Spy Kids 3D: Game Over appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Almost everything about the image looked really good.
Sharpness occasionally became the only minor distraction, as parts of the movie could be a bit soft and tentative. However, virtually all of these instances stemmed from the original photography; the mix of digital effects and human actors sometimes left the picture a little loose. However, the flick usually appeared tight and concise, and I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies. Print flaws were absent in this immaculate transfer.
Both of the prior Spy Kids flicks delivered peppy palettes, and that continued to hold true for Over. The movie boasted dynamic, cartoony hues that consistently looked fresh and vivid. Blacks were deep and rich, while shadows showed nice clarity and delineation. Only the slight instances of softness kept this one from “A” level.
I also felt very pleased with the excellent DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Spy Kids 3: Game Over. The soundfield worked very well and added a lot to the film. Audio moved nicely across all five channels, and the different speakers displayed a lot of activities throughout the entire movie. Music demonstrated solid stereo imaging, and effects were placed appropriately in the spectrum. They transitioned neatly between speakers, and the surrounds added a good level of involvement to the package.
The many action sequences gave the track an opportunity to shine, and the mix created a fairly seamless and involving piece. Given the flick’s videogame setting, the soundfield didn’t need to worry about realism, so the surrounds tossed in lots of great material. Many effects as well as a lot of dialogue popped up from the rear, and those bits helped make it exciting and ambitious.
Audio quality also seemed positive. While the first two flicks demonstrated some minor issues connected to dialogue, they failed to pop up here. Speech was consistently concise and distinctive, and none of the prior hollowness marred the lines. The score was tight and vivid, with nice range.
Effects were accurate and vivid, as they lacked any issues related to distortion and also showed fine bass response. Low-end seemed tight and rich and kicked down the doors when necessary. Ultimately, the audio of Spy Kids 3 seemed very positive.
How did the picture and sound of this Blu-Ray compare with those of the original DVD from 2004? Both showed the expected improvements. Audio was more robust and powerful, while visuals seemed tighter, more dynamic and livelier. The Bli-ray delivered a nice step-up in quality.
The Blu-ray includes the same extras as the DVD, though one notable omission occurs: it drops the 3D version of the flick found on the original release.
We start with a very brisk audio commentary from director Robert Rodriguez. Fans who’ve heard Rodriguez’s many prior commentaries will know what to expect here. He offers a running, sporadically screen-specific piece and rarely comes up for air. Almost no empty spaces occur, so when one does pop up, it comes as a shock.
Rodriguez goes over just about everything you could want to know about the flick, or at least as much as he can fit into a 84-minute movie. He chats about his thoughts for the story, working with the actors, composing the score, editing, using digital technology, and issues connected to the 3D. This piece seems more technologically oriented than Rodriguez’s other ones, but that doesn’t create problems. He seems lively and engaging and covers the appropriate issues well in this solid commentary.
Up next comes yet another installation of Rodriguez’s Ten Minute Film School. The nine-minute and 51-second piece follows the same format of prior efforts. We watch quick film clips as well as raw footage while Rodriguez talks about the different elements. Most of the program concentrates on the extensive use of green screen, but he gets into some other bits like 3D and visual decisions. In an odd touch, the last few minutes gets into tips for improving your home movies. It’s another brisk and informative piece that entertains and tells us some nice notes.
After this we find Alexa Vega In Concert. This presents the actress’s performances of three songs: “Game Over” (three minutes, 32 seconds), “Heart Drive” (3:32), and “Isle of Dreams” (2:57). We see some footage of the Austin premiere – from which these songs come – and mostly watch Vega as she performs. It’s not terribly interesting.
Next we go to The Making of Spy Kids 3D. This 21-minute and 13-second program presents the standard mix of production clips, movie snippets, and interviews. We hear from Rodriguez, 3D expert Jeff Joseph, producer Elizabeth Avellan, visual effects artist Rodney Brunet, and actors Vega, Sylvester Stallone, Daryl Sabara, Ricardo Montalban, Ryan Pinkston, Bobby Edner, Courtney Jines, Bill Paxton, Alan Cumming, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Emily Osment, Holland Taylor, Salma Hayek and Steve Buscemi. It includes some general story and production notes plus a brief history of 3D movies. That part’s moderately interesting, and we see a few decent shots from the production. Unfortunately, it’s mostly just a generic promotional piece that touts the film and congratulates many involved; it can easily be skipped.
After this we find The Effects of the Game. It runs six minutes and 42 seconds as it presents a study of the flick’s visual effects. Actually, “study” probably isn’t the right term, as the program includes no notes or narration about the work for the first five minutes. Instead, we see a mix of raw elements and final shots, and the program morphs between the two versions. During the final 102 seconds, we see CG animatics and Rodriguez tells us a little about them. Overall, this provides a cool look at the various elements.
A short look at the audio recording, Making Trax with Alexa Vega runs a mere 61 seconds. We see her tape one of the film’s songs. Notably, the piece lets us hear some of her bum notes, but it’s not very useful or interesting otherwise.
For a multi-angle feature, we go to Surfing and Stunts. It lets you jump between storyboards, green screen shots, and the final product; each segment lasts 68 seconds. I’d like to get a screen that shows all three options at the same time, but this is still a good way to depict the various stages for the scene.
Lastly, Big Dink, Little Dink fills 101 seconds. We get some quick notes from actor Bill Paxton about reprising the role from Spy Kids 2 as well as the involvement of his son James. We see a few decent shots from the production, but this clip seems generally insubstantial.
The disc opens with ads for Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, Alpha and Omega, Battle for Terra, and Thor: Tales of Asgard. These also appear under Trailers, and we get the theatrical trailer for Spy Kids 3 as well.
A second disc provides a digital copy of Spy Kids 3. With this, you can place the movie on a computer or digital viewing device. Woop!
Although I liked the first two movies in the series, Spy Kids 3D: Game Over falls flat. It includes a few good action pieces but feels like nothing more than a bunch of random events tenuously connected without a real story, charm or spark. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture, audio and supplements, though I suspect fans will feel disappointed that it lacks the film’s 3D version. If you don’t care about the 3D, this is the best way to see this mediocre flick.
To rate this film, visit the original review of SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER