Come join the Baker family (all twelve of them) for a fun, entertaining and albeit crazy ride through their life. While trying to manage twelve kids and a job Tom and Kate Baker (Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt) manage to do it all, while still staying somewhat sane.
With a great cast of Hollywood veterans and up and comers “Cheaper By the Dozen” offers something for kids and adults of all ages. The dynamic between Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt presents a real sense of family togetherness and even the idea that a…ter twelve kids they’ve still “got it.”
Being the coach of a football team a father of twelve, Tom Baker has the opportunity of a lifetime to move the entire family from their small town home in Illinois to coach at a Division One A college just outside Chicago. While uprooting the entire family to move to Chicago, Kate Baker, an aspiring author learns that her book is also about to be published. She travels to New York leaving Tom to hold down the house, the twelve kids and his new job. Art truly reflects life as dad shows that he can’t handle the kids without mom.
This is a family oriented comedy that works. There is no sex, foul language or otherwise objectionable material here, and there doesn’t need to be. This is a fun comedy with a good heart and a sense of family that can appeal to everyone. Everyone who grew up in a family can relate to the “hand-me-downs” that get complained about, and the always predictable disaster that occurs when dad has to look after the kids for any length of time.
The movie is presented on flip sides of the same disc in an anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 ratio and a standard, 1.33:1, pan-and-scan modification. The colors are bright, and the skin tones and black levels are well set. There is a little grain in the picture but nothing that distracts from the presentation.
Cheaper By the Dozen is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. It works as best as can be expected. The dialogue is crisp and clear and comes through well from the centre speaker. The music varies from symphonic pieces to pop music, all of which sound quite good coming from the right and left speakers. The surround speakers are given somewhat of a workout during the game scenes to reproduce the sound of a rocking stadium. The bass gets a decent work out.
The primary bonus items are two audio commentaries, the first by director Shawn Levy and the second by the actors playing the Baker kids. The first by director Shawn Levy can be boring at times, but does provide tons of cool information. The second commentary is the “Kids’ Commentary.” Here’s a list of all the fictional Baker kids involved Alyson Stoner “Sarah,” Jacob Smith “Jake,” Kevin Schmidt “Henry,” Morgan York “Kim,” Liliana Mumy “Jessica,” and selected scenes with Piper Perabo. This one isn’t bad, but just some fluff.
Then, there’s a five-minute featurette, “Director’s Viewfinder: Creating a Fictional Family,” that helps promote the film; a one-minute teaser for a new, live-action “Garfield” movie; and five deleted or extended scenes that can be played with or without the director’s commentary.
Cheaper by the Dozen is a rare good family comedy. There’s something here to appeal to everyone and Steve Martin delivers a really heartwarming performance.
Special Features List
- Commentary by director Shawn Levy
- Commentary by the Baker Kids
- Deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary
- “Director’s Viewfinder: Creating a Fictional Family” featurette