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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Tomcats
Tomcats
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // August 14, 2001
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 11, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

You would think that a production studio would desire a high-class project as their first release; a few big-name stars and a classy screenplay. Yet, that didn't happen with Joe Roth's Revolution studios, who released this embarassment early on in 2001. Although the studio has had success with the juvenile "Animal" (which, although certainly not intelligent, was funnier and sweeter) and the dissapointing "America's Sweethearts".

"Tomcats" though, is the kind of movie that's hard to forgive and forget. It's the kind of movie where, afterwards, I wanted my 93 minutes back. Trying to out-gross and out-sex the kind of raunchy comedies that have been all the rage for the past couple of years, "Tomcats", written and directed by Gregory Poirier, succeeds only at being the most mean-spirited, dreadfully unfunny picture that I've seen in memory.

The plot revolves around the utterly familiar - a group of bachelors who have an almost weird level of fear of commitment put their money into a pool and the last one of them who is left a bachelor wins the pot. Over the years, the money has grown into quite a giant sum, but several of the contestants have dropped out into marriage. Cartoonist Michael (Jerry O'Connell) is the one who has the biggest desire to win - mainly, since he owes a Casino boss (Bill Maher) and the results if he doesn't pay up 51,000 by the end of the month may be less than pleasant. Against him is Kyle (Jake Busey), a sleazy guy who moves from date-to-date in the span of a couple of hours. He runs over his girlfriend with his golf cart and doesn't care much (suprisingly, nor does she.)

Michael attempts to find out the only woman that has broken through to Kyle, even if he did leave her like all the rest. Natalie(Shannon Elizabeth of "American Pie"), now a cop, attempts to join Michael in their plot - she gets half the cash. The road to the obvious in "Tomcats" is littered with rotten material. Jokes involving a testicle bouncing around a hospital hallway and a librarian who turns out to be into S & M are the kind of jokes that the movie has for sale and I wasn't buying into any of it.

This isn't help by a series of performers who are completely inept at comedy. O'Connell remains too goofy and simply overdoes the comedy (the last good thing he was in was "Stand By Me"); Busey is sleazy, but completely not funny - a better example of a similar character would be Seann William Scott's "Stiffler" in "American Pie", also a better feature from the same genre. Speaking of "American Pie", Shannon Elizabeth, who's rise to fame came from her nudity in "Pie", has said in interviews that she wants people to take her acting seriously. She might want to try something besides teen sex comedies if she wants to demonstrate her range - although, on second thought, her attempts at being serious here are unintentionally funny.

"Tomcats" is hopefully the last in the recent line of sub-par R-rated comedies ("Saving Silverman", "Say It Isn't So"), since it's certainly not only one of the worst in the genre, but one of the worst pictures of the year. A final note - for those expecting nudity (as the advertisements seemed to tease), there isn't any.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Tomcats" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 full_frame on this DVD - either are accessible from the main menu, but of course, those who subject themselves to this picture should certainly see it in all of its widescreen "glory". The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer looked fine, but certainly isn't going to go down as one of the better efforts from Columbia/Tristar. Sharpness and detail are respectable, but there are the occasional scenes that look somewhat soft.

Although pixelation and edge enhancement don't cause a threat, print flaws do get in the way at times. Slight marks and speckles are noticable a little more often than I'd expect for a picture that's fairly new. Colors appeared bright and vibrant, with no instances of smearing or any other problems. This is a respectable transfer - although it's not a particularly visually remarkable film in any way, it looks fine here.

SOUND: "Tomcats" provides what most will likely be expecting from the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio - a focus on the dialogue and occasional rock and metal score. The score is really the only element that the surrounds provide, otherwise they remain mostly silent. Audio quality seemed fine, as the score was sufficently loud and didn't overpower the hideous dialogue.

MENUS:: Although Tristar doesn't provide much in the way of extras, I was suprised to see lively animated menus revolving around the characters and an animated "tomcat".

EXTRAS:: Talent files and trailers for "Tomcats", "Jerry Maguire", "Joe Dirt" (funnier than "Tomcats"), "Saving Silverman"(also funnier than "Tomcats", although not by much), and "Starship Troopers".

Final Thoughts: "There's Something About Mary" and "American Pie" were gross and juvenile, but there was at least some humanity and good-naturedness to the characters and jokes that were occasionally inspired. "Tomcats", on the other hand, is not only offensive and dull, but badly written, filmed and acted. If you're seeking raunchy humor, either go rent the Farrelly Brother's "Kingpin" or go see a matinee of the newly released "American Pie 2", heading to theaters the same weekend that I'm writing this review.

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