Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spy Kids in 4-D

For being in 4-D, there were a surprising lack of tesseracts in this movie.

Spy Kids 4-D: All the Time in the World, despite being advertised as being in 4-D, has absolutely nothing to do with the fourth dimensional coordinate geometry and vectors. It also has nothing to do with the physics concept of the interception of spacetime as a single continuum.

Instead we had scratch-and-sniff stickers that the movie prompted us to scratch and smell at various points.

How does the addition of the sense of smell work to enhance the viewing experience of someone like me who has no real sense of smell? Not at all!

We were given a sheet with eight different numbered spaces and had to smell them at the appropriate time. However, the movie itself didn't even use this well. First of all, two out of the eight of the scents dealt with fart or poop jokes. That is a solid 25% of the additional scents presented in the movie. A whole quarter of the scent experience of the movie dealt with poop smells. Granted, this is a kids movie, so fart jokes are to be expected and I would have perhaps tolerated 1 out of the 8 smells being fecally related, but two? Secondly, they kept teasing scents. The characters would say things like, "Did you smell that?" and everyone in the audience would grab their sheets, but there would be no prompting to scratch and sniff. They left us hanging and honestly, being left to hold a scratch and sniff sheet at the ready to no pay off gives the same sort of awkward feeling of being left for a high five. And at one point in the movie, one of the characters found a lot of different candy and we were prompted to scratch and sniff three different numbers simultaneously.

But anyhow, that was just a gimmick. A crappy, crappy gimmick.

The movie itself was about as good as 2 of the 8 scents.

Basically, the movie starts with the mother, who is a spy, at the endgame of a dangerous mission. However, she is fully 9 months pregnant. Now, I am fully down with and rather liberal when it comes to pregnancy and maternity situations in the workplace, but I think I draw the line at a full-term pregnant mother sliding down a zip-line into a convertible to start a high speed chase through traffic and ending in a confrontation with the bad guy and his minions and starting hand-to-hand combat during which her water breaks. This does, however, foreshadow her seemingly unerring ability to thrust her children into danger later in the film.

She swears off spy work and we cut to a year later. She's married to Joel McHale, who, for once in his life, was cleanly shaved and didn't have his sexy two-day stubble. Anyhow, Joel McHale has no clue that his wife was a spy and he has two kids of his own from a previous marriage, who view the spy step-mom with a bit of derision.

So, blah blah blah, shit happens and she gets reactivated as a spy and in the process the kids are left home by themselves and the house is attacked and they find out that their mom was really a spy and that their dog is really a robot voiced by Ricky Gervais. Stephen Merchant got to do really awesome voice-over work in Portal 2. Ricky Gervais, however, does voice-over work on a dog who makes fart jokes and says the word "chillax". Stephen Merchant wins that round. However, Gervais delivers his lines with such apathy, I doubt he spent more than one take on anything and didn't really give a shit anyway.

The kids are rather shallow personalities. The older girl likes pranks and has more issues accepting the mom. The younger boy is obviously really smart. How did I figure this out? Well, he was reading a book titled "Quantum Physics" while wearing a shirt that read "E=MC2".

Yes, yes. Kid's movie. Blunt should be forgivable. However, it shouldn't be insulting. Kids really can grasp and take in and understand a lot more than we give credit for.

But, anyhow, so the kids risk their lives and nearly die several times over and confront the bad guy who is using some time travel device to try to go back into time to spend more time with his father that he felt he never had enough time with. I happen to love time travel stories. I am also incredibly forgiving of time travel movies. But this made no sense.

So they stop the bad guy and decide to be a whole spy family. Since being reactivated as a spy, the mother carried the one-year old baby around with her on a front papoose--again, while sneaking around, getting shot at and getting in hand to hand fights.

I do not expect the genes of this family to continue on.

Molly: (As usual Molly's portion of the review will be in Q&A form due to her age and the fact that she cannot read. She's sitting next to me at my computer as I type this. I'll go back and reformat her review later.)

Chuckie: So, what did you think about the movie, "Spy Kids 4-D: All the Time in the World"?
Molly: I liked it.

Chuckie: What did you like about it?
Molly: Um, wait... what does fragile mean, Daddy?
Chuckie: That something can break easy.
Molly: Well, something broke easy.
Chuckie: What?
Molly: When the boy did that. (She mimes punching the wall.)

Chuckie: Okay, true. But you didn't tell me what you liked about it.
Molly: I know. Uh, I liked that baby made her first bad guy and that they were safe and that they saved the world and that two big Spy Kids made up.

Chuckie: What did you think about the scratch-and-sniff experience of the movie?
Molly: I liked that it smelled pretty good, except for number 4 because it smelled it smoke.
Chuckie: And that two of the eight scents smelled like either a dog fart or a baby fart, right?
Molly: No. I didn't like those either.

Chuckie: So, tell me what the movie was about?
Molly: Um, well it was about two Spy Kids and four Parent-level Spy Kids and three of the Parent-level Spy Kids fell into that globe thing full of numbers that was running out of time and two Spy Kids got trapped. And the baby farted and the dog farted.

Chuckie: What was the bad guy's plan in the movie?
Molly: Um, he tried to travel through time to get back to his dad because he missed him. So that's what that was all about. But here's the important part: he tried to kill the kids. But it didn't work. He didn't realize they were Spy Kids.

Chuckie: Did the time travel part of the movie confuse you?
Molly: No. I know about it from Doctor Who.
Chuckie: That's good to hear.
Molly: Thank you, Daddy. Oh! Here's a part that I did not like: She tried to warn the mom that it was a trap, but she didn't listen. She thought that it was a prank, but it wasn't.

