Zathura

 
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Product Description

Zathura, a smart and stylish kid's adventure, launches into action when Danny (Jonah Bobo) twists the key of a dusty science fiction game--a game that unleashes a localized meteor shower and wrenches Danny's house into orbit around a distant ringed planet, bringing Danny's brother Walter (Josh Hutcherson, Kicking and Screaming) and sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart, Panic Room) along. Soon a defective robot, a rangy astronaut (Dax Shepard, Without a Paddle), and an alien spaceship enter the picture. Only by completing the game can the kids return their house to its proper space-time coordinates, but the game board falls into the hands of some nasty, carnivorous lizards. Zathura has some obligatory emotional conflict and resolution between the two brothers, but that's pretty much beside the point; what makes Zathura a delight is the wonderful design, the skillful escalation of disasters, and the adroit direction of Jon Favreau (Elf), who is quickly becoming the go-to guy for mass-market movies with wit and timing. Some situations may be too intense for younger kids; Favreau ratchets up the suspense at a few points. Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji). Also featuring Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • Zathura
    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....more info
  • A Zorgon guide to house remodelling
    Although a little derivative Zathura is lifted above this shortcoming by a witty script and creative production design. Kids will love it and adults will find it charming. There's a moral here too, needless to say, but it doesn't intrude into the entertainment and the movie is never allowed to become too mawkish. The effects are top-notch, the young cast acquit themselves well, and Favreau's direction is nicely balanced. All in all Zathura is a couple of hours of fun that everyone with a healthy sense of adventure will enjoy....more info
  • We love this movie!
    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. ...more info
  • Really good movie, with one disappointment
    I thought this move was extremely entertaining. I love children's/family movies in general. My one disappointment is that they had to swear in the movie. Now I can't show this movie to my nieces/nephews. Why can't we have a nice family movie without any foul language that isn't a cartoon?...more info
  • Interesting design and effects, but extremely weak otherwise
    I suppose if I were six this might be a good film. The special effects are quite good and the art design is outstanding, but as an adult I require a bit of a story to go with my smoke and mirrors. The film does a large number of things right. The look is absolutely spectacular from beginning to end and I loved the way that the art design reminded one of the forties to fit the design of the game. Unfortunately, the plot was pretty much nonexistent. If one has seen the quite excellent JUMANJI, one knows what to expect. But this one lacks the originality of that film as well as the large cast and varied sets. This film is restricted to a house in outer space, precluding both varieties in locations and in cast.

    Despite the above-mentioned restrictions, this might still have been a good movie if only the script had been stronger. There just wasn't much to it, and the entire brother versus brother aspect got intensely tiresome well before the utterly predictable bonding that inevitably took place before the end of the film. Indeed, the screaming matches between the two brothers caused me more than once to nearly turn the film off before I had completed it, something that almost never happens (I can almost count all the films I have started but not finished on the fingers of both hands).

    Would I recommend a parent showing this to a younger child? I think it might be a bit jarring for a child under six. It would probably an average child over eleven. It might be OK for those in between, but I can't imagine many adults enjoying this one....more info
  • almost worth one watch, but that is it = 2.5 stars
    Rating System:
    1 star = abysmal; some movies deserve to be forgotten
    2 star = poor; a total waste of time
    3 star = good; worth the effort
    4 star = very good; what movie-making should be
    5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others

    STORY:
    After the youngest brother finds a board-game in the basement that transports him, his older brother and older sister into space; the two brotehr who don't get along are thrown into an adventure that requires the two of them to work together

    THE PROs:
    1) nice eye-candy with the special effects and some visuals that make one dream for a true sci-fi adventure not some kid's wannabe

    2) Love the look of the board-game in the movie

    3) Actors all do a fine acting job

    4) cool robot

    5) lots of wantan destruction, oh yeah!

