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Zathura: A Space Adventure
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Reviews & Ratings for
Zathura: A Space Adventure More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The space odyssey.

8/10
Author: Wally Soares from Jacaraípe, Brazil
2 July 2006

What makes Zathura so great, beyond the incredible visual designs, tense challenges, and a great director, is the fact that it was adapted from a Chris Van Allburg book. The Polar Express was a visionary adventure, and Jumanji, family fun. Zathura doesn't get to be as thrilling and masterful as the animated film by Robert Zemeckis, but innovates ingredients from Jumanji, while at the same time creating new ones. It is a movie of great adventure, infinite inventiveness, and a screenplay that will please anyone in the whole family. Jon Fraveau has an unlimited supply of audacity and he applies every bit of that to Zathura. Then there's the cast, which features a great Josh Hutchersson and one more good Tim Robbins.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Z is for Zowie.

8/10
Author: Son_of_Mansfield from Mansfield, Pennsylvania.
3 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Two young sparring brothers are transported into outer space by a fifties style board game. This semi-sequel to Jumanji from author Chris Van Allsburg and director Jon Favreau is a charming tale of "growing up." Danny is the younger acclaim starved brother of the arrogant Walter and their journey from bickering brothers to relevant relations is both understated and true. Both Jonah Bobo as Danny and Josh Hutcherson as Walter are quite good at balancing being kids while showing a maturity as the film progresses. Dax Shepard, former jacka**, fits in well as a slightly arrogant astronaut. Tim Robbins, who started in comedy, gets to have fun as their stressed out father and Kristen Stewart, proud member of DOF, Daughters of Foster, gets the thankless role of straight woman, but gives depth to her underwritten part with her full voice and dark eyes. What separates Zathura from Jumanji is the fact that the special effects serve the former, where as they simply placed plastic looking monkeys in the latter. So a great story, a swinging director, a good cast, and form fitting special effects produce a satisfying "kids" movie.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Take care of Zorgons

6/10
Author: noxton-failed from Germany
5 May 2006

I find this movie kind of ridiculous. No one really wants to learn from TV! And even as a naive Child you don't want to. Do not tread your little brother like Walter did, you listen? And never ever wish that your bro would not even have been born! Maybe you gonna end up as an astronaut lost in space. The movie shows how not to do it, how not to tread your brother or father and how you should never ever eat.

Maybe I'm a little too sarcastic and it's a real good family movie with heart and a lot to learn from. But I got bad nightmares about the Zorgons. They are really scary! Okay honestly I liked the movie. I think it has great and beautiful pictures, and if you watch it with your kids, they probably will be excited. But one should not try to learn from TV but just enjoy and laugh. I actually had a lot of fun with the film but watched just one single time.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

OK, but far too dark and scary for kids

Author: ghost21-1 from Australia
3 April 2006

The story line was good but I found it a terribly dark movie, especially for kids. I think this is an unfortunate trend in kids movies these days - what ever happened to movies full of light and sunshine, that were lots of simple fun? And, as in so many other movies, the producers try to give the world a philosophy lesson. Some good humour & Some scary moments The robot clearly had a 'small man syndrome' I cannot see why comments need to be 10 lines long. I've said what I think about the movie, and I'm not going to pad it out with pointless remarks like "Better than Mary Poppins", or "Better than True Grit" (which it probably is)

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great thrill ride of an adventure

7/10
Author: eXtreme23 from United States
2 April 2006

Based on the best-selling book by the acclaimed children's writer Chris Van Allsburg ("The Polar Express," "Jumanji"), Zathura is a heart-racing sci-fi adventure about two bickering brothers who are propelled into deepest, darkest space while playing a mysterious game they discovered in the basement of their old house. Zathura is the long awaited sequel of "Jumanji". One of my favorite movies of all time. I remember when there was an announcement that there will be a JUMANJI 2, years and years passed by and then I saw the trailer for this movie. There was quite a comparison between these two movies, but I knew that Jumanji will be better.

I'm not really going to compare this to Jumanji, because this is a whole new adventure.Zathura is a great thrill ride of an adventure and it has plenty of surprises. There aren't really any parts to bore you, this is a fun movie. But there is a question that I want to know. Who exactly made the game of Zathura? The two young boys found it in their basement, but we don't quite know who made it, or where it exactly came from and how did it even get in the basement in the first place. Thats not really going to bother me because overall I enjoyed this film. 7.5/10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

they still do teen action movies

6/10
Author: dromasca from Herzlya, Israel
11 March 2006

'Zathura' was repeatedly described as a space-located 'Jumanji'. This is quite accurate, as in both movies the pretext is a board game that opens the gate to a fantastic world invading the reality where the child and teen characters live. Asnd while the physical world seems to be destroyed without traces on screen, there is no doubt for the whole duration of the movie that the child characters are as safe as the viewers of the movie are in their armchairs.

Still 'Zathura' works at least up to a certain point, because we as spectators are fascinated by the game-reality parallel, and because pulp fiction culture has became lately kind of a innocence seal that applied to what otherwise horror stories and movies allows for the detachment and separation of spectators in the safety zone.

