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Osmosis Jones

Osmosis Jones

A lean, mean, germ-fighting machine!

Osmosis Jones (voiced by Chris Rock) is a white blood cell, out to cure Frank (Bill Murray) of his potentially fatal viral infection.

Frank has become sick after eating a disgustingly filthy egg, and now Thrax (Laurence Fishburne) is planning on getting the record for the quickest death caused by a virus. So it's up to good ol' Osmosis Jones, along with his trusty sidekick Drix (David Hyde Pierce) to save the day (and Frank).

That's basically the plot of this movie.

Fortunately, what it lacks story-wise, it makes up for with wit and humor. Apparently, there's a cartoon world living inside every person's body. The world is much like our own, except it's made up of cells and organs (as many human bodies are).

The movie features some clever jokes about anatomy, and - when looking at it from a certain perspective - could even be considered somewhat educational. But don't let that scare you away; you won't notice you're learning anything.

The live action bits were directed by the Farrelly Brothers, known for There's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber. There isn't really that much in terms of live action, so they didn't really have a difficult job. The animation directors, Piet Kroon and Tom Sito, did an excellent job of capturing what a microscopic world might look like.

The voice talents (Rock, Pierce, Fishburne, as well as Brandy, and William Shatner) are all well-cast, though Rock seems to be playing himself as opposed to a character. The real treat, believe it or not, is Shatner, playing Mayor Phlegmming. I almost didn't know it was him, and he blends into the character very well.

Osmosis Jones is the kind of movie that anyone could enjoy, as long as you don't mind a few common Farrelly techniques. It's witty, clever, fun, and just overall entertaining.

The DVD is also well done. The picture, shown in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, displays both worlds very well. The live action scenes look average, while the animation looks great, with appropriately bright colors (or dark, depending on what they're going for). The live action seems a little bit grainy, but not enough to take away from the enjoyment of the film. The 5.1 Dolby Digital surround is also well used, perhaps because the animation part is as much action as it is comedy, and action movies usually make good use of the surround channels.

As is common with many DVDs, the extras look more impressive on the box than they actually are. The disc features a commentary by the animation directors, writer Marc Hyman, and producer Zak Penn. There are two documentaries (though neither should be considered such): the HBO "First Look" special, which, as usual, is a fifteen minute commercial for the film. You don't really learn anything about the making of it. The second is a lame five minute "Investigating the Vocal Chords," which goes behind-the-scenes for the recording sessions. In five minutes, there's not really much they can do, so they just tell you why they picked a few of the actors, and that's about it.

On top of that, there are some deleted scenes, which are basically shots cut from already existing scenes. Really, it wouldn't have made a difference if they had been left in.

And of course, as always, there's the theatrical trailer.

A good movie, good transfer to DVD, and decent extras.

Buy one and call me in the morning.

Osmosis Jones, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
95 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16X9 enhanced, 5.1 Dolby Digital
Starring Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce, Brandy Norwood, William Shatner, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliot and Bill Murray
Produced by Bradley Thomas, Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Zak Penn, Dennis Edwards
Written by Marc Hyman, Animation Directed by Piet Kroon and Tom Sito, Live action directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly


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Updated May 13, 2006