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Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Co-Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
Robert Rodriguez

Co-Orchestrated, Co-Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
George Oldziey

Co-Produced by:
Carl Thiel

Milan Records

Release Date:
July 22nd, 2003

Also See:
Spy Kids
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

Audio Clips:
1. Game Over (0:32):
WMA (209K)  MP3 (258K)
Real Audio (160K)

5. Metal Battle (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (235K)
Real Audio (146K)

13. The Real Guy (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (241K)
Real Audio (150K)

15. Welcome to the Game (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

Regular U.S. release.


Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
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Buy it... if you think that synthetic video game music in analog is still cool and you want to hear that sound beefed up with a digitally altered orchestra.

Avoid it... if the parts of the previous Spy Kids scores that you enjoyed the most were those of orchestral bombast by John Debney.

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over: (Robert Rodriguez) With the child stars of the series quickly growing out of their roles, the Spy Kids concept was destined to end as a trilogy in 2003. With this in mind, director Robert Rodriguez delayed his production of Once Upon a Time in Mexico in order to crank out his third installment to the Spy Kids franchise in record time. He continued to expand upon the use of the series to convey his ethical beliefs regarding family and loyalty. This time, a malevolent toymaker, performed with zeal by Sylvester Stallone, has an insidious plan to take over all the kids in the world by trapping their minds in their video games, and our favorite Cortez family has to play the game itself to free a trapped member. The twist on the film is its use of 3-D imagery during video game sequences that make up the latter half of the film. Critically, the film fared poorly compared to the first two, with the 3-D elements considered blurry and badly rendered in their colors. Nevertheless, the film was once again meant as silly fun, with performances by Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek (the El Mariachi favorites), Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming, George Clooney, Bill Paxton, Ricardo Montalban (who makes cute references to his old car commercial performances) and, of course, Stallone (who plays four roles in the film, sometimes all in the same frame). Musically, the series had been a collaborative effort in its first two scores, with veteran project-saver John Debney entering both productions to inject some orchestral backbone to material that was often written or conceived of by Rodriguez. Unlike those previous two scores, however, Spy Kids 3-D is a solo Rodriguez effort, again utilizing the Texas symphonic ensemble assembled specifically for the previous entry (and accepting, along with it, a few blatant performance errors). The director had proven with his concurrent effort for Once Upon a Time in Mexico that he is capable of providing a rousing electronic and orchestral music for his films. Unlike that score, though, Spy Kids 3-D sounds as though it is completely rendered digitally, minimizing the role of the orchestra and playing towards the video game aspect of the story with predictably cheesy results.

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For some reason, Rodriguez's music for Spy Kids 3-D suffers from the same cloudy vision as the film itself. The score is a hybrid sound of classic video game synthetics in analog (and seemingly mono constructed) and digitally altered orchestral passages. The occasional electric guitar adds some excitement to mix with its whipping up of several frenzies in action cues. The video game elements, however, dominate the Spy Kids 3-D score, with simple, staccato rhythms and electronic keyboarding from yesteryear occupying many, if not all of the scenes taking place within the video game. It's a nice tip of the hat to that genre of music, but it falls considerably short of being readily listenable, as the action music in the previous scores had been. Rodriguez pens a heroic theme that is a variant of Danny Elfman's Batman identity, and yet the digital performances of that theme restrain its potential considerably. He also brings back a cascading motif from his previous score (along with the original Cortez family theme from the first film) for continuity. With the comical nature of the story comes some unfortunate carnival atmosphere, especially for Stallone's music box-like theme gone awry. The overall combination of electric guitar ripping action cues and cutesy comedy relief causes the score to become a muddled and confused listening experience. One can't help but wonder if time constraints and/or money were an issue for the less ebullient Rodriguez on this one (given the film's rapid rollout). The number of songs continues to increase, with the young female lead of the series, Alexa Vega, performing in all of the songs and remixes for Spy Kids 3-D. The opening number, "Game Over," complete with Stallone's announcement and a more mature voice from Vega than heard before, is the highlight of the album. Given the Hispanic influence in the series, it's not surprising to hear a Mariachi-like Latin touch in the song, and with the success of his music for Once Upon a Time in Mexico, it's easy to ponder how the Spy Kids scores would be improved with a slightly more pronounced ethnic edge. The theme from this song does indeed inform the score, adding basic continuity. Overall, this third score plays like a 3-D film without the glasses, blurred at the edges and a potential headache if you pay too much attention to it. ** Price Hunt: CD or Download

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.53 Stars
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 47:15

• 1. Game Over - performed by Alexa Vega (3:15)
• 2. Thumb Thumbs (0:59)
• 3. Pogoland (1:53)
• 4. Robot Arena (2:12)
• 5. Metal Battle (2:44)
• 6. Toy Maker (3:34)
• 7. Mega Racer (5:57)
• 8. Programmerz (3:04)
• 9. Bonus Life (2:32)
• 10. Cyber Staff Battle (1:54)
• 11. Tinker Toys (1:20)
• 12. Lava Monster Rock (1:10)
• 13. The Real Guy (1:31)
• 14. Orbit (1:11)
• 15. Welcome to the Game (2:32)
• 16. Heart Drive - performed by Bobby Edner and Alexa Vega (3:43)
• 17. Game Over (Level 5 Mix) - performed by Alexa Vega (3:28)
• 18. Isle of Dreams (Cortez Mix) - performed by Alexa Vega (4:07)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a fold-out poster, but no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over are Copyright © 2003, Milan Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/17/03 and last updated 3/12/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.