really have to go"
Persons (Cube) loves his single life. He owns his own store, he buys all the best
bling and he's just got himself a really sweet ride, all of which really impress
the ladies. He has only one rule, never get involved with a woman with kids. This
all changes when he meets Suzanne (Long). The two quickly become friends and Nick
manages to see her every day without ever meeting her kids but in a moment of
weakness, when Suzanne is at her most desperate, he promises to take her children
Lindsey (Allen) and Kevin (Bolden) to Vancouver. The problem is that the kids
don't want their Mum to have a boyfriend and will do anything to get rid of Nick.
a road trip movie with all the highjinx of the 'Home Alone' franchise might sound
like a good idea but this movie will only get you saying one thing "Are we at
the end yet?"
Ice Cube's latest foray into comedy sees him
shouting out the message that single mother's and their kids deserve love to.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, the movie approaches it in
such a sugary sweet, Hollywood fashion that the message gets lost under a deluge
of sugar. Here we have a man who hates kids but has an eye for a beautiful woman
and Suzanne certainly is one. But, in the words of his talking Satchel Paige dashboard
ornament, she has baggage in the shape of her two kids. Nick then gets into a
situation where he has to take the kids on a road but over time and after many
misadventures… well you can guest the rest.
Needless to say
that the film sticks to the Hollywood formula, even down to the appallingly clichéd
score and an ending that will make you want to grab a sick bag. The unoriginal
story is punctuated by over the top 'Home Alone' style 'comedy violence', with
people getting hit, falling from horses and trains and driving their cars off
cliffs and never getting hurt. This is a trend that we hoped that Hollywood had
left behind at the end of the millennium but this movie brings it back with a
The performances are better than the film deserves
however. Ice Cube is always watchable in whatever he does but even he can't push
this film above the very average barrier. He plays a clichéd single male, who
thinks more about his appearance, reputation and what he can get for himself than
the feelings of others but his life is about to change when he meets Suzanne and
her family. This has all been done before and in a much better way but Ice Cube
tries his best. Aleisha Allen and Philip Bolden good as Lindsey and Kevin, playing
them as brats who have a softer side when you get to know them. Nia Long is also
good as Suzanne but she doesn't have enough screen time to make a real difference.
'Are we there yet?" brings nothing new to the family entertainment genre and the
run of the mill, Hollywood look at how life should be will do nothing to make
you look at the world any better. The performances bring the film up to the average
level however and mean that the younger audiences might get a laugh or two, but
this still won't stop them asking "has it finished yet?'
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
sound, transfer is good.
The man at the helm, Brian Levant, provides a very chatty commentary for
'Are we there yet?'. Talking constantly for the entire track, the director
offers insights into how the movie came about, the many changes to the
script and the development of the characters. He also talks about casting,
highlighting the intense search that they went through to find the kids
for the movie. He also talks about the specials effects techniques used
to record the car scenes and the creation of the Satchel Paige character.
This is a good track from a director who believes in his project (especially
when the commentary was recorded before the film was released).
Bloopers (7.38 mins)
A montage of gaffs and mistakes, mainly from Ice Cube, that reveals the
highjinx on the set.
Road Trippin': The Making of 'Are we there yet?' (21.05 mins)
Director Brian Levant, director of photography Thomas Ackerman, producer
Matt Alvares, production designer Stephen Lineweaver and stars Ice Cube,
Nia Long, Jay Mohr, Philip Daniel Bolden, Aleisha Allen, M.C. Gainey,
Nichelle Nichols and Henry Simmons take you behind the scenes of 'Are
we there yet?'. The cast and crew talk about the development of the project,
casting, the story and the characters. The featurette also takes you behind
the scenes of the visual effects, with Jim Henson's Creature Sop revealing
how Satchel Paige can to life on Nick's dashboard.
A tour of Nick's Fine Sports Collectibles (4.59 mins)
Director Brian Levant takes you behind the scenes of Nick's store, showing
you all of the real sports memorabilia that the production gathered together
for the shoot.
Deleted Scene (1.11 mins)
Watch a longer version of Nick's first introduction to Lindsey and Kevin,
as they get in the car for the first time.
View the storyboards and the actual finished footage side-by-side for
'Truck stop/Kids steal the Navigator', 'Kids on the train/Nick on the
Horse' and 'Kevin vomits on the windshield'.
Place the DVD in your PC and play the interactive games 'Road Trip' and
'Mess up my Ride'
Previews of 'Hitch', 'Stewart Little 2 & 3', 'Spanglish' and 'Matilda'
Sony Pictures have done a good job with the DVD transfer of 'Are we there
yet?' With a good commentary track and a decent collection of extras,
fans of the movie will be very happy.
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