Are We There Yet? Brian Levant

Ice Cube must be stopped. Remember, circa 1988, when he was all, "straight outta Compton/crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube/from the gang called Niggaz With Attitude"? Yeah, now he's starring in a movie by the guy who made Snow Dogs. The plot of Are We There Yet? centres around Cube's crush on a single mother (Nia Long), a crush that fuels his rise above his hatred for children, committing to babysitting her kids on a cross-country road trip in his pimped out SUV. The demonic children, positive that someday their parents will reunite, basically try and kill him to avoid the possibility of a replacement father. Now there's no harm in Ice Cube doing the Hollywood thing; the dude can act, as witnessed in Boyz n the Hood and Three Kings. But why is he so determined to chisel away at his cred with movies like this one? The kids are annoying and unfunny, the use of gimmicks is inexcusable (Ice Cube has a fist fight with an animatronic deer and owns a Satchel Paige bobblehead that gives him worldly advice and provides "comic relief"). Still, the DVD is surprisingly packed for a sub-par family film. There's a commentary that takes itself way too seriously, which makes it entertaining. The "making of" featurette has SNL's Jay Mohr (Cube's token white friend in the film) talking about how he's the token white friend in the film, as well as the director telling us that this was originally an Adam Sandler vehicle. See, Ice Cube, even Sandler is above this now. Plus: bloopers, storyboard comparisons, set tours, more. (Columbia/Sony)