A Spacious Home
Review by Ross Anthony

Zanthura is the new Jumanji. Both written by author Chris Van Allsburg who also wrote Polar Express. A couple of kids stumble across a wind-up board game with supernatural powers. The film's big action sequences are enough to rock a home from the Earth. And while a great deal of fun, especially for unsuspecting youngsters, there is quite a menacing undercurrent. Each turn of the die-cast metal game rings into existence (and the living room) a formidable opponent interested in destroying these kids. It's sort of a Predator Junior. So, while a lot of fun, it's also potentially too scary for little kids.

The first act is in some ways the most engaging part of the film, I was sad to see it go. Alas, it's only purpose was to set up the real show. Director Jon Favreau is so good with dialogue, you might feel a certain lack of something as action begins to dominate the screen. Ah but, the action is fun, though the tension somewhat manipulative. Still, If you enjoy the surreal like I do -- you'll enjoy it here. Through the mayhem, a single moment shines with heart. In fact, as the film progresses, more missed than dialogue is a stronger warmer flow of heart that would have sent the movie far into the A range. While young Jonah Bobo nails his role, and Tim Robbins is believable, the others feel like actors.

Btw, the poster doesn't do the movie justice. The press kit, on the other hand, is smashing.

Curious about the multi-talented Jon Favreau? The film Made (mature audiences) is a good place to start. He's great. And if you like surreal adventure with heart check out Ross Anthony's Rodney Appleseed (young adult).

  • Zoolander. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins.
  • Directed by Jon Favreau.
  • Screenplay by John Kams and David Koepp, based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg.
  • Produced by Scott Kroopf, Michael De Luca at Columbia.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 2005. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:40:36 PDT