Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer


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Rating: PG-13

Jordana Beatty as Judy Moody
Heather Graham as Aunt Opal
Preston Bailey as Frank
Parris Mosteller as Stink
Kristoffer Ryan Winters as Dad
Garrett Ryan as Rocky
Jaleel White as Mr. Todd
Ashley Boettcher as Jessica Finch
Taylar Hender as Amy
Cameron Boyce as Hunter / Werewolf
Jenica Bergere as Rocky’s Mom
Janet Varney as Mom
Jackson Odell as Zeke
Doug MacMillan as Bigfoot Eyewitness
Dean Cameron as Animated Reporter

Directed by John Schultz

Special Features:
Join The Toad-Pee Club
Flippin’ Out With The Cast
Camryn’s “WAIT AND SEE” Music Video
10 Things You Need To Know About Judy Moody
Judy Moody’s Guide To Making A Movie
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 91 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Get ready to score extra thrill points and mega-laughs with this irresistible family comedy based on the best-selling book series! Feisty, fearless Judy Moody is looking forward to the most super-duper, double-rare summer vacation ever. The trouble is, her parents are called out of town and her BFFs are going away with their own families. That leaves Judy trapped at home with her pesky brother Stink under the watchful eye of Aunt Opal (Heather Graham). But with a little playful planning – and a lot of imagination – Judy turns a snoresville summer into the way-not-boring adventure of a lifetime!”

“Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” is rated PG for some mild rude humor and language.

The Movie:
My kids have actually read some of the Judy Moody books. My daughter read the Judy Moody series while my 9-year-old son read the Stink books. Though my daughter skipped the screening of “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer,” my sons went along and actually thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s enough here that it wasn’t simply a ‘girl’s movie’ to them.

This film sets out to please kids and it certainly does that. It perfectly captures sibling rivalry. It well-depicts a child’s thrill at getting out of school and having the entire summer ahead of them. It has topics that fascinated me as a child like Bigfoot, roller-coasters, and pranks. And like any good kid movie, it has plenty of poop, pee, and vomit jokes (though it seems to be lacking the required snot and/or booger jokes and fart jokes). The mantra is “Know Your Audience” and this movie certainly does.

The MVP of “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” is Jordana Beatty as Judy Moody. She carries the movie well and she’s lively, funny, and appealing. Like another redhead by the name of Lucille Ball, she’s not afraid to allow herself to be humiliated in order to get a laugh. (I don’t think Lucy ever let someone puke blue vomit on her for a laugh, but that’s another matter.) She also manages to be likable even when she’s in one of her pre-teen, temper tantrum ‘moods.’ Beatty seems like she’s going to have a long career in front of her. Let’s hope she doesn’t go down the kamikaze path of other child stars (I’m looking at you, Lohan).

The rest of the cast is pretty solid, too. My boys loved Parris Mosteller as Stink. Heather Graham brings a lot of humor as the flamboyant Aunt Opal. And it’s kind of fun to see Jaleel “Urkel” White as Mr. Todd. I was also glad to see the parents, played by Kristoffer Ryan Winters and Janet Varney, weren’t idiots like most parents are in kids movies. Kids already think they’re smarter than their parents. I don’t need children’s films reinforcing that fallacy.

What Didn’t Work:
There are two kinds of family movies. There are movies that the entire family can enjoy like “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Rango” and “Rio.” And then there are family movies that only the kids enjoy. “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” is one just for the kids. I didn’t want to stab my eyes out while watching it, but I was definitely checking my watch to see how much running time was left. And, honestly, that’s my only criticism. It’s cute, light, and entertains kids, but it’s predictable, sugar coated, and forgettable for adults.

The Bottom Line:
If you need to entertain kids for a couple of hours, then “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” fits the bill. But if you’re looking to be entertained as well, you may want to select another film.

The Extras:
You’ll find your standard offering of kid related bonus features on this DVD. Most notable is a featurette containing behind-the-scenes footage shot by the young cast. You see them jam cameras up the noses of Heather Graham and Jaleel White. Also included are a series of other extensive behind the scenes featurettes covering a lot of aspects of the making of the film including the involvement of author Megan McDonald. Rounding things out are two deleted scenes and a music video.