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Spy Kids 3: Game Over Blu-ray Review

  • 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

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BestBuy.com:
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Spy Kids 3: Game Over on Blu-ray+ Digital Copy at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

The third installment in the Spy Kids franchise ratchets up the action and special effects once again plus adds even more big stars to help carry what is its thinnest, most derivative plot to date. Sylvester Stallone, Salma Hayek, and Ricardo Mantalban join returning Spy Kids Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara with Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino who also return as the Cortez parents for this family-friendly action flick.

Spy Kids 3: Game Over, what was in 2003 the first American 3D film released to theatres by a major studio since 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, arrives on Blu-ray sans the 3D, but with a solid 2D-only high-definition transfer. If only that were enough to forgive what is a plot that is obviously lifted from another, even older film.

The younger Cortez sibling Juni is now out of the spy game and working as a private eye doing odd jobs, but he is called back into action by the President (George Clooney). There’s a major new videogame, Game Over, that has all the kids going crazy to play it, but its a threat to worldwide security. The virtual reality game is ensnaring the minds of kids all over the world and keeping them trapped in the game world. Juni’s sister Carmen, still an OSS agent, was sent into the game to investigate and became trapped herself. Juni must go into the game, find his sister, and conquer the Toymaker by first beating the game’s unbeatable Level 5.

With its neon-colored uniforms, virtual reality battles, cycle races and more, not to mention the very premise of being trapped in a game to start with, the whole film feels like an unapologetic rip-off of Tron (1982).

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

With each subsequent Spy Kids film the quality of the production and the image has gotten better. Spy Kids 3‘s AVC 1080p encodement looks the best out of the trilogy that has recently arrived on Blu-ray. Like the second film, it was also captured in HD and its transfer to Blu-ray is clean and detailed with little in the way of video noise. It shows very vivid colors and strong flesh tones.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is rather aggressive, making heavy use of the surround channels right from the beginning. There’s strong low frequency extension and natural high frequencies with very clean and full sounding dialogue. Sound is spread wide across the front, which is also quite active in following sound across the screen.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]


The disc is again loaded with a strong host of extras, but there are no new high definition supplements to compliment the new release, which is a bit of a disappointment.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Robert Rodriguez Ten Minute Film School (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:51) –The Director shows and discusses the green screen visual effects work for the film.
  • Alexa Vega in Concert:
    • Game Over
    • Heart Drive
    • Isle of Dreams
  • Audio Commentary by Robert Rodriguez
  • The Making of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (1.33:1; SD; 00:21:14)
  • The Effects of the Game (1.33:1; SD; 00:06:40)
  • Making Tracks with Alexa Vega (1.33:1; SD; 00:00:59) – A Brief look at the actress laying down vocal tracks for her song “Game Over”
  • Surfing and Stunts (Multi Angle) (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:08) – Storyboards
  • Big Dink, Little Dink (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:40)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; SD)
  • Digital Copy — For Mac/PC and iTunes/Windows Media-compatible devices.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]


One would have thought that the outrageously unoriginal and obviously “borrowed” (to put it politely) plot of Spy Kids 3 would have been enough to literally call it “game over” for the kid-friendly franchise, but, have no fear, Spy Kids 4 is near and coming to a theatre near you in “4D” (that’s non-anaglyphic, polarized 3D for everyone who speaks normal tech talk). One can only hope that it is more original than this last outing, but it is sure to be another special effects spectacular.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product align=”right”]B005067HKA[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Spy Kids 3: Game Over on Blu-ray+ Digital Copy at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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