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Zathura: A Space Adventure
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Zathura: A Space Adventure More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Zathura: A Space Adventure

8/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
19 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From director Jon Favreau (Elf, Iron Man), I remember hearing the title from somewhere, and I found out it was a family film with a similar sounding concept to Jumanji, but in space, I was certainly willing to give it a go. Basically Danny (Jonah Bobo) and Walter (Josh Hutcherson) are two brothers who hardly get on with each other or their sister Lisa (Twilight's Kristen Stewart), they haven't been living in their house for very long but their Dad (Tim Robbins) leaves them by themselves. When he is put in the basement Danny explores it and under the stair case finds an old mechanical two player board game called Zathura: A Space Adventure, and thinking it looks like good fun starts playing it. It works by turning a winder and getting a certain amount of spaces to move, and then receiving a card giving a clue for what is going to happen, whether moving their rocket backwards or forwards, or in the common case something happening. When the first move causes the house to crumble and be shot into deep space Walter joins in as well to play, and every move they play seems to create more space based trouble for them to get out of. This includes cryogenically freezing their sister, having a Robot (John Alexander, voiced by Frank Oz) try to attack them, have aliens known as Zorgans abduct them and much more, but the brothers slowly cooperate to complete the game and end it all. In the middle of playing, they receive a card which brings in an Astronaut (Without a Paddle's Dax Shepard) to join them in their journey, he agrees to help them complete the game which he himself played too, and a bemused Lisa joins as well. After going through a lot with deadly aliens and explosive incidents, they get nearer to the end, and the big revelation is that the Astronaut is an older Walter, and he gets his wish to have his brother, Danny, back. In the end, Danny wins the game, reaching the end of Zathura, all the space based things disappear and everything goes back to normal, and Walter, Danny and Lisa agree to forget it ever happened. Also starring Derek Mears as Lead Zorgon. The two young stars make a great duo, Shepard does well as their new friend from the cosmos, Stewart and Robbins do alright with their time, but of course the real star of the film is the gripping action and the amazing special effects, a fantastic fantasy adventure to be enjoyed by kids and adults. Very good!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Interesting concept, put together nicely

8/10
Author: Robert from United States
15 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A story about two boys who are brothers, who just can't get along. One of them is 10, the other 6 3/4. They have a sister who I'm guessing is around 15-16. The father is divorced and has the three kids. The father needs to leave and go to a meeting. The boys cannot get along, and they fight. The sister is a stereotypical teenager girl who's perfect and refuses to acknowledge her brothers because it's not cool.

The story goes that the youngest boy finds a board game in their old basement, and takes it out. This board game is not like other board games. It spits out a card per each player's turn (after they move) and the card gives typical instructions for the game play. However, here's where it's unique. The board game's events occur in real life. Example being meteor shower, take cover. A real meteor shower hits the house.

It goes on for two or so hours with the boys having to cooperate, they meet a friendly astronaut, a few nasty aliens, a robot, and of course their sister gets involved near the end. I really liked the unique plot this story brought. The way they pulled it off (teamwork, and the surprise near the end where the astronaut is really from the future, being one of the brothers as an older guy) was quite well done.

I rate this 8/10 because of it's message, the way it pulled me in, etc. There were a few swears, but it wasn't nasty. 1/10 is removed because it's the type of movie that makes you jump. Several times. :)

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

interesting!

10/10
Author: Ai Takahashi from Japan
11 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Talking on the story, two brothers that always fight dash out to space by board game.

I had never seen such a interesting movie. This movie is very exciting for me. When I watched this movie, I had forgotten time passed. I watched the DVD again and again.

Two boys are also lovely and I was easily drawn in the story. There were many missions of the game, so I did not get tired. For example, meteorite falls in the room, the aliens attacks them, suddenly astronaut appear from cosmic space and their elder sister is frozen, etc.

I really recommend all the people who never seen this movie to see.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fun family fantasy flick

9/10
Author: johno-21 from United States
21 April 2010

I recently saw this on late night TV. This is destined to be a classic fantasy film that the whole family can watch and enjoy. Based on the book by noted children's author Chris Van Allburg who also wrote 'Polar Express' and 'Jumanji' this was adapted for the screen by David Koepp who wrote screenplays for 'Jurasic Park' I and II, 'Mission Impossible' and 'Spiderman' among his many hits. John Kamps joins Koepp on this screenplay. Danny (Jonah Bobo) and his older brother Walter (Josh Hutcherson) are two fighting siblings of about 7 and 10 years old. Their older teen aged sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart) is a lot older and typically annoyed and distant from them. Their father (Tim Robbins) has to leave for a couple of days and Walter takes out his frustration with Danny by locking him in a dumbwaiter and sending it to the basement. Under the stairs Danny finds an old board space adventure game from the 1950's called Zathura. He brings it upstairs to an indifferent Walter and they began to play it and suddenly they are trapped in the grips of the games world and it transports their house and them into outer space where they circle a giant Saturn-like planet trapped in it's asteroid belt. The games sends a threatening robot and terrorizing space creatures to them and ultimately an astronaut (Dox Shepard) to help them. Oscar award winning cinematographer for 'Pan's Labyrinth' Guillermo Navarro photographs. Jon Faureau, in his third feature as a director, directs. J. Michael Riva heads up the production design and the art direction team of David F. Klassen and Richard F. Mays with set decoration by Lauri Gaffin and a huge special and visual effects department. It's fantasy. The house still has heat and and their is still oxygen to breath in it despite being ripped from the ground and hurled deep into outer space but this is fun fantasy with lots of humor and I would recommend it and give it a 9.0 out of 10.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Cute Kid's movie, but unnecessary language.

