Top

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 16, 2012 by  



dragon

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” may surely entertain the children who love the books and the first two films, but for parents, you’ve been warned!  Not the greatest family film to share with your children.

Images courtesy of © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

FILM RELEASE: 2012

DURATION: 94 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English, Spanish, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH

COMPANY: 20th Century Fox

RATED: PG (Some Rude Humor)

Release Date: December 18, 2012

Directed by David Bowers

Based on the book by Jeff Kinney

Screenplay by Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky

Produced by Nina Jacobson, Bradford Simpson

Executive Producer: Jeff Kinney, Jeremiah Samuels

Music by Ed Shearmur

Cinematography by Anthony B. Richmond

Edited by Troy Takaki

Casting by Heike Brandstatter, Ronna Kress, Coreen Mayrs

Production Design by Brent Thomas

Art Direction by Shannon Grover

Set Decoration by Mary-Lou Storey

Costume Design by Monique Prudhomme

Starring:

Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley

Robert Capron as Rowley Jefferson

Rachael Harris as Susan Heffley

Steve Zahn as Frank Heffley

Peyton List as Holly Hills

Connor Fielding/Owen Fielding as Manny Heffley

Melissa Roxburgh as Heather Hills

Philip maurice Hayes as Stan Warren

Terence Kelly as Grandpa Heffley

Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley

Karan Brar as Chirag Gupta

Grayson Russell as Fregley

Laine MacNeil as Patty Farrell

Andrew McNee as Coach Malone

Everybody’s favorite wimp, Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), is back for three times the fun in the latest film based on the super-popular book series! When Greg’s dad (Steve Zahn) threatens to send him to military school if he doesn’t stay out of trouble, Greg finds all-new ways to land himself in the doghouse! For starters, Greg’s in over his head when he pretends to work at the swanky country club where Rowley’s family has a membership. Things don’t go much better on a father-son camping trip with the Wilderness Explorers, and then there’s the Heffley’s new dog, Sweetie, who fetches even more trouble for Greg in this hilarious family film!

The school year is over and for Greg Heffley, he wants to do all he can to get Holly Hills phone number.  But before she finishes writing it, she is forced to leave with Patty Farrell.  While Rodrick goes to school to pick Greg up, Rodrick realizes his little brother likes Holly, but when her older stuck-up sister Heather comes to pick her up, Rodrick also falls for her.

But it’s summer time and as Greg Heffley wants to focus on playing video games for the summer and his brother Rodrick wanting to just chill and sleep, their parents is not too thrilled about them wasting their summer.  Wanting to get them involved and busy, Greg’s mother comes up with a “Reading is Fun” club.  Wanting to stay away from reading for the summer, Rowley invites Greg to join them for the summer and hang out at the local country club.

And thinking that the Country Club is fun place to swim at a non-crowded pool, drink free drinks and eat free food, he is more intent on visiting the country club when he finds out that Holly is teaching tennis lessons.

But when Greg’s father wants to know why he’s gone, Greg makes up a lie that he found a part-time job.  Meanwhile competing with their neighbors, Greg’s father wants to be their for him (unlike how his father was with him), so they both sign up for the Wilderness Explorers.  But will both father and son have a good time together?  And what will happen when Rodrick finds out the truth about Greg’s “summer job”.

Find out in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”, the third film in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.

What is “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”?

In 2004, game designer/cartoonist Jeff Kinney wrote the realistic fiction novel “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”.

While the story first appeared on FunBrain.com in 2004 (and read over 20 million times), the hardcover version was released in 2007 and became a New York Times best seller earning critical acclaim and winning many awards.

Since “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, Kinney has since written nine “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel” books and also created the popular online, role-playing game “Poptropica”.

But also, a total of three film adaptations were created and the first “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film was released in theaters in 2010. Made with a budget of $15 million, the film would go on to earn over $75 million in the box office.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” revolves around an 11-year-old named Greg Heffley (portrayed by Zachary Gordon), who is beginning middle school along with his best friend Rowley Jefferson (portrayed by Robert Capron). For Greg, his goal is to be popular in school but worries about his friend Rowley who he feels embarrassed for, because Rowley has a childish personality and loves to wear clothes that Greg thinks is uncool and riding a child’s “Joshie” (a European pop star) bike with streamers on the handlebars. And doesn’t want to be the last person in popularity, who is the very weird student named Fregley (portrayed by Grayson Russell).

Meanwhile, at home, Greg is often bullied by his older brother Rodrick (portrayed by Devon Bostick), who tries to scare Greg about middle school. His mother Susan (portrayed by Rachael Harris) is a caring mother but tends to treat Greg like a little kid and often busy trying to raise his little brother Manny (portrayed by Connor and Owen Fielding), while his father Frank (portrayed by Steve Zahn) is often working on a battlefield set and wants his son to take part in athletics.

For “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”, the story for the third film is based on the third book “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw” and based on the fourth book “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”.

The theme is summertime and with Greg’s father not so thrilled that his kids are planning to do nothing but sleep or play video games, he now warns Greg that he may send him to military school (after seeing a former young tyrant having good manners after being sent to military school).  Meanwhile, Greg’s mother wants him and his friends to have a “Reading is Fun” camp and for Rowley, it’s something he is not interested in doing and tells Greg that he is going to spend summer at the country club and he can join if he’s interested.

