A young girl discovers her father has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook's hero.
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
In his homeland of Alagaesia, a farm boy happens upon a dragon's egg -- a discovery that leads him on a predestined journey where he realized he's the one person who can defend his home against an evil king.
In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.
Brandon T. Jackson
Professor Trevor Anderson receives his teenager nephew Sean Anderson. He will spend ten days with his uncle while his mother, Elizabeth, prepares to move to Canada. She gives a box to Trevor that belonged to his missing brother, Max, and Trevor finds a book with references to the last journey of his brother. He decides to follow the steps of Max with Sean and they travel to Iceland, where they meet the guide Hannah Ásgeirsson. While climbing a mountain, there is a thunderstorm and they protect themselves in a cave. However, a lightening collapses the entrance and the trio is trapped in the cave. They seek an exit and falls in a hole, discovering a lost world in the center of the Earth. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I first saw the trailer for Journey to the Centre of the Earth last Christmas when I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-d. I also remember clearly thinking what a load of rubbish it looked like. It appeared to be a gigantic gimmick, cashing in on the latest 3-d technology. The various TV spots and images I saw of the movie in the past few months has done absolutely nothing to dispel this notion. However this past week something happened I didn't really expect, the critics were giving it quite decent reviews, most praising it as ridiculously good fun. I was still sceptical, but also in some way intrigued, perhaps the trailers were just poorly done. So I went to see the movie today, of course in 3-d (more on that later) and was absolutely amazed at how entertaining the movie really is. While the movie does feel like a gimmick at times, do we really need that yo-yo scene, the movie also does seem quite well made. The performances too were good for a movie that really could just have been a cash in, Brendan Fraser is surprisingly likable and good in the movie, and Josh Hutcherson continues to deliver performances that all Hollywood kids should be delivering as good as. But most importantly its so much fun, the action sequences looks incredible in 3-d, and the landscapes of the actual Centre of the Earth do look beautiful. This is a 3-d movie, and make no mistakes by thinking it is worth watching in 2-d, it really isn't. The movie is a kids movie, and so we get an all too happy ending, but there is a brief moment of darkness before the end, and that too makes the movie all the better for adults.
So onto the performances. Brendan Fraser as I have said delivers a decent performance here. He seemed to have disappeared in recent years, but with both this and The Mummy 3 arriving in cinemas this year I am sure we might be seeing some more of him over the next few years. While he does have to deal with a lot of clichéd lines in the movie, he does also ooze charisma and seems a genuinely nice bloke. He also does a great double act alongside Josh Hutcherson as his nephew. Hutcherson really is an A-lister in the making in my opinion, while his performance here doesn't match what he did Bridge to Terabithia, he still makes a potentially average brat into a likable characters with genuine motivations. His characters transformation neither feels forced nor corny, and one moment with Fraser in front of a sunset is one of the many highlights of the movie. Anita Briem is also surprisingly good as the "Best mountain climber in the world." Once again this could be a run of the mill plot device character, yet she makes it a much more interesting one. The script gives her some good moments and she does have considerable chemistry with Fraser.
But of course the main attraction of the movie has to be its effects and of course the 3-d. The early part of the movie does feature the most gimmicks of the 3-d, we get the yo-yo scene, the spitting scene, etc. While they get the kids excited they're not the most exciting things to watch in the world and certainly don't make a good movie. Its when the trio go up to a mountain the 3-d really does work. Not only does the scenery look beautiful, but it feels alive as it pops out of the screen at you. Nightmare Before Christmas didn't do the 3-d too well, but Centre of the Earth really does it brilliantly. A mine cart chase is the cinematic equivalent of a roller coaster ride and really does get the adrenaline pumping. The much promised T-Rex sequence does not disappoint, and a surprisingly tense magnetic rock sequence (don't ask) looks all the better for the 3-d. The script is also much better than it really should be, in fact it actually works better than your average blockbuster to be honest. But as I keep saying do not waste your money on the 2-d version. I understand why they're releasing it in 2-d, the producers do need their money back, but it really will not be the same thing. Having seen Beowulf in 3-d and 2-d I know how much a disappointment the 2-d version can be after seeing the beauty of the 3-d.
Overall Journey to the Centre of the Earth may very well be the biggest surprise of the summer, and quite possibly the year. While it won't win awards it does entertaining, and the hundreds of kids who were in my screen today seemed just as impressed and entertained as I was. Also the promise of a potential sequel at the end of the movie didn't horrify me, in fact I'm ashamed to admit I'd quite happily watch another one if its delivered with the same quality.
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