Here we go again. Ice Cube's production company, Cube Vision, is
kickin' it hard for round three boyeee! Now I absolutely loved
the first Friday. I admit I am one of those guys' who
can recite almost the entire movie word for word. And I really
liked the sequel, Next Friday, even though it was
sillier and had a less meaningful plot. So given this trend I
should at least like Ice Cube's third installment, Friday
After Next. Well, I think this movie might have killed the
series once and for all. The movie definitely has its funny
moments, but overall it's just a bunch of slapstick drivel that
looks like it's trying overly hard to make people laugh.
Craig (Ice Cube) and his moronic cousin Day-Day (Mike Epps)
return for another unusually chaotic Friday, only this time it's
the day before Christmas, and not surprisingly, the day isn't
full of cheer. The dynamic duo are now roommates in a ghetto
apartment development called Shady Palms. Early Christmas Eve
they are robbed by a drunk Santa Claus who among other things,
steals Craig and Day-Day's rent money. So the two must take
temporary jobs as security guards at a local mini-mall to keep
from being evicted. Naturally the two get into trouble on their
first day on the job, and needless to say they don't finish the
shift still employed. They meet some interesting characters along
the way, some funny and some just stupid. Blah, blah, blah, yada,
yada, yada, my brain hurts trying to explain this plot.
Now I don't blame Ice Cube for trying to keep this series alive.
After all, nobody expected it to have come this far, but I think
if he's going to front all his money for a major motion picture
release, he should at least make the script good. Yeah, there are
some funny new characters, well one funny new character. But this
isn't enough to carry a movie. I think part of the problem comes
from newcomer director Marcus Raboy. It was clear watching the
movie that he over-directed, what with all the needless slapstick
humor that padded this film. But after watching several of the
special featurettes on this disc, I got a feeling for why he did
this. The simple answer is, fear. This was his first major
feature film, and since Ice Cube produced and stared in it, Raboy
just didn't want to make any waves. After all, Cube funded the
movie; so I don't blame Raboy for stepping aside. Cube
mentions that he likes to hire first-time directors. I think this
is the reason why, because they're easier to control.
Anyway, subtlety gets thrown out the window in Friday After
Next. What made the first Friday so good was the
understated acting from the cast. Here, everyone is constantly
trying to outdo the other, so it just becomes too much to handle.
Mike Epps, who was very entertaining in Next Friday,
goes way over the top in his role here. And in an even bigger
surprise, John Witherspoon, who is hilarious in Friday,
takes his comedy to an unfunny physical level that comes across
as desperate. The sole bright side to this movie is newcomer Katt
Williams who plays Money Mike, new owner of the clothing store
called Pimps & Hoes. Williams brings the fresh comedic timing
that Mike Epps brought to the second instalment, Next Friday.
Those who liked the first two Friday movies will most
likely enjoy Friday After Next, though probably not
nearly as much. This release comes with a nice collection of
special features, and a decent video transfer and soundtrack. So
true lovers of the series may want to buy it, but if you're a
causal newcomer to this trilogy, then you'll definitely want to
rent it first.
Video: Friday After Next is presented
in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is generally
excellent. Colors are rich, and seem to be accurately reproduced.
Black levels are rock solid, and edge enhancement is minimal if
not non-existent. The picture is clean and crisp, with only minor
compression artifacts visible. This is another great transfer
from New Line Home Entertainment.
Audio: Not surprisingly the audio sounds
fantastic as well. Here we have both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS
audio track available. Both tracks sound amazing and offer great
separation from all speakers. I was surprised at how active the
soundtrack was, especially with the rear surrounds. The songs
played throughout the movie really help the movie come alive, and
there is plenty of bass to be had from the LFE channel. This was
a much better sounding DVD than I was expecting.
Extras: Infinifilm does it again. There are a
ton of extra features offered on this release, so lets get
Microphone Fiend: (12:50) This is a featurette
about comedians and their craft. Here you'll find several
interviews with established and up and coming comedians. You'll
get to hear their take on what comedy means to them, and what
every comedian wants in life. This was an interesting featurette,
even though it isn't extremely relevant to the movie.
It Was A Good Day: (10:05) This is a featurette
that takes you behind the Friday franchise. Here you'll
here interesting facts about the Friday movies, and
Ghetto Fabulous: (6:35) This is a costume design
documentary. Here you get to see how each of the characters were
clothed, and what each actor brought to their role. This was
interesting, but not very entertaining.
The Pork Report: (10:00) I don't know if this was
a joke or not, but this featurette is all about BBQ restaurants.
Weird. Anyway, here you get to see various BBQ restaurant owners
talk about their specific style of making BBQ dishes. This seemed
more like an infomercial than a documentary.
Commentaries: We're offered two different
commentarires. The first is with director Marcus Raboy, producer
Matt Alverez, and Ice Cube. The second is with the actors, Katt
Williams, Anna Marie Horsford, Terry Crews, and K.D. Aubert. Both
are entertaining and worth at least a partial view.
Hump Day: (16:55) This is a production
documentary. Here you hear from the actors and get to know their
personalities a bit.
Holiday in the Hood: (8:45) This is a production
design documentary. Here you see what went into finding and
building the various sets and locations, such as the mini-mall,
and Shady Palms housing development. This can be interesting at
times, but for the most part it is very boring.
Deleted Scenes: For most of these scenes, it was
obvious why they were taken out. Actually, I feel they should
have deleted even more scenes than they did.
Gag Reel: (6:45) Now this was much funnier than
the film itself, which doesn't say much for the movie.
Music video: (4:05) This is a video for
"It's The Holidaze" by Westside Conneciton.
If Ice Cube continues to make more Friday movies, I
sure hope more time will be spent on the scripts. Even though
this movie was marginally entertaining, it simply pales in
comparison to the first and second Friday movies. The
special features on this disc were almost too revealing, because
now we can see why things are heading in the wrong direction.
I greatly enjoy the characters in the Friday movies,
but these characters can only take the franchise so far without a
strong plot. True enthusiasts may want to pick this one up site
unseen to complete the trilogy, however the majority will want to
rent it first. Rent It