College Road Trip appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 and in a fullscreen version on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only the letterboxed picture was reviewed for this article. Though not spectacular, this was a perfectly satisfactory transfer.
Colors usually came across well. A few scenes displayed slightly mushy tones, but the majority of the movie offered nicely delineated and bright hues. Blacks seemed dark and full, while shadows were reasonably smooth. Some interiors came across as a bit dense, but those instances weren’t problematic.
For the most part, sharpness seemed fine. Occasionally I thought the image was a little ill-defined, especially in some wider shots. Still, the flick was usually accurate and concise. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement was minor. No source flaws marred the presentation. While the visuals rarely excelled, they always remained satisfying.
Similar thoughts greeted the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of College Road Trip. Examine the audio of pretty much every other comedy of this sort and you’ll know what to expect from the soundfield. It was a front-heavy affair that usually didn’t offer much more than general ambience. However, the road sequences added a little more zest than usual, and they filled out the spectrum well. Just don’t expect action-movie material from this restrained mix.
No issues with audio quality occurred. Speech was consistently distinct and concise, and I detected no problems with edginess or intelligibility. Effects played a minor role and never taxed the system. They displayed decent accuracy, though. Music was a more prominent participant. The track boasted good life and definition to the score, as it showed solid clarity and depth. This was an unexceptional soundtrack, but it was good for this sort of film.
When we move to the extras, we start with two audio commentaries. The first comes from director Roger Kumble and actor Raven-Symone, both of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss how Kumble came onto the project, cast, characters and performances, story issues, rewrites and reshoots, music, cut/altered scenes, and a few other production topics.
Kumble does the heavy lifting here, as Raven mostly just chirps about aspects of the flick she likes. (Which is everything, pretty much.) Actually, Kumble throws out plenty of happy talk as well, but he gives us a reasonable amount of information as well. Raven does become more involved in the informational side of things as the film progresses, so this ends up as a decent track. It’s too heavy on praise, but it’s not bad.
The second track provides a running, screen-specific affair with writers Emi Mochizuki and Carrie Evans. They sit together and chat about the origins of the flick, story issues, influences and inspirations, and thoughts about cast and crew. Occasionally they provide actual useful information, but not with any frequency. Tons of dead air mars the track, and even when they speak, the writers usually just tell us what they love about the flick. We’d be better served by a five-minute interview with Mochizuki and Evans, as that’s about how much good material appears in this tedious commentary.
Raven’s Video Diary lasts nine minutes, 57 seconds and shows footage from the set. Raven narrates this, and we also get a few interview remarks from Raven, Kumble and Martin Lawrence as well as bits like audition footage. Some decent shots from the production emerge, but the whole thing’s way too silly and fluffy to add up to much.
More Raven shows up in a music video for “Double Dutch Bus”. It’s a pretty standard lip-synch and dance video that features a few guest stars from the flick and some movie footage. I’ve seen better, but I’ve also seen worse.
“Double Dutch Bus” also gets covered in an On the Set featurette. The three-minute and 27-second clip offers comments from Raven-Symone and Donny Osmond along with shots from the set. It’s puffy but it does give us some minor glimpses of the shoot.
Next we find 10 Deleted Scenes (12:36) and two Alternate Scenes (3:36). Most of these add little gags or pieces of exposition and don’t contribute much. The major exception comes from “A Big Misunderstanding”, which consists of a long sequence set in the woods after James and Melanie get stuck. It’s not funny, but at least it’s something different.
We can view these with or without commentary from Kumble. He provides notes about the various scenes and also lets us know why he cut them. Kumble gives us solid thoughts about the sequences.
A Gag Reel lasts two minutes, 48 seconds. It’s a standard compilation of goofs and giggles. I expect it’ll amuse the movie’s target audience.
A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for Blu-Ray Disc, Camp Rock, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert and Disney Movie Rewards. These also appear in the Sneak Peeks area along with promos for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wizards of Waverly Place and Phineas and Ferb: The Fast and the Phineas. No trailer for College Road Trip appears here.
While I recognize I’m not part of the audience targeted by College Road Trip, that doesn’t mean I should tolerate its inanity. Sappy, stupid and consistently annoying, the movie barely exists as a coherent piece, and nothing about it entertains. The DVD provides fairly good picture and audio along with an erratic roster of extras. This is a perfectly acceptable release for a terrible flick.