7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a film review
And you thought nobody made good kids films anymore? How wrong could you have been! It's easy to prejudge this film: its a Jumanji rip-off, featuring some annoying brats, and hell look at that poster ~ a flying house in space! But in a wierd and unexpected way it is exactly each of these points that made the film such a brilliant fantasy. The child actors are actually...
Published on 30 Nov. 2007 by T. J. Bacon
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD, DOES NOT PLAY IN UK.
I bought the Zathura dvd for my 3 year old grandson as he saw this film on the television and liked the film. I ordered the dvd, not thinking for a moment that because the Zathura dvd is an American import, the dvd will not play on either a dvd player or laptop in the uk.Needless to say i had a very dissapointed grand child. Save your money as dont find out like i did the...
Published 14 months ago by philip r payne
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a film review,
And you thought nobody made good kids films anymore? How wrong could you have been! It's easy to prejudge this film: its a Jumanji rip-off, featuring some annoying brats, and hell look at that poster ~ a flying house in space! But in a wierd and unexpected way it is exactly each of these points that made the film such a brilliant fantasy. The child actors are actually very good and don't grate your nerves into cheese-string and the plot of the film (while not entirely original) is told in an exciting manner that builds the tension just enough for the family audeince it is aimed at. While the spectacle of a flying house in space is really quite captivating, and feels more like a notion from a Studio Gibli film than anything to recently have come out of Hollywood. In an age where the 12A [UK film rating] seems to have become the new family film for all the wrong reasons it's great to find a PG that fits the bill the way it should. Zathura is pure escapism at its best.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This kid loved it!,
This year I'll be 46, and as much as I love the challenge of a multilayered plot, brain scrambling time-lines and head spinning editing, nothing quite beats the comfort of a slightly scary kids movie on a wet weekend. And Zathura is it! I gather it must have slipped under the blockbuster net, as it came to me as a second-hand '... if you've nothing better to do' recommendation. Sure it's cheesy, sure it's funny where sometimes it shouldn't be and sure it's a little slow to get started. But forget all that. It's got a clever storyline, superb (believable) effects and lots of laugh out loud moments. Unfortunately, as another reviewer mentioned, it is a tiny bit repetitive which means it may well find itself collecting dust under the stairs (along side the boardgame) between yearly outings. Good to buy, watch once and pass on as a gift.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ditch The Chicken! Lets Go Into Space!,
I really wasn't expecting much of this film as I never really enjoyed Jumanji and the idea of a space version of Jumanji made me cringe. However I should not have doubted Zathura as it turned out to be mind-blowing, a little bit scary and out of this world (literally).
First off the movie isn't perfect as child performances suffer and the Zorgons look quite fake. (Don't ask me what a zorgon is). However the film does contain special effects up to the standards of Star Wars and a scene rather familliar to War Of The Worlds where one of the kids trys to not be seen by the deadly zorgons and sneak around wihout being seen (ring a bell). The only difference is that Zathura pulls it off better than Zathura and had me sitting at the edge of my sit in suspense. War Of the Worlds also did this but lacked the realism.
The boradgame itself was very cleverly planned out and included loads of fun bonuses like the shooting star, it also contained meteor showers, frozen sisters and lots of other exciting things. Children will lap this up but may leave feeling a little scared for as fake as teh zorgons are they still have a frightful characteristic to them.
I will be buying this when it comes out on DVD and I pat Jon Favreau on the back for suprising me with the delightful fun-filled, action-packed, scary film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable,
Not quite what I expected but fun and scary. My 12 and 9 year old loved it, especially that heat seeking lizard thing that kept coming and freaking them out! I think the moral of the story also came through and in this day and age a movie, book or something which gives brotherly or sisterly love a positive image is definitely worth a watch. Will definitely be watching it again.