    CONs:
    1) This is NOT Jumanji. No where close to the magic and humor of its predecessor though it is based on a story by the same author. Either the duo who wrote the screenplay butchured the story or it really isn't as good

    2) Two, maybe three laughs in the whole movie. Where is the fun in that?

    3) Bad attitudes galore!
    I'm glad I previewed this movie beforehand, as the attitudes expressed by the teenage daughter towards her father and the relationship between the boys and how the dad allows it to continue is just a bad, bad example.
    Yeah, yeah, someone may say, "But that is real life." So what! Doesn't mean we as responsible parents need to continue to propogate such behavior. So the older brother learns a lesson in the end. . .but their sister doesn't and the journey to get to that point is so full of anger and rudeness it just isn't funny. This is the biggest problem I have with the movie and why I rated it so low and wouldn't let my four(4) small kids watch it. They had a better time watching the old Sinbad movies for action/adventure without the bad attitudes and disrespect.

    OVERALL:
    It was almost worth a watch though you won't be missing anything if you decide to pass on this. Also, don't buy the board game. . .too many reviews say the quality of the game is so poor it is frustrating. Seems like the movie and the board-game have a few things in common. Rewatch Jumanji if you want an adventure....more info
  • Bleah
    If you read the actual Zathura book, you quickly realize that it's probably Allsburg's weakest. Although the movie enhanced and expanded the story quite a bit, I was left disappointed. I turned to my wife a handful of times in the theater just wishing that the kids would stop shouting at each other and get on with the story. For crying out loud, I can come home from work at the wrong moment if I want to listen to kids yelling at each other. Yeah, they used some awful words too; but they were unlikeable characters for the most part because of their endless banter.

    The movie had an endless potential for good adventure: an entire universe. Yet, the story revolves around their little house the entire time, and the perils repeat themselves rather than introducing something unique.

    Don't see it thinking that it in some way relates to Jumanji, like it did in the book either. They don't resemble each other at all. Miss this movie....more info
  • Half entertaining, half ball-being-dropped
    Ever watch a movie that you really enjoyed from a long time ago and even though you have so much issues with it, you almost defend it anyway? One such film was "Jumanji" where the special effects have aged considerably since its release but the charm and even spectacle of it all makes it better even while you might scoff many times. Well essentially we have that movie set in space with this film, a "Jumanji: The Galaxy Edition" if you will, and while the similarities are quite obvious and the effects have gotten better, it still feels to familiar though kids might have a blast with it.

    Walter and Danny are 2 brothers dealing with their parent's divorce and father's working. Walter wants attention from his dad to play catch and wants nothing to do with his brother while Danny just wants his brother to play with him. But with dad gone and sister upstairs sleeping, they learn to work together when Danny finds a board game called "Zathura" that brings with it meteor showers and the house flying through space complete with strange and dangerous events every time one takes a turn.

    Yeah, you can see the parellels to Jumanji already huh? The board game, reading the next event (off a card instead of a glass center, the dealings with a cheater and someone who escapes from the game because of a roll, sorry...button press) and if you remember what happens when someone wins the board game in the other one well you can tell what's in this one. But aside from the similarities, the problem is the film is kind of - but not all the time - irritating, mainly due to the brother's. They spent so much time bickering and arguing that Tim Robbin's exasperation early on doesn't seem like an overreaction at all. While there's lots to ogle at, the characters themselves just don't have a lot of appeal.

    However, the film certainly looks great to look at with an early meteor shower, an encounter to close to a star and the end sequence being highlights. Since a good chunk of it was done without just going straight to the computers was everything is welcome. The acting when it's not being grating, works and looking at Kristen Stewart any chance I can made the film better but the lack of suspense throughout the whole film and just being little mini-episodes till the end hurts and the "villain" doesn't have a real sense of threat Jonathan Hyde brought to Jumanji. But I'm nitpicking and I certainly don't want to seem like I'm making that film to be perfectly awesome but when compared to this one, what it lacks in effects makes up for it in key areas.

