In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario's attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists' find that their lives will never be the same.
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.
The moon phase illustrations on Lewis' walls features all 12 constellations of the Zodiac, plus one more: on the right of the door is Ophiuchus, the "13th sign" of the zodiac, and on the left side is Scorpio.
These two constellations represent the sun's position during the autumn season of the year, which roughly corresponds to the film's release date (Oct 2018) and the setting. See more »
Jonathan's last name is Barnavelt, the same as Lewis. But it's revealed that Jonathan is Lewis' maternal uncle, so Jonathan should have Lewis' mother's maiden name as his last name, not Barnavelt. See more »
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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