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review added: 3/15/02



Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Uncensored
Director's Cut Collector's Edition - 2000/2001 (2001) - Imagine/Universal (Universal)

review by Greg Suarez of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVsEncoded with DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 Digital Surround

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Uncensored Film Rating: C-

Disc Ratings (Video/Extras): A-/B

Audio Ratings (DD/DTS): A/A

Specs and Features

109 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 57:19, in chapter 13), Amaray keep case packaging, audio commentary with director Peter Segal, behind-the-scenes featurette, conversation with director Peter Segal and producer Brian Grazer, 4 storyboard-to-final feature comparisons, original 1996 Sherman Klump make-up test, Janet Jackson wardrobe test, music videos (for Doesn't Really Matter by Janet Jackson, Thong Song by Sisqo, Just Friends by Musiq and Hey Papi by Jay-Z), theatrical trailer, production notes, cast and filmmakers bios, recommendations, Universal DVD Newsletter subscription info, DVD-ROM features (including interactive games, screensavers, wallpapers and Universal web links), animated film-themed menu screens with sound, scene access (20 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & DTS 5.1), subtitles: English and French

Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) and his beautiful, yet brainy co-worker/girlfriend, Professor Denise Gaines (played by Janet "Ms. Jackson if you're nasty!" Jackson), have discovered a way to manipulate DNA in order to take out unwanted genes. Sherman's also working on his own little experiment - a "fountain of youth" formula that will instantaneously reverse the aging process. All is going well for Sherman and his family, including Mama, Papa, brother Ernie and Granny (all played enthusiastically by Eddie Murphy). Everyone's still fat and happy, and just as lovably dysfunctional as usual. Things are going so well, in fact, that Sherman and Denise are even planning on getting married.

But trouble begins in Klumpville when Sherman's alter ego, the obnoxious id-driven Buddy Love starts to take over Sherman's thoughts, words and actions. Afraid that the despicable Buddy might ruin his chances with Denise, Sherman uses Denise's new gene manipulation process to extract Buddy from his DNA. Unfortunately, Buddy ends up escaping to roam free in the world, and the process causes a side effect in Sherman that drains his intelligence at a fairly rapid rate. To make matters worse, Sherman is offered $150 million by a pharmaceutical company for his fountain of youth formula, but he might not be intelligent enough to present and it explain it to the company. Buddy Love realizes this and steals some of the formula in order to take advantage of Sherman's predicament, and sign the deal with the company for himself. So begins a race against time for Sherman and his family to help him get his intelligence back, stop Buddy Love and make the deal with the pharmaceutical company.

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is the sequel to 1996's wildly popular The Nutty Professor, in which Eddie Murphy made a huge splash playing multiple roles as the obese Professor Sherman Klump and the rest of his obnoxious, blubber-laden family. The sequel is pretty much more of the same - more dick and fart jokes, more fat guy insults and, overall, much more nauseating humor than what was found in the original. I mean, it's not COMPLETELY unfunny (there are a few pretty funny spots), but a majority of the jokes are just gross for the sake of being gross. If you were able to take this film out to your backyard and hose off all of the slime, you would have a decent little movie about accepting yourself for who you are, good or bad. This is an important message in today's society, that is so self-conscious of its appearance. We can't all look like waif-ish supermodels or that guy on those annoying Bowflex commercials. And the relationship between Denise and Sherman is quite touching. Denise loves Sherman because he's intelligent, and she's not so shallow as to wave him off because of his obesity - another important message. And while Janet Jackson might not be a great actress, as Denise, the love she shows Sherman was totally convincing and, at the end, even poignant. Most will remember this film for Murphy's amazingly convincing portrayal of seven different characters (which is quite a feat considering that each one ends up being so completely unique), but I was most impressed with his acting ability as Sherman during more quiet, touching moments, like his heartfelt speech in chapter 4, and his marriage proposal in chapter 7.

Also available on DVD from Universal is the original PG-13 rated theatrical cut of The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps that features many of the same supplements, however this review focuses on the alternate unrated disc called The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Uncensored. This newer uncensored version adds about two minutes to the PG-13 cut that would have easily given it an R-rating. The new scenes are easy to spot, as many of them were added into the film in an unfinished state, and will be recognizable by a yellow tint to the picture. The additional footage is just more unnecessary, unpleasant humor, no doubt added for shock value.

Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen (16x9 enhanced), The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Uncensored is a very nice looking disc courtesy of Universal. While there are some minor moments of softness and compression artifacting, the overall picture is pleasant enough, boasting bold and realistic colors, and a nice level of detail in close-up shots. Shadow delineation and black level are superb, and the overall picture has a smooth look to it.

Offering dual Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks, this DVD has it where it counts in the audio department. The soundtrack is spacious and open with frequent use of the surround channels for added ambiance and directional effects. Dialog always sounds natural, and low frequency effects show off an effective punch in the subwoofer. The Dolby Digital and DTS tracks both come across as incredibly detailed and effective, and both sound pretty much identical. Whichever one you choose, you won't be let down.

Despite boasting an incredibly long list of extras features, The Klumps Uncensored on DVD left me feeling a unsatisfied. The best feature is the commentary track with director Peter Segal, but still it's not one of the best I've ever heard. Segal is an incredibly enthusiastic guy, and sounds like he would be a lot of fun to be around, but on this track he offers only a few interesting insights into the making of the film, and frequently slips into strange little quips, followed by a quirky little chuckle. I did get a big laugh out of his Howard Cosell impression, and he is fun just to listen to, so at least it wasn't a total loss. Somewhat less entertaining is a conversation with Segal and producer Brian Grazer, which takes the form of a running commentary track that starts at the beginning of the film, and lasts for about 30 minutes. This track is a bit more informative, and an interesting listen for fans of the film. Sadly, one of Universal's dreaded "behind-the-scenes" featurettes found its way onto this disc. Running a staggering three and a half minutes, we get cast and crew interviews in which they basically are trying to get people into theaters to see the film. More interesting is a 1996 make-up test for Eddie Murphy as Sherman Klump. It only lasts for about 90 seconds, but Eddie fills it up with some amusing spontaneity. A minute-long costume test for Janet Jackson also appears in the extras, in which she models the oversized wedding dress that Mama wants her to wear in the movie. Five storyboard-to-final-feature comparisons, four music videos (for Doesn't Really Matter by Janet Jackson, Thong Song by Sisqo, Just Friends by Musiq and Hey Papi by Jay-Z), the theatrical trailer, production notes, cast and filmmakers' bios, Universal film recommendations and Universal DVD Newsletter subscription info round out the player-based supplements. A plethora of PCFriendly DVD-ROM content (including interactive games, screensavers, wallpapers and Universal web links) is also included.

Okay, so if you loved either of The Nutty Professor films, this disc is right up your alley. You'll get a new uncensored version of the movie, very nice audio and video presentations, and a lot of extra features - even if they are a bit thin on the informative side, being mostly promotional fluff. For fans of the film, I say go forth and enjoy. But for everyone else, I'd give it a rental first just to be safe.

Greg Suarez
gregsuarez@thedigitalbits.com




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