DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
As a father of three boys, I am a big fan of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movies. The third film, which is an amalgamation of the third and fourth books in the series, is “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.” It had a late-summer release (which didn’t fare as well at the box office as the springtime releases of the previous two films), but it made sense for the summer vacation angle of the story.
In this new film, now on DVD and Blu-ray, we examine Greg’s relationship with his father. Dad wants him to be involved in sports and follow in his own footsteps. Greg just wants to play video games all summer. Of course, there’s still plenty of shenanigans with Greg being a backhanded friend with the ever-faithful Rowley and dealing with his own big brother Rodrick. We also have some interaction between Greg and his crush Holly (featuring her caustic relationship with her own big sister).
“Dog Days” bites off more than the other films do, but it handles it well. Like the books themselves, this is pretty much a movie featuring vignettes from Greg’s life. It’s less a streamlined story, but that’s okay. Considering the wholesome yet sometimes cutely crass life of middle school kids, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” taps into the same energy and fun of the other films. In fact, now that it’s fully into the groove of the series, I enjoy it possibly even more than the previous films.
Movies like the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series are not meant to change the world. Like most of the programming on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, they are meant to entertain youngsters… and their parents (like myself) who retain the sense of humor of a ten-year-old boy.
The Blu-ray comes with a DVD disc as well as UltraViolet and Digital Copy for portable viewing. Bonus material includes a commentary track by director David Bowers, along with a gag reel. There’s also a featurette from FX, “Wimpy Empire,” which takes a look at Jeff Kinney’s life as he creates more “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” material. What’s neat about this featurette is that it addresses several things behind the scenes, including the reality that while more books will likely be written, there’s a limit on how many movies can be made with the aging cast.
Additionally, there’s a new animated Wimpy Kid comic called “Class Clown,” which offers a signature look drawing of Greg’s life trying to be named the class clown ahead of Rowley.