    I'd recommend Zathura since ultimately it is a family movie and such criticisms tend to get thrown out the door when you watch but when you start really watching, then stuff gets noticed. So it's best to just go along with it....more info
  • Zathura
    An excellent movie,(No Robin Williams is not in it). Watch it for what it is by itself. My Family and I have enjoyed watching this movie and all of our friends like to borrow it.
    Worth the money, Worth the Watch....more info
  • What a game
    Great little adventure with a lesson for the kids and the adults will not be bored. A little scary for younger kids. Great FX....more info
  • Enjoyable popcorn movie
    Two brothers, Danny and Walter, discover a old-fashioned game in a forgotten corner of an old house's cellar. With nothing better to do, they start in on the board game's imaginary space adventure, only to discover that it's not imaginary at all. When a playing card says "meteor shower," a hail of burning stones pummels their living room. Also, you should see the new view from the house's front door ...

    Each new turn in the game adds to the adventure, which is pretty much all the movie is about. Oh, a sibling rivalry gets resolved along the way, but that seems an afterthought, pasted on so the plot has some kind of beginning and ending. An overbearing older sister in a permanent snit figures in, too, but just barely - the game sidelines her early on, then brings her back when a girly bit of screaming seems appropriate.

    I haven't read Van Allsburg's children's book, the one that this movie comes from, so I can't say anything about the adaptation. That aside, this movie offers good commodity entertainment. It's kid-friendly (as long as your kid isn't too skittish), with enough action to keep a grown-up from falling asleep. If it never rises above the "rainy afternoon" category, that's fine. Rainy afternoons need movies too, so pop the popcorn and enjoy.

    -- wiredweird...more info
  • A good family film but it drags on and for older audience's you'll lose intrece
    This is another toss up movie you think is it good or is it bad. Overall I thought the movie was pretty good but not a good movie or close to being great but it's a good family film. The kids will love the movie I say the film is good for ages 9-15. The film is ok for the older audience but they will lose intere becouse the film drags on and on and on. The special effects are good and the acting is ok. Overall kids will like it adults will be entertained a little bit but not alot to make it a good film....more info
  • If you liked Jumanji........
    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! ...more info
  • Zathura
    An excellent movie,(No Robin Williams is not in it). Watch it for what it is by itself. My Family and I have enjoyed watching this movie and all of our friends like to borrow it.
    Worth the money, Worth the Watch....more info
  • Boreing
    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. ...more info
  • Fun movie with some mildly questionable language
    "Zathura" is a very cute, well-made adventure movie that is, for the most part, kid friendly and entertaining for adults, too. The special effects are fantastic, and a plot twist or two make the movie more cerebrally stimulating than your average pre-teen adventure flick.

    Parents, be forewarned, though -- the main characters (two brothers, ages 10 and 6) spout a few mildly bad words and phrases that struck me as being ripe for parroting. "Sucks," for example. The one "bad" line that stands out most to me is "Get me a juicebox, beeatch!" In context (shouted at a robot), it's funny and memorable, so I know that if I were a pre-teen boy, I'd repeat it ad naseum. Probably at my sister.

    "Sucks" and "Beeatch" notwithstanding, "Zathura" has an unmistakeably positive "family" message (i.e. brothers and sisters should love, respect, and protect one another). Your kids will enjoy it, and so will you....more info
  • happy
    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....more info
  • ZATHURA ROCKS
    My kids LOVE!!!!! this movie. Except for a slightly scary part in the middle, my 6 year old twins have watched this movie over and over and over again for the past 2 weeks. My son is AOK with the ZORGON creatures, but my daughter has to leave the room for a short time when they appear. Otherwise, I would recommend watching this movie for yourself in order to better judge the reaction your own child will have to the ZORGON's. ENJOY...more info
  • GREAT
    Ok, so it's just Jumanji but in space, but it's a great movie. I was eager to see what each turn dealt them as they played the game. The main characters were so funny together. This is a comedy and kept me intersted all the way through. ENJOY....more info
  • Another disappointing kids movie
    I love a good kids film. Often I like them better than films aimed exclusively at adults. There is less objectionable material. Plots are not convoluted. Often there is genuine sentiment, and a moral to the story. What I do not enjoy is the increasing tendency of movies for kids to rely on kinetic energy (or wild special effects) as a substitute for good writing and acting. I think that is part of what happened with Zathura.

