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Director Jon Favreau uses the same concept as Jumanji. A board game
comes alive when it gets played. Danny (Jonah Bobo) and Walter (Josh
Hutcherson) are two battling brothers who find an old mechanical board
game called Zathura, and they start to play it. Only every move they
make sends something crazy to happen. Their entire house gets launched
into outer space. They, along with their sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart),
must finish the game and return home.
Sure it's derivative of the original Jumanji. However I think I like this one a little slightly bit better. Having kids play the game just seems more compelling, and more dangerous, and more fun. Oh did I say it's fun. It's a lot of fun.
I'm not much of a reviewer but I will say this; if you and your family
like Jumanji you'll enjoy this.
It mimics Jumanji in every aspect pretty much, but replaces the jungle scene with a more futuristic outer space family adventure.
Only complaint about this movie (as a parent) is that it should have been rated PG-13 with the language used. One example,.. 5 minutes in the movie you have a 6 year calling his older brother a "dick." Seems a little overboard language wise for a family movie.
Would recommend this for kiddos (and adults) 7+.
For parents: No death, no over the top violence, few too many curse words for a PG film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Two young brothers have to put their poor relationship to one side when
the game Zathura turns out to have unexpected consequences.
Zathura is a sequel to Jumanji in that both films - based on novels by Chris van Allsburg - concern board games which involve the players in fantastic real-life consequences, teach them something about themselves and, when finished, reset everything to where it was before (except for the life lessons, which remain).
Where the game in Jumanji was African in nature, Zathura, as per the film's sub-title, is a space adventure (don't expect the physics to make sense, the adventure works via magic rather than science). The hazards encountered are well executed, the story is exciting, the house in which the adventure takes place is full of character, and the film is as good as family entertainment as its predecessor.
I didn't care for Jonah Bobo as the younger brother, but Josh Hutcherson was excellent as older brother Walter, over-competitive, jealous and resentful towards his younger brother. Kristen Stewart puts in a decent mid-teen performance as the older sister: the sulks were only partly required.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We watched this movie after spending 3 weeks on a lesson unit related
to Science Fiction and after reading Zathura, the story.In the movie we
liked a few things such as the astronaut, who we thought was brave,
funny and an interesting character. We also liked the Zorgons because
they were cool and mean looking. The special effects for the shooting
star were neat, and when Danny told his sister that they were meat for
the Zorgon's dinner we all laughed. Another thing we found funny was
when Lisa wanted to go out on a date with her own brother, not knowing
the astronaut was the future Walter.
We didn't really like the black hole because it came out of nowhere and didn't really make sense. Finally, we thought that the father character was boring and lame.
Overall, we enjoyed it and thought it was a good and fun movie to watch.
Zathura is a good film that the whole family could enjoy. This movie
reminds me of Jumanji, another great family film with similar premises.
Technically, this should be a sequel to Jumanji but it is actually not.
But that did not stop me from overall enjoying the film.
This is about two bickering brothers who play a board game called Zathura and everything that happens in the game happens for real.
The acting is pretty good. The constant bickering between Hutcherson and Bobo got tiring after awhile. Dax Shepard and the little screen time Tim Robbins had actually helped out the film.
Overall, this is a fun family adventure. It's not the best movie ever due to the lack of a good screenplay but it makes up for that with solid acting, good visual effects, and great directing by Jon Favreau. I rate this film 8/10.
I can honestly say that this is my favourite movie of all time. The characters of Danny (Jonah Bobo) and Walter (Josh Hutcherson) are cast really well and are both very good young actors. It is funny right from the first minute and has some cute and heartwarming moments between the brothers. The storyline is very creative and different, and it is better than any other space film I have ever watched. The special effects are really good and the twist that comes about halfway through the movie is unexpected. The story of the two brothers is very believable and you can to relate to it, and the character of the older sister Lisa ( Kirsten Stewart) is a good edition to the story. It has you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and the various adventures the boys have bring comedy and excitement. Although this movie is mainly aimed at children, I believe that people of all ages will enjoy its thrill and originality. I have watched zathura so many times that I have lost count, and I think that the boys are much better actors than a lot of adults I have watched, especially Jonah bobo as he was so young. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone that likes good entertainment!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have personally fun with this sci-fi version of Jumanji without Robin
Williams, but the lack of many adult characters and the character of
Jonah Bobo who is an annoying little brat that brings the catastrophe
everywhere, make this movie like a sci-fi version Of Goonies of some
sort that is more appropriate for children than an average sci-fi
enthusiast.The special effects are great and thankfully are not cheap
computer graphics and create this stylized "retro-1950s sci-fi look" of
the film.Zathura is more like a spiritual sequel of Jumanji and is
loosely based on the illustrated book Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg,
author of Jumanji and i was hoping that it will be more action-packed
than Jumanji but all the action happens only in the house and that
means that lacks of the brilliant outside action scenes of Jumanji.
