The Spy Next Door (2010)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2010|
|Running Time||90:28 (Case: 94)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (62:30)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Brian Levant|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Billy Ray Cyrus
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Despite making a few duds in recent years, I mostly enjoy Jackie Chan movies. He has a very likeable screen presence and always includes some interesting stunts and action sequences even in his most mundane films. Luckily, this film includes some interesting stunts and action sequences because otherwise it is a bit of a train wreck. This US produced movie is aimed at kids and was directed by Brian Levant who has made a number of similar children's and family movies like Snow Dogs and Are We There Yet? .
The story involves pen importer Bob Ho (Jackie Chan) who is living in suburban Albuquerque, New Mexico but is actually an undercover spy on loan from the Chinese Government to the CIA who has been working on tracking down and apprehending Russian villain, Poldark. He manages to capture him at the beginning of the film and turns him over to the CIA. Meanwhile, he has been dating his neighbour, single mom, Gillian (Amber Valletta) who has three kids from her previous marriage, the oldest of whom is only her step-daughter. The children think Bob is boring and don't want him to marry mom. Now that he has captured Poldark, he wants to retire from spying and settle down with Gillian. In order to try and get to know the children better he offers to look after the kids when Gillian needs to rush out of town due to a family emergency. This gives him many challenges which are made more difficult by Poldark escaping and seeking revenge on Bob and the kids.
This is a very clichéd kids film, with many plot points reminiscent of other films you have seen before like True Lies or Kindergarten Cop or Daddy Day Care. The acting is pretty ordinary all round and the addition of Billy Ray Cyrus as another CIA operative doesn't really help. The characters of the kids are all quite annoying and the way they are written means that they go from complete brats to loving fans of Bob very quickly. Much of the dialogue is resoundingly unfunny, especially that written for the son, Ian.
On the plus side, the kids will enjoy Jackie's fun screen presence and the cool looking stunts performed during the film. Not the worst kids film I have ever seen but a long way from the best.
The video quality is very good. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.
The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout although backgrounds were somewhat undefined. Shadow detail is quite good. There are some minor MPEG artefacts especially during fast motion. The colour was very good with no colour artefacts. There were no other noticeable artefacts.
There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read.
There is a layer change at 62:30 which was not noticeable during playback.
The audio quality is good. This DVDs contain three audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s (which is bizarrely the default) and an English Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. Most sound comes from the front three speakers regardless of the encoding. Dialogue was clear and easy to understand except for Jackie Chan’s mangling of English.
The surround speakers were only used for some mild atmospherics, mostly involving music and during action scenes. The subwoofer was used occasionally for music support and action scenes.
|Surround Channel Use|
Small selection of average quality extras.
The menu was quite good including music and action from the film.
Promotional featurette featuring the kids and director talking about Jackie Chan and Jackie Chan talking about making the movie.
A hosted interview with the child actors from the film. Snore.
Mostly the stuff from the closing credits.
The Region 1 version seems to be the same. Also available on Blu-ray.
The video quality is very good.The audio quality is good. The set has a small collection of ordinary extras.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|