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Well, well, well. I claim the very dubious honour of having watched
this...er...movie twice. Once with a friend and her kids; And again
with my 14 year old.
Of course it's a stinker. But then many movies that managed to attain cult status have been worse stinkers than this one ('Attack of the Killer Tomatoes' for example).
One method whereby movies rise to cult level is by negative recommendation. People tell friends how bad it is, and the friends watch it to see why. And I've certainly noticed a whole lot of negative comments regarding this movie. For a long time 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' was regaled as the worse movie made. I and many of my acquaintances watched it just to see why it got that reputation. 'Plan 9' now enjoys a modest cult following.
Another contributing factor is unintentional humour. My second viewing of this movie had me chuckling at Lavagirl's constant Cheshire grins, and at some of the tacked in nonsense to show off the 3d effect (Sharkboy throwing a glass of water toward the audience during his "dance" routine, for example).
Sometimes deviating radically from the "norm" can project a film into the realm of cult status also. This movie, while not engaging in major deviation, still has enough strangeness about it to give it a little push in that direction.
Who knows. Perhaps in the future, droves of teenagers (and maybe adults too) will throng to theatres late at night, 3d glasses in hand, to see this little piece...as they do now for 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'.
Right now the future looks grim for this oddity, but I would certainly not be surprised to see it pop up out of nowhere sometime down the road.
I thought this was an excellent children's film, hearkening back to the days of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Pagemaster, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and Neverending Story. It combines entertaining action with real moral lessons (that are not preachy or political): you can only make your dreams a reality if you work hard to make them true; those who have had their dreams smashed will seek to smash others' dreams; you cannot escape fear because it exists in your mind; do not dream selfish dreams when the world needs you to make it a better place; and unfinished, unrealized dreams will die inside your mind. Certainly, the characters were somewhat flat, but name a children's film in which they are not. At least this film is smart and fun. It mostly takes place literally in the main character's dream world, a dark 3-D universe where things are changing and he must strive to set things right. The combination of self-sacrifice, maturity, and valiance saves the day and even characters in the real world learn important lessons.
The Matrix meets Spy Kids when 10 year-old Max (Cayden Boyd) blurs the
lines between the dream world and the real world in The Adventures of
Sharkboy & Lavagirl in 3-D. Did Max simply dream up Sharkboy and
Lavagirl in some psychosomatic response to his parents' failing
marriage? Or did he really go to Planet Drool to fight the evil Mr.
Electricity (George Lopez)? Though his 7 year-old son, Racer Rodriguez,
technically came up with the story and characters in the film, Sharkboy
& Lavagirl is clearly a metaphor for writer/director Robert Rodriguez
and his philosophy on life. This is a movie about dreams, passions, and
working hard to make your dreams a reality. There is no bigger dreamer
in the entire film industry than Mr. Rodriguez, and no one works harder
and gets less sleep (he shot this film and Sin City at the same time).
But he makes his dreams into realities, time and time again (he works
at "the speed of thought," to use his favorite expression). And his
dreams also tend to make Miramax and other studios a lot of money, too.
But I digress.
Very few movies, even traditional "kid movies," honor kids and their ideas like Sharkboy & Lavagirl does. The heroes of this film are the characters with the biggest dreams and wildest imaginations, while the bad guys are those intent on crushing dreams. Kids are so often belittled in film, depicted as troublemakers or whiny brats. This movie, on the other hand, shows how much Rodriguez loves and honors his kids, and respects the imagination of all children.
Besides the great message of this movie, it's also a blast to watch! I have to admit, this was my first 3-D movie, and I was blown away. I literally reached up and tried to grab bubbles. Why don't more people make 3-D movies? They're so much fun! The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl in 3-D was made by kids and for kids, and kids everywhere are going to love it. And the parents, siblings, and babysitters who have to take them to the theater are going to love it, too.
This is an excellent movie I've ever seen. It brings me so many hopes
and pleasure. Although I am just a kid,I really want to be brave as
Sharkboy was. No matter you are, Just go ahead and make your own
dreams. I love this. By the way Sharkboy you are so cool. All those
characters in this movie had done very well. Every single move brings
so many happiness. I am glad that I could see this movie on HBO
channel. It was just an accident,switch the channel. Hey,above all the
songs in the movie are really cool. Sharkboy do have a very good voice.
Especially the sleep song(Is that called like this? I guess) Sharkboy
sang very well!!~ Hope to see all of you guys make more good efforts.
A young kid,Kevin who lives in Taiwan.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a fan of 3d glasses and Sharkboy and Lavagirl only looses for Spy
Kids 3D. The story and actors are great, the idea and effects are great
too, if I could change something it would be to put Dakota Fanning as
the ice princess as the actual one was lacking at the acting. Overall
its a great movie, worth to be kept in your DVD collection.
The sound is superb. (Spoiler) This movie will give the audience a very different sensation, one as if it was actually dreaming while watching.. it was something really amazing and awesome for me (a movie maniac since birth) for someone who has seen all the movies ever released, this one will definitely bring different experiences - will be worth the money.