Seeing it as an opportunity to escape, Greg joins Rowley at a posh country club where the huge pool is not crowded with kids or people, people have the good life by being offered free drinks and free food but most importantly, the girl of his dreams, Holly Hills is a tennis instructor at the club.

Wanting to spend his summer vacation at the country club, Greg makes up a lie that he has a summer job.  While Greg’s family is proud of him for finding a job, Greg’s father knows that Greg needs some alone time together with his son.  Often seeing his neighbor and his sons wrestling and being part of the Wildness Explorers, Greg wants to get his son involved with them as well.

Meanwhile, what happens when Greg’s father gets a dog for the family and Rodrick finds out that Greg doesn’t have a summer job?

VIDEO:

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio). The film looks great on Blu-ray. Skin tones are natural, picture quality is very colorful, black levels are nice and deep. There is a thin layer of grain and the overall look of the film is warm.  Because the film is primarily shot outdoors, the picture quality for this film is fantastic! I didn’t notice any artifacts, edge enhancement or excessive DNR while watching the film on Blu-ray.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish and French Dolby Digital. For a film such as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules”, a lot of lossless audio is primarily dialogue. The film does have quite a bit of music which come alive during the film and shows good dynamic range. There is not a whole lot of ambiance for the film, but dialogue and music is crystal clear, no an immersive soundtrack but is appropriate for this type of film.

Subtitles are in English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese and Mandarin.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Director David Bowers.
  • Deleted Scenes – (9:43) Featuring ten deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by David Bowers.
  • Class Clown – (2:57) An animated short about Greg wanting to be the “Class Clown”.
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents Wimpy Empire – (9:55) A promo with clips and interviews with Jeff Kinney and his wife discussing the popularity of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”.
  • Gag Reel – (5:01) Outtakes from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”.
  • Theatrical Trailer – (1:47) The original theatrical trailer for “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”.

EXTRAS:

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” that I am reviewing comes with a DVD and also a Digital Copy of the film.

With the third and possibly the final film of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film series, “Dog Days” features a story focused on a father/son relationship, the friendship between Greg and Rowley (as Greg becomes a jerk once again) and also a storyline in which Greg has a much lower voice.

Suffice to say, if this was the final film of the series, I would imagine that fans of the books and the films will enjoy this film.   But still, the film is not good as the original film which has an important message.

In the case of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”, because Greg’s parents want him to be busy doing other things during his vacation than playing video games, he decides to hang out with Rowley at the country club.  But similar to the first film, he uses his friend in order to get closer to Holly Hills and also to lie to his parents that he has a job during the summer.

As we have seen in the first film, Greg has a way of getting Rowley into too much trouble that his parents feel that Greg is a bad influence.  The fact is he is a bad influence but his reasoning of doing the things that he does is not out of being mean-spirited, but it’s his way of trying to make himself the better person.

In the case of “Dog Days”, Greg goes too far.  So far that as a parent watching this film, I was disappointed.

I have defended the first two films and also acknowledging why I understand parents would be upset but in this case, it featured situations that were upsetting.  In the film, Greg goes with Rowley and his parents to an amusement park.  But because he can’t stand how his family are so close together, he wants to do things his way and have fun.  Rowley’s parents forbid him to ride on a scary ride and meet them at a certain time, but Greg manages to convince Rowley to not do that and go on a ride.

But it’s one thing for Rowley’s parents to be upset with that but more upsetting is when Greg who wants to leave and go home, uses his father’s e-mail and writes to everyone that he is being held against his will and the authorities arrest Rowley’s father.

Greg doesn’t fess up to the problem and while Rowley’s parents told their son to avoid him, Greg continues to visit the Country Club without Rowley’s permission and trouble ensues.

The thing is that I don’t know if I would have been calm as how Greg’s father handled things.  The film shows about how father and son never really had a bonding moment but I don’t see that as an excuse for Greg’s behavior.  The fact is since the first film, Greg has always walked the beat of his own drum and using his friends.

Watching these three films, the escalation of trouble that Greg gets involved in gets worse and worse and you can’t help but think that as he gets older, he may get himself into a bit of trouble and as for Rowley, you wish that he can find better friends that would respect him, would not lie to him repeatedly and be a better friend.

But with that being said, I know my son loves the books, he enjoys the films but this was all I can take.  And if this is the final film, it would probably be best as the main actor, Zachary Gordon, has had a growth spurt, talking with a lower voice and definitely will be too old to play the part.

But I acknowledge that “Dog Days” has its fun and crazy moments and yes, like the first and second film, things always end with a happier ending and Greg learns an important lesson.  So, you would hope!

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is great, lossless audio is good but nothing major. You get an audio commentary, a few short featurettes and this release also comes with a DVD and a digital copy of the film.

Overall, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” was a fun film that my son enjoyed, but as a parent, it was a film that I felt disappointed in.  Mainly for Greg’s actions and behavior…its much worse than the previous two films and because of that, I can’t help but be disappointed.  This is not a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, it’s more of a film about a kid who is a pathological liar.   And if the books continue to show this behavior of Greg and it just gets worse and worse, personally, as a father, I don’t know if I want my child to read the books and watch more films in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” may surely entertain the children who love the books and the first two films, but for parents, you’ve been warned!  Not the greatest family film to share with your children.






General Disclaimer:

J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.

For Product Reviews:

For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.

For Advertising:

Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.

J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Comments

Bottom