Danny and Walter are two brothers who barely get along even while driving their parents to distraction as their older sister tries to ignore them. Despite their squabbling, the brothers manage cooperate enough to play an old mechanical board game named Zathura. However, after their first move, they find that the game has apparently flung them, their sister and their entire house into outer space. Furthermore, the brothers surmise the only way to return home is to finish the game. However with almost every move, new dangers arise as the siblings find themselves learning to cooperate in ways they never expected as they realize what they mean to each other.
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There is a simple message by the end of the movie, one that offers aclean and clear emotional punch with the twist at the end too. Thebantering between brothers is wonderfully presented in this movie andthe conflict of divorce and the emotional turmoil it can cause is wellon display, much more so than most movies of this genre. The action issometimes pretty intense and the children's response not alwaysconnecting with the audience, but the pacing and fascinating events areentertaining. The daughter's role seems neglected. And some of thescenes aren't completely believable in terms of fantasy and thesituation as if sometimes the boys don't have anything much to doexcept move about without explanation. Overall, though the movie iseffective in getting its point across, more so than most movies. Sevenout of Ten Stars.
This review is from: Zathura (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray) I feel that any older movie that is transfered from an VHS or even a DVD to a Bluray has superior picture and sound quality and so will YOU!!
Based on a book by Chris Van Allsburg, Zathura tells the story of twobrothers who start playing the game Zathura and soon find themselvestrapped in space. Yes, boys and girls this is more Jumanji like adventures, but in spaceinstead of in the wilds of darkest Africa. I'm a fan of the mad capromp of the first film which continuously bent reality in very sillyways. Granted the earlier film had a plot that was a bit of a mess, butit was still fun to watch the actors go through their paces. I'm notsure what to make of this sequel.While I can admire the the film for being tightly plotted and for beingmore together than Jumanji, and while I think the set pieces (and themonsters) are wonderful, I think the film suffers from two problems,first the film doesn't have the absolute sense of danger and anythingcan happen that made Jumanji work despite its flaws. We know (AND THISIS A SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN JUMANJI) that in the end all will beright with the world and it will be as if nothing happened.(ENDSPOILER) This lack of tension works against the film since we can't betoo frightened that something awful is going to happen, because we knowthe ending. There is no edge to things because we're just waiting forthe inevitable. The other problem with this movie, is that despite the violence anddestruction, this is a family movie. There is nothing wrong with that,except that the film feels like its trying to be all ages friendly,which unfortunately means that its trying to do something more thanjust tell a story, its trying to tell the story in a certain way, whichis to make it acceptable to everyone. I dislike that. Film makersshould just try to tell the story and not try to gear the film toeveryone in the audience since you end up losing some one by trying toreach everyone (and in a case like this there really isn't anythingoffensive that could get anyone in trouble) The best movies are moviesand not movies for a group, or all groups.Still this is a good movie, that looks great on the big screen. It haswonderful set pieces, cool monsters, and a sense of fun thats worthseeing. Definitely better in pieces than as a whole, Zathura is worth abargain matinÃ©e, or a rental on cable. 7 out of 10 for the pieces, 6out of 10 as a whole.
There are quite a few nice things about this film. In particular,Zathura is an aesthetically intelligent film. The makers did a greatjob of not relying too heavily on CGI; very thoughtful design andeffects. The convincing use of miniatures, real sets andchaos/destruction really brought the story to life. True, its a kidsmovie. But not so much that it annoys, there's a timeless andattractive notion of adventure. Really hearkens back to the glory of80's kids adventure movies. The film's gadgets and knick-knacks weregreat. The house and Zathura game-board were both characters in and ofthemselves, every bit as important as the actors (who did a fine job). Throughout I felt like I was watching a little of "Time Bandits" mixedwith some "Goonies" and maybe some "Hitchikers Guide..." or "House".Some folks seem ambivalent to the film. That's unfortunate. Up againsta lot of the uninspired sh*t that is released these days, Zathura isvery successful in creating a fun and visually convincing escape. Halfway through the movie I realized that I was waiting/anticipating thefilm's failure, that it was going to let me down. Never did. I appreciated the film.
