July 24th, 2012

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Tarantino/Rodriguez: Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams

The first Spy Kids movie was so unexpected. Really? An action movie for kids? But you discover and buy into the world along with our espionage children. When we get to the sequel, we no longer have the thrill of the discovery. Now we're diving right into the secret agent munchkin world. All of the over the top ridiculous toys and fun that we eased our way into are thrown at you from the beginning, and it takes a little getting used to.

One thing I realized today that I left out while gushing over Alan Cumming's performance in the first, is that he seems to be the only one who treats the script like Shakespeare. He's not holding anything back in his performance. With everyone else, you can almost feel them winking at you as they say these silly made up gadget names and decry their fate. But thankfully, he's back, even if for just a few limited scenes.

The whole rest of the gang is back too: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Danny Trejo, and our kids of course, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. All have grown more into their roles, the adults in particular chewing scenery with even more ferver than before. Now we've even got Steve Buscemi joining in on the party.

I wouldnt say that this one is bad (we'll save that judgement for later movies) but it certainly lacks some of the magic of the first.
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Tarantino/Rodriguez: Spy Kids 3D - Game Over

Oh the curse of the threequel. Very very few threepeats are capable of standing up to their original. Sadly, the Spy Kids franchise is not one of those precious few.

The idea behind this one is kinda cool. In an attempt to try and take the Spy Kids somewhere new, they get stuck inside a video game. And this was in 3D before the hype of 3D (which unfortunatley means red/blue 3D but hey it's a novelty). Something about the execution is just bad.

The band is all back together, and Rodriguez is adding even more friends to the mix. George Clooney comes back for a bit. Sylvester Stallone is a new addition. Salma Hayek and Elijah Wood find their way in. And of course, all of our Spy Kid family.

This movie feels like Tron (original, not Legacy), the way they manuever thru the game. Of course, it's a more modern game. But you've still got the rough child acting, and the scenery chewing adults. While Rodriguez is a genius with the visual aspects of a screenplay, lets just say he could still learn some dialogue techniques from his buddy Tarantino.

Of course, I am losing focus. This is supposta be a kids movie, and the kids eat this stuff up. For example, Sly took the role after consulting with his kids who turned out to be Spy Kid fans.

Holy Kevin Flynn, Batman, this really is Tron Jr! Not sure if that means this gains homage points or loses rip off points.