    Zathura is a movie like Jumanji -- where kids start playing a board game (called Zathura, naturally) and they enter an alternate reality -- the world of the game made real. They have to finish the game to get back to the normal world.

    The acting isn't very good. Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning have raised the bar so high now that what used to be a passable job of acting for a child now looks silly and amateurish. I got bored about halfway through and started fast forwarding furiously to the end.

    Zathura is supposed to have a "moral," but that aspect is so ham-handedly written and acted that it almost seems pasted on.

    The game involves a series of challenges and threats, as the children journey to outer space and confront robots and lizard aliens and friendly stranded astronouts. It is mostly a succession of strange things (involving expensive special effects photography) happening every time a kid takes a turn at the game. The kids then react badly (or badly act) in fright and stumble their way through until the game ends.

    I don't know why this movie was made. The only thing it has going for it is a lot of action whenever the game play results in peril. In between the peril, the dialogue is dull.

    There are so many great kids movies, or even mediocre kid's movies, better than this -- almost any of the animated classics directed by Hayao Miyazaki, or Secondhand Lions. I kind of enjoyed Holes, and The Sandlot, too. The old My Bodyguard. The Incredibles was very entertaining.

    I don't know how the kiddies reacted to Zathura, but it seems like a waste of time to me. You may find yourself wishing the kids did get pulled into the black hole, just to end the movie early....more info
  • unimaginative
    Saw this on televisian. There really was nothing better to do at the time.

    Special effects are unimaginative. Settings nice. But overall this film is a cheap and unimaginative nock off of Jumanji. ...more info
  • Seems Oddly Familiar.....
    "Zathura" is a passable "family" flick. I say that for two reasons: 1)The story is sort of dull, even with a huge "gee-whiz" factor going for it and, 2)It's no surprise that liberal lug Tim Robbins raises two potty-mouthed kids in this film. If you have children, I'd wait until they're at least eight before letting them watch this film due to the fact that the two kiddie leads have some pretty rough mouths and there are a few sequences that can get pretty scary for young'uns.

    The reason that this seems familiar is that it's written by the same guy who wrote "Jumanji." I liked this story much better when it was "Jumanji." It's as if writer Chris Van Allsburg decided that "Hey, it worked with jungle creatures, why not outerspace?" This film is almost an exact carbon copy of "Jumanji," all the way down to a regretful former player of the game trapped within it. The only thing missing is the huge patrol car-eating vines.

    So, with that said, I'm sure any child between the ages of eight and twelve will love this film. However, if you want to give them a real treat, let them watch "Jumanji" first and then have them compare the two. I think you'll find that most kids will prefer the original over its lesser follow-up....more info
  • Just another lame kids movie
    Now I have nothing against kids movies, especially those that send a message. Back in the 80's and 90's kids movies used to be enjoyable. This movie, however was more annoying than enjoying. The thing that I hate about kids movies now adays is that they are ssooooo corny!

    Jumanji was not corny at all. It had realistic dialogue, action scenes, the scenes simply flow and the fact it had robbin williams in it put it on top. Im not saying that it was the best movie ever but it did have all he elements that make movies enjoyable. Heartwarming, action, realistic dialogue, and robin williams(he he). But most of all it was enganging.

    This movie was not engaging. It was boring. On top of that it was corny. Oh and no action. In jumanji there was action. Stampedes, lions, monsoons, vine swinging... In this movie all you see is one kid running from point A to point B, then back to point A and then back to point B while the other kid watches. And then they switch turns. Boring and predictable.

