Today’s holiday home-video gift-giving suggestion is Lionsgate’s release of “Spy Kids Triple Feature
” on Blu-ray. Children who liked this summer’s fourth entry in the franchise, with the head-scratching title of “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World,” may be surprised to learn there were three other movies that came before that cinematic pairing of Jessica Alba, Joel McHale and poop jokes.
On three discs, you get all three of those original adventures, all starring Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino (yum) as the spy parents, and Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara as their spy progeny, and all written, directed and produced by Robert Rodriguez.
For my money — and believe me, it seemed like each time my wife birthed a child, there was a new chapter to take them to — the best is 2001’s “Spy Kids.” At the time, it was novel, from the concept to the George Clooney cameo. The next year’s “Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams,” was a small step down, even if the addition of Steve Buscemi as the bad guy was a step up, but 2003’s “Spy Kids 3: Game Over” was halfway-painful — not just because of Sylvester Stallone’s terrible performance of villainy, but its overall candy-colored scheme and ADHD look. At least at home, you’re not forced to view it in 3-D that did nothing but grant a headache.
In the jump to this high-definition package, the “Spy Kids” trilogy didn’t lose its litany of bonus features from the DVD releases, either. Who knows? Maybe the peeks behind the curtain Rodriguez offers will inspire your own tot to become a DIY director. (If so, just encourage him/her to make more like “Sin City” and less like “Shorts.”)
“Spy Kids Triple Feature” is available now at the suggested retail price of $39.99. —Rod Lott