The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 2008
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 83 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Uncompressed PCM, English/French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Raven-Symone, Martin Lawrence, Donnie Osmond, Brenda Song, Lucas Grabeel
Directed by: Roger Kumble
Music by: Edward Shearmur
Written by: Emi Mochizucki, Carrie Evans, Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 15, 2008
"Never underestimate the power of a fathers love"
Get ready for a wildly hilarious ride with Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone in Disney's chaotic comedy College Road Trip. Ambitious and confident Melanie Porter (Raven-Symone) is eagerly looking forward to her first big step towards independence - a girls-only road trip to check out colleges. But this rite of passage takes a wrong turn when her overprotective father (Martin Lawrence) insists on escorting her instead - and Melanie's dream trip quickly turns into a nightmare of wild and wacky curves. So fasten your seat belts for a nonstop, laugh-out-loud, madcap adventure that'll drive you silly.
I have never really been partial to Martin Lawrence so when I see his name associated with a film I generally don't have high expectations. However I do think that Raven-Symone is a talented young woman nd have been a fan since her early years on The Cosby Show. College Road Trip is first and foremost supposed to be a comedy with splashes of drama mixed in. That would be fine as long as its comedic elements are funny enough. The problem I saw here was that the gags were silly and over the top much of the time. This was especially true when it came to the physical humor. That is not to say that there were not funny moments because there were. As a child I didn't care for the Osmond's and Donnie was particularly annoying. However I didn't mind him once he got older and really came to appreciate his talent after seeing him in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. He was wonderful in the role of overeager father Doug Greenhut in this film and he stole pretty much every scene he was in. Albert the pig was quite charming and presented a foilable presence for James (Lawrence). I really enjoyed the more serious interaction between the characters played by Lawrence and Symone. As a father who has a daughter who is beginning to look at colleges that aspect of the story really hit close to home. I think that I would have liked this film more if it took a slightly more serious tone with mixes of comedy as opposed to the way it was written. It would have drawn more of the natural charm inherent in its theme and made the humor more palatable.
The G rating is right on the money as there is nothing here that would not be appropriate for all audiences.
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:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
College Road Trip comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video with an average bitrate of 33 mbps and lossless uncompressed 5.1 channel PCM audio with a constant bitrate of 6.9 mbps.
Disney has been very consistent in the quality of their new video releases in high definition and College Road Trip is no exception. This is a high bitrate encode that looks solid throughout. Detail is exemplary as images look clean, sharp, and ultimately three dimensional and lifelike. I never felt that video was lacking in terms of depth or the perception of visible detail within the parameters of the structure of objects seen onscreen. Colors were reproduced with excellent tonality and deep saturation which made them pop off of the screen. Fleshtones appeared natural with perceivable variation and subtle textures among the differing skin types of the cast members. Blacks and shadow detail were solid which made the few dark scenes used in the film visually pleasing. This is a near reference quality video presentation that looks stunning in high definition.
The uncompressed PCM audio sounded excellent overall as it delivered the sonic elements contained within the mix with aplomb. The tracks highlight was a Karaoke performance of Double Dutch Bus by Raven. Dialogue was delivered with crystal clarity and subtle intonation. The film features a wonderful score and is loaded with oldies but goodies that simply sounded superb thanks to the higher fidelity of lossless audio. This is not the type of mix that will show off your surround sound system but it aptly handled this films needs with ease.
This an enjoyable set of Bonus features that offered lots of interesting inside info on the film during production. The weakest being the alternate and deleted scenes which didnt offer any substance to the story. Raven's video diary was great as it provided some behind the scenes footage as well as details on the director, cast and film itself as seen through her personal perspective as well as the cameras. This was one of the better gag reels that I have seen. No only was it entertaining but it really showed how much fun the cast had in the making of the film. Donnie Osmond really seemed to enjoy himself as evidenced not only by the outtakes but his role in the Double Dutch Bus music video. The audio commentaries were decent and certainly worthy of your time if you liked the film. This was a nice features set that I felt was more entertaining than the film itself.
- (HD) Raven's Video Diary
- (HD)10 Deleted scenes with optional Director Commentary
- (HD)Alternate Scenes - 1 opening and 2 endings with optional Director Commentary
- (HD)Gag Reel
- (HD)On the: Double Dutch Bus Video featuring Raven-Symone and Donnie Osmond
- Double Dutch Bus Music Video offered in 5.1 channel surround
- 2 Audio Commentary tracks featuring Raven-Symone, Director Roger Kumble and Screenwriters Emi Mochizuki and Carrie Evans
College Road Trip is an average comedy that has entertainment value. For those of us with kids that are soon to be headed off to college it strikes a chord for sure. Disney has brought it to Blu-ray Disc day and date with the DVD in package that features sparking high definition video, lossless high resolution audio and great bonus supplements. Its story is not such that it falls into a must see category however the video quality alone may be enough to entice enthusiasts to take a look via rental.
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