So, the little brats are playing a game that found in the house basement(so predictable!!-if i go to my basement i wonder what the hell i will find there)and they begin play it and they start without knowing blasting the house into pieces and they send it into outer space,meet aliens,robots,etc...And they must finish it if they want to stop the chaos.
Two young brothers are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when their
house is magically hurtled through space because of the board game they
Starring Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins , Frank Oz , Derek Mears.
Directed by the actor come director Jon Favreau who also directed Elf and Iron Man 1, 2 along with the recent Cowboys & Aliens.
OK so i have seen this movie when it was out and i didn't liked it much. but i saw it recently again and i really like it. many people here haven't much liked it and rated it very low. well it is a good movie. i also quite agree with the Rotten Tomatoes rating, it is good enough. this movie is just like Jumanji with this weird mysterious board game which once you started playing it takes you to on a fantasy journey which is very dangerous. Jumanji was based on jungle themes while this is based on space.
Jon Favreau has an eye for kids movies, he directed it quite well. i really liked the way he made this movie into this Sci fi adventure for Kids. good and appreciable work. i liked its screenplay, for a kids movie the screenplay was quite well enough. nice story. i must once again say thanks to Jon for bringing a much better and meaningful kids movie that we don't see much nowadays.
it seems like a small budgeted movie but the special effects were really good. i loved the way space and the different things related to it been shown. very good effects. a good looking movie it is. nice background score too. nicely done editing and everything else.
Jonah Bobo as Danny and Josh Hutcherson as Walter are two brothers living with their dad Tim Robbins and sister Lisa played by Kristen Stewart. the siblings as always fights all the time. Danny being the youngest faces much pressure and stuff from his elder brother so Danny overall feels really alone and isolated. they finds a game and start playing it while not reading the rules which states that once they start playing it the can't stop and thus begins the adventure where there house floats in space while they have to face many things from Robots to Meteor showers to strange lizard like creatures to gravity and what not. an Astronaut played by Dax Shepard helps them.
this is one of the best modern children family movies. family will love watching it such a lovely movie.
"Jumanji", an adaptation of the book of the same name by Chris Van
Allsburg, is a family fantasy movie I remember seeing more than once
back in 1996, the year after it was released. That was late in my
childhood, but about four years ago, I finally saw it for the first
time in many years, and again just last year. With these two viewings,
I was still very impressed with the film. Released ten years after that
1995 blockbuster, "Zathura: A Space Adventure" is another adaptation of
a Chris Van Allsburg book, and has a similar plot. Discovering that I
still liked "Jumanji" over a decade later was what led me to this 2005
film. I wasn't expecting this to match its predecessor, but still
expected it to be pretty good, which I think it is.
Danny and Walter are two brothers who don't tend to get along. Danny is six years and three quarters old, and Walter is ten. Their parents are divorced, and the boys are currently at their father's house. After their father leaves for work one day, and their teenage sister, Lisa is still in bed, their sibling rivalry continues, and Danny ends up alone in the basement. Down there, he finds a board game called Zathura, which he takes upstairs and starts playing. Unfortunately, he doesn't know what happens when one starts playing this game. The two brothers soon discover that the house is now floating in outer space with them inside! Lisa wakes up but doesn't realize she's in outer space before being cryogenically frozen by one of the game's cards! Danny and Walter will only be able to get back to Earth if they finish the game, but the brothers find that each time one of them takes their turn, something very bad happens!
The starring roles of Danny and Walter are played by Jonah Bobo and Josh Hutcherson respectively, and these certainly aren't the greatest performances I've ever seen from child actors, but they're okay. Sometimes, the sibling rivalry is a little too much, but this isn't a constant problem. There were times when I thought the movie was maybe a bit bland early on, but this didn't last, as the suspense increases, and many exciting things happen as the boys play the dangerous game! Occasionally, there are also some fairly funny moments. At one point, the game brings the brothers a human astronaut, played by Dax Shepard. While Shepard's performance isn't particularly impressive, the character he plays contributes a lot to the story, including some surprising elements. He may not seem like a very significant character at first, but this soon proves not to be the case. Since "Zathura: A Space Adventure" is a sci-fi movie, mostly set in space, it's not surprising that it's also a visual treat, with great special effects.
