College Road Trip

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover for College Road Trip is classic Disney, and I don’t think it works. I understand that the idea is to cover the main characters, but this one doesn’t even include the main characters. Not only are Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone included with Donny Osmond, but for some reason Brenda Song, who really is not included much in the film, is on the cover also. She is not in the movie as much as young Eshaya Draper, who plays younger brother Trey. It just so happens that Brenda Song plays London Tipton on the Disney channel show “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” The cover is a generic shot of the crew, and it’s kind of boring.

The menu is basically a cartoon setup of a map of the trip that they take to get to Georgetown, with cut-ins of the main characters of the film. It is really not good. It is not static, which is nice, but it is just a bit annoying.

Features: 5/10
There are quite a few extras on the film, including two audio commentaries; one with the writers of the movie, which is a bit dry, and one with director Roger Kumble and Raven-Symone, which is surprisingly lighthearted and fun. Not great commentaries, and not worth listening to them over the film, twice.

Also included is a semi funny gag reel, some deleted scenes that are not great, and a music video for Raven-Symone singing “Double Dutch Bus,” which is a little bit too Disney oriented for my liking. There is also a short feature that shows the behind the scenes of the making of the music video, and a short “Raven’s Video Diary” that features her walking around the set with a hand camera, interviewing actors and people working on the film. It is not a bad little feature, and it is somewhat entertaining.

Overall the extras just don’t do much to save this DVD. It just is so average that there is not a lot to learn about in the extras, and not a lot to enjoy.

Movie: 3/10
I wanted this to be a good movie, and I wanted to see Martin Lawrence return to his former funny self, but I am sad to say that this is not the movie that I wanted. I like Raven-Symone, and I have been forced to sit through many “That’s So Raven” show with my wife and step-daughter that I don’t really mind the Disney Channel style of movie, but College Road Trip was really not good.

The story revolves around James Porter (Martin Lawrence) and his relationship with his daughter Melanie, who is headed to college. James has planned out Melanie’s college career from the time that she was born, and his plans include her heading to nearby Northwestern University, as they live in Chicago. James is a police chief, and he figures that if Melanie is about a half-hour away, he can still protect her.

Melanie (Raven-Symone) is more interested in attending Georgetown University, and when she is given a chance to interview at the school, she plans a trip with her friends to visit the school on short notice. James can’t take it and decides instead to take Melanie himself. The rest of the film involves the supposed shenanigans that are supposed to make the trip both funny and heartwarming. The problem is, Martin is not that funny, and neither is the rest of the film. I understand that this is a Disney film, and the audience is supposedly the same crew that would enjoy the many “zany” Disney Channel shows, but it is just too predictable and too unoriginal.

About the best part of the movie is the random inclusion of Donny Osmond as a musical, and seemingly crazy father of a girl who is also looking into different colleges. His inclusion is kind of unexpected and he really is funny, if not somewhat creepy. As for the rest of the movie, is just was not very good.

Video & Audio: 6/10
I watched the standard DVD and this is a decent transfer, and the video is decent enough, but it is nothing more than average.

The audio again was just average. The levels were decent, and the clarity was fine, but there was just not a lot to it.

Value: 3/10
If you are a Disney channel viewer, and like shows like the “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” or “That’s So Raven,” then you may, and I repeat, may want to see this movie. If you are older than 15, and like to remember Martin Lawrence from when he was really funny and crass, avoid this movie at all costs. I really can’t recommend this movie to too many people, as it just isn’t really funny or all that entertaining. My step daughter, who is 16 watched this movie, and even though she is predisposed to loving this type of film, even she had trouble finishing College Road Trip. That tells me this is perhaps one to avoid.

Overall Score 3/10