    Also, unlike jumanji, ther was no real danger here. Oh sure there were robots, aliens, and meteors but robot was stupid and slow he couldnt eve run as fast as the 10 year old. The aliens were also stupid and they had terrible aim. It was hard to tell whether they were trying to destroy the kids or the house because with all its "advanced technology" it still could not hit the kids worth crap. I know that I am supposed to give this movie a break since it is a "kids" movie but uh, no, Im not gonna give it any break. This movie was terrible. I couldnt even watch it all the way through it was so bad.

    The main thing that I didnt like about this movie was the fact none of the characters were likable. None of them. I liked all the characters in jumanji. None of the were annoying brats. But whatever, if you want see this movie for yourself go ahead. I wouldnt recommend it to any one....more info
  • If Your Tired Of Jumanji Don't Watch It
    Zathura is pretty good and it's a movie that will definitely keep most kids entertained thanks to the wacky characters and special effects. Its back-story is exactly like Van Allsburg's first book turned film Jumanji but the acting isn't as solid. So now you know it's just like Jumanji, so you know that two kids basically start to play a game and somehow someway they're thrown into the game and everything that the game says will happen actually happens. As a person who already saw Jumanji and I'm sure everyone in the world has too seeing as Jumanji's videotape stays in every classroom I've ever been in, I should only have to explain the quality of Zathura. These kids are a little too old for their own good, and they push the PG rating as far they can. Older brother Walter has one dirty mouth so if your child still has virgin ears you may want to watch out for that.

    Though this story is much like Jumanji Van Allsburg still does a nice job of delivering a different set of characters and ending with a moral that will have siblings hugging each other. The ending is very predictable but if a kid is watching he/she probably won't even notice because the explosive action and fat aliens will catch most of their attention. If you are watching a movie like this with your children you can always stretch a little fib at the end and say "see this will happen if you keep being mean to your brother". Zathura is not really trying to come across as a children's classic or an original work but it is a nice family movie though that PG rating is used to the fullest. Walter is funny when he says it but it's not really needed. I would suggest watching Zathura on Starz first since it's being played on there now, it will save you money....more info
  • Great Kid Flick
    If you were looking for an adult Sci-Fi movie, then you would be disappointed. The ads compared it to the likes of Jumanji, which told me it was for kids. We went and watch it, and ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE of it. Pure escapism - LOVED IT!!!!! Highly recommended for the kid in all of us....more info
  • Great family movie!
    This is a great family movie! Has all the elements to keep you glued to your seat - from beginning to end. Even adults will find themselves happy they tuned in....So get the snacks ready and settle in for an awesome movie! The story - without giving away too much - is about two brothers who find themselves with an old board game that the younger brother is anxious to play while the older one begrudgingly agrees to play - with much complaining. Parents are gone for the evening and an older sister - who is supposedly babysitting, has better "teenage" things to do in her room (no worries, everything is clean in this movie)...
    Well, once the board game begins, all chaos breaks loose! There's everything that makes a great movie GREAT! Explosions, fighting, monsters, heros! The suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat! The acting is excellent without the heavy egos of the top celebrity names. I've heard there's a copy cat movie called Jumnji, haven't seen it, nor do I have any plans to see it. This is one rare family movie that really captures all the great adventures into one fantastic story. ...more info
  • Fun family Sci-fi fantasy movie!
    12 year old Walter (Josh Hutcherson) with his brother Danny (Jonah Bobo) as well their sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart) must take care of the house for the day while their father (Tim Robbins) goes to work. Danny's all board until when he is put down in the basement, he discovers an old board game called "Zathura" as him and his brother decide to play it. Unknown to them it is an enchanted board game as it takes them and their home away into Outer Space where they encounter deadly meteorites, vicious reptilian aliens, one maniacal Robot (voiced by Frank Oz), and a lost astronaut (Dax Shepard) as they must play the game to finish it in order to get back home.

