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Zathura: A Space Adventure

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Zathura: A Space Adventure

After their father (Tim Robbins) is called into work, two young boys, Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo), are left in the care of their teenage sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart), and told they must stay inside. Walter and Danny, who anticipate a boring day, are shocked when they begin playing Zathura, a space-themed board game, which they realize has mystical powers when their house is shot into space. With the help of an astronaut (Dax Shepard), the boys attempt to return home.

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Release : 2005
Rating : 6.2
Studio : Columbia Pictures Corporation,  Teitler Film,  Michael De Luca Productions, 
Crew : Production Design,  Supervising Art Director, 
Cast : Jonah Bobo Josh Hutcherson Dax Shepard Tim Robbins Frank Oz
Genre : Adventure Fantasy Science Fiction

Cast List


Lee Eisenberg

Jumanji, help!---OK, so "Zathura: A Space Adventure" is based on a book that was a sequel to "Jumanji". I've read "Jumanji" but not the sequel. Anyone who's read "Jumanji" knows that the part about Robin Williams's character was not in the book; had the movie followed the book exactly, it would've only been a few minutes long.So about this movie. Like the former movie, it depicts a board game that brings about danger every time that someone takes a turn. More accurately, the movie seems like a retread of the former movie. One can see a correlation between some of the characters in each movie. But that's where the similarity ends. You see, "Jumanji" is a fun movie no matter what age you are, while "Zathura" is aimed at elementary-age children. I wish that they'd looked at where the game originally came from, as "Jumanji" did.In conclusion, this movie is only worth seeing for the early appearances of Kristen Stewart and Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark in the "Hunger Games" franchise).


Oxygen in Space---Wow, this film just wasn't very good. Nothing wrong with the visual aspect, that I noticed, and the basic premise seems to be a sound one, but its execution and just about everything else about this movie stunk. You probably know the premise (JUMANJI in space), so no need for me to go over it. But I bet you didn't know that there's oxygen in space. Or so this movie would have you believe. Aliens and a robot move around and about the house and liberally smash great big holes into the house but the inhabitants, two boys and their elder sister can breath just fine. One might chalk this up to this being a fantasy or some such, if not for the fact that the characters themselves make a point about the concern about air. Also, at one point, a couch is set on fire, set loose into deep space and continues burning, blithely unaware of the laws of physics.As for the acting, the two boys and teenage girl are grating and their acting is not very good but I blame this on a terrible script. The actors do the best they can with the lines given.As for the plot, it's just an exercise in random events. Let me cite a few examples. At one point, the game produces a gold card, granting the player a wish. What does the kid wish for, while they're flying around, lost in space, with a murderous robot in the basement, and aliens blowing firing laser cannons at their house, and they're constantly screaming at each other at the top of their lungs? He wishes for a football, signed by Brett Favre. No, really.But the stupidity doesn't stop there. The sister quickly develops a crush on the Astronaut, a man who got rescued from space as a result of the boys playing the game. This Astronaut reveals to the older brother that he too played the game, got a gold card and wished his brother were never born. Thus he strongly cautions the the boy about what he wishes for (before he wishes for a football). This is significant because, later in the game, the same kid gets another gold card. This time he wishes for the Astronaut's brother to come back...And then, we have a "twist." The vanished brother is none other than the younger brother. The Astronaut is none other than the older brother aged about 20 years and trapped in space from playing Zathura. The movie does nothing to explain this odd paradox (or anything else for that matter); you're just meant to accept it.Of course, we're also either asked to accept or expected to forget that the Astronaut wasn't able to recognize his younger brother, nor his younger self, nor the sister who had a crush on him (btw, we're meant to find this particular development humorous). The only twist here is in the movie's logic.


For kids only---Unlike Jumanji, this is NOT for anyone smarter than a 5th grader. They use typical kid shortcomings instead of writing a clever script. Much of the story didn't make sense or was simply unbelievable. They seem to just make stuff up to fit what they wanted - some things floated in space including the sputum and the astronaut, but the kids were totally unaffected by 0 gravity. The guy stuck in the game, the Zorgons we never see, the robot repairing itself forever, all seemed like lazy writing and directing. The youngest kid screws up constantly and says I'm sorry at least 40 times. I was so sick of this needy, whiny child that I didn't care if they made it home or not. I'm sure there are parents who don't know how to discipline their kids so some will find this believable. Those who feel parents should address rude and co-dependent behavior early, will lose patience with this mess of a movie driven by redundant bad behavior.


Someone get those kids to SHUT UP!---"Jumanji in space". That's the line on this little stinker. Don't believe it. Much more like "Annoying Children in Space". If it tickles you to watch really annoying brats in odd situations then this is a dream movie for you. As I watched the movie on CD I was so uncomfortable that I figured it must have bombed like crazy in the theaters, and that based on how much it must have cost to make I also figured the director never got a big budget movie to screw with again. I was right about the bomb! I was right about the budget! And...the director goes on to make mega budget, mega successful Iron Man. Only in Hollywood. What ever success there is in the future for director Favreau, this frustratingly annoying, whiny, nonsensical mess is an unfortunate stain on his resume.


Jumanji in Space: Pretty Cool!---I'm pretty much sure that if you've liked 'Jumanji' then you'll enjoy this one. As a kid, I loved 'Jumanji' and 'Zathura' does not disappoint at all. Of course, both movies are adaptations of books written by the same writer. I was watching it with my kid sister who was having a blast. The two main characters are two brothers who are probably 10 and 7 years of age. The kid actors are quite good and they don't overdo the cute act. However, Kristen Stewart is the caricature whiny older sister who doesn't care. Thankfully, her role is limited. The only directorial venture of Favreau I have seen was 'Made' which was a laugh out loud dark comedy, completely different from 'Zathura'. He does seem to know the kind of movies kids love and families can enjoy. He's moving to being more versatile as a director as he's done a fine job so far. The special effects are awesome. Just like the engaging weirdness in 'Jumanji'. The house floating outer space, the dim lighting in the house, the house breaking, the bicycle orbiting around the floating house...all work well and add to the amusement. Highly entertaining! Kids will love it! Therefore families will love it too!

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