Monday, June 20, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: More Sibling Rivalry Featured in Fun-Filled Sequel

Geeky Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) has resigned himself to returning to Westmore Middle School after spending most of the 6th grade getting picked-on by bullies. At least the scrawny, 98-pound weakling and his beefy best friend, Rowley (Robert Capron), have buried the hatchet.
At the beginning of the fall semester, Greg develops a crush on a cute classmate, Holly Hills (Peyton List). Unfortunately, the object of his affection, barely notices, a sign that Greg could be in for another, very long school year.
Meanwhile, the lovesick lad is just as miserable at home, between being tormented mercilessly by his older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), and being tattled on by his younger one, Manny (Connor Fielding). Compounding the problem is their meddling mother’s (Rachael Harris) futile attempt to discourage sibling rivalry by rewarding her sons with “Mom Bucks” for spending time with each other.
“Now, Rodrick can get paid for beating me up!” an exasperated Greg complains about the big brother he says is “The King of Laziness, except when it comes to torturing me.” Is it any wonder, then, that when their misguided mom’s pressure to bond backfires, Greg retreats to his bedroom to fantasize about being adopted by a billionaire couple?
Such frustrations ought to sound familiar to fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, for this rib-tickling sequel reestablishes the original’s premise. And it also trades in the same sort of teasing, slapstick and bodily-function humor most likely to resonate with the ‘tweener demographic.
Directed by David Bowers, the movie is based on the second installment of the best-selling series of children’s novels written and illustrated by cartoonist Jeff Kinney. This go-round, Rodrick enjoys center stage, literally and figuratively, as the drummer of his heavy metal, garage band, Loded Diper. The group is gearing up to compete for the $1,000 grand prize in their hometown of Plainview’s Most Talented contest.
However, Rod is grounded after throwing a wild party in the house while his parents are out of town. Will he be granted an 11th hour reprieve and be permitted to perform? Far be it from this critic to spoil a cliffhanger, let’s just say, that wimps still rule in this upside-down universe where it’s cool to be square!

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG for mischief and rude humor.
Running time: 99 Minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: 6 deleted scenes, 8 bonus shorts, gag reel, commentary by author Jeff Kinney and director David Bowers, and a theatrical trailer.

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