Our review of Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (HD DVD), published August 9th, 2007, is also available.
America's favorite family is back for seconds!
The 1996 feature The Nutty Professor starred Eddie Murphy and was a remake of the original 1963 film starring Jerry "Hey LAAADY!" Lewis. In the 1996 version, Murphy had the chance to play over 5 characters, including our hero, Sherman Klump, plus his boisterous and flatulence-challenged family, including Mama Klump, Papa Klump, Granny Klump and more. All told, these characters only took up a small percentage of screen time in the first film. That's certainly not the case in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. This time around the entire Klump clan is out and about, spreading laughter and flatulence around in a sequel that's even funnier than the first. Directed by Peter Segal (Naked Gun 33 1/3, Tommy Boy), Universal has released Nutty Professor II: The Klumps in a collector's edition DVD that is worth its weight in gold.
Facts of the Case
The imminent Professor Sherman Klump (Murphy) has finally fallen in love and is on the brink of one of the greatest discoveries in science. His new lady, Denise (Janet Jackson, only slightly rusty from her days on "Diff'rent Strokes"), is perky, cute, and actually likes Sherman for who he is, not what he looks like. To top that off, Sherman has found a formula that is able to reverse the aging process (quick, someone call Janet's brother and make him black again!). Things couldn't be going better for Sherman!
Or could they? Sherman has started to hear voices again…and it's not the psychic hotline. No, it's worse…it's Buddy Love (Murphy again), Sherman's alter ego (the guy who created so much havoc in the first film). Buddy starts to make Sherman do and say things that make people wonder when the mother ship is going to pick Sherman up. Sherman starts to worry that if he doesn't get rid of Buddy and quick he might lose the woman that he loves forever.
Have I failed to mention the Klumps? Sherman's loud, burping, foul mouthed and lovable family are back. There's Papa Klump (Murphy), Mama Klump (Murphy again), Ernie (you guessed it, Murphy) and Granny Klump (Don Knotts…who do you think? It's MURPHY!). They're there to support Sherman, give him advice, and generally be obnoxious.
Soon Buddy Love is out of Sherman and on the streets trying to get a piece of the action with Sherman's anti-aging formula. But the longer Buddy is out, the more problems it causes Sherman (in more ways than one). Sherman has limited time to get Buddy back in before…well, you'll have to watch to find out!
Make no mistake, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is a very funny film. Eddie Murphy deserves to be nominated for an Academy Award (although I'm not sure for which character) for portraying six believably different characters in one film seamlessly. After Doctor Dolittle, I thought that we may be seeing the decline of the Eddie as we've known him. Since the early '90s, Murphy has become much less cocksure in his characters, instead becoming more endearing in his choices. Sherman Klump (and indeed the whole Klump family) are such lovable, bumbling people that you can't help but smile when Mama Klump starts clapping and shouting "Billy Dee! Billy Dee! Billy Dee!"
What makes this film so funny and special is the way that Murphy is able to make six characters each different from the other. Sherman is a big softie, wanting always to please. Papa Klump is a gruff grump, always complaining about something. Ernie is the embittered 30-something brother that almost everyone can relate to knowing. Granny is a sex-crazed insult slinger. And so on…all the characters have different movements, accents and facial expressions that make them unique (plus Oscar winner Rick Baker's make-up effects don't hurt either). Murphy is able to make us believe that he is interacting with himself without us second-guessing what our eyes are seeing. There are scenes where all the Murphy characters kiss, hug, hit and share with each other, and I didn't doubt for a second that any of this was real. That, in my book, is true movie magic.
Aside of Eddie, a few other characters shine in this film shine as well. Larry Miller, reprising his role as Dean Richmond, is often brilliant with his "slow burn" looks and razor sharp zingers towards Sherman. There's a scene concerning Dean Richmond and a 400 pound…well, once again you're just going to have to watch to find out. I will tell you that it's certainly worth it. Ernie Klump, Jr., played by Jamal Mixon, also comes back as Sherman's chunky and lovable nephew. Although not given much screen time, Jr. has some funny scenes (such as slurping down ice cream straight from a buffet table) that make him a memorable edition to the Klump family. Janet we'll get to in the rebuttal section.
The plot to Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is nothing especially original, but does give some nice twists and turns, making sure it's not completely obvious where the story's heading. Aside of Buddy's return and the love story, there is also a subplot involving Papa and Mama Klump and their…err, search to find Papa's lost "sex appeal" (when asked if he's tried Viagra, Papa responds that he knows it doesn't work for him, as he's been "popping those things like M&Ms!"). I hesitate to say that this side story is even more interesting than the cookie-cutter love story involving Sherman and Denise. And when a hamster the size of a yacht appears during a freakish science experiment…well, it's some of the funniest stuff I've seen in years, and I GUARANTEE you'll never look at actor Larry Miller the same again.
