Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002)

Starring Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Steve Buscemi, Mike Judge, Matt O’Leary, Emily Osment, Ricardo Montalban, Holland Taylor, Taylor Momsen

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Expectations: Moderate. I expect to have fun. No more, no less.


I don’t review a lot of kids movies here at Silver Emulsion and that’s because most of them aren’t very good. OK, OK, the same could be said of many horror films, but the truth is: I’m not a kid, nor do I have kids, so I just don’t see a lot of them. They also don’t really appeal to me either, which is probably a good thing as I’m now in my thirties and it gets a little creepy to be saying “One for Agent Cody Banks, please” once you’re old enough to drive yourself around. There are always exceptions to the rule though, and Robert Rodriguez’s films for children always seem to fit into that category for me. As I mentioned in my lengthy and ridiculously wordy review of the original Spy Kids, it was a viewing of his Shorts that led me to revisit his kid-friendly work, and I’m glad that I did. I enjoyed the first film quite a bit, and I think the second one is even better.

Story isn’t really the strongpoint of this film, but here’s the gist: Our spy kid heroes are no longer the only game in town, as seemingly every agent this side of a Madagascar alleyway has inducted their own children into the program. Juni and Carmen’s main rivals are Gary and Gerti Giggles, spawn of Dr. Giggles Donnagon Giggles, the new head of the OSS. Anyway, the president’s daughter starts the ball rolling by stealing a device known as the Transmooker, and, of course, every one wants it. This leads our heroes and their devious enemies down a wonderful thrill ride of a spy picture, complete with more insane gadgets than you could ever hope to see in the entire James Bond series.

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Paranoid Park (2007)

Paranoid Park (2007)

Starring Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Jake Miller, Taylor Momsen, Lauren McKinney, Scott Patrick Green, John Burrowes

Directed by Gus Van Sant

Expectations: Moderate. I’m not a Van Sant fan, but my buddy Mike loves this one.


My good friend and frequent commenter Mike D (not of Beastie Boys fame) has been trying to get me to watch this movie since it was released. I always planned to watch it, but it was one of those movies I consistently put off for whatever reason. I have a strong aversion to Gus Van Sant movies, but my friend assured me that this one was different. I finally decided to just sit down and watch the damn thing and man, Mike spoke true. Paranoid Park managed to impress me, engage me and win me over. Maybe this Van Sant guy isn’t always so bad.

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