Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Children. are. FEARLESS.

When I saw the poster for this movie I thought "wow, it's Pan's Labyrinth for kids". 

When I saw the movie I thought "wow, it's Pan's Labyrinth for kids". 

Although the books came a good few years before Pan's Labyrinth was made, I still think this film drew a bit from the former. 

All that said, it's films like these that make me wish I lived a more interesting life. Where can I find a house that unlocks all kinds of goblin doom and I can have adventures with my siblings AND mom? The answer is cinema.

This is an awesome adventure film for kids. There is actually some pretty sophisticated stuff going on, and a stellar double performance from Freddie Highmore (of Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame.), who plays his own twin brother. His two performances were so different that it took me 20 minutes at least to realize it was the same person. Although I do miss that small child with the crackly british accent I know so well from the Johnny Depp-Kate Winslet vehicle. Ah well.

The one thing I didn't find so enchanting was the rating on this one. It's PG but there is some heavy violence (for a kid's movie) going on here. I'm thinking that it's going to make kids think they can stab or blow up things. They can't. I think this should at least have gotten a PG-13 rating. Would that have been so horrible? 

Another problem I had was the CGI. And there's a lot of it. Seeing as how this is the fusion of two worlds-the one we know, and the one we don't-all the fantastical creatures are computer generated, and let's just say it was painfully obvious. But maybe that's unfair. I think the movie was fun without being goofy and serious without being heavy and sentimental without being sappy. 

Grade: B+

p.s. SOLID voice work from the great Seth Rogan.

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