Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
Set in an era where superheroes are commonly known and accepted, young William Stronghold, the son of the Commander and Jetstream, tries to find a balance between being a normal teenager and an extraordinary being.
An old and forgotten game develops magical powers in this fantasy for the whole family. Twelve-year-old Walter Budwing (Josh Hutcherson) and his younger brother, Danny (Jonah Bobo), figure they're going to be in for a boring time when their father (Tim Robbins), who was supposed to spend the day with them, is suddenly called away on business, and gives them strict orders not to leave the house. Walter, who doesn't have much use for Danny, is motivated by boredom more than anything else when he agrees to play a board game Danny has found in the basement during a round of hide-and-seek. However, the boys quickly discover the space-themed game Zathura has some unusual qualities -- a roll of the dice unexpectedly launches the Budwing home into outer space, and Walter and Danny are suddenly fending off menacing robots, angry aliens, and showers of interstellar debris outside the Earth's atmosphere. As the boys try to figure out a way back home, they get some unexpected help from an ...
Kristen Stewart is only two years older than Josh Hutcherson. See more »
When Danny first finds the game he looks at the game and says to Walter "what's Zathura?", clearly able to read and pronounce such an unusual word. But just seconds later after the first card pops out he struggles with the phrase "Meteor shower, take evasive action". Throughout the rest of the movie Walter needs to read the cards and Danny even tries to read another card and he is unable to read words like "rescue" and "stranded". See more »
Oh, man. That's it. Nice grab. Oh, yeah.
All right, Danny, your turn.
What? l didn't get my full turn!
Yeah you did. I counted. That was 25. That's what we said.
That's not fair!
lt's exactly fair. Come on, Danny. Time for your turn, then l gotta work for an hour.
[getting into place]
You know, you're not the only one who gets a turn.
"The only one who gets a turn."
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In the UK, two sequences where an aerosol is used as a blowtorch and where fire is set to a sofa with the use of an accelerant (around 1 min 17 secs) were cut by the distributor. This is because the BBFC have a very strict policy on imitable techniques (headbutts etc.) and decided that the scene was unsuitable for anything lower than a 15 certificate. Since this would have excluded the entire target audience, Sony asked for the scene to be cut in order to obtain a PG certificate. See more »
Kindergarten to Fifth Grade Unless You are a Kristen Stewart Fan
Those who criticize "Zathura" for being a copycat "Jumanji" are apparently clueless about the Van Allsburg's books. "Zathura" is a sequel to "Jumanji", it is about what happened when the Budwing brothers opened the game box that Peter and Judy discarded at the end of "Jumanji". Early board games were often designed with two-sided boards so that the game pieces could be used to play two different games-usually of the same type. "Zathura" was the flip side of the "Jumanji" game board and the ones the brothers chose to play (because Walter did not like jungle games). So it is "supposed" to be like another "Jumanji".
Having grown up with this same sibling age dynamic (six and ten) I was not surprised at the amount of yelling, anger, and resentment that goes on between the two brothers. I was however surprised that anyone would find this sort of thing entertaining. While their divorced father (Tim Robbins playing the only sympathetic character in the film) is away at a meeting, the younger brother (Danny) finds an old Zathura game in the basement. Based on those old 1950's tin toys it involves two tin spaceships on a track racing around space. Each spin of the dial determines the distance the ship will move on that turn and a card is ejected detailing what happens to the ship at that point of space.
As Danny and Walter face the challenges of space they discover that they can work as a team and they even develop some affection for each other (a more unrealistic idea than anything they actually encounter in space).
Like the source book, the movie adaptation of "Zathura" targets kindergarten to Grade 5 children. Like "Sharkboy and Lavagirl", older viewers will find very little of interest other than a fun production design and nice effects.
Unfortunately "Zathura" it is not as pure as "Sharkboy and Lavagirl", which uniquely refused to compromise its "for kids only" story. "Zathura" does compromise, as the producers attempt to expand their audience by creating an older sister (Lisa played by Kristen Stewart) who was not a character in the book. While Stewart is fine in this role and even provides some comic relief, it is rather disturbing that the producers chose to turn her into a pubescent sex object, blustering around the house in her underwear for most of the film. Van Allsburg's illustrations are the best part of his books but a "hot teenage sister" is not an image he has ever published.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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