Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Roderick Rules (UK - BD RB/C)
Marcus watches a wimpy kid and his brother get into trouble for 95 minutes
Brothers Greg (Zachary Gordon) and Rodrick (Devon Bostick) aren’t getting on. Their mom (Rachael Harris) picks up on this and enters a 'Mom Bucks' system to the family life. If the two brothers start getting along together and hanging out with each other more they earn the bucks which can get traded in for real bucks. With Rodrick seeing an opportunity here, he and Greg find ways of hiding their rivalry in order to make some cash but can the brothers get along? Of course not but they will because this is a family movie.
Despite feeling like the advertising was following me at the time I’ve not seen the first Wimpy Kid movie but my guess is this sequel isn’t the Aliens to the first movie's Alien but more of the same stuff. Everything is pretty straight forward kid’s story stuff. Kids written with adult sensibilities and dialogue, dissecting school life like a Ferris Bueller or something and a whole host of kid scenarios that get wildly out of hand without anyone actually getting hurt or there ever being any real danger beyond pissing off a slightly mental school coach.
Split down into mini stories to make up the whole, we get stuff like the brothers having a secret party, the chocolate bar smeared on the back of Greg’s trousers situation, Greg’s best buddy making an unpopular Youtube video and two eighth graders watching a horror movie in secret. Honestly this is all the same sort of stuff that kids TV has been recycling for years and while it’s perfectly entertaining in its way I’m pretty sure I’m not the audience for it. So as I did with Yogi Bear, I’ll pass over the reins to my six year old daughter May who watched this with me.
May’s review: “It’s good. It’s better than Even Stevens (a kids TV show with Shia Lebeouf for those who don’t know) and I’d probably watch it again.” So there you go, a six year old dug it.
This HD transfer is decidedly more filmic than I thought it would be. Instead of a squeaky clean glossy image, we actually get quite a textured image that while bathed in a warm orange glow as you’d expect from a family movie (which can make other colours look a little off from time to time) feels like a genuine film as opposed to a beefed up TV movie like a lot of these kiddie flicks. That said all the other family movie expectations are here. Bright primary colours pop off the screen. Yellow P.E. kits glow off of the sun bathed school field, Rodrick’s black shirts looks good and deep and the permanent blue sky look perfect. Skin tones manage to come off as natural but it’s really only close ups that show off any real textures. Freckles, blemishes and bowl cuts all look great and even though the image is slightly softer and a tad darker than higher budget affairs it’s all pretty enough and makes use of its HD power.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track is as simple as peas. Straight forward yet strong dialogue, a lightly stepping score to sell the family vibe and bigger overtures to sell the safer than safe drama. Honestly this sounds like all the family suburban based movies out there and kept reminding me of Stuart Little, weirdly. Beyond the 'Loaded Diper' live track at the end of the film which comes loaded with thumping drums but pretty tinny sounding instruments, there’s really not much more to say due to how bland and typical this track is. It does what it does and it works for the timid scope of the movie
The disc opens with trailers for Mr. Poppers Penguins (a family movie I actually liked) and Rio (a family movie I’d forgotten about already).
The commentary with author Jeff Kinney and director David Bowers is pretty bland but has plenty of information about the book and making the film so given the author's involvement, fans of the book might get more out of it. So for all you nine year old commentary lovers out there here’s one for you.
‘My Summer Vacation’ (8:58 HD) is 7 short stories about what the characters got up to in the summer. There are ten deleted scenes (09:22 HD.) which features optional commentary from director David Bowers. The alternate ending (1:26 HD) is a slightly more Greg orientated ending and comes with optional Bowers commentary as well. The gag reel (4:23min HD) is about as vanilla as you’d expect from a kids movie gag reel and finally there’s the trailer (1:44 HD).
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 is essentially a movie with all the same themes and events as pretty much any kids TV show that’s on now or over the last thirty years. It’s perfectly adequate entertainment for its desired audience and hell they might even find it funny (not that my six year old daughter laughed once). I guess anyone that digs the books will in turn dig this but for me, a man in his thirties there was nothing special about this one. I need a Michael J Fox mouse, an alien that slimes people, a flying car or just something outside of the straight forward family set up I guess. As for the disc, it’s about average A/V wise but once again if you like the movie/books you might get a bit more than I did from the extras.
* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable for all
Release Date: 19th September 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, English Audio Description, DTS 5.1 Spanish, DTS 5.1 French, DTS 5.1 German, DTS 5.1 Russian
Subtitles: Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Bulgarian, Danish, Estonian, Ukranian, Latvian, Lithuanian, English
Extras: Commentary, Gag Reel, My Summer Vacation Shorts, Deleted Scnes, Alternate Ending
Easter Egg: No
Director: David Bowers
Cast: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Rachel Harris, Steve Zahn
Length: 95 minutes
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