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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Family > Johnson Family Vacation

Johnson Family Vacation

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: C†††† Film: C

 

 

Christopher Erskinís Johnson Family Vacation (2004) is a harmless, sometimes amusing, but sadly predicable comedy that has the usual, dueling of generations and their Pop Culture.Of course, this is not as outrageous as the National Lampoon Vacation franchise started out to be before its swift decline, but this film fares at least as well as most of those Chevy Chase films.

 

Comedian Cedric the Entertainer plays multiple roles, but especially as the father of a family on their way to a family get-together.Many of the stars here, like Steve Harvey, are familiar to TV audiences and the African-American demographic and the film definitely wants to parlay that audience into box office, but even the addition of Vanessa Williams cannot override the limits on the play-it-safe screenplay by Todd R. Jones & Earl Richey Jones.Thatís a shame, because there is much good intent, and the cats has some good chemistry.However, here it is and we have seen worse.

 

The DVD offers a lame pan & scan version, but a better 2.35 X 1 anamorphically enhanced version that is going to look decent in larger video presentations.Cinematographer Shaun Maurer also plays it safe, but does a competent job.The Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3 mix is the big surprise, being rich than the usual such Dolby, but its strengths only show up in spurts since this is dialogue and joke-based.Extras include deleted scenes, outtakes, two audio commentaries, a Making Of featurette and trailers.This all adds up to a nice package for a nominal film, but something solid with the cast, the mood and the chemistry has been established here.Johnson Family Vacation often feels like a missed opportunity, but if they can get a stronger script, they really ought to do a sequel and come up with a new approach.The filmmakers might have a franchise here yet.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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