Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, The (2005)

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Released 4-Jan-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer
Audio Commentary-Robert Rodriguez (Director) (For 2-D Version)
Alternative Version-2-D Version
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 88:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Robert Rodriguez
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Taylor Lautner
Taylor Dooley
Cayden Boyd
George Lopez
David Arquette
Kristin Davis
Jacob Davich
Sasha Pieterse
Rico Torres
Marc Musso
Shane Graham
Tiger Darrow
Rocket Rodriguez
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music John Debney
Graeme Revell
Robert Rodriguez


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Hebrew
Hindi
Icelandic
Portuguese
Romanian
Serbian
Slovenian
Turkish
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Robert Rodriguez directed two films in 2005. The first was the brilliant Sin City which was a critical and box office success. The second film was The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D. Unfortunately for Rodriguez it was a disappointment at the box office and the critics didn't like it much either.

     The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D tells the story of a young boy called Max who befriends Sharkboy and Lavagirl in his summer holidays. No sooner has he gone back to school than his friends come to him asking for help to save their home plant, Drool. The three kids then embark on their adventure to battle Mr. Electric to save Drool and ultimately the universe. The alien planet setting allows Rodriguez to go creatively crazy with special effects and 3-D. There's definitely a lot of impressive action sequences that will keep kids entertained. The script and overall story is a bit disappointing though.

    I'm a big fan of the Spy Kids trilogy (especially 1 & 2.) For the most part they are the kinds of movies that adults and kids can watch together and have a good time. Unfortunately, for adults there's not much to enjoy in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D. It doesn't have the fresh appeal or humour that Spy Kids does. Rodriguez developed the idea for the film with his children after being asked by Bob Weinstein to do another 3-D film after Spy Kids 3-D did big business.

    3-D is making a comeback in Hollywood. Visionary film-makers like Rodriguez and James Cameron are certainly enamoured with the technology. Lucasfilm has stated that the Star Wars saga will be re-released theatrically later this decade and I've read that Peter Jackson is toying with the same idea for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Studio executives are looking for the next big thing and for a way to increase flagging movie attendance. In that respect, I'm not so sure that 3-D is the next big thing. It's been around for 50 years and is really just a gimmick. Where it fits the storyline for a movie like Spy Kids 3-D Game Over or The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D I think it's something fun for the audience. I took my daughter to see Spy Kids 3 at the movies and although the film was disappointing (to me) compared to the first two, we still had a lot of fun seeing it on the big screen.

    Therein lies part of the problem - even Rodriguez admits in his commentary that unless you go to a theatre with digital projection then you don't get the most that 3-D can offer. It's arguable as to how much consumers will be able to benefit from 3-D at home too. My daughter watched this on our TV in 3-D as soon as it arrived. Out of curiosity I grabbed some glasses to and watched about 10 minutes with her. 3-D did not look very good on our 76cm widescreen TV. I was not impressed at all. Anyway, when I sat down to watch it properly using our projector I was pleased that it looked significantly better than I thought it might. Unless you have a pretty big TV or projector that is calibrated properly the 3-D is going to look sub-par.

    Although it's not a children's classic, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D is certainly a lot of fun for kids and there is a moral to the story. Kids are encouraged by the film to follow their dreams and aim high.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This PAL encoded disc is presented at 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The disc comes with 2 versions, the standard 2-D and the 3-D.

    Unfortunately this disc is a classic case of the studio trying to cram too much onto a single disc release. The good news is the problems are not really noticeable when viewing the 3-D version, but the 2-D version takes a hit. The comments below refer to the 2-D version.

    The colours are spectacular, Rodriguez has created a bright, vivid universe and the colours look great. Skin tones look good most of the time but occasionally there can be an unnatural glossiness. Maybe it's all the effect shots here, I'm not sure. There is little to no colour bleeding. Black levels are good, as are shadow details.

    The main issue is compression related artefacts resulting in the occasional blockiness and edge enhancement. The image is pretty soft. Considering it was digitally shot the image should be clear, but too often there was grain. Lots of it.

    Although I haven't watched it in a while, I remember being blown away at how good the Spy Kids 3-D DVD looked (that was a 2 disc release by the way), but I didn't feel like that with this disc. It's too bad that the same care wasn't put into this transfer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is a English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s) track. Overall it sounds really good.

    Dialogue always comes through clearly.

    The sync is good with no click or drop-out issues.

    There was some really annoying music in this film but the technical quality of the audio was good.

    The surround and subwoofer really get a workout with this film. There is a lot of surround activity that makes you feel like you are right in the middle of the action.

    There is also a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s) track, a Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s) track and the English Audio Commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Audio Commentary

    Robert Rodriguez does a commentary with his son Racer Max. He goes into how he and his sons came up with the story. He states that of all his movies, this one was the most fun to make. He is obviously really close to his sons and a genuinely nice guy.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes - Creating Sharkboy and Lavagirl with Racer Max (7:54)

    Has some interesting behind the scenes footage, especially the shark diving. Shows the kids developing the story and how literally what the kids drew became the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can see the versions are identical. Buy on price.

Summary

    The movie is definitely aimed at younger kids. Nothing much of substance for older viewers.

    The video is OK. To make the most of the 3-D version calibrate your settings (the disc has instructions) and the bigger the screen the better.

    The audio is pretty good.

    The special features are good. Rodriguez does a decent commentary and the featurette was interesting.

    Not a classic, but enough fun for the kids.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
A bit more than 50 years... -
This movie is rubbish -
House of Wax... -
Rubbish - Raven (read my bio)