    Charming and entertaining Sci-fi fantasy adventure from the author of "Jumanji" Chris Van Alsburg. Jon Favreau who directed the splendid "Elf" in 2003 has made yet another very good family film and is faithful to the book, i personally thought this was better then "Jumanji". If you want a good movie that the whole family can enjoy then i recommend this movie.

    This DVD contains good extras like an audio commentary, a behind the scenes documentary, visual effects documentary, cast and crew info, and a few more featurettes including interviews....more info
  • Better than Jumanji!
    I thought Jumanji was awesome. This movie is a LOT like that movie (both of which were based on books from the same author), complete with stranded characters, a game that just has to be completed, disasters, cool special effects, distant parents, etc.

    However, this movie is cooler. Naturally, a lot of it is computer enhanced, and you know how it is going to end, but as someone famous once said, it's the journey that matters.

    The small quibbles that I have are thus:

    1) The kids just aren't nice to one another during the movie's majority. Naturally, they learn in the end how to love each other, but I spent a lot of time explaining to our four year old that it just wasn't nice to talk that way.

    2) It is pretty scary in parts. I wasn't scared, of course, in case you are wondering. No, our daughter asked us to turn it off during the robot scene. We'll try again when she is a little older. My wife and I were so into the movie that we turned it on again after our daughter went to bed.

    So, all in all I'd say five stars. It's the best movie in its genre, I can easily say (if you can name more than two movies in this genre, I salute you!).
    ...more info
  • Enjoyable popcorn movie
    Two brothers, Danny and Walter, discover a old-fashioned game in a forgotten corner of an old house's cellar. With nothing better to do, they start in on the board game's imaginary space adventure, only to discover that it's not imaginary at all. When a playing card says "meteor shower," a hail of burning stones pummels their living room. Also, you should see the new view from the house's front door ...

    Each new turn in the game adds to the adventure, which is pretty much all the movie is about. Oh, a sibling rivalry gets resolved along the way, but that seems an afterthought, pasted on so the plot has some kind of beginning and ending. An overbearing older sister in a permanent snit figures in, too, but just barely - the game sidelines her early on, then brings her back when a girly bit of screaming seems appropriate.

    I haven't read Van Allsburg's children's book, the one that this movie comes from, so I can't say anything about the adaptation. That aside, this movie offers good commodity entertainment. It's kid-friendly (as long as your kid isn't too skittish), with enough action to keep a grown-up from falling asleep. If it never rises above the "rainy afternoon" category, that's fine. Rainy afternoons need movies too, so pop the popcorn and enjoy.

    -- wiredweird...more info
  • Jumanji was great this movie is horrible, How can anyone over 5 even say one good thing about this movie.
    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....more info
  • Vulgarity and Profanity ruin a potentially good family movie
    Once again Hollywood has chosen to ruin a potentially good family/childrens movie by including foul vulgar language. How some can label this as a good family movie is beyond me. I have higher standards and values for my family I guess. Yes this is suppose to be a Jumanji sequel but unfortunately Zathura was made in todays society where the norms of lewd vulgar and profanity are being accepted as healthy family values. This society is sicko....more info
  • Good Family Movie
    Great movie for bigger kids like 8 and up. It's like a Jumanji in space basically....more info
  • Excellent Movie
    My Grandson had been wanting this movie for a while!
    You got it to him way before Christmas! Thanks for the
    great service!

    ...more info
  • A great movie for kids and nostalgic adults
    Like Joe Dante, who directed the 1985 sci-fi flick "Explorers," John Favreau understands exactly what it is about sci-fi that tickles the imaginations of kids. Both directors ground their adventures in the familiar setting of home -- a neighborhood, a house -- and both directors show a talent for remembering what it's like to be a kid in awe, presenting everything from the point of view of the boys as they stumble through unlikely space adventures.

