HTF REVIEW: "Osmosis Jones"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 7, 2001.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Osmosis Jones

    When my screener copy of Osmosis Jones arrived
    today, I wasn't exactly too keen about watching it.
    After all, critics regarded it as one of the worst
    movies this year, and I'm not a big fan of Chris
    Rock. Still, I felt it was my duty as a reviewer to
    give this title a watch.
    Once again I was pleasantly surprised.
    Osmosis Jones (voiced by Chris Rock)is a
    white blood cell cop who lives inside the animated
    body of real-world Frank (Bill Murray), a real slob
    of a guy whose diet is bad enough to make any Mother
    One day Frank eats a contaminated hard-boiled egg.
    As it ingests into his animated world body, it
    unleashes a red-death terror known as Thrax (voiced
    by Laurence Fishburne). Thrax is a deadly virus out
    to set a world's record of killing Frank within 48
    Who would have ever thought that a Tylenol-like
    cold capsule known as Drix (voiced by David Hyde Pierece)
    would become a sidekick to Osmosis and help save
    Frank's body from the invading disease.
    The animated world inside Frank's body is a
    regular Metropolis filled with artery expressways,
    a brain command center and even a shady city
    Mayor (voiced by William Shatner) who doesn't mind
    breaking a few political promises to clean up
    the inside of Frank's body.
    The movie is a constant "cause and effect", as
    the real world actions of Frank (Murray) set the
    stage as to how his body reacts -- that is -- until
    the deadly viral Thrax heats things up.
    Warner Brothers has gotten into the spirit of
    this movie by designing a really cool MENU system
    that reflects the hipness of the movie. You can
    select from BOWEL MOVIE (Play movie) or
    SPLEEN COLLECTIONS (Scene Selections), or my
    personal favorite, LUNGUAGES (Languages).
    What a really cool way to start a movie!
    The disc looks absolutely terrific, as you would
    expect from a mostly animated title. There are so
    many vivid colors inside the body that you would have
    thought Walt Disney threw up inside of it. Transfer
    quality is top-notch.
    The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is very active. You'll
    wonder where it is for the first few minutes of the
    movie, but once you hit the inside of Frank -WHOAH!-
    the surrounds come to life! Your rear speakers will
    proudly show off all the drips, burps and sqwonks
    (is that a word?!) inside the body of Frank.
    There are some interesting Smelly Features
    (err, Special Features) that have been added to this
    First, there is a running commentary by the animation
    directors, the writer and the Producer. Unfortuantely,
    this is one you will have to listen to on your own.
    An HBO Special takes a look at The Making of
    Osmosis Jones, where we meet the principle cast
    who talk about what it was like to take part in a
    film that explores the deepest areas of the human
    body. Lots of behind-the-scenes stuff here!
    Investigating the vocal chords is merely
    an extension of the HBO Special, that takes a more
    in-depth look at the recording sessions, where we
    witness extensive footage of Chris, Laurence, David
    and Shatner in front of the microphone, intertwined
    with interviews.
    The Deleted Scenes are interesting to watch.
    While they are a few minutes of extra footage cut
    from already existing scenes, some of the animation
    is unfinished, and it is interesting to see how the
    original base drawings looked before completion.
    There is also a trailer included.
    If one word can describe Osmosis Jones, that
    word would be FUN. I was pleasantly surprised
    as to what a really fun film this was. The movie
    doesn't hesitate to take you to the most private
    areas of Frank's body while making fun of everything
    from movies to politics. Though not nearly one of my
    top DVD purchase recommendations, the movie is
    full of well-written wit accompanied by a rap-beat
    soundtrack, making this one of the coolest animation
    features this year that is worth a rental, at the least.
    Oh, I almost forgot....for those of you who do
    purchase this disc, you'll find a complimentary
    CD music sampler when you open the case. Cool!
    Release Date: November 13
    Up next: Widescreen Wonka!
    Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
    Circa 2000
    Home Theater Forum Administrator
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  2. Chad Gregory

    Chad Gregory Supporting Actor

    Oct 11, 2000
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    1. Glad to see that this film is being release in widescreen. (2.35 I believe)
    2. Nice to see that I'm not the only one who doesn't like Chris Rock. (I actually have stronger words...)
    Chalk this up as another positive review from Ron. [​IMG]
  3. Chris Molanphy