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed and awesome,
Iron Man director Jon Favraeu tries his hand at a more kid/family friendly film with this offering which couldn't have been better. Taking the very short story from Jumaji author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg and transforming it into a full length family film is no easy feat but the script writers have done an awesome job here. Walter and Danny are two brothers who after an argument discover a mysterious board game in the basement of their Dad's house, after starting the game the action really kicks in and the squabbling brothers are flung into outer space where they must navigate the game in order to get home. Jon Favreau introduces the game with a thrilling set piece involving a deadly shower of meteors that blast their way into the house and virtually destory the living room. What's even cooler about this film is that Favreau does everything he possibly can physically without the use of cgi effects as a result the other set pieces such as a rampaging robot and dangerous lizard like aliens the Zorgons look much more realistic and the film feels as though its actually happening rather than being overloaded with obvious cgi enhancements.
Josh Hutcherson and Jonah Bobo are perfect as the two leads and their brotherly spats are portrayed as if they were actually brothers, Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins and Dax Sheperd are all suitable for their roles and as a whole the cast is excellent. The dialogue is witty and the action is non stop, as a result this film is at no point boring and will definitely keep fidgety kids entertained for the hour and a half run time. Great for families and anyone who enjoyed Jumanji.
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting family sci-fi,
The trailer, and knowing it was directed by Iron Man's John Favreau roped me in to see this, and I'm glad I did. Although it's a kind of 'space version' of 'Jumanji', which I never really liked much, this felt like it had a lot of heart.
Tim Robins is very good as the dad of two kids Danny (Jonah Bobu) and Walter (Josh Hutcherson) who has to go to a meeting and leaves them alone for just a few hours - just long enough for them to find an old magical board game which transports them into an exciting intergalactic adventure.
Robins gets some great zingers of lines, which is a nice surprise for a family movie, and they've clearly spent some time on the dialogue and plot to make sure it's higher quality than the average kids' fare. As a result it's highly watchable for adults too.
Bobu is very likeable as the little brother Danny, and Hutcherson manages to make his cocky older brother complex but still likeable as well. Kristen Stewart (pre-Twilight) gets a fun role, and pretty much the only other overtly human role is Dax Shephard (looking weirdly like scrubs' Zach Braff) as a plot-propelling astronaut.
There's tons of excitement as the kids have to play through the game to try to fix their dilemma, with asteroid attacks, a giant robot, and some unfriendly aliens. It all looks great and the film even manages to squeeze in some emotion without feeling soppy or mawkish.
I loved it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Family Film,
This film is a firm favourite with all our family. It's one even our 3 year old son will watch all the way through as well as our 8 year old daughter. It is a simple storyline children can follow but with lots of action and adventure - space, robots and flesh eating Zorgons who are about on the scary level as Dr Who villians. There is a very human element with siblings who fight like cat and dog in real life but pull together to survive through the Zathura board game experience. The older sister and the handsome astronaut give it a greater interest to younger teenagers too. My children find this more entertaining than Jumanji and it has just the right amount of suspense and mild terror to keep them hooked. The actors are great, the plot is very entertaining and the setting is fantastic. My children must have watched it at least 20 times and they still laugh when the bicycle falls out of the sky at the end. Well worth purchasing at less than £5.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zathura Blu ray,
This review is from: Zathura [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)
However buyers should note although the blu ray disc is region free and will work on any player the dvd disc is region 1 and will require american dvd player to work. (No problem for me as I have one but may be a problem for buyers expecting the dvd to work).
Still worth getting for blu ray as it is not out avaiable to buy in the UK.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good for kids, very similar to jumanji,
I think I enjoyed this one more than the kids, the robot part was a bit scary for young kids but they really enjoyed it
5.0 out of 5 stars out of this world,
What a great little film!The story of 2 brothers who argue all the time,as the older one finds the younger one annoying,and the younger one wants his older brother's attention-is something familiar.Divorced parents who are always too busy,and an old house,with lots of nooks and crannies serve as background.But an old strange game is found,a bit like snakes and ladders,only set in space.Against the warnings of the older brother,the youngster turns the key to start the game.Thereafter the story takes off,and the kids find themselves in an amazing adventure in space,where they have to learn to work together,if they are ever going to get back to earth.Some great twists and turns including ravenous giant lizards;a frozen sister;and a lost spaceman(with a nice twist);meteor showers and what have you.Rivetting stuff,and much more enjoyable and attention grabbing than the plethora of animated rubbish that seems to be the norm nowadays.Get this movie-you won't be disappointed.
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Zathura [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)