Chuckie: Tell me a little about the characters in the movie.
Molly: Well, the characters... um, the dog character said, "Pull my tail" and they did that and he made butt bombs and when they pulled his finger he farted because it was funny. The boy said, "What was that supposed to do?" And the dog said it made him laugh.

Chuckie: Were you a little disappointed that the movie was advertised as being in 4-D, but there was really nothing pertaining to coordinate geometry and vectors and polychora?
Molly: I do not know what those words mean.

Chuckie: Okay, fair enough. So what did it being in 4-D lead you to expect?
Molly: That I needed to have 4-D glasses on instead of 3-D glasses.
Chuckie: What do 4-D glasses do that 3-D glasses don't?
Molly: Well, 3-D glasses make everything look like they're coming out into your eyes. And I would guess that 4-D glasses wouldn't make them come out into your eyes, but they would act like regular glasses and just help you see better.

Chuckie: Like Daddy's everyday glasses?
Molly: Yes, because I can see the computer on your glasses, so they made the computer come out onto your glasses in 4-D.
Chuckie: That's just the reflection of the computer screen on my glasses, Pixie.
Molly: Oh.

Chuckie: So, what was your favorite part of the movie?
Molly: Um, twiddling their thumbs.
Chuckie: What?
Molly: They were doing that and the girl won.
Chuckie: Oh! You mean the thumb wrestling?
Molly: Yeah.
Chuckie: Really? That was your favorite part?
Molly: Yeah. But that wasn't the funniest part.

Chuckie: What was the funniest part?
Molly: I have two funniest parts. When they said, "I think we need another way out", and when they said, "Baby got her first bad guy." Oh! And another part. You want to hear my favorite part?
Chuckie: Sure.
Molly: Um, my favorite part was that the world was saved.

Chuckie: Judging by your reaction, I thought it would be when the girl shot the jetpacks and said, "Hope you enjoy the ride."
Molly: Yeah! That's what I was going to say, "Enjoy the ride!" That was my favorite part ever.

Chuckie: So how would you rate this movie?
Molly: Um, happy.
Chuckie: Happy?
Molly: Wait, what does rate mean?
Chuckie: It's how you think about it in comparison to other things.
Molly: Oh, yeah! I like a lot of stars. Want to know how many?

Chuckie: Sure. How many stars would you give it?
Molly: Um, twenty-five thirty-four.
Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of my birthday. Oh, right! It's another number. Out of seven. And moons!

Chuckie: Okay, how many moons would you give the movie?
Molly: Twenty-five. I'm doing big numbers, Daddy, because it's impressive.
Chuckie: Okay. Out of how many?
Molly: Out of Africa.
Chuckie: What is it with you and having your ratings be out of Africa?
Molly: Because... um... I... uh... because I thought we were in Africa? I mean America! Thanks for correcting me, Daddy. Out of America.
Chuckie: Uh, okay.
Molly: It should be out of from wherever we live.

Chuckie: Sure. That's fine. So, who do you think would like this movie?
Molly: Um, everybody that is a kid because it's a kid show. And not you though, Daddy, because you can't smell very good.

Chuckie: Yes, that's true. I didn't get to experience smelling dog and baby farts on the card.
Molly: I'll tell you what they smelled like and then maybe you would like it better.

Chuckie: Okay.
Molly: One was very gross. I do not want to tell you what the gross one was. Number Four smelled like smoke. The other ones smelled like lollipops, a candy cane, Christmas tree and McDonald's food and one smelled like a butterfly and one smelled like a princess that was taking a shower.

Chuckie: Wait, none of these things were in the movie.
Molly: I don't know why it smelled like that. Maybe they gave me a card for a different movie. Oh, but one of them smelled like a girl Spy Kid. THAT was in the movie. And one smelled like cat fur.

Chuckie: Was that all of them?
Molly: Yes. But on the second one, it was different. One smelled like ketchup and one smelled like a zebra and one smelled like a star--

Chuckie: What does a star smell like?
Molly: I don't know. Outer space? And one smelled like Ariel--

Chuckie: Hold on, there weren't that many scratch and sniff spots. And what does a princess taking a shower even smell like?
Molly: I don't know. Like a princess and some soap?

Chuckie: I think you're making this up.
Molly: (Taunting.) How do you know? You can't smell.

Chuckie: Ouch. Touché. So, anything else you want to say about the movie?
Molly: I want to be a Spy Kid.

So, that's our review. Molly was very excited to see it and really enjoyed the movie. She had been talking about the scenes from the commercials non-stop since seeing them on teevee. And she got excited whenever she could tell that a scene that she had seen in advance was coming up and she had a great time watching it. I thought it was a really, really bad movie that they tried to enhance my enjoyment of the film by making me smell poop twice.

I give the movie a half-star out of five. I am seriously being very generous in this rating. This movie assaulted my intelligence was terribly filmed, constantly irresponsibly put an infant in danger and tried to make me smell dog and baby poop. The only reason why I did not give it less is that I feel that there was still a potential to make this movie worse. It could have been in "5-D" and handed out Willy Wonka style lickable wallpaper sheets, but instead of snozberries, I had to lick and taste actual dog shit. So, good job in not doing that as well, movie. You get a half-star.

Molly, however, really liked this movie. She gives is twenty-four-thirty-five out of seven stars and twenty-five moons out of America. When she gets older and develops taste, I plan on making her watch this movie to prove how much I did for her when she was a kid. If I am getting anything out of this movie, it will be future parental guilt.