Spy Kids (2001)

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Released 6-Mar-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer
Trailer-Cats & Dogs
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 84:21
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (62:04) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert Rodriguez
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Antonio Banderas
Carla Gugino
Alan Cumming
Teri Hatcher
Cheech Marin
Danny Trejo
Robert Patrick
Tony Shalhoub
Alexa Vega
Daryl Sabara
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Danny Elfman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Spy Kids was a huge box office hit in the United States last year. It was quite a surprise for many that the film did so well at the box office considering that it was such a radical departure for director Robert Rodriguez, who has brought us such diverse films as Desperado (also staring Antonio Banderas), From Dusk till Dawn and The Faculty. The success of Spy Kids has elevated Rodriguez to a new level as a director - he has now proved to many that he can direct a children's movie with as much flair as for his previous horror films.

    Carmen Cortez and Juni Cortez are your normal everyday brother and sister. Fighting in the back seat of the car on the way to school is a part of the daily routine for these kids. Their parents also seem to be your typical Mum and Dad, but unbeknownst to the kids, their parents are actually both retired spies who have just been lured out of retirement. They must save the world from an evil children's television show presenter named Fegan Floop who has plans to take over the world by utilizing special robotic children that he has been building. Mum and Dad are a bit rusty at the Spy Game and are kidnapped by the evil Floop, so it is left to the kids to try and not only save their parents but also the world as well. Spy Kids stars Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is, in a word, stunning. This is an absolute reference quality transfer.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely clear and sharp. Every nuance and fine detail can be seen very easily, including the actors' stage make-up. It is hard not to get excited about this transfer because it simply looks amazing, and may even be the best looking DVD I have seen so far. Shadow detail is first rate, and certainly no cause for complaint. Low level noise was non-existent throughout the movie.

    The colours were deep and vibrant and always looked very natural throughout the movie.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing was non existent.

    This disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change occurring at 62.04. This was well-placed and not too disruptive to the movie.

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

Audio

    This is a magnificent audio transfer and like the video transfer is also of reference quality.

    There is one audio track available on this disc, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    The dialogue on this disc was clear and easy to understand at all times. Every actor's voice sounded very natural with no flaws detected. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer.

    The musical score by Danny Elfman sounded wonderful. It had a definite Mexican flavour about it with the guitar numbers sounding the most impressive.

    The surround channels were used very aggressively throughout the whole movie. Discrete effects were placed very effectively in the rear channels throughout the entire movie - this is one soundtrack you can use to demonstrate how a fully engaged soundfield on all channels can be used for a great listening experience.

    The subwoofer was highly active throughout the movie, the bottom end being particularly impressive, tripping the auto protection switch on my Mirage subwoofer. The deep and rumbling bass is fantastic, reference quality material.

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

Extras

Featurette (21.59)

    This featurette is narrated by Alex Vega and Daryl Sabara (the two kids in the movie) and includes behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with the cast and crew and information on some of the special effects. This featurette is quite informative and well worth looking at. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and has Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2.00)

    This trailer is of excellent quality and is 16x9 enhanced with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Teaser Trailer (1.48)

    This teaser trailer is also 16x9 enhanced and has Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Previews (1.05)

    This is a teaser for Cats & Dogs, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 4 version of this disc looks better and also has more extras than the Region 1 version, although it should be noted that there is supposedly a Special Collector's Edition of this DVD slated for future release in Region 1. At the moment, the local version is your best choice.

Summary

    Spy Kids was a very enjoyable movie for me - somewhat like James Bond on rollerblades. There is plenty of action for the adults and it should keep the kids quiet for a couple of hours.

    The video quality is superb, and is of reference quality.

    The audio quality is superb, and is of reference quality.

    The extras are certainly satisfactory. I personally did not feel the need to have anything additional added to what is already there.

    The quality of this disc certainly makes it deserving of a place in our Hall of Fame. Highly recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Stephen Wilson (read my bio)
Friday, April 05, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-737, using Component output
DisplayBarco 708mm CRT front projector (line doubled) onto a 2.5m wide 16x9 aspect screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderMeridian 568.
AmplificationAdcom 555 mk2 x3
Speakers3 Klipsch La-Scala speakers (left, centre and right); 2 Infinity sm122 speakers (rear); 2 Mirage bps 400 subwoofers with 400w built in amps

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