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DVD Review: Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
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Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins DVDWelcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
Written & Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
Starring Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps, James Earl Jones, Mo’Nique, Nicole Ari Parker, Michael Clarke Duncan, Joy Bryant, Cedric the Entertainer
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: June 17, 2008

“It’s cool to have the money, the riches, the house, but, it’s all about family.” —Michael Clarke Duncan (Otis)

Growing up a “loser” was never easy for RJ Stevens (Martin Lawrence). So when he is shamed into going home for a huge family function and must spend time with the people who love and hurt him the most, a hilarious little movie, complete with a skunk bomb, a funky dog sex-scene, and the brother and sister fight to end all brother and sister fights ensues.

For a full write-up on the movie itself, which I thoroughly enjoyed, see my movie review. The DVD release is packed with bonus features, which makes this DVD definitely worth getting — and the great thing about it is that the film and bonus features are all included on one disc.

DVD Bonus Features

Alternate Opening
An alternate opening scene is presented in this feature. The scene was funny, but the decision to cut this feature was a wise one as it does little to grab a laugh from the audience and really, we as an audience are not surprised by anything a talk show has to say. From Jerry Springer to Tempest Bledsoe (do you remember when our little Vanessa from The Cosby Show grew up and hosted this atrocity?) we have seen it all and already laughed at it.

Deleted and Extended Scenes
There are 21 deleted and/or extended scenes. Some of the scenes were funny, and others were completely unnecessary, which made me wonder why reel was wasted on filming them. One bad thing about this bonus was the scenes are not separated and titled. There is a brief black screen in between each scene, instead of the usual listing which makes it easier for us to choose what we’d like to see.

Once again there is no selection field for these 26 outtakes. It was beneficial that the outtakes are in order from the beginning to the end of the movie. It is also really funny to see how all of the actors ad lib in the scenes. One great thing about this movie is there was space for the actors to dive into their humorous roles and run with it.

Bringing The Family Together
The actors and cast talk about how this movie came to fruition and why they decided to be a part of the project. The directors and producers wanted to present a real movie with real characters with real faults and solutions. Quick fact for you: the role of Clyde and Betty were written specifically for Cedric the Entertainer and Mo’Nique. Kudos on Cedric and Mo’Nique Malcom D. Lee, without them (even though I love Martin Lawrence) the movie would have definitely been horrible.

On Location: Getting Down and Dirty
The movie was filmed Shreveport, Louisiana, because the director wanted an authentic Southern feel. But, with filming in the summer in a Southern state, the cast were welcomed to mosquitos the size of birds, so many snakes the crew put out a “snake memo” and the usual Southern animal friends like alligators and bobcats. Oh, did I neglect to mention that poison ivy and poison oak were plentiful on the set?

Going Home: Real Stories of the Cast
In this feature the cast talks about what happeed to them when they returned after breaking into Hollywood and making it big. Here are some recaps of the actors family reunion:
Martin Lawrence: he and his family were really close so he included them in his movie career so there was no huge homecoming. They were with him from the start.
Mo’Nique: people automatically believe you’re a millionaire.
Mike Epps: people expect for you to give them something so their life can be changed also.
Michael Clarke Duncan: everybody all of a sudden has bills that need to be paid, and only you can help.
Cedric the Entertainer: still had to do the family chores like taking trash out.
James Earl Jones: from Mississippi, they know you as the child you were not the actor you have become.

Joe “We’re Family” Music Video
Grammy nominated R&B singer, Joe, crones in this music video. Complete with movie clips throughout the video, the funniest tidbits of the movie are included in the video. I listen to a lot of R&B music and I was not very impressed with this song.

Feature Commentary with Director Malcolm D. Lee
Malcolm D. Lee comments on the entire movie in this feature. Character development, scene movement, and interesting tidbits about the actors and location are discussed. Malcolm D. Lee conceived this movie after doing his first reunion film, The Best Man. The major difference between the two films were the first film was a reunion of college buddies, and this one is a reunion of a prodigal son that needed a dose of reality from a strong opinioned Southern family.

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