Movie Article

He Got 'Game'

Auteur-without-attitude Robert Rodriguez shows some DVD love on Spy Kids 3-D.

What's the big deal about going to the movies? Robert Rodriguez totally prefers watching stuff at home. ''I believe the theatrical experience is really just a big advertisement for what comes after,'' declares the writer-director (pictured). He's calling from his home base in Austin to discuss his latest film to hit the small screen, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. The Hollywood heretic -- working as his own one-man crew at the movie studio in his garage -- has poured a lot of love into the SK3-D DVD and its extras, including his trademark ''Ten Minute Film School.'' ''What you see on the DVD,'' he promises, ''will be better than what you saw in the theater.''

That's mostly because he tweaked ''several hundred shots'' in the DVD edition of the movie, which follows Spy Kid Juni (Sabara) into a 3-D videogame where he battles the villainous Toymaker (a high-energy Sylvester Stallone) in an attempt to rescue trapped big sis Carmen (Vega). ''I'm not gonna stop working on my movie just because it went to theaters,'' he insists. ''Especially because you have to make a lot of compromises for the theaters. Film prints are crappy; you don't really get a consistent experience.''

Given his mile-a-minute commentary track on SK3-D (as well as on last month's Once Upon a Time in Mexico), it's clear that Rodriguez revels in sharing. ''Sometimes you're waiting for the director to say something and he's like, 'Wow, I haven't watched this movie since I shot it!''' he says, laughing. ''And you're like, 'Well, this is gonna be real informative!''' Rodriguez, by contrast, plots his commentary tracks right down to the ums and ahs, embracing DVD for what he describes as ''closure.'' ''It's like graduation,'' he says. ''The term paper's over, the movie's in the theater, and now you get to go to the ceremony and really feel like you're done.''

Originally posted Feb 27, 2004 Published in issue #753 Feb 27, 2004 Order article reprints