The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Family
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish/English Audio Description Track
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Written by: Jay Schrick, David Ronn, Kevin James, Nick Bakay, Rock Reuben
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 11, 2011
"Welcome to his Jungle."
All the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get the girl of his dreams is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job to win her over. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk!
My Take:Caution-- Spoilers are ahead. If you want to go experience all the wonders this unique and original film is, read no further.
You know the story. Girl dumps guy, guy changes who he is to get the girl back. He enlists the help of a "friend" who just happens to be a girl. In the final act he realizes the friend is the right one for him and he didn't have to change after all. Of course he realizes when it's too late as the friend is on her way to the, you guessed it, ...airport. We get the obligatory gauntlet as he beats the clock to profess his love and we all live happily after ever. Joy.
There it is, "Zookeeper" in a nutshell.
Wait, lets have the animals talk to him and help him get the girl, and walla! It really is like "Some Kind of Wonderful" had a baby with "Doctor Doolittle" but the baby had no brains.
Man, if it's that easy I really really could be a screenwriter.
This movie has interrupted my life two times now. The first was two summers ago when I went to the Franklin Park Zoo with my son. When we got in we notice that half the zoo was closed and there were self important foreigners (ya know, from LA) walking around talking into their headsets and riding golf carts. Needless to say that ruined my zoo day with my two year old and I still WANT MY MONEY BACK! The other time was this afternoon when I spent 100 minutes of a beautiful Indian summer day watching this flick. I watched it with the same son (2 years later- what took so long to release it Hollywood?? hrmm...) who liked it, but lost attention when the romance kicked in. I know I am making it sound completely terrible, it wasn't that bad, it was just super-blah with no originality.
Thanks to Kevin James, "Zookeeper" was bearable. For some reason I like the guy, and enjoy the usual heartwarming buffoon characters he tends to play. Oh and looking at Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb also helped. The talking animals had a little spark, being voiced Cher, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone, and the CGI that made their lips move spot on. Unfortunately a lack of originality and and identity crises (is it a comedy? A romance? is it for adults? for kids?) helped make the movie feel clunky. Rent it if you want, I bet your kids will like it. You will find a laugh here and there...but you might fall asleep as well.
Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor, and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Sony delivers another impressive release with "Zookeeper". The film was shot in HD...so I guess I cant call it a film then, can I? You get the definition you would expect, some nice depth and consistently strong black levels. You also get a bit of noise in overly bright and dark scenes. The sun-drenched exteriors of the Franklin Park Zoo grated on me. They were so golden, with way too much of a hue, making flesh-tones look like George Hamilton after a visit to the tanning booth. Hey, if thats what they were going for then they got it. Over all it was pleasing, but not the nicest video presentation we have seen. The DTS-HD MA track was well rounded with a nice low end, articulate dialogue and a nice 360 degree sound-stage. It has a bit more going for it then your typical rom-com, and you might be surprised with how good it sounds.
- (HD) Deleted Scenes
- (HD) The Cast of Zookeeper
- (HD) Behind the Stunts
- (HD) Be the Bear
- (HD) Laughing is Contagious: Blooper Reel
- (HD) Bernie the Gorilla
- (HD) The Furry Co-Stars
- (HD) Creating the Visual Effects: the Animals
- DVD Copy
- BD Live enabled
"Zookeeper" wasn't all that funny or all that romantic.--yet its billed a romantic comedy; It was completely unoriginal and uninspired. Thanks to Kevin James I got through the film and found a couple of laughs. Sony packs in a sufficient amount of extras for fans, and as always delivers a top notch encode. Rent it if you want, I bet your kids will like it. You will find a laugh here and there...but you might fall asleep as well.
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Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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