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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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Joan of Arc: 
		<p>Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.</p>
		<p>Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.</p>
		<p>During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success–to which Joan contributed. </p>
		<p>On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.</p>
		<p>Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."</p>
		<p>Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies. </p>
American Catholic Blog A surfer becomes a better surfer as he spends more time in the water and learns from his friends and experiences how to improve. It is so with the virtues too. They’re actionable—which means our ability to pursue the good improves with practice!

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