*** Official SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



    Crawdaddy
     
  2. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Please note this is only a review of the overall 3-D presentation of Spy Kids 3-D. As for a review of the film itself.. that will be up to someone else.

    I wanted to avoid making any pre-judgments on Spy Kids 3-D as I knew it would be in the anaglyph 3-D format, which is known for being far from ideal for a proper 3-D presentation. Well after viewing the film I would give the 3-D a "fair" to just "OK" 3-D rating.

    Because it is anaglyph 3-D, I knew from the onset that it would certainly not have the clarity nor the color rendition that polarized 3-D presentations like "Ghosts of the Abyss" offers, but I still wanted to try to give the process another objective shot. I was certainly able to view depth and many of the 3-D effects were indeed effective. But... the red lens was not able to totally cancel out the red image, so some ghosting was apparent most of the time if you looked for it. But even if you didn't notice, it still affected the overall presentation. The red lens also seemed much darker than the blue. (Perhaps to offset the ghosting problem?) The blue side also ghosted a little, but not nearly as much and thus was harder to spot. The minor red ghosting ruined some of the 3-D effects and seemed to add a bit of eyestrain after prolonged viewing. The natural color during the 3-D segments was a little muted, which was a very good choice as trying to retain color with anaglyph 3-D adds more problems more than it's worth (IMO). Spy Kids was no exception with certain objects having the typical color "3-D shimmers" due to those colors decoding through the red & blue anaglyph glasses.

    Many of the scenes were staged well for 3-D which makes it all the more aggravating that we will probably not see this film in a superior 3-D format. (To see this film in theatrical polarized 3-D or even on video in field-sequential 3-D would be a true stereoscopic treat!!) ..But I wondered if I was being too hard on the anaglyph 3-D format given my love for superior stereoscopics? Even with my technical criticisms, the audience (in general) seemed to enjoy the show. The answer would come from my 11 year old daughter who has watched many field-sequential and polarized 3-D films with me. She also had seemed to enjoy the show so I had kept any negative comments to myself. "Dad.." she said after leaving the theater, "..I hope you don't mind, but if we buy Spy Kids 3 on DVD, can we get the regular version? This one kind of made my eyes hurt." What can I say.. from the mouths of babes....
     
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    [​IMG][​IMG] (of four) = Solid Movie

    I really wanted to love this film. I thought the first Spy Kids was pefect. It was fun, witty, and utterly charming family film, the sort that doesn't get made anymore. Part of what gives the original a classic family film is that everything about the film was played straight with honesty and belief that the first film was just as good as any oscar nominee--the way that the best Disney Live Action films used to be. There was never the impression in the first film that the filmmakers felt they were doing a lesser work that wasn't worthy of their respect and full talent, and the film benefitted from that and was magical.

    Unfortunately somewhere along the way these films stopped becoming family films and became children's movies. The filmmaking in Spy Kids 3-D is simply lazy filmmaking. There is no attempt to establish any sort of real character motivation or dynamics, nor is any time wasted on exposition or any modicum of plot. The script is the source for many of these problems. What was the original's greatest strength was its family dynamic and the relationship between Carmen and Juni. Rodriguez did an awesome job sketching those out believably for us. But without any of those dynamics the script falls apart, lines come across as extremely stilted, and are nothing at all like something kids would say. And the film fails by forcing a focus on Juni, not only is the child actor not especially good, but Juni was always the less interesting character--essential to the team, but less important. The actress playing Carmen does an excellent job of realizing her lines, and does some real acting when almost everyone in the film is treating the entire production as a great joke. It's too bad the roles weren't reversed, because Carmen could work on her own without the brother-sister dynamic that the Juni character really needs.

    Finally the film is insulting to its audiences intelligence by hammering all messages home with an enormous bit of force, Rodriguez is using brute force instead of subtlety.

    The final sequence just gets more and more ridiculous as every prior character is brought back to work together to defeat the baddies.
    I can forgive Deus ex Machina in a children's film, but this just abuses the concept to the point of utter absurdity.

    The game world was well realized, and the 3D affect (even with the anaglyph system) was a heck of a lot of fun to experience in the theater. however the Grandfather as a mini deus ex machina got old really quickly. The major thing going for this film was the character of Juni's girlfriend, but their dynamic was so hamfistedly treated that it ruined any real or honest emotions that Rodriguez was apparently trying to manipulate out of the audience.

    So why does this get 2 stars? Because despite everything, the kids really liked it, it's not a film that will last, but they enjoyed it, which is what is important: but they also weren't coming out of the theater buzzing about the film, as they do for Pirates, Nemo, Shrek etc.

    Adam
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Very enjoyable. I guess I will disagree with some of the sentiments here, I always found the Juni character in the first two movies to be the heart of the show, being the youngest of the two kids. SK2 was focused on Juni and his removal from the OSS, and SK3 makes a logical following to that with Juni continuing to grow.

    The 3D effect has a lot of work to go, but all in all, enjoyable.. especially for the kids.

    ** .5 / ****
     
  5. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I thought it was the best red/blue anaglyph 3-D I've seen. In the context of this particular film, I think it worked just fine.

    I agree with Greg, it would be a real sight to behold if projected in a better format.

    Still, the audience I saw it with was enthralled throughout. I took several of my nephews and nieces to see it, and they all thought it was just about the coolest thing they had ever seen. Since they are the target audience, after all, I guess Rodriguez succeed.
     
  6. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Yes, even with my technical reservations it is probably one of the best anaglyph 3-D film presentations I've seen as well. I know Rodriguez had to deal with the quandary of either going down the polarized 3-D 'high road' and only having IMAX and a couple dozen 35mm houses being able to show the film in 3-D.. Or go with anaglyph 3-D and have it be compatible with every 35mm screen out there. As Steve said, given the target audience it appears to be a worthy trade-off: Spy Kids 3-D was #1 for it's opening weekend and even beat the opening weekend of the latest "Tomb Raider"! http://boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart...3-07-25&p=.htm

    Let's just hope the upcoming Dimension Zombie horror film or Cameron's next 3-D feature has enough force to push for more 35mm houses to upgrade one of their screens to be polarized friendly. Or at a minimum do a dual release format where polarized and anaglyph 3-D prints would both be available.
     
  7. Sam E. Torres

    Sam E. Torres Second Unit

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    i thought this was the cheesiest, unintentionally hilarious movie i've ever seen in the theaters. the grandpa character was just...wow, i couldn't believe how cheesy and underdeveloped the whole "toy maker and grandpa used to be comrades but now they're enemies" subplot was. and the cameos! oh my gosh! i don't think i've ever laughed so hard in my entire life. this movie screamed direct to video to me, but what really took the concept to theaters was 3-D, which, admittingly, brought me to the theater to see it. i still think it was well worth my 5 bucks and i would gladly go see it again and just laugh non stop all over again. in my eyes, this is a campy classic. beautiful.
     

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