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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 94 minutes
Genre: Comedy/Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Devon Bostick
Directed by: David Bowers
Music by: Edward Shearmur
Written by: Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky based upon the book by Jeff Kinney
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 18, 2012

"Life in the doghouse"

Film Synopsis:

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.

My Take:

Greg Heffley, the kid who made “wimpy” cool in Diary of a wimpy kid, is back in Diary of a wimpy kids: Dog days the third installment in the movie franchise based on the book series by Jeff Kinney. School’s out and Greg is looking forward to enjoying the best summer of all time. His troubles begin right at the start when he fails to get the correct phone number from school crush Holly who he planned on calling over the summer. As if that isn’t bad enough his dad decides that some father-son bonding is in order. Greg hatches a plan to keep him from ruining his vacation. His summer adventures (or misadventures) take him from the comfy confines of his living room, where all he wants to do is play video games; to the aquatic frenzy of the local municipal pool; to the plush and leisurely luxuries at a lavish country club; and to a wild camping trip outside of the familiar comforts of suburbia.

Diary of a wimpy kid: Dog days is based on Jeff Kinney’s third and fourth Wimpy Kid books, “The Last Straw” and “Dog Days”. I haven’t read any of the books but really liked the original Diary of a wimpy kid movie. I didn’t much care for the second film and unfortunately this latest installment isn’t any better. Feeling more like a sitcom than a feature film it foregoes the adolescent charm that made the original so much fun in favor of comedy that is derivative in nature and overplayed slapstick that feel less genuine. Missing here is the clever quips/dialogue and well crafted references to middle school aged awkwardness that was easy to identify with. The relationship between Rowley and Greg proves less rewarding as does the lack of emphasis on building the characters that they play off of. The dialogue and humor is campy while the plausibility of the situations is more eye brow raising than nostalgically effecting/charming.

The script incorporates too many elements that water down the positive thematic message although there is a little warm heartedness to be found in a few scenes involving Greg and his Dad (Steve Zahn). Rachel Harris is completely wasted in the role of Greg’s mother and I don’t find Devon Bostick (Roderick) even remotely funny. Many of the young cast members return but with the exception of Peyton List ((Holly) have a diminished role that adds little to the proceedings. Diary of a wimpy kid: Dog Days, isn’t completely without merit and may prove entertaining for fans of the series. I found it uninteresting and lacking in the charm, wit and nostalgia invoking references that made the original film entertaining.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some rude humor.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 82

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Diary of a wimpy kid: Dog days comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation looks great and boasts a pleasing palette of colors with eye popping primaries that jump off of the screen. Fleshtones have a bit of a balmy quality that offers little variety but doesn’t result in unnatural looking complexions. Elevated contrast adds pop to colors and dynamic highlights to the sun drenched exterior sequences without interfering with the perception of detail. Resolution is excellent as images have crisp definition, revealing subtle delineation, and definitive long range visual acuity. Blacks are strong and depth of field in shadows and low lighting is appreciable. Sharpness fluctuates during a handful of shots but otherwise remains stable. I didn’t notice any compression errors or distracting video anomalies associated with the encoding. This is a solid high definition offering from Fox.

The multi-channel lossless audio won’t test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in this soundtrack. Dialogue is tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamics are punchy and bass response is appropriate and provides extension of the main channels that predominantly comes in support of the music. The front channels handled the bulk of the audio and presented a wide two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambience detail that added depth. I thought the mix mated well with the source material and sounded just fine.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) 10 deleted scenes (including alternate ending) with optional director commentary

  • (HD) Class clown – 3 minute featurette

  • Fox Movie Channel presents: Wimpy empire – 10 minute featurette

  • (HD) Gag reel – 5 minutes

  • Audio commentary with director David Bowers

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Diary of a wimpy kids: Dog days is the third installment in the movie franchise based on the book series by Jeff Kinney. I found it to be a middling family comedy that has its moments but lacks the charm, wit and nostalgia invoking references that made the original Diary of a wimpy kid film genuinely entertaining. Fans will be happy to hear that it comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring excellent high definition video quality and crystal clear DTS-HD Master Audio sound. Among the extras included in the average supplemental package is a director audio commentary, deleted scenes/alternate ending, a gag reel bonus DVD of the film and a digital copy. If you’re a fan this is worth picking up otherwise it is at best a rental on family movie night.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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post #2 of 4
I thought it was quite good, my family enjoyed it. I hope they continue it smile.gif
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

I thought it was quite good, my family enjoyed it. I hope they continue it smile.gif


Glad to hear it Frank! smile.gif

post #4 of 4
kids happy to receive this as it wont be released here until March, fun film to watch.
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