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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > RV (Widescreen & Full Screen DVDs)

RV (Widescreen & Full Screen DVDs)


Picture: B-/C+     Sound: B-/C+     Extras: C     Film: C



Before Robin Williams' recent personal problems, he managed to finish Barry Sonnenfeld’s family comedy RV (2006) and did a decent job.  It is about a family who skips a Hawaii vacation and goes cross-country in a rented version of the title vehicle.  National Lampoon’s Vacation this ain’t, but it has some laughs, though it gets too sidetracked by gross humor for the sake of being gross instead of funny.


In this respect, it feels like a relic of the 1980s, which is one of the reasons for its mixed box office.  Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth, Brendan Fletcher and mostly unknown actors make up the somewhat wacky happenings.  The ultimate problem is that Sonnenfeld and writer Geoff Rokey just play it too safe and the film becomes dulled as it moves on instead of increasingly funny.  If you like Williams and accept light laughs as the best you’ll get from the film, then you might want to check it out.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the widescreen version is far better than the choppy pan & scan version in the Full Screen DVD release.  Why Full Screen is still being made with 16 X 9 TVs all over the place is bizarre, but they are selling enough for the moment, we guess.  However, cinematographer Fred Murphy, A.S.C., did a decent job here and his work deserves to be seen properly.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the Widescreen version is fine, but the Full Screen version sounds chopped-down.  Extras on both include gag reel, five featurettes, alternate scene, commentary track and storyboard section.  Only those who really enjoy the film will bother, but I wonder if this will have some kind of cult following.  A Blu-ray version has also been issued.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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