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Zathura
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Tim Robbins, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Web Site: www.zathura.com
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, but it's pretty much a good movie for all.
Date Movie: It's cute for everyone, but it's more a boy/dad film.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: No one is seen dying.
Action: There's running and chasing.
Laughs: Lots of simple lines will make you grin and chuckle.
Memorable Scene: It was pretty funny they way they used the frozen Lisa.
Memorable Quote: Way to many.
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Produced By: Michael De Luca, Scott Kroopf, William Teitler

Zathura
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG

It's 1:45 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
When siblings just canít seem to get along, sometimes it takes a board game to finally get the family playing nice together. For our case, the game, and movie, is "Zathura." Sure, this board game takes you and yours on a space adventure, but what better way to help everyone to get along than putting everyone in peril. Letís get to the storyÖ

Danny (Johan Bobo) and Walter (Josh Hutcherson) are brothers, ages 6 and 10 respectively. Walter is at that age when he thinks he is too old for his younger brother, especially since Danny canít catch a baseball. Danny is at that age when he doesnít understand why his brother doesnít want to play games with him anymore. As such, most of their time together is spent battling and arguing like brothers do. They also have an older sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart), who is supposed to be their babysitter, but really just likes to sleep a lot and hook up with her friends at night. On a quick side note, during a scene in the movie, dad questions to make sure Lisaís idea of "hooking up" isnít every dadís nightmare of his daughter "hooking up," to which Lisa responds that no, not that way, and that she now regrets ever suggesting to rent the movie "Thirteen." Most of you wonít get the joke, Iím guessing, because most no one in the theater got the joke. Anyway, back to the movie. Mom and Dad (Tim Robbins) are divorced, and itís dadís weekend to spend with the kids, only heís got a quick business meeting to go to. So he tells Lisa to watch the boys, she decides to continue napping, and Walter starts chasing Danny after Danny bops him in the bean with a baseball. Trapped in a dumb-waiter, Walter lowers Danny into the fear of many a six year old boy, that being the scary basement, where Danny finds the game, Zathura.

Back in the living room, Danny wants to play the game with Walter, Walter wants to watch "Sportscenter." Pretty much the game is played by turning a key three time, a button pops up which you in turn push back in, a counter tells you how many spaces your spaceship will move, and once your spaceship stops, a card pops out giving you instructions/clues/what will happen next type of information. So Danny starts the game, his card pops out, and unable to read the card that the game spit out, he asks Walter for some help, Walter reads it Ė "Meteor shower. Take evasive action." And before Danny can begin to understand what evasive really means, the living room is pelted by a meteor shower and the boys have to take cover in the fireplace. Suddenly their house is in space, near a Saturn-looking planet, the TV crushed by a meteor, and the game is on. Soon it becomes clear to the boys that their only chance to get home is to finish the game, no what may be in store, be it a mysterious astronaut (Dax Shepard), their sister being frozen, or scary space lizards that like to eat meat, which Danny doesnít think is such a bad thing, until the astronaut tells Danny that humans are meat.

Even as peril is happening around them, the brothers argue like brothers, especially at the beginning of the game, with only the astronaut beginning to explain to them that the only way they can win the game is if they work together. Lisa comes back from being frozen finding the astronaut kind of dreamy (a funny twist is revealed later), and yes, it really isnít a secret or surprise that they end up finishing the game, the brothers are closer, and Lisa says they are never to speak of what happened again, now that they are back, safe and sound, in their house like nothing ever happened.

I just liked this movie and found it pretty enjoyable. Itís always funny seeing siblings fighting like siblings will, and remember that you were like that, too, back in the day. Also the effects were very good but not overpowering, and John Favreau is showing that he has a real knack for putting together a good kidís movie (he also directed "Elf"). The transition of the brothers fighting to finding respect for each other transpires nicely, and found lots of the dialogue funny, not gut-busting funny, but there were lots of chuckles in the movie for me.

Iíve got to recommend "Zathura" as a much better movie for the slightly older kids than "Chicken Little," and give it 4 stars out of 5. It is PG, with some scary moments that some of the 3 to 5 years olds didnít seem to take too well, and Danny does blurt out to his brother, early in the movie, calling him a "dick," but thatís about the worst of things the really youngins might have a problem with, or parents taking the youngins might hear.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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