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August 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It is rare, if not unprecedented, for a studio not to hold press screenings for a movie aimed at children. But The Weinstein Company was no doubt expecting the worst when it decided not to show Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D to critics in advance of this weekend’s opening. In the end, it got it after critics bought tickets to see the movie on Friday. Consider Mike Hale’s review in the New York Times: “Visually dreary (don’t bother paying the 3-D premium), lazily yet confusingly plotted, dominated by jokes involving vomit and an endlessly flatulent baby, All the Time in the World feels more like straight-to-DVD filler than a chapter in one of the last decade’s most entertaining and sophisticated family-film franchises.” The “4D” in the title relates to scratch-and-sniff Aromascope cards that were handed out to moviegoers along with their 3D glasses. Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News says it wasn’t the only thing that stunk about the movie. “My scratch ‘n’ sniff card smelled like nothing but cardboard — though given that half the odors were of the diaper bomb variety, that was perfectly fine with me.” Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times remarks that “even genuine juveniles” may tire of all the “poop and goop” gags. And that’s the real issue, he argues. The movie “isn’t so much bad as it is just boring.” On the other hand, Linda Barnard has a few positive things to say about the movie. “Yes, the Aromascope idea stinks. But Spy Kids 4 doesn’t. And its real secret weapon is the oft-repeated messages — from heroes and villains — that family time is precious and we are too prone to wasting it.” <