    Sep 18, 2000
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    Right on, Ron! Thank you for giving this disc the attention it deserved. I saw Osmosis Jones in a very empty theater back in August, and I too was pleasantly surprised at how witty it was. I don't want to overrate the movie any more than you do -- it's no Shrek -- but I do feel it was severely underrated by some critics and especially the public.
    In retrospect, I can see why it flopped: Imagine on a Friday night trying to sell your friends on going to see a movie about bodily fluids and diseases. Plus, with two sets of directors, the movie is a little schizo -- in particular, the live-action sequences are weak; the Farrelly brothers clearly "phoned in" their work on these parts (they were probably distracted by working on their own Shallow Hal). But the clever, colorful animated sequences more than make up for this shortcoming.
    I guess Warner's tough sell in August has gotten even harder in November, now that the character of "Thrax" has an unfortunate overtone given current events. Still, desite all these obstacles, I really enjoyed Osmosis Jones and am glad to see folks giving it a second chance on what sounds like a well-conceived DVD. Thanks, Ron!
    [Edited last by Chris Molanphy on November 07, 2001 at 05:03 PM]
  4. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    May 24, 2000
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    I've read fairly decent reviews of this picture. I know that I didn't do well in the theaters, but most critic reviews that I've come across liked this film. They felt animation portion was extremely witty, but the live action was where the movie bogged down.
  5. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 31, 1999
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    Not enough Bill Murray in this film.
  6. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Nice scoop, Ron. This is one I missed in theaters, and is on the top of my list of DVDs to rent. Glad you enjoyed it.
    Scott Weinberg
  7. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

    Oct 10, 2001
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    Thanks for the heads-up Ron! Osmosis Jones is already on my 'to buy' list anyway, but it's good to know the transfer is decent.
    I'm not going to lie, I disagreed with most critics on this one and found this movie a lot of fun. It's nothing more than Lethal Weapon meets Innerspace, but there's nothing wrong with that either...
    And maybe it's just my background, I'm studying in the health field, but I found this movie very, very witty. There were a lot of jokes that you'd be hard put to get without a good working grasp of anatomy.
    Very fun, I can't wait until the 13th!
    Mark Evans
    Low Rent Movie Critic, Low Rent Home Theater Owner, Low Rent Everything
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    May 16, 2001
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    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    I really like the look of the animation and it's not a horrible movie like the critics want you to think.
    The thing that killed the movie was the bad publicity and the inclusion of Farrely Brothers live-action sequences. They should have gotten someone like Spike Jonze to direct the live-action parts...although no movie fails if it has Bill Murray. [​IMG]
    I'd also like to point out that it's extremely neat to have 2.35:1 animated films. Disney keeps using open matte(?) 1.85:1 so they can have the nice little 1.33:1 videos.
    Since 1985, 8 (including OJ) animated movies have been filmed in panavision. DreamWorks' next animated film (forgot title) is in 2.35:1. Not even before 1985 did studios make 2.35:1 animated movies as much as they are now (As far as I know, only 3 or 4 2.35:1 animated films were made before The Black Cauldron.)
    2.35:1 animation looks great and it can really give high production looks to a film.
  9. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

    Aug 20, 2000
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    The live action parts of this movie tended to drag down the animated part which was actually quite well done.
    ----DreamWorks' next animated film (forgot title) is in 2.35:1.-----
    I believe their next film is titled "Spirit- Stallion of the Cimmaron". There is a trailer on Disc 1 of "SHREK".
    Could be an interesting take on the "Old West". Hard to tell from what was presented.
  10. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Dec 11, 2000
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    I rented this yesterday and I'd rate it as "okay". Worth seeing but I wouldn't recommend a purchase. Edwin-S is correct - the animated segments are much better than the live-action parts. I also wish the Farrelly Bros. would cut back on the gross bodily-function gags. They really aren't funny, just dumb. Not even dumb funny. They just stop the movie cold. The disc was nice, though.
  11. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

    Aug 20, 2000
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    ---I also wish the Farrelly Bros. would cut back on the gross bodily-function gags. They really aren't funny, just dumb.---
    Yep...the movie was definitely pulled down by too much of this kind of humour. I can understand some of this taking place within the body since you are dealing with chemical reactions and suchnot but in the live action segments it just became disgusting and completely devoid of humour. I could put up with Bill Murray's lacklustre performance but some of the live action "humour" was just plain bad. I have to admit, I am still tempted to pick it up because the animation segments were well done. It would have been a real winner, if the rest of the movie had lived up to the wit that was displayed in the animation.

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