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Spy Kids Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 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 - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby

Purchase Spy Kids 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:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
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:3.5/5]

What a surprise box office hit Spy Kids was in 2001 for Robert Rodriguez, the director who would go one to direct such acclaimed films as Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, and Grindhouse: Planet Terror. Already showing a mastery over the digital visual effects that would come to define his filmmaking style, Spy Kids was somewhat innovative in that department, especially given its relatively low budget of $35 million.

Definitely designed from the outset to appeal to younger audiences, Spy Kids is the story of a family whose parents have been keeping a secret. Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) were the world’s greatest spies from two different countries. They had a talent for disguise and invention. Their last assignment was to “take out” the other, but when they finally met faced to face, they were so charmed with each other that they fell in love, got married, settled down together and raised a family. Now, it’s 9-years later and they have two children who know nothing of their secret life of spying. But their former colleagues, some of the greatest spies in the world, have been mysteriously disappearing and the two domesticated love birds are once again called into action to investigate. When they also go missing, their two children, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), are the only ones who can come to their rescue. It’s a wild adventure that involves an evil genius named Floop, who also happens to be a children’s TV star, weird thumb-shaped creatures, and cybernetic children.

Of course, Spy Kids is full of silliness from start to finish that most adults will tire of rather quickly, but this is certainly good natured, good humored, action for the tweens in your life. It never takes itself too seriously and it makes for a great bit of stay-home weekend entertainment with a big bowl of popcorn or the salty snack of your choice.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Despite colors that look quite vibrant and pop nicely, the overall detail in this AVC/MPEG-4 transfer of Spy Kids looks rather flat. There are far too many spots where background detail and even foregrounds looks very soft, almost to the point of being out of focus. Still, there is a good layer of grain that remains in the transfer keeping it film-like, source damage is limited, and the high definition presentation is strong enough to make those once passable visual effects look even more B-quality.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack makes nice use of the surround channels and has a rather spacious sounding soundfield with tight balance of ambience and direct sound. On the negative side, however, the highs sound a bit shrill and the overall mix is just a bit on the thin side. Still, dialogue is clean and balanced well into the mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

There are some great new high definition video supplements on here featuring the very grownup Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, plus Robert Rodriguez’ signature film school and cooking school supplements in addition to some other behind-the-scenes type supplements.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Growing Up Spy Kids (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:48:10)
  • Robert Rodriguez Ten Minute Film School (1.78:1; 00:08:06) – Rodriguez shows how they did the visual effects on Spy Kids.
  • Cooking School (1.78:1; 1080p/24;00:06:04) – The director shows how to cook his “famous” Texas-style grilled cheese sandwich and “healthy” fruit smoothies.
  • Stunt Piece (00:06:48) – At look at the stunts done by the young Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara.
  • Special Effects Piece (00:07:03) – A look behind-the-scenes at the makeup artists doing their thing.
  • Teaser Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)
  • Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Spy Kids is good natured family fun that offers up pretty decent home theatre entertainment in this new Blu-ray release from Lionsgate & Miramax.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B005067GMO[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Spy Kids - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby

Purchase Spy Kids 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:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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