With good acting and a willingly cartoonish but still stylish scenography 'Zathura' succeeds to be generally good taste and not too boring. Missing is however the pitch of quality provided by RObin Williams in 'Jumanji'. Tim Robbins has a much lesser role here, and is far from being such a fine actor as Williams. Still, 'Zathira' is good children and teens action entertainment, something not to be missed by concerned parents in our age.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Walter Thing

5/10
Author: bornyesterdayandtomorrow from United States
21 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was thinking of this as being a good kid movie--until the Walter Thing. When I saw this, I was very upset. Do you want to know what it is? Oh, believe me, I'll give you the answer.

The astronaut they meet in space is Walter grown up. Now, I don't know about you, but for me that's very wrong. How can someone exist as a child and as a grown man at the same time? It's impossible.

Up until that part, I found it quite convenient for children. Fun, really, and the kids are quite cute.

I don't suggest anyone to watch this and enjoy it. You can enjoy it, sure, but don't watch the last ten or fifteen minutes of the movie.

I give it a five for the cute kids and aliens. The other five flew out the window along with my mind the last fifteen minutes of the movie--and when Lisa thought that the grown-up Walter had "gorgeous eyes." The Walter Thing really killed me.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Gorgeous Special Effects...But Predictable

7/10
Author: derjukee from United States
1 January 2006

The plot was interesting enough, but was too much like Jumanji. That said, I find it necessary to mention that I did enjoy Jumanji, so I am probably a bit biased in favor of Zathura.

Jumanji in outer space. Of course, you could probably tell that from the trailers...

Zathura has its moments, but most had already been portrayed in Jumanji. Every occurrence in the game paralleled those of Jumanji. The vines (robot) the hunter (Zorgons) and the tsunami/stampede (gravitational pull/meteor shower). So much was taken from Jumanji, it was distracting. I could not help but draw comparisons between the two movies while sitting in the theatre.

However, in its own right, this movie is awesome. Special effects won me over, the meteor shower especially. These are some of the best special effects I have seen in a while, and that is the reason for my high rating.

What you can expect:

1. If you liked Jumanji, or if you really love special effects, you will like Zathura (even though David Alan Grier isn't in it).

2. If you hated any aspect of Jumanji, or are really picky about acting performances, then this movie is probably not for you.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Funny and Entertaining for the Whole Family

7/10
Author: Beatleboy from United States
25 November 2005

Let's get the bad out of the way...

Perhaps it may be the fault of the theater or projectionist, but for the entire first reel, I was distracted because I was able to see the boom microphones at the top of the image. Just about every scene was done this way. I lost count of the number of times it happened. It could be that the projector was not set properly. The image did bleed both above and below the screen. I didn't really miss too much in reel one. Fortunately the meat of the film began with reel two. Another minor fault was with continuity. In one scene, the younger brother hurts his elbow and it is bleeding. The next scene shows two bandages there. A few minutes later, there were no bandages. He was back to a bloody elbow.

And now on to the good stuff...

Once I got past reel one, I was able to concentrate on the story itself. There are a number of twists and turns throughout the film. Every turn on the Zathura game, brought another adventure for the two brothers. Throughout the film they had to learn how to work together as a team. The brothers get a little help from an astronaut (arriving as part of the game). They had an older sister, but her character was pretty useless to the story except for being used as another game gag.

All in all, the film is well worth seeing for the whole family. I tend to be a clock watcher during films and I must say that I did not once look at my watch. There is enough action and humor written into the script to keep anyone entertained throughout the film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good enough to see, but also to make you wish it were some how better.

7/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
20 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on a book by Chris Van Allsburg, Zathura tells the story of two brothers who start playing the game Zathura and soon find themselves trapped in space.

Yes, boys and girls this is more Jumanji like adventures, but in space instead of in the wilds of darkest Africa. I'm a fan of the mad cap romp of the first film which continuously bent reality in very silly ways. Granted the earlier film had a plot that was a bit of a mess, but it was still fun to watch the actors go through their paces. I'm not sure what to make of this sequel.

While I can admire the the film for being tightly plotted and for being more together than Jumanji, and while I think the set pieces (and the monsters) are wonderful, I think the film suffers from two problems, first the film doesn't have the absolute sense of danger and anything can happen that made Jumanji work despite its flaws. We know (AND THIS IS A SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN JUMANJI) that in the end all will be right with the world and it will be as if nothing happened.(END SPOILER) This lack of tension works against the film since we can't be too frightened that something awful is going to happen, because we know the ending. There is no edge to things because we're just waiting for the inevitable.

The other problem with this movie, is that despite the violence and destruction, 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 than just tell a story, its trying to tell the story in a certain way, which is to make it acceptable to everyone. I dislike that. Film makers should just try to tell the story and not try to gear the film to everyone in the audience since you end up losing some one by trying to reach everyone (and in a case like this there really isn't anything offensive that could get anyone in trouble) The best movies are movies and not movies for a group, or all groups.

Still this is a good movie, that looks great on the big screen. It has wonderful set pieces, cool monsters, and a sense of fun thats worth seeing. Definitely better in pieces than as a whole, Zathura is worth a bargain matinée, or a rental on cable. 7 out of 10 for the pieces, 6 out of 10 as a whole.

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