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.
Eli Roth: appears as Comrad Ivan in the black and white "Captain Midnight" scene that Lewis sees on the wall. He is also the voice-over on the school's PA. See more »
The Backpack that Lewis is carrying during travel and to/from school is actually a real life Yugoslav People's Army Combat backpack Model 1975 - standard combat backpack from 1975 until 1990s and was also extensively used by every side during the Yugoslavian wars. It was uniquely designed around 1975 and not available in 1955. There are several varieties (black leather straps instead of leather colored and so on) and seems like front shoulder pads are removed, but definitely M75 - combat backpack of YPA. See more »
The Reliance Entertainment logo is sepia-toned. 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 »
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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