Star Kid

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

For Spencer Griffith (Joseph Mazzello), it seems as things can’t get much worse. His mother has passed away, his father works two jobs and is rarely home, and his sister doesn’t want much to do with him. If you’re not loved at home, where can you be loved, right? As if things at home weren’t enough, Spencer also has problems at school, where the other children think he’s a dork and the school bully is always looking to put a thumping on him. It seems like the only time he can escape from his troubles is when he reads hi favorite comic book, Midknight Warrior, which is a science fiction tale filled with action and adventure. The adventure he finds within the comic book soon turns into reality when a seven foot tall cybersuit lands near his house. Spencer looks it over and decides to check it out, see what it can do. When Spencer is inside the suit, he can defeat anyone and becomes a super warrior, just like in the comics he loves to read. But when some bounty hunters from outer space arrive to claim the suit, Spencer is going to have pull out the stops to make sure he can save the day. Can Spencer deal with his bully, impress his dream girl, and defend the galaxy all at the same time?

During my constant and ever continuing search for more movies, I have read several positive reviews for a family film titled Star Kid. I always meant to check it out, but I never seemed to remember it when I was renting or buying movies the next time. But this time, I took the plunge and I am pleased to say I added this one to my collection right away. This is a terrific science fiction movie for the whole family, and it has a little something for everyone mixed in. I will say I know people who wouldn’t give this movie a chance just because it’s geared toward family audiences, but don’t let that label keep you from enjoying this movie. Yeah the storyline is predictable and there’s no blood and guts violence, but that doesn’t mean the movie sucks. This film has some excellent costumes and creatures, they alone are worth renting the movie to see. The effects are solid for this type of movie, but cynics will I am sure bash them, since they’re not as good as The Sixth Sense or some similar effects heavy soulless film. Bottom line on this release, if you’re looking for a fun movie the entire family can enjoy, Star Kid will fit your needs to perfection. This disc is also loaded with goodies, so a purchase or rental is money well spent.

This film was written and directed by Manny Coto, whose other work seems like a far cry from family fare like this. Coto’s other films include Dr. Giggles, Playroom, and some episodes of HBO’s Tales From The Crypt. But Coto makes the transition to more friendly fare without much trouble, and manages to keep the fantasy elements prevalent here. This film has wonderful visual style, especially the visual effects and costumes, and Coto provides some nice camera work to help accentuate them. The lead role in Star Kid is played by Joseph Mazzello, who most of you will remember as Tim in Jurassic Park. He isn’t as annoying here as he was there, but he still has that harsh voice, which can become tiresome. That said, Mazzello (Simon Birch, The Cure) gives an adequate turn in this film and does the material justice. Other folks with substantial screen time include Richard Gilliland (Tv’s Designing Women), Ashlee Levitch (She’s All That), and Joey Simmrin (Nine Months, Little Giants). The mystical suit, Cy is played by two actors, Alex Daniels (Cyborg) as the actual suit itself and Arthur Burghardt (The Favor) as the voice of the suit. On a film geek note, Burghardt supplied the voice for Destro in G.I. Joe, The Movie.

Video: How does it look?

Star Kid is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. You’ll also find a full frame version of the movie if you flip the disc over, if you hate the black bars. This is a great visual presentation, a clean source print has been used and compression errors are minimal and not distracting. The colors are bright and vivid with no oversaturation evident, and flesh tones appear natural and consistent. The contrast is also in the norm, with no visible detail loss and well defined shadows.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is a science fiction movie, so you know the speakers will be firing with some powerful audio, right? The included Dolby Digital 5.1 track is excellent, and offers a superior audio experience for this terrific family film. The music has a rich and full sound to it, and the sound effects will be whizzing by you with some nice surround use. This movie also contains a lot of dialogue, which comes across with no issues at all. I didn’t expect this great of an audio track, but this release delivers!

Supplements: What are the extras?

You’ll find a nice selection of bonus goodies on this release, including a wonderful audio commentary track. This track features producer Jennie Lew Tugend and special effects supervisor Thomas C. Rainone. This is a fun and informative track with few pauses to be found, you can tell these two enjoyed their experiences with this film. A five and a half minute behind the scenes featurette, talent files, and a trailer are also found on this disc. As always, Trimark has hidden some bonus trailers if you know where to look for them.

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