| Spy Kids 3: Game Over |
1 Hour 24 Minutes
DTS-MA 5.1 Audio
1080P, AVC-MPEG4, AWBR: 24.6Mbps
Spy Kids 3: Game Over
When Spy Kids 3 was originally released in the theater, it had two gimmicks going for it: it had a video game setting and it would be presented in 3D! Of course, when we think of 3D today, we think of polarized projection, frame rate management and other tools that have made up Real3D and Imax3D presentations nationwide. But with Spy Kids 3, the 3D format was a new take on the traditional Red/Blue paper glasses which made for a not so great experience.
Spy Kids 3 is available on Blu-Ray in standard 2d, so the only way to judge it is by the quality of the film itself.
The Story: 2.5 / 5
And this is where the film finds itself in trouble. Spy Kids 3: Game Over involves a plot where Juni, formerly an OSS agent, now a detective of sorts, finds himself looking into the game creator The Toymaker who has designed the hottest new game on the market: Game Over.
The film takes time to make all the right references back to the first two films, but it often feels a bit like a clunky sideshow to show off 3D effects that we obviously can’t see. The first few scenes are all 2D, which gives us some time to introduce us back to our cast and give us a shaky setup of the situation.
That isn’t to say that the film doesn’t have some really cute moments. It’s good to see Gerti Giggles and all of the kids again, and guest stars are definitely galore. George Clooney? Fun drop in. Selma Hayek is great in her role. Ricardo Montalban as grandfather? Fun.
The film manages to ratchet up the cute but the payoff just seems to lack. While Spy Kids 1 was original and creative, and Spy Kids 2 was fun but a bit of a retread, Spy Kids 3 is all retread and too much of a push for callbacks to the other movies.
Little kids will enjoy it, but it just not enough fun to preserve an adult crowd. And the “3D Effect!” moments scream that there should be an effect, but as it’s not presented in 3D, they just come across as plotless second sucked out of the film.
Video Quality 4 / 5
Rendered in AVC-MPEG4 at a AWBR of 24.6Mbps, I didn’t have high expectations. I was prepared for the video quality to be pretty poor, honestly. I had figured that this movie had been made for 3D, would be a lower quality presentation and would look it. Surprisingly, Spy Kids 3 is sharp, bright and has a nice look to it when rendered in 3D. The bright, computer rendered graphics make for a very cartoonish look that reminds me a lot of scenes from Roger Rabbit. However, because there are so many digital effects, several of the fully animated sequences bare a fair amount of banding, which is an annoyance.
Audio Quality 3.5 / 5
The audio is presented in DTS-MA in 5.1, and manages to present a full soundscape. The rear channels and LFE stay pretty active as crashes, effects and characters move all over through the setting. This helps build the game like environment the movie tries to present. Dialog isn’t nearly as sharp as in prior films, and at times it felt muffled. I felt as though I had to turn the volume up at times to clarify the dialog coming from the center channel while the rears overwhelmed me.
Extras 2 / 5
The extras on this disc are frankly meager.
10 Minute Film School: Dream Screen SD 9:51 – a look at how the Dream Screen was used to manage the effects for the film.
Video: "Game Over" Alex Vega – The performance in Texas of the song “Game Over” fairly forgettable.
Behind the Scenes: 21 Minutes "3D" explained.. "It's the New 3D" A TV presentation of the art of the AMAZING 3D effects present in Spy Kids 3D. I will admit, this has some value as an almost laughable add on for a disc that isn’t in 3D, and marking a film presented in an abandoned 3D technology.
The Effects: 6:41 – a layout of the film’s special effects as we watch them build.
Spy Kids 3 Original Trailer
Summary: 3 / 5
This was the review that was hardest for me to write. I enjoyed Spy Kids 1 a great deal. Spy Kids 2 is a decent film. Spy Kids 3, however is just not a very good film and presented in 2D in this format it becomes apparent that this could best be called “a gimmick film” that may not ever live up to the goal it had within a theater. Outside of a younger Selma Hayek constantly in pigtails, it's pretty likely that little kids will probably enjoy it far more then you do.