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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D

By
Joseph McAleer
Source: Catholic News Service


Rowan Blanchard stars in a scene from the movie "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D."
Had your fill of 3-D movies? Take a whiff of "4D," otherwise known as "Aroma-Scope," now, um, airing in "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World" (Dimension). This third sequel to 2001's "Spy Kids" offers viewers the chance, via a scratch-and-sniff card, to "smell" the action as they watch (in 3-D) our young heroes—and their parents—fight to save the world.

While the gimmick is reminiscent of "Smell-O-Vision" in the 1960s and John Waters' notorious use of "Odorama" in 1982's "Polyester," the scents this time are much more innocent, ranging from bacon, blue cheese, and candy to—inevitably—burps and other gaseous effusions (both of which, however, turn out to smell like candy as well).

Once the country's top agent for the OSS (Organization of Super Spies), Marissa Wilson (Jessica Alba) is now retired, her alter ego a secret to her family. Her husband, Wilbur (Joel McHale), is a hapless TV reporter who tracks down—whom else?—spies, but without much success. Marissa's precocious stepkids, Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), don't give her the time of day.

Marissa also has a new baby girl to contend with, one who's especially challenged when it comes to bodily functions (cue the seemingly requisite toilet humor).

Marissa is called back into service when the wicked Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) threatens to unleash Project Armageddon, the "ultimate weapon" that takes away all the time in the world. While he's undeniably a villain, Timekeeper's message nonetheless hits home: "You're all guilty of wasting time on mindless pursuits instead of spending time with each other and the things that really matter," he declares.

Her true identity revealed, the stepmom is suddenly very cool to the younger generation, and Rebecca and Cecil also join the struggle as Spy Kids, members of the "elite juvenile division" of the OSS. They're assisted by Argonaut (voice of Ricky Gervais), a talking robot dog whose ability to expel bombs from you-know-where comes in handy.

As they learn to work together as a family to rescue humanity, the Wilsons discover that time is a precious commodity that must be used wisely.

"Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D" is written and directed, with a winning sense of fun, by series creator Robert Rodriguez.

The film contains light comic-book action and mildly rude humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

*****
Jospeh McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.



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Jacopone da Todi: Jacomo, or James, was born a noble member of the Benedetti family in the northern Italian city of Todi. He became a successful lawyer and married a pious, generous lady named Vanna. 
<p>His young wife took it upon herself to do penance for the worldly excesses of her husband. One day Vanna, at the insistence of Jacomo, attended a public tournament. She was sitting in the stands with the other noble ladies when the stands collapsed. Vanna was killed. Her shaken husband was even more disturbed when he realized that the penitential girdle she wore was for his sinfulness. On the spot, he vowed to radically change his life. </p><p>He divided his possessions among the poor and entered the Secular Franciscan Order (once known as the Third Order). Often dressed in penitential rags, he was mocked as a fool and called Jacopone, or "Crazy Jim," by his former associates. The name became dear to him. </p><p>After 10 years of such humiliation, Jacopone asked to be a member of the Order of Friars Minor(First Order). Because of his reputation, his request was initially refused. He composed a beautiful poem on the vanities of the world, an act that eventually led to his admission into the Order in 1278. He continued to lead a life of strict penance, declining to be ordained a priest. Meanwhile he was writing popular hymns in the vernacular. </p><p>Jacopone suddenly found himself a leader in a disturbing religious movement among the Franciscans. The Spirituals, as they were called, wanted a return to the strict poverty of Francis. They had on their side two cardinals of the Church and Pope Celestine V. These two cardinals, though, opposed Celestine’s successor, Boniface VIII. At the age of 68, Jacopone was excommunicated and imprisoned. Although he acknowledged his mistake, Jacopone was not absolved and released until Benedict XI became pope five years later. He had accepted his imprisonment as penance. He spent the final three years of his life more spiritual than ever, weeping "because Love is not loved." During this time he wrote the famous Latin hymn, <i>Stabat Mater</i>. </p><p>On Christmas Eve in 1306 Jacopone felt that his end was near. He was in a convent of the Poor Clares with his friend, Blessed John of La Verna. Like Francis, Jacopone welcomed "Sister Death" with one of his favorite songs. It is said that he finished the song and died as the priest intoned the Gloria from the midnight Mass at Christmas. From the time of his death, Brother Jacopone has been venerated as a saint.</p> American Catholic Blog By immersing our lives in the rhythm of the season, charity can flood our souls and fill us with the happiness for which we were created. We awake Christmas morning prepared to celebrate the birth of our Savior not as a memory but as a profound experience of God’s redemptive love.

 
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