Spy Kids: All the Time in the World-in 4D Aroma-Scope (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 19-Jan-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 88:49
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert Rodriguez
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jessica Alba
Joel McHale
Rowan Blanchard
Mason Cook
Jeremy Piven
Alexa Vega
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Robert Rodriguez
Carl Thiel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

     Starting in 2001, Robert Rodriguez wrote and directed three films for kids over three years, Spy Kids 1, 2 & 3. They were all quite successful at the box office and on home entertainment formats. The third film was released in old style 3D and the DVD version contained 3D glasses. In 2011, eight years after the previous one a fourth film was released, again written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. This time it was in the new style 3D format and also included a 'fourth dimension', smell. The big question was, could the old magic be rekindled with new kids and an extra dimension? The answer, unfortunately, is not really. There are some good points about this film but there are also lots of drawbacks. Obviously, after 8 years, the original child stars, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara are now too old to play kids (23 & 19 respectively). Accordingly, new kids were cast as the titular Spy Kids, Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook.

     The story this time involves semi-retired OSS agent, Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba), sister to Gregorio Cortez from the original films (Antonio Bandaras in the original films). Marissa has taken time off to have a baby and is married to Wilbur Wilson (Joel McHale) who is a television show host of a show called Spy Hunter. Wilbur has two children from a previous marriage, Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook). Rebecca hates her step mother and Cecil is deaf, both of which struck me as painting by numbers in terms of plot points. She is called back into action to help track down and stop the two baddies Tick Tock & The Timekeeper who are speeding up time. The current director of the OSS, Danger D'Amo (Jeremy Piven) asks her to help stop Project Armageddon from happening. Of course, the two kids get embroiled in the action, accompanied by their robot dog, Argonaut (voiced by Ricky Gervais). They are also assisted by Carmen & Juni Cortez (Vega & Sabara) who come back to give them gadgets and help them stop Tick Tock & The Timekeeper.

     The best thing about this film is probably the dog and Ricky Gervais' work on the voice. He has lots of good lines. Unfortunately, this does not outweigh the new kids who are really very annoying and lack the personality of the original kids. This film also really misses the adult characters from the original films. The lack of Antonio Bandaras, Carla Gugino, Ricardo Montalban and Sylvester Stallone really leaves a hole, which Alba and Piven cannot fill. There are some decent action sequences and some funny lines but the whole thing feels a bit forced and formulaic. The original films were not exactly masterpieces either but they are better than this one. Having said that, the kids will enjoy it.

     This disc contains both a 3D and a 2D version of the film in 1080p, which can be selected when you press play on the main menu. The disc also comes with 6 Aroma-scope scratch and smell cards. These really don't work very well at all. The smells are mostly very mild or not smellable at all (at least to my family’s noses). Additionally, those with allergies should be careful as these caused hay fever symptoms in both my wife and older son.

     In summary, fans of the series will get something from this film but it is hard to recommend as a freestanding movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good. This review is based on the 2D version.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC. The picture was clear and sharp throughout without being up to the best of the format. The shadow detail was excellent. The colour was also excellent.

     There were no noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles available in English. They are clear and easy to read.

    There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

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

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1 and an Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to hear and understand throughout.

     The surround speakers were used regularly for action scenes but never quite rose to the heights of other Blu-rays. The subwoofer was also used a lot for crashes, explosions and music support.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu included music and some minor animation.

Robert Rodriguez Interview with Kid Reporter (6:54)

     A young girl interviews Rodriguez about the movie and the characters. OK

Spy Kids : Passing the Torch (7:58)

     The original child stars talk about the new kids and their reminiscences of working on the original films. OK

Rowan & Mason's Video Diary (4:51)

     Tour of the back lot with Mason mostly leading the way. Pretty standard.

Elmo is Argonaut (3:46)

     Featurette about the dog who plays Argonaut.

Ricky Gervais as Argonaut (4:19)

     Highlight of the extras but that isn't saying much. Gervais jokes around and talks about the role.

Spy Gadgets (3:50)

     Old Spy Kids wing, discussing the various gadgets.

Deleted Scenes (8:13)

    Deleted & Alternate scenes. They don't add a whole lot but are worth seeing once.

R4 vs R1

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

    The only difference between our local release and the Region A release seems to be that the 3D version is on a separate disc in Region A. Can't see how that would make a big difference.

Summary

     A fourth Spy Kids film which is really one step too far.

     The video quality is very good. The audio quality is very good.

     The extras are present.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, February 06, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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