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Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D(2011)
On the surface, Marissa Cortez Wilson has it all...married to a famous spy hunting television reporter, a new baby and intelligent twin step kids. But in reality, trying to mother Rebecca and Cecil, who clearly don't want her around, is her toughest challenge yet. Also, her husband, Wilbur, wouldn't know a spy if he lived with one which is exactly the case -- Marissa's a retired secret agent.
For more about Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D and the Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray release, see Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on November 11, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven, Rowan Blanchard, Mason Cook, Alexa Vega
Director: Robert Rodríguez (I)
» See full cast & crew
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray Review
A good time for the kids, a waste of time for the adults.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, November 11, 2011
You have to live moving forwards, not back.
Three words to sum up Spy Kids: All the Time in the World? "For the kids." Robert Rodriguez's latest installment of the pint-sized secret agent franchise is tailored to the youngest of audiences. It splashes cool gadgets and special effects across the screen and almost seems to exist just to do that. It's extraordinarily flashy, colorful, and fast-paced. The story does gradually morph into something that's a slight bit more involved than perhaps the very youngest of viewers will be able to fully comprehend, but that's not a major problem. This Spy Kids movie is all about fantasy and make-believe, about gadgets and gizmos, about those nifty special effects and vibrant colors. The plot is a device to hold it all in place and maybe keep the attention of the older viewers for a bit longer beyond the first act. Certainly adults are going to find the movie a dismal experience, lacking in basic storytelling elements, character development, and the like, but sorry mom and dad, you're not the target audience. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World is showy enough to entertain the kids, nothing more and nothing less. It's built for an audience around the same age as its grade-school heroes, and that audience is sure to love all the razzle-dazzle Rodriguez has up his sleeve.
Super spy Marissa Wilson (Jessica Alba) is on the case of a dangerous villain known only as "Tick Tock." She's on the verge of nabbing him but is interrupted when her baby says "it's time!" and proceeds to begin the process of leaving the womb. Yes, Marissa's on the case and in the field while nine months pregnant. She manages to capture Tick Tock after all, have her baby, and announce her retirement from the OSS. A bit of time passes. Her new baby is healthy and proving more than capable of splattering her mommy's outfit with runny baby food. Her husband Wilbur (Joel McHale) has successfully started up a reality TV venture where he hunts down international spies. Last but not least, Marissa's stepchildren, Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), are doing their best to make their makeshift family work, at least in between Rebecca's pranks. Their world is turned upside down, however, when news breaks that a villain named The Timekeeper -- aided by an escaped Tick Tock -- has cranked up Project Armageddon, a devilishly diabolical scheme that exponentially accelerates time. Marissa is called back into action, and her return to the field puts her children in danger. Fortunately, their ultra-secure and secretly high-tech home, with a little help of the family's robotic watch dog (voiced by Ricky Gervais), saves the children from attack in the nick of time. Rebecca and Cecil are transported to OSS headquarters where they meet some of the organization's most famous former spies and get to work saving the day as only the best Spy Kids can.
Everything in Spy Kids: All the Time in the World is geared directly at the kiddies. The film doesn't even try to give itself any sort of balance, as do, for instance, Pixar movies, that might help it appeal to older audience as well as children. No, Spy Kids is gleefully corny and goofy fun. It's all about style over substance, special effects over story, cool kid characters over well-developed heroes, and fart and bodily function jokes over more traditional humor. It's even got a talking dog that urinates an oil slick and poops out marbles in an effort to stun and slow down pursuing bad guys. Oddly enough, he's the best character in the movie, thanks primarily to Gervais' fun and witty voice work. It's not exactly high art, but this latest Spy Kids movie is well made and respectable for what it is. This is the sort of movie that almost defies criticism. Yes, it's lousy if taken at face value, but it's quite adept at dazzling its target audience with 21st century moviemaking sights and sounds. It's big, bold, energetic, and packed with family-friendly nonstop action that amounts to bad guys being knocked around and high-speed special effects chase sequences. Given that it succeeds at accomplishing the task at hand -- without regard to pleasing all other comers -- the movie may be seen as a success. Want substance? Go watch something else.
This fourth installment of the Spy Kids franchise does deliver in terms of its technical aptitude. As kid-centric as the movie may be, it's nevertheless a success of technical know-how and modern moviemaking technique. Even the adults might find a few "cool" visuals and awe at the complexity and seamlessness of some of the CGI sets, particularly one that plays prominently during the film's climax. It delivers a whole lot of "attitude" 3D shots meant to dazzle viewers sporting the special glasses, but none of the "in your face" 3D effects seem cheap or unnaturally forced into the story, even if they don't always work. Then there's dialogue, which wrenches in some reference to "time" or "clocks" and the like every few seconds. What starts as funny quickly grows old, but the kids won't mind all that much. The acting is fine for a movie of this caliber, too. Alba does the whole "spy mom" thing nicely enough and appears to be having fun along the way. Blanchard and Cook, likewise, appear tickled pink to be in the movie, giving little regard to anything but its pure fun factor. The picture also delivers a few genuinely funny moments, such as when a pregnant Marissa attempts to slide across the hood of a car action-movie style while in labor. None of it is groundbreaking or even necessarily memorable; it'll be little more than a blur even when the credits roll, but as long as the young ones have a good time with it, who's to call this one a failure?
