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Zathura (Special Edition) (2005)

Cast: Jonah Bobo, Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, more...
Director: Jon Favreau, Jon Favreau
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
    see additional details...

An old and forgotten game develops magical powers in this fantasy for the whole family. Twelve-year-old Walter Budwing (Josh Hutcherson) and his younger brother, Danny (Jonah Bobo), figure they're going to be in for a boring time when their father (Tim Robbins), who was supposed to spend the day with them, is suddenly called away on business, and gives them strict orders not to leave the house. Walter, who doesn't have much use for Danny, is motivated by boredom more than anything else when he agrees to play a board game Danny has found in the basement during a round of hide-and-seek. However, the boys quickly discover the space-themed game Zathura has some unusual qualities -- a roll of the dice unexpectedly launches the Budwing home into outer space, and Walter and Danny are suddenly fending off menacing robots, angry aliens, and showers of interstellar debris outside the Earth's atmosphere. As the boys try to figure out a way back home, they get some unexpected help from an earthling astronaut (Dax Shepard) who has also lost his way. Based on the book by children's author Chris Van Allsburg -- who also wrote The Polar Express and Jumanji -- Zathura was directed by Jon Favreau, the actor-turned-filmmaker who enjoyed a breakthrough success with Elf. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Brothers in Space by talltale February 19, 2006 - 4:03 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
"Brotherhood" gets a good going-over in Jon Favreau's sweet, funny and action-ful ZATHURA, another book-to-board-game-to-fantasy film via author Chris van Allsburg and Hollywood. This one, however, is even better than "Jumanji." Favreau gets so much right about brothers and childhood--the nastiness as well as (of course: this IS Hollywood) the usual Happy Ending Sweetness. But this round of HES seems earned somehow, given all that the kids go through in the fast-paced course of events.

The movie is helped immensely by the nice performances from the younger set and especially from Tim Robbins as Dad, and Dax Shepard as an astronaut who pops in as part of the game. A flop at the theatrical box-office, "Zathura" will find a deserved home on DVD for families and movie junkies who appreciate something good--that, by the way, offers a wallop of a surprise toward the finale. Oh--and did I mention that it's fun. Lots of fun!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.93)
14 Votes
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