JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER
Blu-ray Review by Kevin Carr
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
I have never read the “Judy Moody” books. I’m much too old for that. “Ramona” and “Super Fudge” were more my speed and generation. However, I do have a couple kids in grade school, and they are well-versed in Judy Moody lore. So the first thing people have to do is to put out of their minds that these books are strictly for girls. These aren’t grade school versions of “Sweet Valley High,” basic soap operas about girl issues. The Judy Moody stories are for kids, both boys and girls.
The series have been stirred together to make a mosaic of Judy Moody stories in “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer.” It came out this summer (an appropriate time, if you ask me), and unfortunately it did not do very well. And that’s a real shame, ‘cause it’s a cute little movie that works for the grade school ages.
The story follows free-spirited Judy Moody as she tries to plan out her summer with her friends. After learning most of her buddies will be traveling to exotic locations and she’ll be staying home, Judy comes up with a system to amass “thrill points” in order to quantify a summer that is mega-rare and thrilladelic. With the help of her Aunt Opal and her brother Stink, Judy tries to overcome the summertime blahs.
After seeing the advertisements and then the film, I can most associate this with the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” films... if they’re on a sugar high from pop rocks and Jolt Cola. It’s an intense, in-your-face movie, but that’s okay for the kids. It also reminds me of the Saturday morning specials that aired after the cartoons each week, only with a much higher production value.
The best thing I can say about “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” is that it is inspiring. It inspires kids to march by the beat of their own drum. It inspires kids to challenge themselves to have fun. And it inspires the kids to pick up the Judy Moody books if they haven’t already. It’s a simple story that treads familiar ground, but it’s fun to watch as a family, and it has an impressive amount of energy behind it. If you missed it this summer, check it out on home video.
The three-disc set comes with a Blu-ray, a DVD and a Digital Copy disc. There’s also the special features, including a bunch of deleted scenes, an interactive trivia game, Camryn’s “Wait and See” music video and the featurettes “Judy Moody’s Guide to Making a Movie,” “Flippin’ Out with the Cast” and “10 Things You Need to Know About Judy Moody.”
by Kevin Carr
MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
After the success of the “Air Bud” movies, the new “Air Buddies” movies have been breeding like two strays with a litter of puppies. And even though they’re kind of cheesy to watch, they’re fun, adorable little movies.
The latest Air Buddies movie is “Spooky Buddies,” taking the stories out of the Christmas season and dropping it into Halloween. In this film, the Buddies encounter a friendly ghost dog who needs their help to stop Warwick the Warlock from taking over the world.
Like all the other Buddies movies, “Spooky Buddies” features plenty of cute dogs of all shapes and sizes, and it introduces the audience to a few fresh, new faces. Sure, the beagle puppy is cute, but the impressive turn comes from Harlan Williams as Warwick the Warlock. Williams, who is generally known for more edgy parts, looks like he’s having some fun here. In the end, the story is quite tongue-in-cheek, and I think everyone’s in on the joke.
As the Buddies movies have moved forward, the focus has been more and more on the dogs themselves rather than any human counterpart, and that’s more apparent than ever here. But then again, why else would you watch this movie than to see a litter of golden retriever puppies dress up in Halloween costumes? Adorable.
The Blu-ray comes with the DVD as well, and the features include a new music video (which is actually quite awful, representing the worst Disney pop rock has to offer), a new episode of “DIGS” to show the swanky life of the Buddies and a sneak peek of the next film, “Treasure Buddies.”
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