05/01/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

On 'Formation' World Tour, Beyonce Through 'Lemonade'-...
Nyle DiMarco's attitude on DWTS is annoying everyone ex...
Ripa's return to 'Live!' is all smiles following Straha...
10 Juicy Lyrics From Beyonce's New Lemonade Album That ...
Prince's last days: What we know ...
Jason Bourne Trailer and Poster Released!...
Why I quit 'Game of Thrones'...
Stephen Colbert teaches Hillary Clinton the proper way ...
'Jungle Book' ensures it: Parade of Disney-classic rema...
Captain America: Civil War reactions ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Fox Home Entertainment presents
Johnson Family Vacation (2004)

"We're not scheduled to stop until Boulder City. I don't plan on stopping till we get there."
- Nate Johnson (Cedric The Entertainer)

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: December 17, 2004

Stars: Cedric the Entertainer, Bow Wow, Vanessa Williams, Shannon Elizabeth, Steve Harvey
Other Stars: Solange Knowles, Gabby Soleil, Aloma Wright, Jennifer Freeman, Christopher B. Duncan, Lorna Scott, Rodney Perry, Shari Headley
Director: Christopher Erskin

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references, crude humor and brief drug material
Run Time: 01h:36m:39s
Release Date: August 10, 2004
UPC: 024543133087
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C- C-BA C-

DVD Review

Discounting his great appearances in the Barbershop films, Cedric the Entertainer hasn't had much to crow about in terms of lasting success. Adding to the woes of a failed television variety series, Johnson Family Vacation quickly tanked in the spring of 2004. Though not a complete disaster, this half-hearted retread about a family getaway gone wrong doesn't offer anything new and original; a collection of the Entertainer's beer commercials would be 10 times better in comparison.

Nate Johnson (Cedric) is one of those obsessive tight schedule dads, organizing family events to begin precisely on time. That anal quality no doubt contributed to the break-up of his marriage to Dorothy (Vanessa Williams), a once-happy union that resulted in three pretty nice kids: D.J. (Bow Wow), Nikki (Solange Knowles), and the precocious baby of the bunch, Destiny (Gabby Soleil). Making it hard for the single dad are his two teenage children; Destiny's at that time of her life when it's all boy talk, all the time (with an ever present cellphone to ring her girlfriends for such a purpose), while D.J.'s not having an easy go of being second in command to Pop. And little Destiny? She's probably the smartest one of the bunch, telling all her troubles to her invisible dog.

Not an ideal time for the yearly Johnson Family reunion in Missouri, which has more or less developed into a competition between Nate and his slick older brother (Steve Harvey), who's looking to win the annual commemorative trophy yet again. So with the most unenthused kiddies and estranged ex aboard for the ride, it's off to St. Louis in Johnson's pimped-up SUV, which has to be returned without a scratch to qualify for an exchange.

One doesn't need to read ahead in the script to know trouble and tribulations await on the interstate, including a crazed, unseen truck driver that nearly runs them off the road (hmm, I wonder where the filmmakers got that idea?), a stopover at a fairly posh hotel where a bored, tensed-out Dorthy deflates Nate's attempts to revive romance in the facility's hot tub by transporting his clothes back to his hotel room (one of the film's few funny bits) and an extra addition to the passenger list, courtesy of an attractive but waaaay out-there hitchhiker (Shannon Elizabeth) whose idea of fun runs along the lines of sneaking in an intimidating animal into their next hotel resting place at 2 a.m.

Despite being low on the laugh quotient, I held out hope that Nate and company's eventual arrival for the big family shindig would balance the scale accordingly, but so much time gets spent on trying to recreate Chevy Chase's Vacation for a new generation (wasting well over an hour) that by the time the trip is over, there's precious little time left to explore comic possibilities; not even a surprise bonus role for Cedric (a loopy automotive repair guy) can snap viewers out of a disappointment-incited funk.

However, there are a few aspects of the film deserving mention, chiefly the fairly positive portrayal of an African-American family, instead of the clichéd, addled examples of recent years. In spite of the inconsistent script, I liked the funny interplay between Bow Wow and Cedric—it hits its high mark a bit too early, but includes probably one of the most hilarious moments I've seen in any film this year: Nate wants to rid his son's CD collection of controversial rappers killed at the peak of their fame, prompting D.J. to do the same ("Marvin Gaye? Shot. Sam Cooke? Shot.") If only the rest of this tired movie had maintained such bite and creativity, I might be writing an entirely different review.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - P&S
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: Most of the time, current Fox films look nothing short of sparkling when they cross over from the multiplex to a digital platter. But Johnson meet the same high standards, possibly due to it's flipper status (with the pan/scan effort on the B-side) which instantly downgrades quality (and why studios are continuing to even release separate versions is beyond me, but that's for another debate). Perhaps due to a lower budget, colors come off as a little bland and exterior location shots off (but the night sequences look OK... odd).

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Johnson features a versatile 5.1 mix with low frequencies that nicely balance the enjoyable score and a combination of old-school soul and modern day jams with the usual directional effects that emerge from front and back.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Commentary by Whom: Commentary Track #1: Cedric the Entertainer, Bow Wow, Director Christoper Erskin, Producer Eric C. Rhone
Commentary #2: Writers Todd R. Jones and Earl Richey Jones
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Deleted Scenes and Outtakes (w/optional director's commentary)
  2. Making Of Featurette
  3. Preview of 20th Century Fox's Taxi
Extras Review: A mostly uninspiring batch of extras includes a disappointing commentary track (pairing Cedric the Entertainer with co-star Bow Wow, director Christopher Erskin, and producer Eric C. Rhone) that sounds like a congratulatory celebration rather than anything of substance. Much of the same goes for the companion talk-track, which pairs up co-writers Todd R. Jones and Earl Richey Jones, but it does get better when they come out of narrating mode and actually talk about the filmmaking process.

A batch of rightly-extracted scenes do nothing but act as visual Sominex, a paint-by-the-numbers making-of is nothing more than "you're great; no, you were great" back-slapping, and a brief look at the making of Fox's Taxi gives you a chance to sniff out another potential box office bomb.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Although I liked the cast and held out high hopes, Johnson Family Vacation is not unlike a horrible weekend getaway to a destination to which you vow never to return.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

music, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donÕt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, television, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncˇ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, movie, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, hbo, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, melissa mccarthy, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation, celebrity, robert de niro, vaxxed, dr. william schaffner, vanderbilt university medical school, autism, cannes film festival, woody allen, cafe society, kristen stewart, blake lively, reality, the voice, alicia keys, miley cyrus, blake shelton, adam levine, marvel, georgia, gov. nathan deal, anti-gay, chad griffin, lollapalooza, chicago, red hot chili peppers, radiohead, lana del rey, ellie goulding, major lazer, dance competion, jodie sweetin, kim fields, sasha farber, paige van zandt, erin andrews, ariana grande, dangerous woman, a cappella, sxsw, drake, fader fort, know yourself, legend, energy, jumpman, hulk hogan, gawker, sex tape, florida jury, $15 million, melissa rauch, the big bang theory, the bronze, captain america: winter soldier star sebastian stan

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store