- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
- Rating: PG
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x Digital Copy)
- Studio: Lionsgate/Miramax
- Blu-ray Release Date: August 2, 2011
- List Price: $19.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
With the surprise success of the first Spy Kids, Robert Rodriguez came back with a slightly higher budget (about $4 million more) and a more special effects-driven film as the follow up. But special effects do not make a movie and Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams lacks some of the original silly charm and wit of its predecessor.
In Spy Kids 2 the Cortez kids, Carmen (Alexa Vega; From Prada to Nada) and Juni (Daryl Sabara; A Christmas Carol), are back, this time fully-fledged spies and members of the OSS, which has an official Spy Kids division. The division’s top agents with Level 2 clearance, it doesn’t take long for the action to start, first when Juni must rescue The President’s daughter from a precarious situation atop a cutting-edge amusement park ride, then when the two secret agent siblings have to recover a stolen gadget known as the Transmooker. The Transmooker is capable of shutting down all electronic devices and in the wrong hands has the potential for cutting off all the energy in the world. The search leads Carmen and Juni to a secret tropical island where they must battle strange creatures and contend with the mad scientist Romero (Steve Buscemi) all without the aid of their tech gadgets. If that wasn’t bad enough, they must contend with Spy Kid agent wannabe-favorites, Matt and Gerti Giggles who will stop at nothing to make the Cortez siblings look bad and steal the spotlight for their own advancement in the OSS.
No doubt tweens will still enjoy this high-tech romp, but adults won’t enjoy this as much as the first. Never fear, though, Spy Kids 2 remains just as family friendly as its predecessor and will still supply a relatively entertaining family night with the younger ones.
Captured in high definition on a Sony HDW-F900 at 1080p/24 the difference in quality between this and the lower-quality Spy Kids 1 is immediately apparent. There is much more detail here with far fewer moments of softness. Flesh tones and colors are natural and consistent straight through this AVC/MPEG-4 encodement. There are some deep blacks as well and no issues with processing artifacts.
Just as the image quality is a step up from the Spy Kids 1 Blu-ray, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is also better on here. The high frequencies are much more reigned in and the cohesion between the surrounds and the front channels is much tighter. It’s an aggressive mix with many discrete effects panned around the room, but dialogue stays clean, clear, and balanced in the mix.
There are a lot of supplements on here, but everything is in standard definition and nothing is new.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Robert Rodriguez Ten Minute Film School (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:09:55)
- A New Kind of Stunt Kid (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:06:41)
- Audio Commentary by Robert Rodriguez
- Lost Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary (1.33:1; 480i/60):
- Intro to Spy Kids
- Donnagon Intro
- Dad Frees Juni
- All Out of Heroes
- Lollipop Synchronization
- Gary and Gerti Return
- Romero Escape
- Grandpa Lays Down the Law
- “Isle of Dreams” Music Video (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- School at Big Bend National Park (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:04:57)
- Essential Gear: The Gadgets of Spy Kids (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:03:15)
- Behind-the-Scenes Montages (1.33:1; 480i/60):
- Costa Rica
- Cliff Stunt
- Spay Gala
- Theme Park
- Romero’s Hideaway
- Total Access 24/7: “A Day in the Life of Spy Kids” (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:21:41)
- Teaser Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Digital Copy – for Mac/PC and iTunes/Windows Media-Compatible devices
The Definitive Word
Big effects and big action mark the Spy Kids sequel, but it lacks a cohesive story and the charm of the first film, even though it still makes for good, mindless entertainment with the whole family and pretty solid home theatre entertainment as well.
Additional Screen Captures