Daddy Day Camp
R1 - America - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Pat Pilon (6th February 2008).
The Film

How Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. ever wound up doing this movie, I'll never know. After his win, he's been relegated to be in movies like 'Boat Trip', 'Chill Factor' and even a voice in 'The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends' (that's part 13!!). Strangely, his non-Hollywood movies have been much more respectable (though, judging by 'Daddy Day Camp' and 'Snow Dogs', that may not be saying much).

In this movie, he takes over the Eddie Murphy role (another story altogether), and after learning that one of his rivals wants to tear down the camp he had so much fun in as a child, he buys Camp Driftwood and decides to do the 'Daddy Day Care' thing and run a camp this time. Obviously, as soon as he buys it, things go horribly, horribly wrong, and they have a month to turn a profit, or the bank forecloses.

Frankly, throughout the movie, I couldn't care less whether money was being made or not. Most of the time I was just hoping a giant pterodactyl would swoop down and eat the heads off everybody there. The jokes are extremely lame and everything else matches the comedy. The biggest joke involves methane and an outhouse. Everything else actually less of a setup and shows less wit and intelligence.

There are no real surprises. It's basically war between the two camps and the movie then unspools somewhat like 'Porky's', but in a more PG-style fashion (and everybody knows how good 'Porky's/ would be if you took out the R-ratedness). As things escalate, so did my impatience. By the time the big competition came around, I couldn't have cared less. I mean, I really couldn't have cared less.

I'm trying to think if I'd have liked this movie as a child. I'm not sure. It probably would have been tolerable. As an adult, I don't think I could have stood it. The only reason I watched all of it is because I had to reviewed it. I'm guessing the same would be true for all adults. Watching people embarrass themselves can be funny. At this point, watching Cuba Gooding, Jr. embarrass himself is just getting old.

Video

1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. From the start, the movie looks good. Colours are reproduced accurately, and the contrast is very nice. There aren't any real print problems. I didn't see any specks, scratches, discolourations or other problems of the kind. Likewise, the digital work is very well done. I didn't notice edge enhancement or excessive noise. The level of detail was very nice, as well, and the movie was never overly soft. It's a nice transfer.

Audio

The movie has an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo tracks. I heard the 5.1 track and it was a good track. The dialogue throughout the movie is clear and audible, even during the more intense scenes. The more frenetic scenes, however, seem to get overly loud, like the volume levels are pumped up higher than they should be. The 4x4s, for example, are unnecessarily loud, trying to bust your speakers for no reason. The rear speakers are used on occasion, helping to keep the movie in its forested setting. It's a nice mixing job and I don't think anybody could complain too much about it.

English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Extras

The only video extra here is How I Spent My Summer: Making 'Daddy Day Camp' (11:56), a slight featurette where the kids introduce themselves and talk about working on the movie. They tell stories from the set. Everybody then talks about Cuba Gooding, Jr. Then you see the toilet explosion quickly, before segueing into talking about the director. There's plenty of behind the scenes footage, which I always enjoy seeing. There's no real insight, but this is pretty nice to watch.

What I learned at Camp Interactive Quiz (in English or Spanish) is a 10-question quiz about the making-of featurette of the movie. After every question you either get a funny look or some cheers, then they show the video of the answer. This is a bit silly, but I suppose it would entertain kids at least once.

Some Previews finish the lot: 'The Water Horse' (2:33), 'The Final Season' (1:50), 'Roxy Hunter and the Mystery of the Moody Ghost' (0:56), 'The Prince and the Pauper' (1:23), 'Storm Hawks' (1:03), 'Are We Done Yet?' (2:32), 'Daddy Day Care' (2:11), 'Surf's Up' (0:17), 'The Last Day of Summer/Shredderman Rules!' (0:32) are here. The first two are also start-up trailers.

Overall

The Film: D Video: B Audio: B- Extras: D- Overall: C-

 


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