroon and Tom Sito, producer Zak Penn, and screenwriter Marc Hyman. This proves to be an entertaining and pretty informative track for those interested in the production of the film. Next up, Brandy Norwood hosts the fifteen-minute HBO First Look Special, which is decidedly on the "fluffy" side. Investigating The Vocal Cords is five minutes worth of interviews with the actors behind the animated characters. Three deleted scenes are also included on the DVD, although some of the animation is incomplete. A theatrical trailer closes out the main body of the supplemental features. Also included on the DVD is Frank’s Gross Anatomy, which is a special scene access feature that is linked to the more disgusting aspects of Frank’s body. The DVD also includes a CD sampler featuring tracks by Sugar Ray, P.O.D. and Willa Ford.

OSMOSIS JONES is funny movie that will appeal to kids and the majority of adults that never grew up. The film definitely has the fingerprints of the Farrelly Brothers all over it, so it will appeal to their fans as well. Warner’s DVD looks and sound great, so if you are interested in checking out OSMOSIS JONES, the DVD is the only way to go.


Osmosis Jones


DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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