This movie really deservres about 2.5 stars, but I'll round up because I enjoyed it despite its many flaws. The production is first-rate, and the retro look of the board game and the things it generates (robot, monsters, space ships) is wonderful. Unfortunately, the story line is thin, verging on nonsensical. The kids are exposed to various perils AND GIVEN NO WAY TO COMBAT THEM. Occasionally, they are given a "way out" but fail to take it. The kids' acting is adequate, but no more. The teenage sister seems to be in the movie only to look cute. And the "message" -- brothers should stick together -- is pretty simpleminded. Still, "Zathura" is reasonably entertaining. After a slow start it moves right along, and it offers kid-friendly adventure without being mind-numbingly dull for parents.
This review is from: Zathura (Special Edition) (DVD) My family just loves this movie. It is an excellent action/sci-fi film that doesn't forget about a good story line. Ultimately it is the story of a broken family that finds healing with the help of a magical game.
Jumanji starts with a sad lonely boy, a clueless father and a factory worker on the verge of greatness. All confused, thwarted and aching for redemption. The movie travels though time and adventure saving not only the initial characters but two orphaned kids from their orphaness. Real excitement, real adventure, real tears.This Zathura movie has no emotional connection, just overtly bratty kids, with cute kid shots disbursed ad nauseum throughout the movie. This movie brings nothing but emptiness. A frozen sister in hot pants underwear, a stupid young kid who supposedly is so smart but won't continue with a game that obviously will solve all the problems and then in the midst of all this banal nothingness a card is drawn that allows any wish to be granted; and the kid wishes for a football with Brett Favre autograph, are the writers of this screenplay medicated or just as stupid as the characters in this movie. How could this kid not just wish to be home, it makes less then no sense. Movies like this are not just bad but are symbolic of a culture that actually watches American Idol.If as an adult you actually like this movie then to you I give the lyrics of Pink Floyd:I cannot put my finger on it now.The child is grown, the dream is gone.I have become comfortably numb.
This review is from: Zathura (Special Edition) (DVD) I am so happy this dvd was in great condition. It was a preplayed/pre-viewed DVD from Blockbuster, but that is okay I always buy preplayed/pre-viewed, and the price was great. I brought the same movie from a pawn shop cause i could not find it but it turned out to be $5 more and did not work anyway and I could not return it. Then I checked on amazon and there it was and cheaper!!! I am very pleased. My kids love this movie. Thank you.
This movie although similar to Jumanji in plot is much more intense anddark. Should really be rated PG-13. So, if you have a child under sayage 9 or so I would not take them to it. Overall, the movie is a seriesof action scenes as they play the game. Not much plot to speak of. Mymain concern is that the previews did not give any indication as to howscary the movie might be and the rating of PG is not accurate in myopinion. Adults seeing this movie are likely to be disappointed. Theplot as I mentioned before is weak. The action is not enough to sustainthe movie. As other reviewers have mentioned it is very similar toJumanji in that it is based on a boardgame that the kids find and beginto play. At which point various bad things happen. The one plot "twist"if you will is predictable ( I won't spoil it.) If you are looking fora good movie to take your kids to, save your money. Older kids andadults will probably find the lack of storyline to be a problem. Go seethe next Harry Potter instead.
This review is from: Zathura (Special Edition) (DVD) a clean movie, i would let my grandkids watch it without any problems. There are no scenes of sex any where in the film
"Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar, andbe better off than you are, or would you rather go to Earth?" Rememberthat song? It was from an 80s sitcom about a girl who would talk withher alien father through that crystal thing? I think it was called Outof This World. Anyhoo, I thought of that song while I watched Zathuraat Fantastic Fest last month at the Alamo Drafthouse. I'm sure myslight intoxication added to my enjoyment of this film, but I did enjoyZathura nonetheless (and I'm sure I would enjoy it sober, too). It's asweet, funny, and exciting family movie that kids will totally relateto and parents will even get a chuckle out of.In Zathura, two young brothers, Danny (Jonah Bobo) and Walter (JoshHutcherson) start playing a board game that sends them and their entirehouse into space. That may sound goofy, but this movie is so well donethat you can't help but believe it. Ultimately, it's a lot of fun, andit might even make some kids think twice about how they treat theirlittle brothers or sisters. As a youngest child myself, I can totallyrelate to the youngest brother, Danny, who just wants his olderbrother, Walter, to play with him. Is that really asking so much?Hopefully other kids will watch Zathura and learn to get along withtheir siblings before being hurdled into space. But even if they don'tlearn that lesson, at least they'll have fun at the theater.
