Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. He discovers his uncle is a warlock, and enters a world of magic and sorcery. But this power is not limited to good people: Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. He died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Now Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it finishes its countdown and ends the world.
AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT reference - Near the beginning of the film, when Lewis gets off the bus and is met by his uncle, Jonathan Barnavelt, they walk past a cinema showing a fictional film called 'Spaceman from Pluto'. This is also the name of a comic book that Marty McFly reads and inspires him to don his 'spaceman' disguise when trying to inspire the teenage 1950's version of his father in another Amblin produced film, Back to the Future (1985). In addition, this film is set in 1955, the same year that Back to the Future is mostly set in. See more »
The Backpack that Lewis is carrying while travelling and to and from school is a Yugoslav People's Army Combat standard combat backpack which was produced from 1975 until the 1990s. It was extensively used by each side during the Yugoslavian wars. It was designed around 1975 and was not available in 1955. There are several varieties. (black leather straps instead of leather colored and so on) It seems like the front shoulder pads were removed, but it is definitely a M75 combat backpack of the YPA. See more »
Dear Lewis: Enclosed, please find one bus ticket and two silver dollars for your trip to Michigan. I'm really sorry about the loss of your parents. Your mom was my sister, so that makes you family. And I'll do my best to make you feel right at home. As Einstein said, life is like a bicycle. To stay balanced, you got to keep moving forward. And so will we. I look forward to meeting you. Your Uncle Jonathan. PS Sorry for the stain on the letter. That's chocolate.
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The Amblin Entertainment logo is the 80s version. See more »
Theatrical versions of the movie are longer by 10 seconds, with a bumper for Universal Parks and Resorts placed before the Amblin Partners logo. this is removed from home video releases however, instead cutting directly to the Amblin Partners logo after the credits. See more »
Hey Lolly Lolly
Written by Jimmie Thomas and Oscar McLollie
Performed by Oscar McLollie & His Honeyjumpers
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from Universal Music Enteprises See more »
A Good Film but Not Great
Good cast, good special effects & interesting storyline, yet it lacked story depth & attention to story details. If had been done right, the story could have been better than mediocre. First and foremost this story is about 3 people in search for love, family and finding where one belongs. The screenplay failed to show hints of romantic love between Jack Black & Cate Blanchett's characters. Jack Black showed little attachment to the Boy which could have been demonstrated by hands on magical instruction by Black to the Boy. Thirdly, the movie could have spent a scene or two with the "true friend" with the boy. Finally, I thought the back story of Black's nemesis was clumsily done. It seemed to me that this movie was half baked instead of being nurtured into a mature film that could have been fully entertaining to kids and adults.
Sorry to say, but I give this film a 6.5 to 7.
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