RV: Runaway Vacation (2006)

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Released 8-Nov-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Gag Reel
Featurette-Barry Sonnenfeld: The Kosher Cowboy, Jo-Jo The Pop Princess
Featurette-RV Nation:The Culture Of Road Warriors
Featurette-Robin Williams:A Family Affair, The Scoop On Poop
Featurette-RV Reveries,
Storyboards
Alternative Version-Kung Fu Master
Trailer-Monster House, Open Season, Zathura
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 94:45
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Barry Sonnenfeld
Studio
Distributor
SONY Pictures
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Robin Williams
Jeff Daniels
Cheryl Hines
Kristin Chenoweth
Case ?
RPI $32.95 Music James Newton Howard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
Spanish
Hindi
Portuguese
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

'What do they like about us? We're not even that appealing'

    Robin Williams is a very funny man; unfortunately, that cannot be said of every 'comedy' movie he has appeared in. There have been great ones, mediocre ones and truly awful ones. This one falls squarely into the mediocre category. Its not terrible, you get some laughs but overall its disappointing. In fact, the line quoted above actually explains one of the big problems with this film. The line is spoken by Bob Munro's (Robin Williams) daughter in the film and refers to the Gornicke family who have taken a shine to the Munro's and seem to follow them wherever they go. I found the family Bob Munro was saddled with in this film very unappealing indeed and even though I realise they were supposed to be at the beginning, I didn't like them any better at the end.

    The plot is simple. Bob Munro is a family man who has a difficult boss, is concerned about his younger co-workers taking his job and a family who makes his life difficult. His family includes his wife Jamie (Cheryl Hines), their bratty daughter and rap obsessed son.They have a holiday planned to Hawaii when his boss drops the bombshell that he will have to cancel his plans due to a business crisis. Knowing that this is his only chance to spend time with his family, he works out a way to take time off and attend the business meeting across the country. He hires a recreational vehicle (or RV) and talks his family into going on a driving holiday in it. What he doesn't tell them is that their destination is also the location of the business meeting. Of course, they set off across country and many 'hilarious' adventures befall them including trouble with the RV's plumbing, wild animals and the family I mentioned above, the Gornickes. The Gornickes are one of the highlights of the film, led by Travis (Jeff Daniels), his wife Mary Jo (Kristin Chenoweth ) and their three teenage children. They live in their bus year round while traveling the country.

    This is not a bad film and certainly has some amusing sequences, usually the ones involving the Gornickes. The humour consists of mostly hard to believe ineptitude and some gross out jokes involving bodily wastes. The film certainly entertains well enough for its running time although I definitely feel that Robin Williams' comedic genius was underused and he was not given enough chance to do what he does best. If you feel like a easy going brain-switched-off comedy you could certainly do worse.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite sharp and clear without quite approaching the detail shown in the best transfers. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was excellent.

    The colour was excellent throughout.

    The only noticeable artefact was one spot of aliasing on a vehicle grille at 65:05 .

    There are subtitles in English & English for the hearing impaired plus 4 other languages. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read. Annoyingly, they cannot be changed while the film is running - you must return to the menu.

    There is no layer change during the film.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is excellent considering the style of film.

    This DVD contains three audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 Kb/s and the same in Italian & Spanish.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by James Newton Howard was a bit sappy and fairly cliched. Not terrible but nothing special either.

    The surround speakers were surprisingly well used for a comedy, featuring quite a lot of atmosphere and more than a few directional effects. Van noises appeared quite a lot such as at 38:00 and 65:28. The raccoon fight at 46:00 also featured some use of the surrounds.

    The subwoofer was also used regularly for the music and sound effects.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are numerically quite a few extras included although some of them suffer from a lack of real quality.

Menu

    The menu has a cool design with lots of animation and motion, plus scenes from the film and the ability to select scenes, languages and subtitles.

Telestrator Commentary - Director Barry Sonnenfeld

    This is a slightly different version of a commentary with Sonnenfeld talking as usual but also using an on-screen pen to highlight things going on onscreen. Although this obviously makes the commentary more interesting technically he doesn't seem sure what to do with it a lot of the time. Not a bad commentary without being earth-shattering in which he discusses the project's development, Robin Williams and the other cast, product placements, locations, shooting issues, improvisations, his appearance in the film and other trivia.

Gag Reel (5:08)

    Presented 4x3, this gag reel is reasonable without being essential. There are some funny Robin Williams moments.

Barry Sonnenfeld : The Kosher Cowboy (8:52)

    This is a featurette about the director and his fetish for wearing cowboy clothes while filming this movie. Also includes discussion by the cast about his style and approach.

Jo Jo : The Pop Princess (4:43)

    Featurette about the pop singer JoJo Levesque who plays Williams' daughter in the film. Snore.

RV Nation : The Culture of Road Warriors (11:06)

    A reasonably amusing featurette about RV's and why they are funny. There is some good Robin Williams material in here.

Robin Williams : A Family Affair (5:03)

    Featurette about the star and how everybody found him to work with. Some funny stuff.

The Scoop on Poop (3:40)

    Featurette about the scatalogical humour used in the film.

RV Reveries (3:26, 3:18, 3:15)

    Three of the cast recording their bad singing for a scene where they are all listening to walkmans. Resoundingly tedious.

Storyboard-to-film Comparisons (5:03, 2:11, 2:05, 3:18, 2:27)

    Split screen comparisons of storyboards to the final film.

Alternate Scene : King Fu Master (1:54)

    An alternate version of a Robin Williams riff from the film which is quite amusing. Introduced by the director.

Trailers

    Monster House, Open Season, Zathura.

 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie has recently been released in Region 1 in a very similar format. The differences are quite minor and are as follows, the Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis you may as well call it a draw.There is also a Blu-Ray version available in Region 1.

Summary

    A mildly amusing comedy featuring lots of scatalogical humour.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The set has a large collection of extras which don't add up to much.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, December 04, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Where to buy music soundtrack? - Lisa