It is rare when a movie transports me back to my childhood memories,reminding me of the time when playing games use to be fun. Adventureswere limited by imagination, and Summer days were transformed intomagic. "Zathura", directed by Jon Favreau, based on a book by Chris VanAllsburg, came knocking on my door and invited me to come out and play.Author/Artist, Van Allsburg has a wonderful gift. His vision is firmlyplanted in a realm of childhood experiences. More illustration thanwords, his books evoke worlds of wonder. The last movie based on one ofhis stories was, "The Polar Express" directed by Zemeckis. It is makingit's re appearance as a seasonal movie. It is well worth seeing, and ifyou can find it in IMAX 3-D, it is phenomenal.Van Allsburg's book, "Jumanji" was filmed less successfully back in1995. It failed because it could not find the right tone. Zathura nailsit. Both books share the same plot device; Children find a board gamethat transports them into the game. Cards are drawn that effect theirfate and their surroundings. The only way to escape the perils of thegame, is to play it through. Jumanji was a jungle game and Zathura is aspace adventure.What elevates this film is the believable interactions of the two youngplayers. Jonah Bobo plays the six year old Danny, who is always gettingin the way of his older brother, ten year old Walter, played by JoshHutcherson. Danny is looking for friendship and attention from hisbrother, who in turn considers Danny to be a pest and a nuisance,competing for the attention of their recently divorced father, playedby Tim Robbins.The boys have an older sister Lisa, played by Kristen Stewart. She isliving in a world of her own, between her preening and dating, the boyshardly see her. Although she does join the game late in the film, formost of the film she is cryogenically indisposed.The Game itself is a marvel of brightly painted tin and wind up gears.To play is simple, wind it up, push a button and watch a number comeup, this determines the number of spaces your playing piece will take.Two rockets chase each other around the twisting path. After your piecemoves, a card pops up. The card describes the action to follow. Dannydraws the first card that says, "Meteor Shower, Take Evasive Action"and the game is on.The movie is visually stunning. The discovery by the children, thattheir house has been transported to a location in outer space, hoveringabove a ring of meteors that encircle a large planet, is jaw dropping.The effects are real enough to imply danger, but logic is not afunction of children's games, so it does not matter that oxygen,gravity and warmth still exist in the house, even as it is blastedapart by various forces.Along the way the boys encounter a young astronaut played by DaxShepard, who helps them out of perilous situations like battlingengulfing black holes, and evading Fierce carnivorous lizards calledZorgons. Along the way the Astronaut teaches them lessons in brotherlycooperation, and even beguiles Lisa into sharing the adventure. While funny and exciting, it is never preachy, Zathura is intelligentlywritten and directed, this is a great family film. I give it **** outof five stars.
I rented this movie with my 4 grandkids--ages 4-11. They loved it. Lots of action that was able to keep even the youngest engaged to the very end.The words of the kids when it was over--sums it up well. "Bubbi, this is good enough to buy and add to our DVD collection"I agree and we now own it.
This review is going to be easy. Wow what a good movie! from start to finish this is a fun and entertaining movie. The special effects are perfect ( not over the top,or unbeliveable ) all-in-all it's a "great escape movie" p.s. i thought it was better than Jumanji.
