Reviews: The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl
Cheesily fun movie
Okay, okay. First off, it's a kids movie. And the fact that the director used his kid to help make this movie is pretty cool. If you think about it, for a movie like this a kid running the show makes quite a lot of sense. Considering most of the movie takes place in a child's mind and seen through a child's eyes I think the way the movie is filmed is pretty accurate. Things don't always make sense in a kid's mind and the jokes are what a kid would find hilarious. It's full of cool stuff like motorbikes, superpowers and crazy worlds. Sure, older audiences for the most part will just notice the tacked on stuff and the crappy CGI but if you get down to it, kids dreaming wouldn't think about that stuff. They wouldn't want it to be realistic; they'd want it to be fun and adventurous with heaps of bright colours and wickedly cool moves. Which is what this film does. Another main problem that is brought up is the Narm factor and I understand. The cheesiness in this film would make lactose-intolerant audiences break out into hives. But I gotta say, I'm more on the Narm Charm side of the scale on this. Its cheesy jokes and catchphrases are amusing to me and they're exactly what kids would respond to. The grimacing parents being forced to watch the movie, maybe not so much. It has many flaws but really, I like this movie. I think its message and the representations of Shark-Boy and Lava-Girl as his feuding parents is very clever and actually kind of symbolic if you think about it. I can totally see how kids would translate that into their subconscious. Tell me you haven't had an imaginary friend once who (even if you didn't know it) represented something or someone in your life. It's not for everyone and the more cynical viewers will probably loathe it. It's not a deep, meaningful movie but it isn't totally forgettable either. The morals are there, under the terrible CGI and implausible plotline. For kids and for kids-at-heart like me, it's a simple, fun adventure movie to watch and enjoy.
A Good Film (to me at least)
Alright, this review may involve a lot of Nostalgia Goggles so I may be biased. But when I was a kid, I loved this movie beyond belief. The main theme is imagination and I loved that. Imagination has always been important to me and the idea of escaping to a world you created is something I so desperately dreamed of doing. As an adult, I'll admit a good deal of that kiddish enjoyment has worn off but I still really like this film. An interesting thing is that this film contains an extreme amount of conspicuous CGI. This however is just as much as much to it's advantage as it's detriment. In some ways, the completely CGI backgrounds give Planet Drool it's own unique look, it almost fits because this is supposed to be a small boy's dreamland. The acting is a bit cheesy but it's alright. I applaud the concept of the movie, the execution may be a little hit-and-miss, but for the most part I enjoy it. The ending is a bit weird but at worst, it's forgivable, at best, it's and okay ending that fits thematically. The humor is cheesy as well but still enjoyable. All in all, I think this is a good film to show your kids, just don't expect it to be one of those films that everyone agrees was awesome and stays awesome. I like it a lot for it's themes and just for the fact that it's a film I liked as a kid. If you don't like, I completely understand. I applaud Mr. Rodriguez for making this specifically for his kids.
Despite Rodriguez's attempt at family pride here...
Well, if there's one thing I have to give Rodriguez: he loves his kids. He really loves his kids. He loves his kids so much that he'd let one of them direct this piece of crap. Despite the fetish-fuelability Lavagirl has, I wouldn't suggest watching it, as I fell asleep halfway through. The bright colors bugged me, and the glasses (at the time they were still using red/blue 3D glasses) didn't help either, in fact they made viewing worse. I had to keep taking them off and putting them back on because my retinas started sweating. Yes, sweating. The scenery looked fresh out of some stoner's imagination mixed with Candyland than a child's imagination and the villain looked dull and flat—which was amplified by the lame stylings of George Lopez. Really, for 2003, they could have tried way better than that. His kid may be sweet, but he cannot, for the life of him, direct a movie as well as his dad can.