Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)
Despite being a "by the numbers" remake of the 1950 classic family film, this loosely based remake of Cheaper by the Dozen has it's own charm, and Fox has delivered a DVD that will please most viewers, especially the younger generations. Both a 1.85:1 anamorphic image and a full-frame version (each on a separate side of the disc) is offered, and they both look very good, as would be expected. Detail is exceptional, and colors are nearly perfect, though at times the reds seem a bit oversaturated. Nevertheless, it's a small complaint since the vast majority of the transfer is beautiful to look at. The sound doesn't get the same kind of stellar treatment, but that isn't a real surprise. Light fare such as this simply doesn't warrant it. The English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is clearly adequate for this genre. Dialogue is comprehensible, and environmental sounds are natural, but the surrounds are never exploited, even when a rare scene could use it. As with another Fox family title, Like Mike, the meager supplements are split up over the two sides, which seems like an unnecessary annoyance. On the widescreen side is a preview for Garfield: The Movie as well as a brief five-minute featurette entitled "Director's Viewfinder: Creating a Fictional Family," in which director Shawn Levy discusses his involvement and intentions in making the film. It's really not bad, but certainly short on detail. On the full-frame side are five deleted scenes, with optional commentary from Levy. Both sides also contain two scene-specific commentaries, one from Levy, who seems to be taking the whole thing just a little too seriously (but is at least fairly interesting to listen to) and the other from a number of the "Baker" kids, Liliana Mumy, Kevin Schmidt, Morgan York, Alyson Stoner, Jacob Smith, and, though she was obviously recorded separately and only for some specific scenes, Piper Perabo. This second track is unlikely to interest kids, let alone parents, as it's total chaos in the recording studio, with the kids more interested in pointing out their lines than anything of relevance. Maybe missing just short of being an outstanding disc, this is still a fine accompaniment to a movie that is more enjoyable than would be expected.