In The Nutty Professor comedian Eddie Murphy (yes, he USE to be funny) stars as professor Sherman Klump. Klump is a 400-pound man who quickly becomes infatuated with a new professor named Carly Purty (Jada Pinkett Smith). When he asks her out on a date, she accepts and they go to a local club named ‘The Scream’. Once there, the evening is progressing fine until comic Reggie jumps up on stage and quickly dissects poor old Sherman. Sherman, having recently performed a genetic experience on his hamster that saw i…s body weight drop 20%, decides to do the same to himself. Enter Buddy Love, Klump’s alter ego. The rest of the film follows Klump and Love as they fight to control one another and decide which will win the heart of Miss Purty.
Eddie Murphy is absolutely hilarious in this film. When you consider the type of crap that Murphy involves himself in, it has become such a sad note that Murphy has basically collapsed into this family actor instead of making hilarious films like this. Murphy obviously realized that dressing up as big, fat people works as he succeeded again (monetarily not physically) in this year’s Norbit. When you think that Murphy dressed up as his entire family is downright hilarious and makes the two dinner sequences particularly enjoyable. I remember reading a review quite sometime ago where the critic mentioned that he could barely understand what was being said during these sequences simply because the entire audience was laughing so much. While this most recent viewing wasn’t as loud-out-loud funny, I still couldn’t help but smile at the insane conversations the family has with each other.
The only real downfall of the film is that Buddy Love is the type of character that becomes so cruel and downright mean that we grow to simply hate him. In the beginning, when he rags on Reggie, he seems like the character that might simply be the side of Klump that is more of a open Klump. But when he starts to steal Klump’s ideas, he becomes the standard type of character that we’ve seen far too many times in films before. Now this is probably just something I may just feel, but it brings the film’s total impact down a notch.
Director Tom Shadyac has since improved his craft with the comedic gems Liar, Liar and Bruce Almighty. Here Shadyac shows the type of writer and director he is as a majority of the film’s jokes are humorous and will definitely crack a smile. If you’re a fan of comedies in the slightest sense, give The Nutty Professor you’re time. Despite some of its shortcomings, the film is still funny 10 years later.
Presented in a 1080p, VC-1 Encoded, 1:85:1 widescreen aspect ratio, The Nutty Professor shows the quality that HD transfers can have.
Having seen the original SD release a few times over, I remember that the film had a fair share of grain that caused a majority of the film’s darker laboratory sequences to look, well, bad. This HD transfer has pretty much riddled the errors that plagued the SD release. Colors are more vibrant and full. Take a look at any of the outdoor sequences. The bright yellow of the sun, the greens of the grass and the blues of the sky are all examples of the difference HD presents. Depth was improved as well, again in the laboratory sequence. The film’s CGI effects, over 10 yrs old, still looked impressive considering they were awesome in 1996. Overall this is a solid transfer from Universal.
Arriving with the standard Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 affair, this is the exact type of film I expected to have the kind of track that perfectly suited the film.
Dialogue was clean and clear, never becoming an issue. Surrounds were actually pretty active, which one might not expect in a comedy. I found the surrounds worked when Sherman made the initial transfer. As glass crashed and beakers smashed, I noticed the electrical buzz zipped around my ears creating a nice effect. Dynamic Range, as mentioned, was solid particularly in the club scene as I heard each and every laugh of the audience. Bass was kept to a minimum though only really making a slight bump during the party sequence with Buddy Love. While not as solid as the video, the presented audio is still just fine.
Another Universal release with zero features!
As an HD DVD release, The Nutty Professor is a somewhat solid release. The film is still funny and the video and audio are fine, but the lack of features (and don’t give me the old ‘The SD release didn’t have any’ crap) really hurts the overall package. Recommended as a purchase for only the biggest fans. The rest of you should give this one a rent if you want to remember when Murphy was, gasp, funny.