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1. The picture looks beautiful (as it should, considering this is a new release from Universal). There was no grain present, and no digital artifacting to spot. Colors were bright and full with blacks being solid and dark. Not much more to say except that it's a wonderful transfer by the people over at Universal.
Audio is mixed well and used effectively (considering the genre). There was good use of music and effects with no drowning out of dialogue. There is some action that takes place in this film (and a lot of yelling of such phrases as "gimmie more of them beans, woman"), and your speakers will have a fun time listening to all the razzing and poking going on between the characters. Like the video portion, a very nice job over all by Universal.
Right smack dab on the front of the package it says "Collector's Edition," and this disc don't lie. Universal has jam packed this DVD with all kinds of goodies for you Nutty Professor and Eddie Murphy fans. To start out, we get a feature commentary with director Peter Segal who is very likable and well prepared with info on the shoot. He gives us some fun info on the film, from the obvious ("He [Eddie] would ad lib in almost every single scene, and most all of the time it was usable") to the very not so obvious (such as when Sherman is at a dinner for his fiancée's parents, and the filmmakers decided to go with a verbal gag instead of a physical one, in which Sherman would have taken a lobster, clamped it to his nipples and pretended he was an alien). Okay, so that may not be the most interesting thing in the film, but I found it fascinating. YOU'LL have to watch the commentary and find your own nugget of information that you like best.
Next up is a featurette "Spotlight On Location" about the making of Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. Instead of being just general promotion material, this turns out to be a lengthy look at the making of the film, the story and characters, and the make-up process for the Klump family. Interviews include actors Janet Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Larry Miller and Jamal Mixon, plus director Peter Segal, producer Brian Grazer and make-up man Rick Baker. The featurette spans over such areas as the make-up effects, the fleshing out of the Klump characters, actor's thoughts on their parts, and how Janet Jackson is so "down to earth" and no superstar diva (as IF anyone would say otherwise…"oh yeah, that Jackson girl…I remember her. All she did was eat tofu and yell at the gaffers"). Overall it's a fun watch being more than just a "our movie is funny!" commercial.
"A Conversation with Director Peter Segal and Producer Brain Glazer" is not exactly what you'd think. I was expecting to see some videotaped interviews with the two of them talking about the film. Instead we get about a third of the film backed by a commentary track by Glazer and Segal, chatting away about things that work in the film, how the wanted to do the opening, et cetera. It's a fun track that, unfortunately, ends all too quickly.
There are also some outtakes, a deleted scene and an extended scene of the family restaurant sequence. The outtakes are more of the shots that roll over the final credits (SEE Eddie play with his boobs! HEAR Janet flub her lines! EXPERIENCE the laughter of messing up!). These are funny to watch, and especially creepy when Eddie goes from Granny's voice (in complete make-up attire) to his own. The deleted scene is of Denise and Sherman looking at homes to purchase, and dreaming of what their lives might be like. The extended dinner sequence is just that, a longer (and not much different) version of the Klumps eating at the buffet. All of these extras are presented in a non-anamorphic transfer, some of them being in a somewhat rough condition.
The "Makeup: A Time Lapse Look" sequences are sped up video of Eddie in the makeup chair. In the first time lapse we see Eddie being made up as Papa, and in the second it's Eddie being made up into Ernie. A fun look into the process, though repeatability is not very high. The "Storyboards and Final Feature Comparison" are, well, just what they sound like. You are able to view the storyboarding process in comparison to the end product film. The beginning wedding sequence, the hamster, the baby Buddy and Bachelorette party are all here to see. In many movies this is a crucial element in keeping the film on track and "by the script," so to speak. Fun watches if you're a film student or just interested in how a film if made.
Rounding out the supplements are the general Universal extras including the music video "Doesn't Really Matter" by Janet Jackson, a widescreen theatrical trailer, some production notes, a few DVD recommendations, cast and filmmakers bios, and some DVD-ROM features.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
The only real complaint I have about Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is there were spots in the movie where I could tell that the effects were undoubtedly computer generated. In the beginning scene when Buddy Love "appears," it's obvious that the effects are the work of a computer, as in the final scene with Buddy and Sherman. It's not that I have a problem with CGI use in films, I just think that if they can't certain effects look seamless, then don't use it (case in point: Star Wars: Episode I). The filmmakers have done an amazing job making the Klumps interact with each other without an obviousness of the effects; I only wish they could have achieved this in other scenes as well.
Oh, and Miss Jackson…thanks for stopping by, but I think you should stick to singing and shaking your bon-bon.
For the price tag of around 24.99-29.99, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is a great buy for Eddie Murphy fans or anyone who like the original Nutty Professor. The extras are bountiful, the video and audio great, and the comedy top notch. While maybe not the funniest movie ever made, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps will keep you laughing and giggling all the way to the end as Murphy showcases why he's considered the top of his game.
Free to go, as this is a funny and entertaining romp through the Klump family and all their loving dysfunctions. For Mr. Murphy's performance, all I have to say is…"Hercules, Hercules, HERCULES!"
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