Friday, May 23, 2008


We just recently bought Jumanji and Zathura in a DVD 2-pack, and we watched Jumanji a few days ago. Tonight we saw Zathura, which is reported to be a prequel to Jumanji. It is not as good, or at least not as appealing over as wide an age range. We think we would have enjoyed it much more if we'd seen it when the kids were 10 or so, but, of course, the movie hadn't been made yet when our kids were 10. The special effects were great fun, and The Younger Son got a big kick out of the Bullitt poster. We've decided it belongs in the same group as Galaxy Quest and The Last Starfighter only these other 2 are much more re-watchable.

Roger Ebert says it "it works gloriously as space opera." SFSite says, "I found Zathura an absolute delight."

The BBC reviewer likes it:
Though some of the intergalactic mayhem may be too intense for very young viewers, this exciting frolic is perfect family fodder with a pleasingly retro feel and a sly wit that ensures grown-ups will be as entertained as their children.

Entertainment Weekly likes it, too:
From a Hollywood that often settles for less in the family department, Zathura is a rarity: a stellar fantasy that faces down childhood anxieties with feet-on-the-ground maturity.

But some folks had some of the same problems we did. says,
And what a boring game it turns out to be once it actually gets started! Zathura spends a ridiculous amount of time at the beginning to establish the fact that the boys hate each other. For nearly 30 minutes, we're subject to non-stop, obnoxious yelling and screaming between Danny and Walter.

The NYTimes review is here.

This film, like Jumanji before it, is based on a book by Chris Van Allsburg.


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