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CATCH THAT KID ($28) is a kute kiddie kaper movie, which this reviewer found to be fairly enjoyable. With that said, I do offer up this disclaimer: this reviewer does not endorse elaborate bank heists perpetrated by pre-teenagers. Other than that, CATCH THAT KID proves to be amusing family escapist fare, influenced by the popular SPY KIDS movies and other such films with youthful protagonists that exhibit abilities well beyond their years. The plot of CATCH THAT KID focuses on three pre-teen social misfits Maddy (Kristen Stewart), Austin (Corbin Bleu) and Gus (Max Thieriot), who just happen to excel in the areas where their own particular talents lie. When an old spinal injury debilitates Maddyís father Tom (Sam Robards), and her mother Molly (Jennifer Beals) canít raise the funds to cover the cost of an experimental procedure that could get him back on his feet again, Maddy decides to get the money herself.

Since Maddy is well aware that the alarm system in the bank where her mother currently works as a security consultant is incomplete, she decides to "borrow" just enough money from the bank vault to pay for her fatherís operation. Of course, pulling off a bank heist is a big undertaking for a just a single twelve year old girl, so Maddy uses her burgeoning feminine wiles to garner assistance from Austin and Gus. What follows is a juvenile version of Mission: Impossible that mixes "kids: donít try this at home" stunt work, dimwitted bank guards and slapstick humor, which almost makes one forget that the charming little protagonists are committing a serious crime- even if they are doing it for the most noble of purposes. The cast of CATCH THAT KID also includes John Carroll Lynch, James Le Gros, Michael Des Barres, Stark Sands, Lennie Loftin, FranÁois Giroday, Christine Estabrook and Kevin Schmidt.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made CATCH THAT KID available on DVD in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays (a full screen version is provided on the other side of the disc for anyone who cares). The widescreen transfer is pretty nice, and provides a snappy reasonably well-defined image. Colors are rendered at a fairly natural level of saturation and the flesh tones look just fine. Blacks are accurate, whites are crisp and contrast is just fine. Shadow detail is more than respectable for the filmís darker caper sequences. The film element used for the transfer has a few blemishes, and some noticeable grain, but neither is particularly bad. Digital compression artifacts are usually well contained.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack isnít demo material, but it is solid and gets the job done. Surround activity seems limited to the filmís action sequences, although the filmís score and incidental music are nicely reinforced through the rear channels. The forward soundstage produces a strong presence and some nice stereo imaging. Fidelity is good, with the sound effects coming through in a convincing manner and youthful music being sufficiently pumped up. Dialogue is always completely understandable and the voices sound pretty natural. The bass channel is solid enough for the material, without sounding overbearing. A French Dolby Surround track has also been encoded onto the DVD, as have English and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. Actors Kristen Stewart, Max Thieriot and Corbin Bleu are on hand for a running audio commentary that the kids should enjoy, although those looking for a technical minded talk should move on to another DVD. Eight deleted scenes are also included on the DVD, as is the Oscar nominated animated short Gone Nutty, which features the Scrat character from ICE AGE. A theatrical trailer and bonus trailers are also offered on the disc.

If the escapades of the filmís juvenile protagonists arenít taken too seriously, CATCH THAT KID can be an enjoyable little action film for the family. Fox has done a good job with the DVD, offering a solid widescreen presentation with no serious flaws. If the subject matter appeals to you, then you can go wrong by check out CATCH THAT KID on DVD.



Catch That Kid (2004)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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