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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)

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Released:  Friday, August 3, 2012  
Length:  94 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Studios
Genre: Family
Rating: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may not be suitable for children.

Synopsis

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days © 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
During his summer vacation, “Wimpy Kid” Greg Heffley, the hero of the phenomenally successful book series, hatches a plan to pretend he has a job at a ritzy country club – which fails to keep him away from the season’s dog days, including embarrassing mishaps at a public pool and a camping trip that goes horribly wrong.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days images are © 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Blu-ray Review


Targeted toward young males, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days has a lot going for it including a very good cast, some very witty scenes and a romantic storyline that's just for kids. Now available in a Blu-ray combo pack that includes a DVD with Digital Copy, the movie may be good enough to have your youngsters put down their video games just long enough to enjoy a few laughs.
 
The story centers on Greg Heffley a seventh grader going on summer break.  While he's had a decent year this break is one he looks forward to the most.  His interest in girls, especially Holly, has blossomed.  But, not knowing where Holly lives or with any contact, his whole summer will be a wash.  Determined to spend the summer playing video games, Greg feels it's the best way to avoid any contact with his older brother and participating in family things. 
 
His dad however, wants Greg to get outdoors so he suggests that the whole family go to the country club for Free Day to swim in the exclusive pool. When they arrive the pool has been inundated by nearly the whole town and leads to an unpleasant day for Greg.  Still wanting to make his video games the center of his summer, Dad keeps pushing for Greg to be in the outdoors.  Greg's best friend Rowley Jefferson invites him to go to the Country Club for a pool day and he reluctantly agrees.  They arrive and Greg starts to live the high life, especially since Holly is a member.  When the two become at odds due to a carnival ride called the Cranium Shaker, things start spiraling down to an almost bottomless pit of summer hell.
 
This sequel of Diary of a Wimpy Kid does a good job of fleshing out the characters even if you haven't seen the previous two.  If trouble lives around each corner, both Greg and Rowley can find it and Director David Bowers knows how to present it with some cool scenes that are howling good fun.  I especially like the high dive that puts Greg in a very embarrassing situation, a mess on a scout camping trip with some very stinging ants in his pants and a sweet 16 party that goes way wrong. 
 
The disc has some decent bonus features most all interesting to the parents who like gags and ‘making of' specials.
 
Bonus Features on the Blu-ray Include:
Commentary by Director David Bowers
Deleted Scenes: There are nine deleted scenes and an alternate ending. I like the original ending, but this one isn't bad for a few giggles.
Class Clown: Is an animated short involving Greg wanting to be the class clown.  It's cute and offbeat with lessons to be learned.
Fox Movie Channel Presents Wimpy Empire: The live action feature provides a look at the other two Wimpy Kid films with writer Jeff Kinney and his wife commenting on their successes and the future of the Kid.
Gag Reel: Kind of fun for the kids.
 
As for the specifics to the quality of the Blu-ray video, here is my take.  The presentation on my HD Television played through a Blu-ray player is bright and clear with no grain or blur.  The 1080p widescreen presentation does have space top and bottom with the letter box look, but after a while I didn't even notice.  None of the projected theater feature is lost and the scenes are colorful and enjoyable to watch. So I found video quality not an issue with this presentation on Blu-ray.
 
Sound Quality gets high grades as well played through my upgraded speaker system attached to my HD Television.  The DTS Master Audio 5.1 plays the film sharp and understandable without any interference, sound irregularity or unwanted noises. For the most part, no one in the household should be bothered by the soundtrack, music or other sound effects.  It's all good.
 
FINAL ANALYSIS:  A fun young person's relationship film with a lot of laughs. (B)

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