Spy Kids 3D Game Over DVD Review

Cover Art and Menu: 7/10
Spy Kids is one of the biggest kid franchises in the past few decades. I don’t expect it to have any kind of artsy fartsy cover art, so I can live with what they give us. Sometimes the battle for more creative covers is just not worth the trouble.

The menus are pretty cool with all kinds of futuristic computer interface looking navigation. The only problem I had with it is that on the TV some of the text is a little hard to read. On the PC it’s perfect, but once it gets splattered all over that TV screen, well it looses some of the sharp details.

The DVD comes with four pairs of 3D Glasses included in the box,if you need more they can be purchased from the Spy Kids website for $3 per set of four.

Extras & Features: 8/10

  • Ten Minute Film School With How to Make Cool Home Movies – Always a treat to watch Robert Rodriquez talking about making movies. He seems genuinely like he his having a great time and he loves the creativity part of his job. He even says that it’s best for a director to have a lower budget so that they are forced to find creative solutions to solving problems. It’s a fun little extra that even includes some of his own home movies with a few added big-time-director touches.
  • Alexa Vega in Concert – I’m not a fan of these kinds of extras, but then again, I’m not 12 years old. The young lady who plays Carmen in the movies does her own pop concert singing some of the songs from the soundtrack. She’s pretty much all grown up and acting like the any other Diva-wannabe.
  • Feature Commentary with Robert Rodriguez – You’ve got to love a guy who is so passionate about what he does. Every scene and every special effect is like candy to him. He thrives on the challenge, but he seems to enjoy it all even more. He can be technical at times, but usually he explains things in a way that makes it interesting even to people who might not like listening to director commentaries.
  • An Adventure into The 3rd Dimension: The Making of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over – This is just a montage of different clips from the movie and some behind the scenes shots of how the images we see in the final cut go from rough “dream screen” moments to being the polished product.
  • Making Traks with Alexa Vega – More from the young female star of the Spy Kids movies. Making some tunes with the actress/singer is not my scene, but someone who might be 20 or so years younger than me (oh my God!) might enjoy it.
  • Surfing and Stunts Piece (Multi-Angle) – It’s always kind of cool to see things from different perspectives. I like to see just how many cameras are used to get enough footage to make a very action packed scene look even more lively. It is one of those things that is really behind the scenes because we don’t usually realize how much effort it takes to kept hat screen lively and exciting for the viewer.
  • The Effects of the Game – More peeks at how the special effects of the movie are done. The movie is mostly set inside a video game so the sky’s the limit really when it came to what Rodriguez could do visually.
  • Big Dink, Little Dink – Brief look at Big Dink, otherwise known as Bill Paxton and his son who play their parts as the bizarre theme park owner and his son.
  • Mega Race Set-Top Game (3-D and 2-D Versions) – A relatively fun little game to play on your TV or PC. Just follow the instructions and get those fingers ready for some serious arrow pressing action. It’s not my thing but it looks pretty good for a DVD game and even the man of the house spent a few minutes TRYING to play. I won’t leak family secrets or try to damage the man-of-the-house’s ego in the gaming department, but let’s just say that we didn’t see the end of the race..:)

The Movie: 8/10
I have always liked the Spy Kids flicks. I think Robert Rodriguez is one of the most innovative directors in the past ten years to come along and really bring some love of movie making to the big screen. He takes every opportunity to make a movie visually interesting while still telling a good story.

My adorable husband asked if this was my least favorite of the three Spy Kids movies, and like the good little film lover that I am I claimed to not have a preference, that they each have their own charm, or some bologna like that.haha After thinking about it I do think that I liked the first one the second one the best, and this third one the least. I’m not sure exactly why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Spy Kids 3D focused more on Juni than on the family as a whole. I liked that both of the other movies centered a lot on this little family of spies and how they need each other to get through their missions and through life.

3D has hints of that, mostly near the end, but most of it is Juni’s adventure through a video game to save his sister and ultimately all the kids in the world. Big responsibility for a kid, don’tcha think?

We don’t see much of mom, dad, or grandma through the movie, but we do get to see Grandpa like we have never seen him before. Ricardo Montelbon is in a wheel chair in real life and in this installment he gets transformed into the video game as a full fledged muscle bound hero who can not only walk, but leap, flip, jump, run, everything. It’s pretty cool to see what computer graphics and special effects can do these days.

Those moments with Juni and his grandfather are touching and throughout the story we are reminded of how important family and friends are, but it’s just not as infused with all the characters as the first two were. I liked seeing the kids and parents in more active roles and working together.

The story takes us through a video game and brings our heroes to meet up with the ultimate villain, Sly Stallone. That’s right folks, Rocky is now a villain in a kid movie. He does an ok job, a bit over the top and very theatrical, but hey, he’s the bad guy and they are allowed some flamboyancy now and then.

The special effects are pretty good, considering the budget and the fact that 90% of the movie is set against a green screen with almost everything you see being created on the computer rather than a real life prop or effect. There are moments when the visuals are a bit dodgy and they don’t convince you that what you are seeing is anything more than movie trickery. The 3D is very unconvincing as well. Unfortunately I felt like the 3D was disappointing. I saw the movie in the theater and on the TV and on both the 3D effect was not much to get excited about. I had never seen a 3D movie so maybe my expectations were too high. I just never felt like I got that feeling that anything was coming off the screen at me or that I was immersed in a 3D world.

On the PC however the 3D is more lively and makes a much better impression. But, who is going to watch this movie with their kids on the PC? Not many people I’m sure.

I think it’s more the experience of seeing a 3D movie and using the glasses as part of the show that gives the movie a more novel feel. I happen to think the 2D version looks fantastic compared to the 3D. I’m sure 3D lovers will not like that comment, but after a few minutes of wearing those glasses and the picture just looking like a mish mosh of red and green with not that much to offer in the 3D department, I have to stick by my first reaction which was, “this does not impress me”. No offense Mr. Rodriguez. The movie is fun and the video game idea is wonderful, I just was not a fan of the 3D.

I do appreciate the fact that they offer the 3D and 2D with the DVD…that’s a great way to make people like me happy! And isn’t that what we all want? For me to be happy?

Value: 7/10
I know the DVD has quite a few extras, and 2 versions of the movie, plus commentary…but it’s a kid’s movie after all and I am morally opposed to charging moms and dads $20 bucks for a DVD. It’s just annoying that these DVD’s are not more reasonably priced. Some people argue with me and say that some DVD’s are not mass produced so they have to charge more, fair enough. So, do you think that Spy Kids 3D is one of those indie flicks that they only make a few thousand copies of? I think not. I’m sure that this DVD was pressed for all the world to purchase so the price did not need to be quite that high. For what you get and if your kids are going to watch it dozens of times, which is likely, I suppose 20 is not a fortune to drop if you’ve got it to spare.

Overall Score 7/10