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Rantings of a Crazed Soccer Mom
Tuesday, 14 June 2005

If you are really pissed off at your husband, here's a way to get back at him. Have him take the kids to see "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D." It's 92 minutes of misery.

My daughter, who's a really good kid and deserves to be taken to a movie now and then, has been dying to see "Shark Boy, etc.". She said it was like "Spy Kids." Well it's not. "Spy Kids" was fun. It was a ridiculous premise, but at least the premise worked. And there was Antonio Banderas, who I can watch in just about anything.

What's this film about you ask? A wimpy nine year old named Max escapes his depressing life through dreams. As things get worse (his parents fight, he's bullied at school, he doesn't like his fourth grade teacher), his dreams take on substance and become real.

Suddenly Shark Boy and Lava Girl appear in his classroom so they can take him off to the Planet Drool because it's about to be destroyed. And since it's his dream creation, he's the only one who can save it.

When it's in 3D, the film looks murky. Maybe it was trying to watch it with the 3D glasses over my own bifocals. Yes, you do get that nifty effect of sharks swimming over your head, but there's no vivid color. Everything was dark and kind of fuzzy.

"Shark Boy, etc." was written, directed, and produced by Robert Rodriguez. He also wrote the music and supervised the special effects. One of the warning signs of a major turkey is seeing the same name in various key positions. (Not everyone is Orson Welles). I've got a sneaking suspicion that Robert Rodriguez is a pseudonym for George Lopez, who's all over this film. He's the kid's teacher, and the dream villain, and the Ice King and the Robot. I didn't keep track, but Lopez probably has about as much screen time as little Max and the adorable kids in the title roles.

It's not a bad movie for kids. Despite a number of fart jokes, it's not scary or gory, and there's a happy ending Max and the bully Linus become friends and Max's parents decide to stay together. And everyone decides it's a good idea not to be selfish.

However, I'd seriously recommend sneaking out and seeing "Cinderella Man" or "Batman Begins" once "Shark Boy, Etc." starts rolling.

Or wait until it comes out on DVD (very soon, I'm sure).

Posted by judy5cents at 4:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 June 2005 7:42 AM EDT
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