7/10
Author: lindzm819 from United States
10 February 2009

Overall, the film was cute, the lead characters were engaging, and the story was entertaining. I was bothered, however, by the unnecessary use of rude language/swearwords. Zathura is marketed as a children's movie, but for some reason the writers decided to allow the words "dick", "hell", "ass", and "bi-otch" into the script when there are several perfectly innocent alternatives to get the point across. It was jarring, and would make me hesitant to allow a child prone to parroting movie lines to view it.

The word choice jolted me out of the movie's story and instead made me focus on every inappropriate word in the script. Generally, I have no problem with strong language to get an important point across, or in a movie for adults where it is appropriate (loved Superbad, for instance), but here there was no reason for it. Danny could just have easily called Walter a "jerk" instead of a "dick", and Lisa could just have easily complained that she was freezing her "butt" off than her "ass". So, if you have an older child who will not repeat everything they hear in movies, or if you don't mind a child using these words, then you should show them Zathura, because it is a cute movie. Otherwise, I would advise that you find a movie with cleaner language, or, better yet, get the book Zathura!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Zathanji.

6/10
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
18 October 2008

When bickering brothers Danny (Jonah Bobo) and Walter (Josh Hutcherson) begin to play Zathura, a mysterious, clockwork board game discovered in the basement of their father's house, they are transported to outer space and cannot return to Earth until one of them wins. With each roll of the dice (well, the clockwork equivalent of a dice, anyway), the boys face new and terrible dangers, including meteor showers, a malevolent robot, and attacks from flesh-eating alien lizards.

First things first: Zathura is not a sequel to Jumanji. It has none of that film's stars, none of the same characters, and does not feature the Jumanji board game. It is, however, 'from the world of Jumanji'; in other words, made by producers who obviously felt that there was more mileage to be had from the magical board game concept, and who decided to recycle the idea.

Unfortunately, despite featuring more advanced special effects and a sci-fi angle that offers plenty of scope for more imaginative hazards, this film is a far less successful venture than its jungle themed predecessor. Suffering from annoying characters played by less talented actors, a poorly thought out plot (that, although set in the endless expanse of space, still sees the boys confined to their house), and a confusing 'time twist' ending that requires further explanation to fully understand (either via the DVD commentary, or by searching the internet), Zathura is lacking in too many ways to be a wholly enjoyable adventure.

Next time the producers want to bring us another story 'from the world of Jumanji', couldn't we just have Jumanji 2? (preferably with Dunst, Williams, and the return of those mischievous monkeys!).

5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Yuck

5/10
Author: GundersonRocks from United States
6 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I disliked this movie very much. Jumanji was great, and when I heard of a "modern version" being made, I was a little excited. This was horrible. People who like this are usually parents who think it teaches children valuable lessons about not fighting. I disagree. The two children in the film waste about thirty minutes of the movie doing nothing but yelling at each other. I got bored of that really quickly. When the boy Walter wishes for the football on the star, the whole "intensity" was very corny and not realistic. If you want to see a good film, go watch Jumanji. If you want to see a rip off of Jumanji, see this. If you want to see an even worse rip off of Jumanji, watch Stay Alive.

My Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Stunned at the lack of new plot mechanisms

3/10
Author: maddaveh2002 from United States
16 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'll give them point for good special effects and nice production values. I'll even spot them a point because someone who had never seen Jumanji would find much of Zathura new and exciting.

OK, those are my 3 points in my rating.

The bickering interaction between the siblings was realistic enough I got to use it as an example to my kids, afterward. I'm not giving it a point because it was irritating enough to get really old.

How in the ***** *********!!! can the makers have varied SO incomprehensibly little from Jumanji? Even a sequel needs SOME variety! The Robot (which, by the way, looked pretty cool - I want one) was a dead rip off of Van Pelt. The meteor shower was a dead ripoff of the monsoon. Etc.

I'm glad I found it on TV instead of renting it... I certainly would have been finding a way to drop another point off my rating.

Never seen Jumanji? Sure... watch this. Have? I'm amazed anyone could have put this out on the market.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not as good as Jumanji, but fun

7/10
Author: PeachHamBeach from Morro Bay, Hammett Valley, Twin Rocks
14 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At first I was ready to turn it off. Those 2 boys constant bickering grated on my nerves. It got better fairly soon, although it took a little too long for the plot to get going. Kristen Stewart helped as soon as she appeared, because just the 2 boys was, well I said it once.

Jumanji is superior in its story and character development, but Zathura is still lots of fun, with good special effects and some pretty good comedy once Dax Shepard appears. The movie may have need more characters to be better. Perhaps Tim Robbins could have been in more of the story, even if he played a different character like the father in Jumanji.

Sometimes the action seemed to slow way down, but thankfully it was never for too long.

Not too bad for a family film.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good movie but inappropriate language used

7/10
Author: ednashley from United States
7 May 2006

This was an entertaining and exciting movie. However it seems that lately in movies geared towards children the writers seem to overlook some of the very offensive dialog and language used. Several times in this movie I was shocked and offended by some of the language allowed to slip through unnoticed. I wish that the writers would pause to ask themselves "would I want my seven year old saying that" chances are they would answer no, and possibly take some of it out. Call me old fashioned but I am sure they could have found some similar non-offensive alternatives.

Otherwise I thought this movie was fun and exciting.

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