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CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Steven Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, Tom Welling, Piper Perabo, Hillary Duff
Director: Adam Shankman
Video: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen & 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Extra Features: See Review
Length: 94 Minutes
Release Date: May 23, 2006

Twins: What's a scat trail?

Mark: Animal poop!

Twins: COOL!! We're following animal poop!

Film ***

Eggs, soda (or pop, depending on where you live), and ummm…doughnuts!  What do these things have in common with this DVD?  They are all Cheaper By The Dozen!

The first time was great, but the second time is definitely a charm for this film, and with 99% of the original cast showing up for round two, you can count on more fun and excitement than ever before!

The Bakers are back and in need of some serious family bonding time.  Tom decides the family needs some time together before all of his kids grow up and scatter like the winds on Mt. Everest!

The Bakers head up to the lake to enjoy a little fun on the water and a stroll through the wilderness.  When they get there they find out that Tom's arch nemesis has purchased all the properties around the lake except for their favorite cabin, and he's turned their relaxing vacation spot into a yuppie haven!  It's the Bakers vs. the Murtaughs in a knock down drag out fight that might cause this Dozen split into quarters!

Without question, Steve Martin is one of the funniest men on film.  Robin Williams is my all time favorite, but Steve is right there with him in his own way.  Steve as Tom is very believable and extremely fun to watch!  I really loved the scene where he's cutting a deal with one of his kids so he can get back at Murtaugh for being so disgustingly perfect.

Bonnie Hunt needs no praise because everything she does is absolutely fabulous.  Bonnie is funny in that subtle under your breath mumbly kinda of way that she's perfected over the years.

Tom Welling and Piper Perabo swing round for a second go as Baker kids number 1 & number 2.   Not much change with them from the first movie except Piper plays about the best pregnant, hormonal woman I’ve ever seen.

Hillary Duff takes a turn once again as the fashion conscious Lorain.  Loraine is a bit older, and looking much more sophisticated.

Unfortunately, Hillary didn't really have much to say or do in this film.  Then again, with so many cast members it's hard to give everyone a stand alone part!

The smarmy, overly wealthy Mr. Murtaugh is played by none other than Mr. American Pies dad, Eugene Levy!  Eugene being paired up with Steven Martin is a funny dad dream come true.  It appears that they played off of each well, without having to put too much effort into it. 

Finally Carmen Electra plays Mrs. Murtaugh the 4th!  Despite her part being mostly filler, Carmen surprised me by showing she has a decent amount of comedic ability where her acting is concerned.

I won't say that Cheaper By The Dozen 2 was better than the first one.  However, in my opinion it manages to distance itself from it's predecessor and make its own inroads into comedy movie history!

Oh yeah, it also gets my five thumbs up family friendly rating.  Which means everyone in your house no matter their age can find something enjoyable about this film. 

Video ***

Video quality on this DVD was superb.  Both the 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format, and the 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen versions of this film were very nice.  There was no visible artifacting due in part to the full screen and widescreen versions of this film being on opposite sides of the disk, allowing the compression rate to remain low.  Colors were vivid and crisp giving the DVD a very nice visual appeal no matter which format you choose to watch it in.

Audio ***

This DVD is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.  All audio levels were constant, with very good sound quality throughout the DVD.  The dialogue was mixed and blended nicely with the background noise, sound effects, and music bed. 

Features **

Audio and Video commentary by Director Adam Shankman are available for your viewing pleasure.  "Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session", "Camp Chaos" and "A Comedic Trio" are three featurettes available for your viewing pleasure. 

English, Spanish and French language options are available as well as, subtitles in English and Spanish.  Theatrical trailers, help round out this DVD's extra features.

Summary:

This DVD is not only family friendly and fun, it's full of extra features, great audio and video as well as multiple viewing options. You might want to head out and grab at least 12 copies, because this DVD proved one thing for sure…laughs are Cheaper By The Dozen!

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