    This movie is perfectly paced, the kids play their parts with convincing emotion and the dialogue is often hilarious. Zathura is a movie about a magical board game that brings aliens and space ships to life, but it's also about siblings pulling together and discovering their love for each other even if they don't always get along.

    There are very funny moments here, like one scene that plays on the absurdity of an astronaut who lands on a house floating in space and still offers the courtesy of ringing the doorbell. The comedic timing is absolutely perfect. But there are also warm scenes, showing what another reviewer described as "a movie with a heart," which is a great way to put it.

    Favreau makes it just as easy for adults to feel the same thrill at the prospect of a space adventure as the younger audience. And like Joe Dante, who paid homage to the sci-fi classics of the 50s with "Explorers," Favreau gives those films a nod visually with the retro ships of the alien villians and a malicious robot that's straight out of early comic books.

    This was a great release for the Christmas season and I could see it becoming a seasonal classic for families. I caught this movie with my brother -- we're both in our 20s -- and my mom during a week when my brother was on a rare leave from an overseas military station, and it was a great way to spend a family afternoon. It's safe to say that if you have young kids, they'll love it too....more info
  • happy
    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....more info
  • A Zorgon guide to house remodelling
    Although a little derivative Zathura is lifted above this shortcoming by a witty script and creative production design. Kids will love it and adults will find it charming. There's a moral here too, needless to say, but it doesn't intrude into the entertainment and the movie is never allowed to become too mawkish. The effects are top-notch, the young cast acquit themselves well, and Favreau's direction is nicely balanced. All in all Zathura is a couple of hours of fun that everyone with a healthy sense of adventure will enjoy....more info
  • Meteor shower--take evasive action


    "Zathura" is about two brothers that fight all the time. The younger brother finds a sci-fi board game called "Zathura" in the basement, and wants his bratty older brother to play with him. The older brother is less than excited about playing a board game, but quickly comes around when a meteor shower happens in the living room.
    "Zathura" is basically Jumanji in space...but without the good story. The effects are top-notch, but the story isn't. We've seen this movie before, and we don't need to see a second-rate remake. ...more info
  • WAY better than Jumanji
    What a criminally unappreciated gem. My four year old will latch onto a movie and want to watch it dozens of times; this is one of his favorites. The quality of this movie is such that I never miss a chance to sit with him and enjoy the imagination and craft of the story. We've watched it 20 times, and I'll gladly sit with him next Saturday morning to watch it again. The retro design lovingly recalls the pre-WW2 Flash Gordon serials. What's more impressive is that most of the effects are done with physical models; CGI is only used as an embellishment.

    This was clearly an excellent primer for Jon Favreau, who went on to direct "Iron Man". Good for Jon for not getting railroaded into doing Elf 2, 3 and 4. He clearly has a love for science fiction adventure.

    Watch out, Sam Raimi......more info
  • To put it simply... Wow.
    I saw the previews in theaters thinking, "well, this looks... decent... not good... but something I'd see"

    So when my mom rented it as a "family movie" when it came out I wasn't expecting it to hit me like it did.

    Jumanji came out when I was much younger... and it freaked me out so badly I had a hard time watching it some years later and while parts of Zathura are rather intense for a kids movie (mom and I have both agreed that they need a rating between PG and PG13) it is lightent with perfectly timed humor and cute antics (mostly by the youngest brother Danny).

