With the sudden rash of kids' books being turned into feature-length films, I guess it was only a matter of time until someone thought it would be a good idea to turn Megan McDonald's "Judy Moody" book series into a movie. I have enjoyed both of the 'Wimpy Kid ' movies, but 'Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer' isn't the least bit likable.
Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) is precocious youngster who speaks in a dialogue consisting almost entirely of words like "totally," "super," and "mega." She's totally-super-mega psyched about everything, especially the impending summer where she has a fail proof plan for her and her friends to have the best summer ever. That is until her friends notify her that they're all leaving for the summer. One is traveling to circus camp, the other to Borneo. It's all very sad. What is Judy going to do? Obviously she isn't going to hang around her brother Stink (Parris Mosteller). That's right, her brother's name is Stink. A name that readers of a children's book might find a little funny, but after it's transferred to a movie all we can think about is how mean those parents are that they actually refer to their child as Stink.
Matters get worse for Judy when her parents inform her that they'll be leaving for the summer and she's going to have to hang out with Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) all summer. Her plans of summer domination have been ruined. Obviously this aunt she doesn't know is going to be a totally-super-mega bummer and stuff.
So, Judy is depressed. No friends, a brother named Stink, and a strange aunt for a babysitter. Well, I'll give you exactly one guess of where this is all going. How do you think this will end up? Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can figure it out by yourself.
With the 'Wimpy Kid' movies we were introduced to a group of kids that weren't only characterizations of the drawings found in the movie's source material, they were actually likable characters. No one is really likeable here because they've all been told to act like their still in fantasy bookland instead of the real world. Judy runs around the house speaking entirely in exclamations while Stink spends the entire movie trying to catch Bigfoot with jars of peanut butter. Sounds like fun eh?
It's not fun. Not in the slightest. It's grating, annoying, and cloying. Whatever humor is here is completely smothered by the ineptitude of the entire movie. It's not even as interesting as a train wreck, more like low-speed fender-bender that causes you to look away in boredom.
I don't really expect much from movies like this, but 'Judy Moody' is just such an aggressively dumb bore that it's hard not to simply hate it. The only likeable thing about this movie happens when you think you recognize Judy's teacher. You know you've seen him somewhere before and then it hits you, "Is that Urkel?" Yes it is. Jaleel White makes an appearance, which ends up being the highlight of the movie.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Judy Moody' is a 20th Century Fox release that comes in a combo pack. It's a 3-disc set on BD-50 for the Blu-ray, one DVD, and one disc for the Digital Copy. They're packed into a regular Blu-ray keepcase complete with slipcover. It's a Region A release according to the back of the package.
The 1080p AVC-encoded image for 'Judy Moody' is technically sound. No real artifacts to report, or anomalies to point out. However, the movie's video presentation does have some pretty unpleasing aesthetic problems.
The contrast here has been pumped up to super-mega levels. Producing a bright and at times revolting mess of regular primary colors approaching neon status. Skin tones never appear as a natural flesh-like color. Most of the people here look as if they've rubbed on bronzer before each scene. The pumped up contrast gives everyone's skin a sunburnt orange look which is just as ugly as it sounds.
Detail looks rather impressive though. Close-ups harbor a lot of facial detail like freckles, moles, and fine hairs. Judy's rat nest of a hair-do looks awful (as a hair-do), but in high definition you can see every scraggly hair. The movie features some impressive looking CG animation, which never quite fit with the movie as a whole. However, they look good in HD and are some of the best look scenes in the entire movie. I'm not a fan of the pumped up visuals and colors, but technically, Fox's release of 'Judy Moody' is decent.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track included here is just what you'd expect from a kiddie movie like this. Not much in the way of sonic pleasures, but it does its job and moves on without much fanfare.
Dialogue is clear and there are some hints of nice directionality with the screaming of a house of children yelling at the top of their lungs. The sterile poppy soundtrack is a little nauseating, but sounds clear and concise traveling throughout the soundfield. Rear channels are surprisingly active even during scenes where you wouldn't expect much rear play to be taking place – like in the house or a store.
LFE isn't much of a factor here, except during the car chase climax of the movie and a few other loud bangs that are the result of Aunt Opal's awful driving skills. The truth is you don't really mind if this audio mix is as generic as they come. If you bought this it's probably because you have kids that wanted it and they won't be worrying about most of this stuff. Just know that it's a serviceable soundtrack without any real glaring problems.
'Judy Moody' is as annoying and artificial as live-action kids movies come. It lacks the fun, likeable characters of the 'Wimpy Kid' movies and replaces them with loathsome child actors that have been told to act like cartoons instead of normal children. It doesn't work for this movie at all. With average video and audio and a group of throwaway special features this is simply a release that is best when avoided.