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Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2005) Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 January 2010
Image"Cheaper By The Dozen 2" was released two years after the original remake of the original 1950 comedy from which both of the 2003 and 2005 films are based.  The film defined the film definition of "flop."  It was a payday for the actors and that was it.  While attempts were made, the film fails to explain to audiences why they just paid to see this film.  Don't get me wrong, there are some funny moments in the film, but it is typical comedy sequel that probably should have been straight to video.

In the first film we are introduced to Tom and Kate Baker (Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt).  They have 12 children.  Life is chaotic, but in the end they all are family and stand by one another.  All the original cast members return in the sequel, albeit, some appear far more grown up than the two year span between films.

After Lorraine's (Hilary Duff) graduation Tom has trouble letting go of his family.  They are growing up too fast for him.  This has already become an embarrassment to that cliché.  To try and prolong this separation, Tom and Kate get all the kids together for one last summer together at the lake.

Since their last trip to the lake it appears that Tom's archrival as a kid has become mighty successful and purchased most all the land around the lake.  Here comes cliché number two.  Tom and his archrival, Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) go at it for the rest of the film.  Both fathers ignore their family and only have winning on their mind.  They will stop at nothing to best one another.

Meanwhile, the kids of the respective families start to get along great, despite their fathers' objections.  I wish I could tell you that film goes somewhere with all this on upping of each other, but alas it does not.  In the end they put aside their differences and all is well.  The end.
"Cheaper By The Dozen 2" comes to Blu-ray will a more than adequate transfer.  The 1080p AVC, 2.35:1 encode is strong in most all areas.  The colors are eye-popping, as to be expected with an outdoor summer film.  Black levels are above average and contrast is generally stable, albeit a bit overblown, causing colors to ring at times.  Details are terrific.  Soft shots do appear at points in the film but hardly ever become distracting.  There does not appear to be any edge enhancement and film grain is stable and unobtrusive.  My biggest complaint with the transfer is that there isn't much depth.  This is difficult to obtain in the original production when shooting in the high sunlight, but nevertheless I felt this area could have been better.

The audio is as standard as can be.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track never fully utilizes the potential of the soundfield.  Discreet effects in the surround channels are, I believe I counted correctly, zero.  While the surround channels can become filled with ambience and background sound effects, nothing in the surrounds is awe-inspiring.  Despite these ambient effects, the audio track lacks a sense of immersion.  The LFE channel is better than I expected, but not by much.  Dialogue is the primary aspect of the audio track and it comes across plain as day.  Every line is delivered in perfect clarity.  There is no dynamic range with this audio track.  Thus, logically, sometimes the music and sound effects fight with each.  Overall, this is a perfectly acceptable comedy audio track, but nothing special.

There are relatively few bonus materials on this Blu-ray.  There is an audio commentary with Director Adam Shankman.  This commentary is filled with stories, but not much useful information.  "Camp Chaos" is more on the amount of cast members that were present on the set.  "A Comedic Trio" is a spotlight on Steve Martin, Eugene Levy and Bonnie Hunt.  "Fox Movie Channel Presents Casting Session" is yet more on the amount of actors on set.  How many of these do we need?  Lastly, there are a couple theatrical trailers.  All the features are in standard definition.

"Cheaper By The Dozen 2" is perfectly suitable for family fun, but the jokes are old and the story is unsatisfying.  While the audio and video qualities are better than average I would recommend giving this title a rent.

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