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DVD Review: Mr. Troop Mom

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Well, it’s like they say: when all else fails, there’s Nickelodeon. Comedian George Lopez tones his act down a bit for the tween crowd in this made-for-kiddie-cable feature length film, wherein a fast-talking dad gets a bit of a wake-up call about fatherhood. Widowed attorney Eddie Serrano (Lopez) is not the most reliable father in the world, and constantly misses the events structured around his daughter, Naomi (Daniela Bobadilla). But Eddie is given that rare opportunity to bond with his offspring when he’s forced to take the place of one of the neighborhood mom’s as a chaperone at a summer camp.

Run by the militaristic Ms. Hulka (the incomparable Jane Lynch), Hulka’s Rock is Eddie’s worst nightmare – an outdoor environment totally bereft of modern civilization (e.g. no Starbucks). Worse still, he’s the only man around and has to sleep in a tent which he has no clue on assembling. Naturally, Eddie’s every move embarrasses his daughter one step further – and it’s only a matter of time before his big city smart-ass antics get him thrown out of the camp for good. Oh, no.  Oh, my. What ever shall he do? The suspense is killing me. Ah.

Frankly, if you’re truly concerned about the outcome of Mr. Troop Mom, than you have either a) probably never seen a moving picture before in your life, or b) need to get out more – because the whole movie has been done before (and done better, I might add). Julia Anderson and Elizabeth Thai co-star and the misleadingly named Naked Brothers Band make a cameo appearance in this family-friendly bore.

Mr. Troop Mom hits DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Home Video. The DVD gives you both an anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 ratio and a pan-and-scan 1.33:1 full frame presentation on the single-sided disc. The movie was shot on digital and the transfer is relatively clean and clear. The 5.1 English sound is fine and dandy-like, but it would’ve been a lot better if it were a 2.0, since practically everything comes through the front speakers. English, French and Spanish subtitles are included.

Special features for Mr. Troop Mom consist of a few additional scenes, several featurettes (“George Goes To Camp,” “Naomi’s Journal,” “Killer Bees Vs. Wasps,” and “Rockin’ The Bonfire” – the latter also features that Fully-Clothed Siblings Band), and a gag reel.  All of the aforementioned bonus materials are presented in non-anamorphic widescreen.  There are also a couple of trailers/promos for other Warner titles that play automatically when the disc boots up (one of which is the new Harry Potter flick in case you're interested). The DVD also includes a code to unlock and download a digital copy of the movie for your Windows-based computer (which I still say is legal piracy). The Blu-ray release is actually a BD/DVD combo pack, FYI.

In its defense, Mr. Troop Mom does benefit from George Lopez’ own unique humor. Lopez, (who also produced with his wife Ann) manages to make this otherwise run-of-the-mill and dull tween comedy bearable for the parental crowd, but not by much. Plus, it’s a Nickelodeon film and not a Disney film, so there’s more of a message than just “Hey, buy our overpriced Disney products.”

You gotta love Nickelodeon movies for that alone.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.