This movie obviously was made to draw in a "young children" audience. So if you are an adult, OF COURSE you would think it's awful. If you are an adult and actually LIKE this movie, THEN I would say there is reason to worry! The previous review states, "my six year old girl loved the movie, etc.".......I REST MY CASE....To you who thinks its so awful, I'd bet you a million dollars that if YOU were six years old, YOU would love it too....So i don't think its fair to shoot the movie down like that....Hey...let your six year old daughter write a review on it! If she can, it will be positive instead of negative.....In my book, I say a movie is good if it keeps my kids' attention while i do something else....at least it ain't "Night Of The Living Dead!"...This movie is an excellent "babysitter."
I am a 63-year-old woman and I took my little 5-year-old granddaughter to see this movie - WRITTEN by a KID for KIDS with KIDS acting the parts! She loved it, and I loved seeing her love it. Nothing was beyond her level to comprehend with her unlimited imagination and zest. It was a pleasure for both of us, and she talked about it for days. She loved the prompts to "put on the glasses" and "take them off" and loved having that interaction and being able to tell me when to do same. I am so irritated at the ADULTS who trashed this movie MADE FOR SMALL CHILDREN! Don't GO or WATCH if you don't want to see a children's movie! Congratulations to the Rodriguez family for honoring the children!
This was so good!I loved it!We under 11 year old kids even others,love
this movie good!good!It was so good,I will be lava girl for
Halloween,and if not,ice princess!It was great!Have i made myself
clear?Thank you for understanding.I mean really?You people who hate
this movie.I mean really.who thinks this movie is very bad,post your
ratings.I'll soon start a new board.Please read it.Good
P.S.:I'm nine,so like the movie or I'll kill ya!
If you think i'm dumb(which I'm not,BTW)or want to be in a movie,e-mail me at StaretteFruity@cox.net.please e-mail me.It really was good.So watch it,dummies who hated it.
After attending the premiere of this film (see comments below) I was
amazed that it was poorly reviewed until I saw it at a local theater
*without* polarization, multiple digital light projection, an IMAX
screen, and state-of-the-art 3-D/non-disposable glasses. Now I know why
people complained. What a mess.
All I can say is this: Robert Rodriguez's cinematic prowess exceeds most theaters' current technology. This amazing kid's film is great fun when viewed digitally. Seeing the polarized version not yet shown outside Austin was like stepping inside a View Master projector -- something I always wanted to do when I was a kid. Unfortunately, what Robert has conjured up can't yet be seen the way he designed it. Someday soon, perhaps!
--------- earlier comments, posted in June 2005:
Little did I know yesterday that when my eight-year-old granddaughter and I went to see The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D we would be viewing a polarized print of the film made exclusively for the Austin premiere. As Robert Rodriguez explained what we were about to see there was no way to imagine beforehand how the 3-D experience would be transformed by the killer combo of the polarized version shown on an IMAX screen through multiple DLPs. Once the movie started, however, I immediately realized I was watching something light years beyond anything I had yet seen. Trust me when I tell you that when Rodriguez waved his magic wand over the audience we caught an unforgettable glimpse of a child's dreams, as well as the future possibilities of cinematic fantasy.
Don't listen to those who say there's nothing new to be had here, or that the story's derivative, or it's just for kids. Forget what you hear from cynical reviewers unable to momentarily access their inner child. This story, written by a kid for other kids, hasn't been tainted by anyone's opinion about keeping the older film-goers entertained through adult-themed inside references and innuendo.
In making this film, Robert Rodriguez has wisely protected and preserved his son Racer's unique vision without the addition of dumbed-down "mature" wisecracks. Mr. Rodriguez, along with his producer--who just happens to be Robert's wife and Racer's mom, Elizabeth Avelan--knows that when it comes to children, play *is* their work. By respecting and valuing the realm of childhood imagination, this unique family team together share a story with us about the myriad ways creative thinking can impact the real world. Awe and wonder are not treated lightly here but rather offered to viewers in a much less adulterated form than that to which we have become accustomed.
Today when I think about it, I simply close my eyes and smile.
First off, remember it's a movie called "Sharkboy and Lavagirl" -- you
shouldn't be expecting a serious, logically tight story. It's based on
the director/writer's kid's dreams. Once you accept that dream-logic is
at work, it begins to make more sense.
I wasn't expecting much from this movie; it looked, frankly, like it had been made specifically to be a McDonalds tie-in. But I found it took itself lightheartedly enough that most of the plot holes are easy enough to overlook. The acting was spotty, but not atrocious (I wasn't a fan of Max, but both Sharkboy and Lavagirl were fun, and Linus was the perfect little a**hole kid). The score was good, excepting the overly literal closing song. The CGI was only a bit better than TV series quality, but that fits in with the childhood-dream motif. What really surprised me was the impressive fight choreography, esp. where Sharkboy was concerned (and I thought the plug hounds were kind of inventive).
The weakest spot was Max's home life. I've seen parental troubles done better in plenty of kid movies. Not sure what David Arquette as thinking. The whole "You're my best friend!" scene looked like a walk-through for both of them. I found George Lopez's performance spotty as well, but that may have been a reflection of the dialog he had to work with. Yeah, the dialog was kind of stilted sometimes, but it seemed to happen in conjunction with people trying to put on airs.
Oh, don't get me wrong, there were some plot holes. Why did they tell Sharkboy to swim away from the eels when he could have gotten out of the water? Why did the ice king say the thing would work i it wouldn't? Idunno. But it was fun.
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