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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Comedy > Spy > Fantasy > Elektra – Director’s Cut (2005/Fox Blu-ray) + Tooth Fairy (2009/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD) + The Spy Next Door (2010/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)

Elektra – Director’s Cut (2005/Fox Blu-ray) + Tooth Fairy (2009/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD) + The Spy Next Door (2010/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)


Picture: B/B- & C/B- & C+     Sound: B/B- & C+/B-     Extras: C/D/D     Films: C/D/D



Some movies are so bad, you cannot believe they got made.  In the case of Elektra, it was simply an inability of the makers to stick with the Superhero genre and throw everything in but the kitchen sink, leaning even more towards the supernatural and martial arts genres than anything else.  Tooth Fairy and The Spy Next Door started as abominations of family entertainment and only got worse.  By first, here is our previous coverage of Jennifer Garner as Elektra on DVD:





I would have rated the picture and sound on that DVD B- and B respectively, which does not bode well for this Blu-ray, which repeats all of the DVD’s extras.  The 1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 36 MBPS digital High Definition image looks like it is from an older HD master resulting in more grain and some soft patches that simply were not a problem with the 35mm print I saw five years ago.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is barely better than the DTS from the old DVD, so the upgrade is very limited for a title that is about to be succeeded in a Daredevil relaunch, leaving the role open to a new actress.  Hopefully the script will be closer to the actual comic book history this time.


Now for two of the worst film of this or any year starring two of the most overrated screen stars of all time: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jackie Chan.  It is not a problem that they came out of non-cinematic sporting pasts, but they are just awful actors and think anything they do is good.  At least Chan is a survivor with some actual hits under his belt, but most of his box office is from overseas markets, while Johnson is a great tax write-off for al the major studios and has been the case fort the last seven years (and no, Get Smart does not count as he was hardly in it).


He plays a bad father (a real stretch) who says he will be the tooth fairy, only to contend with a fantasy dimension run by a highly wasted Julie Andrews.  The one-joke disaster runs for 101 horrid minutes and also manages to waste a bored-looking Ashley Judd, Billy Crystal and Seth MacFarlane.  Johnson still thinks that making his phony smile is the equivalent of comic acting, but this rightly bombed and will likely continue its rightly losing ways on video.  Actor-turned-director Michael Lembeck might be a good at TV, but this is a mess well below his best work.  Actor Jim Piddock (trying to be a writer) came up with the idea, than Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel (who lost their touch years ago), Joshua Sternin, Jeffrey Ventimilila and Randi Mayem Singer (from Mrs. Doubtfire) complete the hackfest that is a nadir for all involved, though with Johnson it is hard to say that since he still makes feature films.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 AVC @ 28 MBPS digital High Definition image looks soft and poor throughout, even though it is lensed by the capable David Tattersall, but it is weak throughout and the anamorphically enhanced DVD looks much worse and very pale.  The same goes for the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix that is poorly recorded and mixed, which is once again worse on the DVD’s Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.  Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, a Gag Reel, a sing-a-long to make your neighbors hate you, Lembeck commentary track (geez), two making of featurettes and Deleted Scenes.


That leaves The Spy Next Door, which manages to be as phony, condescending and awful as Tooth, but is self-amused in smug ways that makes it want to be Spy Kids meeting the worst possible family fare.  Chan is a spy who makes the mistake of babysitting some neighborhood children who go on his computer and uncover who he really is and the idiocy only gets worse form there.  The idea that two youngsters could crack his PC without trying says something about his ineptness and would that not make them domestic terrorists possibly by default?


The film opens to Johnny Rivers’ 1966 hit Secret Agent Man (used in the U.S. as the theme of the Patrick McGoohan series Secret Agent (aka Danger Man under its U.S. title, likely due on Blu-ray itself after the success of McGoohan’s The Prisoner on Blu-ray) to a tired montage of Chan and an insult overall.  His acting here is bad as usual, not helped by Billy Ray Cyrus showing up playing a tired variant of himself, Amber Valetta and George Lopez collecting a paycheck in work well below him.  This is from the writers of the first Larry The Cable Guy film (ugh!) and it shows, while Director Brian Levant ties Jungle All The Way (1996) as his worst film ever.  Wow, is this bad!


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image looks soft and poor throughout, even though it is shot in Super 35mm film.  I was surprised how bad and slightly noisy throughout this was, with a constant softness that made it look like a bad TV movie.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD is detail-challenged, weak, hard to watch and much worse, so this is a visual duds in two formats. 


The same goes for the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix which has a poor soundfield and is not that well recorded. I expected the Rivers hit to be towards the front speakers, but not the entire soundfield throughout the film.  The DVD’s Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is worse and weaker, amazingly.  Extras include two making of featurettes and a Blooper Reel that is highly unfunny.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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