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Cheaper by the Dozen 2
DVD disk
05.31.2006 By: Quigles
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 order
Director:
Adam Shankman

Actors:
Steve Martin
Bonnie Hunt
Eugene Levy

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Steve Martin and Bonnie hunt once again head the Baker family, this time taking their 12 kids up to "the lake", as they call it, for summer vacation.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you're over the age of 12, don't like the idea of Steve Martin turning into the next Eddie Murphy (what with all the kiddie films, and severe lack of "funny"), and don't appreciate comedies that substitute humor for chaos and wacky sound effects, then chances are you won't like CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2. In fact, there's probably a 90% chance that if you're even reading this review then you won't like it. The main storyline and conflict involves Eugene Levy's character battling it out with Steve Martin's character. They both try to prove they're better than each other, and in turn, both of them become equally annoying. The extra sub-plots with the kids are just as lame. One of the girls starts to like a boy, the older kids are moving to different cities, and one of the older daughters deals with her pregnancy. It's all very standard and uninteresting stuff.

I was hoping that the charisma of Martin, Hunt, and Levy might save some of it, but... nope. In fact, the only one who comes out unscathed is Bonnie Hunt, who never really has to do enough to make herself look like a complete moron. Unfortunately, Martin and Levy fill that void, and their dignity does not remain intact. I was also surprised by some of the gags, which aren't really funny - just absurd and dangerous. In one incident, a little kid runs around with a bag filled with fireworks... while they're actually going off. Another gag involves a guy in a wheelchair getting constantly knocked into a lake. Is that stuff funny? Even if it is, does that make it appropriate for a family film? No, it's not appropriate, and it's not funny. The biggest compliment I can give this film is that it's noticeably better than YOURS, MINE AND OURS... but that's pretty much the equivalent of bragging that your kid's better at sports than a quadriplegic. (Whoops - looks like I just lowered myself to the standards of this film...)
THE EXTRAS
There are several extras, but most of them fall into the "whatever" category. They are separated between the DVD's two sides, with the commentary appearing on both.

Audio Commentary (with director Adam Shankman): This is a fairly average commentary, with the director making plenty of lame jokes and every now and then letting slip interesting tidbits (like how often actors were filmed seperately from the scenes). Feel free to skip it.

FOX Movie Channel: Casting Session (8:05): A standard featurette in which the director, the casting director, and others offer up their thoughts on the actors in the film, and why they were chosen. Skip it.

Camp Chaos (10:18): Interspered mainly with footage from the film, this interview-filled featurette only delivers a little bit of decent information, as well as some solid behind-the-scenes footage. Overall, it feels more like 10 minutes of self-praising then an actual informative making-of.

A Comedic Trio (5:29): More self-praising, as the cast and crew discuss the combination of three great actors - Martin, Hunt, and Levy. Boooooring.

Also included is an Inside Look at FLICKA and AQUAMARINE, 2 Theatrical Trailers, and a Preview.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
A warning to those who are thinking of venturing towards the video store to check out this DVD - be prepared to expect the following: unfunny and over-the-top gags, Steve Martin looking like a jackass, a whole bunch of annoyingly sappy dramatic sequences, kids running around causing uncreative chaos, and plenty of by-the-numbers lessons and messages. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then venture away. But if you're looking for a somewhat similar movie that DOESN'T suck, then I recommend checking out NANNY MCPHEE. At least that flick has something more to say than just, "Money money money!!!"
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