Unlike the "Jumanji" movie, this later release doesn't feature the talent of Robin Williams, and none of the cast performances in this 2005 sci-fi fantasy adventure stand out the way Williams and perhaps certain other performers do in its 1995 predecessor. It also may take a little longer for the suspense to really pick up in this film. However, both movies contain an entertaining story with a lot of excitement and excellent visuals. This film is like a sci-fi version of "Jumanji", but it's not EXACTLY the same, and even if you're familiar with the first movie of the two, you could find some surprises here. Some people who have seen "Zathura: A Space Adventure" might say it's strictly for kids, but I don't completely agree with that. It probably is more appealing to kids than adults, but for me, it sure beat watching the two Power Rangers movies after growing up. If you don't like the film adaptation of "Jumanji", you probably wouldn't like this adaptation of "Zathura" either. If you do like that movie, you would probably find that this follow-up is inferior, but it could still be worth a look.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wonder how many people remember the movie "Jumanji" as a good movie.
I wonder how many remember the scores of animals rampaging through the
streets. I wonder how many people remember the movie just because Robin
Williams was in it. Probably the last one. You see, "Jumanji"
introduced the idea of a 'cursed' board game that when you play it, you
become an actual part of the game. Unfortunately, that is all the movie
had going for it...and Robin Williams.
This generation's "Jumanji" takes the stage as "Zathura", which is basically Jumanji in space, but has much better production value. The movie centers around two brothers, Danny (Jonah Bobo) and Walter (Josh Hutcherson), who are obviously at odds. Danny wants nothing more than to hang out with his father (Tim Robbins) and his big brother while Walter wishes Danny never existed. Well, this brotherly separation is tested when suddenly, Danny finds a board game called Zathura. You can probably guess the rest. He starts to play it and in an instant, their house is in space. "Zathura" can be given plenty of credit because it has much more character and imagination behind it. It is a neat little piece that Danny can't read and so has to rely on Walter to read the cards that foretell doom or salvation.
However, there are a few plot points taken from Jumanji that can easily be pointed out, but it's not like deja vu. In both movies, there is the summoning of a trapped previous player who helps the heroes get to their goal, Jumanji had Alan, the jungle man, and Zathura has Dax Shepard playing the role of a stranded astronaut. Also, in both movies, cheating is heavily punished, but Zathura doesn't go as obscene as making a kid into a monkey. It literally ejects Walter from the house! And then how Zathura sucks all the game's dangers back as a black hole like in Jumanji, though it looks a lot more awesome in Zathura.
The hazards in Zathura are also much more life-threatening. Jumanji had its animal stampedes and harassing monkeys, but during the long haul, they didn't really threaten the lives of the characters after they are summoned. A lion for example attacks the characters, but is locked in the bedroom where it stays for the rest of the movie. Zathura's dangers are very extreme and eye-pleasing. While the idea of evil aliens and robots is nothing new, at least they are continuous threats. The flesh-eating Zorgons, who are attracted to light, return later in the film after Kristen Stewart's character ignites the furnace pilot light after Walter has previously lowered its flame and how the robot is always that silent danger that you know is there but is taking its time to strike.
The movie isn't without its flaws. Kristen Stewart's character, Lisa, feels unneeded. Hell, she spends most of the movie in cyrogenic sleep! And when she isn't, she just stands in the background, wide-eyed and screaming. The character of Danny is just awful. He's the movie's flat tire, which is a shame since he is one of the protagonists. Danny is constantly chickening out during the game, refusing to play on several occasions, despite the fact that completing the game will end the nightmarish events. Jonah Bobo may be young, but he just doesn't make Danny likable. His horrified little face is permanently plastered in every scene.
The script can also be to blame since it doesn't really do Danny any favors. Danny's constant shouting the obvious like "Meteors!" and "Zorgons!", as well as his ridiculous requoting of "Zorgons eat meat! We're meat!" will make your groan. The only actors who can be given props for their performances are Josh Hutcherson and Dax Shepard. Josh, who has appeared in several movies following Zathura, is very believable for his age and even when he is being a jerk, you still like him. Dax Shepard, another developing actor, is easily the best in the film.
Still, it is fun to point out references to other scifi movies. When Lisa, Walter's sister, becomes infatuated with the astronaut, only to realize he is actually an adult Walter is a funny nod to Star Wars, with their whole "Luke and Leia" situation and Star Trek references are abound, especially the reptilian Zorgons, which were clearly inspired by Star Trek's multitude of alien species.
Though Jumanji had its plot issues, Zathura does too. The movie's climax and falling action has some pretty strange writing. Like how Danny is able to sneak into the Zorgon ship, grab the game, sneak out through a herd of four-eyed goats (I'm not kidding), and escape without so much of a scratch. It makes the evil, terrifying Zorgons look like a bunch of chums. Then how the best card in the game, the gold card, allows Walter to make a wish through a shooting star. Of course, this can be let go on account of the movie IS for kids rather than criticizing guys like me.
All in all, Zathura is a very good movie. Few movies are flawless and it's not like Zathura's iffy script will completely ruin the experience. If you want to watch this film, sit down with your kids, pop some popcorn and enjoy an adventure that is literally out of this world.
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