I loved it!!! That was a good movie. Josh Hutcherson is really good. Ithink that if my sister and I were characters, I would be most likeWalter and my sister would be more like Danny. My mom was like thatkiller robot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People should totally see this movie becauseit rocks. My mom even asked me if I had learned the lesson in theZathura, and I said "movies are there to entertain you (which Zathuradid a great job of doing), NOT to teach you a lesson. And even if thereWAS a lesson in there, I was too busy looking at Josh Hutcherson'sface!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's been really busy lately, eh? I'd loveto make movies and travel the world, that kind of thing... Later
Pros: Great special effects, directing Cons: Kids, adventures limited, nothing new.Zathura can be pretty much be summed up as Jumanji in space but thegood news is that it's a lot better than its predecessor. DirectorFavreau (severly underrated) brings Van Allsburg's tale to the bigscreen with help from David Koepp penning a generally solid but routinescript. The problem with Zathura is that we have seen this story amillion times from different movies and the characters movements israther restricted to a crumbling house, and not beyond to what seemslike an entire universe. Still, Favreau handles the script well andprovides a great family movie. Although not a classic or destined to beone by any longshot, Zathura provides two good hours of time wastingSummary: Favreau and Koepp do the best they can to an otherwise routinemovie
Edgar Rice Burroughs had his Tarzan of the jungle and John Carter of Mars and Chris Van Allsberg has his Jumanji (1995) with its jungle setting and Zathura (2005) which is set in space. If you've seen and enjoyed Jumanji you'll probably enjoy Zathura.Both are generally based on children's adventure stories of the same names by Chris Van Allsberg. The book version of Jumanji was published in 1981 while the book version of Zathura was published in 2002.Both movies involve the discovery of powerful games which seem to change the reality in which the players live. In Zathura the adventures take place in space and involve the dangers offered by space as well as alien life forms who want to eat the players. There are also some plot surprises which lend a little mystery to the story.Zathura is good family fun and provides a pleasant evening's entertainment for all ages. It is rated PG which may be due to some intense scenes involving the aliens and space. It is going to be enjoyed most by children between the ages of 6 and 12 and to some extent by the older members of the family whose inner child is alive and well.
For the life of me I cannot understand how any one could like this deplorable and stupid film. I was totally bored who wrote the script for this film? A load of codswollop.
This review is from: Zathura (Special Edition) (DVD) If you liked Jumanji, then Zathura is a must-see! It is a well written and exciting story line that is fun for adults as well as children. My 7 year old and I enjoy watching it together all the time!
I'll start by saying this film has nothing to do with the world ofJumanji.There are children in a house who play a board game which comes to lifeand takes the house into "The Twilight Zone" (Sorry to Rod Serling forsullying his product but I had no other comparison).The similarity ends right there.Take Tim Robbins, a divorced working dad bringing up 2 sons and adaughter. So our first question is why didn't mum get custody? Oh, andin case you were wondering, we never get to see mum anyway.The kids wreck one of his drawings that he needs for a meeting (why hisstudy isn't locked and why he has a drink that can spill anywhere nearhis work are never addressed.Dad pops out to work (can you say Home Alone? Quick call SocialServices, he abandoned his kids!) and the kids start playing and arevery quickly pulled into the world of Zathura where you know they aregoing to learn moral lessons about getting on with each other andlearning tolerance (A film from America is trying to teach the worldthese things? Get Real! That's like China trying to teach me aboutfreedom!) Big Sister is left in charge and doesn't care about eitherbrother. Again you know by the end she'll be as thick as thieves withboth of them. When they run through the house this an obvious set-up toshow us how the house is laid out for later in the film so we know howeach room interacts with the rest of the house.The only problem is the dumb waiter, someone "Forgets" how many levelsthe house has later in the film. Visually the film looks stunning, theAstronauts costume, the Zargon ships and "Goats", the actual gameitself looks very 1950's.The Zargons were a bit 1970's Doctor Who type looking.Generally other than that the film is OK. It's a bit slow towards theend and they forget to go right back to the sister after the 5 movesshe is frozen for (they go back after the 7th move, I counted) The kidswere really annoying, especially the younger one. Tim Robbins couldhave been in the movie much more.If you want a Jumanji style movie, buy Jumanji.