College Road Trip (2008) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Family
Disney || G - 83 minutes - $34.99 || July 15, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-07-21


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Roger Kumble
Writer(s): Emi Mochizuki & Carrie Evans and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio (written by)
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Raven-Symone, Donny Osmund


Theatrical Release Date: March 7, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director & Star Commentary
  • Co-writers' Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Raven's Video Diary
  • Music Video
  • On the Set: Double Dutch Bus


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Uncompressed PCM), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

College Road Trip is simply an embarrassing film to watch. Too many times I had to look away and hope no one would enter the room and actually see what I was watching. Is the film bad? No, it is watchable if you can get past the slapstick comedy and CGI pig, but with very little laughs I could only recommend it as a rental for a child, even if you are a big Martin Lawrence fan.

Chief James Porter (Martin Lawrence) is the local Police Chief who does not want the pride and joy of his life, Melanie (Raven-Symoné), to leave the nest and go to a college far, far away. Well, unfortunately for him, Melanie has an interview over at Georgetown....which just so happens to be 700 miles away! What is he to do? ROAD TRIP!!! Yep, good ol' classic Disney fun where Chief Porter tries his best to convince his daughter to stay close to home, but along the way, finds himself wanting what is best for his daughter.

As a child, did you ever hear the phrase "Don't make that face at me because it may get stuck like that", well, in College Road Trip everyone makes that face. Maybe its something all the cool kids on Disney are doing nowadays, but a scene cannot go by without Martin Lawrence or Raven doing something with their face that seems almost inhuman. I can't tell you how many times I had to watch Raven overplaying every single thing in the film. I wonder if the writers actually make notes like 'Raven now lifts her right eyebrow up, her left one curves downward while her lip slowly quivers'. It’s bad, really bad.

Then we have... the pig. Now, I love pigs. I love bacon. But a pig (as a pet?!?) does not belong in the film, at all. This is not an animated film, its live action. The only animals a kid should own in a live action film would be the run of the mill ones like a cat, dog, bird... I'll even take a horse. But no family would have a pig as a pet. Now, The Simpson Movie decided to give Homer a big and for whatever reason, halfway through the film the pig disappeared which is pretty much the same thing here. While the pig is present for nearly the first forty minutes, after that, the pig (and son) just disappears at grandma’s house. Unbelievable. I won't even go into the fact that the pig becomes a work of CGI several times and does some pretty un-natural things like run around the hotel room drugged up on coffee beans, or swing from a chandelier...nope, well just leave it at that.

There are some other small nitpicks with the film as well. For one, Chief James Porter has a huge collection (at least 100) of VHS tapes of his pride and joy, Melanie. In the film he plays the tapes a few times and considering his daughter is now 18, and in the tapes she is 6, the tapes would be 12 years old, right? Well, they play in perfect HDTV quality on his TV. You would think after 12 years (and being shot on VHS) the tapes would have looked a bit worn out and degraded... but not in this Disney film.

As a Disney film, there seems to be a certain clause in all young actors and actresses that they must appear in a certain amount of Disney films if they wish to be on a Disney Channel TV Show. Well, College Road Trip really takes it up on notch. First up we have the most obvious character Raven-Symoné from her Disney show That's So Raven. Her mother in the film (Kym Whitley) also played Raven's aunt on the show for a few episodes. As for her friends we have Brenda Strong (London from The Suite Life of Zach and Cody) who utters maybe a word or two the entire film and the other mute friend, Margo Harshman (Even Stevens). I could continue on... but at this point you should not to skip this film unless you are letting your child watch it. Alone.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Features are presented in HD unless noted.

Feature Commentaries:
Director Roger Kumble and star/exec producer Raven-Symoné
Writers Emi Mochizuki and Carrie Evans
- I'd recommend not listening to either of the commentaries as I found both to be incredibly boring and adding very little to the film. While the first one I could at least stomach, the second one with the writes was easily one of the worst commentary tracks I have ever listened to.

Raven's Video Diary (9:56) – Filling in for the missing 'Behind the Scenes' featurette is...this. I personally cannot stand Raven at all, and listening to her talking for nearly ten minutes gave me a headache. While the featurette does give some pretty good information on the film, I can't imagine very many people actually wanting to watch it.

Deleted Scenes (12:36) – Disney has been kind enough to provide us with 10 deleted scenes (with optional commentary) that are a mix bag. While the film was incredibly short (83 minutes - about 78 without the end credits), there is very little reason why some of these could not have been included in the film to help pad it out a bit.

Alternate Opening and 2 Alternate Endings (with optional commentary)(3:34) – I thought the alternate opening was actually pretty good and help cement the fact that Martin Lawrence actually plays a cop n the film. The alternate endings though...unless you love the pig, they are horrific. The Theatrical ending is a much better ending for the film and I'm glad it ended on a comedic note rather than a moronic one.

Also included on the disc is a gag reel (2:48), Raven-Symoné's music video (3:15; SD) of "Double Dutch Bus" and On the Set: Double Dutch Bus (3:26) is the making of the music video.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

College Road Trip is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio of 2.40:1 on a 50GB Disc. Disney continues to amaze me on nearly all of their Day and Date titles with near-perfect picture and sound quality. College Road Trip is no exception which brings strong vibrant colors to the table and very impressive blacks.

Disney has included Uncompressed PCM (48 kHz /24-bit) track in both English as well as Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in English & French. As typical with a comedy, don't expect much dynamic in this track. Dialog sounds great, but there is very little (besides stupid corny sound effects) that come out of the rear speakers. Subtitles are included in English SDH , French and Spanish.



.::OVERALL::.

College Road Trip would make a great rental for kids under the age of 12 only. It offers no real substance and it akin to be played on the Disney Channel for the next five years. The picture quality however is spectacular and with a decent amount of extras that good keep your child entertained for a few hours.