    My only problem with the film was the languaged used by Danny and Walter. But seeing as most movies now are like that its no real suprise. ...more info
  • Ruined by two foul words
    I never write reviews, but how could I resist when this request appeared on my e-mail? My three-year-old son called me a "bi-atch" the other day. I was shocked -- we don't even have TV! After questioning his teachers at school, I gave up on finding the source until I heard this movie play in our van. The first thing Walter says to his robot is, "Get me a juice box, bi-atch." I also have to point out that Sammy screams, "You're such a dick" to his brother in the first 20 minutes of the movie. Now why on earth would they have to ruin such a good movie with two words?...more info
  • A MUST HAVE movie for 6-12 year old sons/brothers
    My 5-year old daughter saw the trailer for this movie on another DVD and said she wanted to watch it. Well...she's watched it pretty much every day since we purchased it a couple of weeks ago. Great action and special effects mixed with humor make this an enjoyable movie for ALL. The maturing relationship of the two young boys in the movie is special and the extra features showing how the movie was made are great as well. If you have brothers/sons in the 6-12 year age range, this is a MUST HAVE movie....more info
  • Decent Kid's Movie
    It's a decent movie for kids, but not for adults. I found it to be too geared towards children unlike Jumanji which was geared towards all ages. Also, was I the only one who noticed that in the beginning when the sister was frozen the dice said they must go five times before she could be "unfrozen"? They must have went about 8-10 times before she was unfrozen. There were too many mistakes like that one in it....more info
  • Great movie
    Very imaginative...we watch it over and over. Good for adults but not over the top for kids..perfect! Jon Favreau should direct more!
    ...more info
  • Zathura - an exceptional experience
    This is a wonderful movie on many levels. Characters are well developed, the action is exciting and the underlying theme of forgiveness makes this a great movie for all ages. This movie is going on my most watched list....more info
  • "The Zorgons!" "They're lizard men! They eat meat. We're MEAT!"
    Zathura isn't a direct sequel to Jumanji, although there seems to be a mystical connection between the two board games. We do know Chris Van Allsburg wrote both the picture books, and the premise of both films are similar. But while Jumanji was also kid-friendly, Robin Williams still took something away from the kids' performances. Here, not being saddled with a star actor - who hogs all the screen time - the focus in Zathura is squarely on the two child stars who play the contentious siblings, and the film is generous with its portrayal of their rivalrous relationship, as well as their fantastic, out of this world adventures.

    Walter and Danny are two young, neglected brothers (10 & 6 years old respectively) who are going thru that normal stage of sibling rivalry. They have an older sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart) who sleeps all day and who doesn't take her babysitting duties seriously, and a divorced father (Tim Robbins) who one week-end afternoon leaves them alone in their "creepy, old house" to go to work. In the midst of their usual shenanigans, Danny ends up in the scary basement and chances upon an old board game called Zathura. When Walter refuses to join him in play, Danny winds the key on the board and begins playing anyway - and, the next second, the children are frantically taking "evasive action" against an in-house meteor shower. And that's only the beginning!

    Suddenly, their house is floating in space, their sister is in a cryonic sleep, and a maniacal robot, an astronaut, and ravenous reptilian space aliens become unexpected visitors. The only way to get home seems to be to keep playing the game, but with every turn, the danger deepens, as well as the boys' mutual dislike. Will Walter and Danny ever get home? Will the spaceman ever get home? Will their sister ever wake up?

    Zathura has a total ensemble of 5 actors, and you really don't need any more to make the film work. Josh Hutcherson (Walter) and Jonah Bobo (Danny) are the two main protagonists and they prove to be capable young actors. They are ably bolstered by veteran actor Tim Robbins and also by Dax Shepard, who has a nice turn as the stranded astronaut. Kristen Stewart, meanwhile, does a great job as the frozen popsickle.

    With an interesting, magical premise, flawless special effects (that robot was a trip), skillful direction by Jon Favreau, and a nice albeit predictable twist near the end, an adult can certainly find something to like here (I certainly did). But this film is firmly targeted for our young audience. And, as such, Zathura is quickly paced, highly energetic and wholesome enough (there are some mild profanity uttered by the kids). Younger children under 5 or 6 years old might find the movie experience too intense, but older kids should get a kick out of the outrageous and sometimes intense perils, the amazing set designs, and the cool robot and aliens. And there's even a cliched life lesson thrown in which might sneak up on the youngsters. So, by all means, pop Zathura in your player and give the kids - and the kid in you - a treat. ...more info

 

 
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