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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Sided
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
    English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Additional footage - (Alternate ending-Next Friday)
  • Theatrical trailer - (Friday, Next Friday)
  • Audio commentary - (Next Friday)
  • Cast/crew biographies - (Next Friday)
  • 3 Music video - (1 Friday, 2 Next Friday)

Friday/Next Friday

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 182 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Friday/Next Friday are two films produced, written and starring Ice Cube, the rapper turned sometime actor. Never heard of these films? Think they must be rubbish? Well, the first one made around 30 million dollars in the States and the second made around 50 million (which is about 850 million Australian dollars at the moment). This is not a bad return on investment for what are essentially low budget-low and seemingly low appeal comedies.

Friday
Ice Cube is Craig. Itís Friday, heís just lost his job, his dadís on his back to be a dogcatcher and a real man just like him, his girl is giving him hell and his best friend who is in debt to the local heavy Deebo just dragged him into even more trouble. Itís gonna be a long long day, but you can be sure all bets will be settled before Fridayís over.

Next Friday
After the events at the end of Friday, Craig has to go into hiding with his rich Uncle in the suburbs. Thinking that things might be a little quieter and safer, he finds that his Uncle Elroy, his cousin Day-Day and the neighbours are just as nuts and more dangerous than the folk back home. Just like last Friday, he ends up in the middle of other peoples troubles and has to resolve everything before the day is out.

Even though Ice Cube is occasionally a little too aware of the camera and the plot in these movies, he survives because he mostly plays it straight and lets the cast of oddballs that he has populated the world with do the dirty work. Whether they are a main character (Craigís father with bowel problems) or a minor walk-in (such as the irate African trying to return a cd or the music store owner Pinky who is a demented version of every Samuel L. Jackson character) something or someone funny pops up frequently enough to keep your interest.

Thankfully, they didnít feel the need to keep theses characters up on the screen indefinitely to draw out the running times, with Friday being a well paced 88 minutes and Next Friday, which is better assembled and probably more mainstream, running at 94 minutes. This way, the characters and what little plot there is donít out stay their welcome. Once each film was over, I had a good recollection of the standout out characters and situations and that made the movie more successful in my mind.

  Video
Contract

Unfortunately, probably the best I can say is that this dvd gets a serviceable transfer. With one movie and its respective extras to each side, thereís plenty of space for the short runtimes of each. Friday has bright colours and a generally good picture which is a little soft and lacking detail. It also tends to suffer from grain and pixellation in many scenes where the compression is obviously just a little too tight. Keeping in mind the low budget nature and quality of the source prints it isnít so bad as to be overly concerned with, but it does mar an otherwise okay transfer. Next Friday is slightly better, with the same bright colouration and only reasonable low-level detail. The saturation appears a bit warm but may have just been the intended look. Again, the detail is a little low and suffers from over tight compression, but it does the job as long as you donít go expecting the look of the big budget blockbuster transfers.

  Audio
Contract

Overall, nothing spectacular with either movie that will have you showing off your system to friends. As with the video transfer, itís all a little bit ordinary, with no real standout moments and no great failings. Where it counts in the dialogue it works reasonably well with the exception of only a few moments in each movie. The mix is more front heavy, with the surrounds only minimally used and then not really to great effect when they are used anyway. The audio seems to improve and broaden appreciably when the soundtrack kicks in, with good dispersion through the front channels and plenty of bass. There isnít really any call for a highly active and dynamic use of the soundfield in either movie, so you tend not to miss it too much in this case.

  Extras
Contract

  • Directors Commentary (Next Friday)
    This has director Steve Carrís commentary intercut with a separate commentary from Ice Cube. It varies from scene specific comments to general ramblings on their philosophies on humour and filmmaking. Cube at one point relates how with Friday he was shooting a comedy but didnít want the actors to try be funny, hoping that if a scene worked it would appear more natural and if it didnít work then the scene would still carry the story along regardless and essentially still be as successful. I canít say that I agree with this assessment. If this film had failed to elicit a laugh then no doubt it would have died a very quick death and not made anywhere near the money it did. Also surprisingly to me, both Carr and Cube came across as very dry and monotonous, and no way near as amusing as I thought the commentary might have been.

  • Alternate Ending (Next Friday)
    Just a minor change really, nothing revelatory.

  • Theatrical Trailers (Friday, Next Friday)
    Usual stuff here with one for each movie.

  • 3 Music Videos (Friday, Next Friday)
    One video from Ice Cube for Friday, another of his for Next Friday and another from someone called Lilí Zane. Nothing special here. Mainly of the BOOM BOOM THUMP BOOM BOOM THUMP AHHH YEAHH variety.

  • Cast and Crew Bioís (Next Friday)
    Mostly highlights the actors that would be practically unknown to the majority of people in Australia. They mostly seem to be drawn from the U.S. comedy circuit. Makes sense I guess.

  Overall  
Contract

I didnít really expect to like either of these films, thinking theyíd rely on lame American specific humour, excessive foul language and silly slapstick. Well, they do, but they still managed to make me laugh. Not being big budget Hollywood comedies has probably worked in their favour, because you donít go in to them with such high expectations. Itís all a bit raw in style and technique, but Iím sure my younger brothers are going to enjoy coming over and watching it again with me.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=368
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