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World arrives on Blu-ray with both 2D and 3D 1080p transfers, both housed in the same single set (there is no individual 2D-only release at this time). The 2D presentation is everything a glossy HD kids-centric special effects film should be. It sports dazzling colors, the transfer delivering a veritable rainbow of hues that do take on a slightly warm tint -- that's also evident on most flesh tones -- but that dazzle at every turn with their brilliance and balance. Detail is exceptional. The image is perfectly crisp and abundantly clean; only trace amounts of noise interfere with the cleanliness and smoothness the image yields. Facial textures are excellent, and general surfaces -- from the family fireplace to close-ups of complex time pieces -- are always sharp and complexly presented. This is no doubt a detail-oriented image. Black levels are excellent throughout, too. Very slight banding is the only mark against the transfer. No doubt about it, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World is a real looker on 2D Blu-ray.
The included 3D disc is itself no slouch. This is one fine extra-dimensional high definition presentation. It's not quite perfect and some of the 3D effects are not quite able to produce that "wow!" factor, but it's a stable, steady, and oftentimes even delightful 3D image that's one of the better ones around. It sometimes looks like characters go somewhat flat surrounded by a 3D world, but general depth is readily evident and perceptible throughout. The opening car chase -- one of the most unique in history at that and possibly the first to feature the micro "Smart Car" -- delivers some intense street-level 3D visual effects that do a good job of placing the viewer in the middle of the high speed action. Aside from the general depth, everyday objects take on a very natural, shapely appearance. Hospital chairs, scattered objects throughout the family's living room, and other assorted odds and ends take full advantage of the 3D characteristics, enjoying volume and shape on a flat screen. Unfortunately, many of the shots meant to create those "dazzling" "jump out of the screen" effects don't work quite as well as planned. Some of them just don't produce much of a discernible effect, but a few do. Nothing, however, seems to very easily pop out of the screen. There are a few dizzying effects that are only enhanced in 3D, like the high-speed flying chase sequence in chapter five. The complex movements, high altitude, and 3D effect will either dazzle viewers or give them headaches, and maybe both. The real pleasure here is the image's natural depth and its general stability. It retains all of the positives of the 2D-only version; for once, a 3D transfer is no noticeably darker, softer, or lacking in color or detail when compared to its 2D counterpart. This is a strong Blu-ray 3D release from Anchor Bay.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World features a dizzyingly active DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This is head-spinning, sometimes ear-splitting, all-out material, the perfect companion to such a colorful and effects-laden kids movie. High energy, plenty of volume, and crazy constant surround use are all stables of Anchor Bay's fun soundtrack. Sounds travel around the soundstage -- front to back, side to side -- with regularity; there's rarely a dull moment anywhere in the movie. There is no shortage of swooshes, zips, and zooms. The entire soundstage becomes a room full of heavy churning gears in one critical stretch; the mechanical movement is wonderfully recreated in sound, as the mechanisms move gears of all sizes through every speaker in the configuration. Music, too, enjoys no shortage of surround support, all the while maintaining a satisfying crispness and clarity throughout the movie. Bass is heavy but not obnoxious, supporting everything from those churning gears to the thumps and thuds accompanying punches, kicks, and the bad guys' oversized energy weapons. There's just no shortage whatsoever of power and seamless 360-degree activity. Dialogue is about the only element that stays rather still. It's centered in the middle front speaker and, for as raucous as this track is, the spoken word is never lost under the excess of sound elements. This is a very satisfying track from Anchor Bay.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World contains a few short 2D-only supplements. There is no bonus content included on the 3D-only disc.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Anyone in search of a thoughtful, comprehensive, meaning-of-life substance movie should avoid Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. The movie has its own style, its own values, its own rules, and its own audience. It won't change lives, but it will entertain the young ones for a good eighty-some minutes, not really all that much time, but at least it's a decent little diversion, even if it does go a bit overboard with the fart and smell jokes. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release of Spy Kids: All the Time in the World features a stunning 2D transfer, a high quality Blu-ray 3D presentation, an immersive and fun lossless soundtrack, and a few supplements thrown in for good measure. Recommended for the kids.
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Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Blu-ray - September 26, 2011
Anchor Bay Entertainment and Dimension Films will release Spy Kids: All the Time in the World on Blu-ray this November. The fourth installment in the popular Spy Kids franchise, the film focuses on ex-spy Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba, Sin City), who is ...
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