Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Originally uploaded by ivanovash
Young siblings Danny, Walter & Lisa are learning to cope with their newly divorced parents; like any typical teen Lisa is very self-involved and doesn’t want anything to do with her siblings or parents, but Danny & Walter are not coping with the divorce well. On a trip to Dad’s the boys vie for their father’s attention and this causes them to argue the whole time. When their dad has to leave for a meeting Danny tries everything he can to get Walter to pay attention to him and he finds Zathura, an ancient board game in the house. Danny starts the game and the house and the three siblings are pulled into a space adventure that cannot stop until they reach the end of the game.

I loved Jumanji when I was a teen and when Zathura hit the theatres I refused to see it because I couldn’t understand why the films were so similar – why make the movie twice. Little did I know that four years down the line I’d be a huge fan of Jon Favreau & Zathura would be on my list of films I had to see.

Zathura was the film Favreau directed right before getting Iron Man and I must say the film had to teach him a lot of the skills he needed for Iron Man. This is an effect driven picture with explosions, aliens, stunts and on top of that it’s a character driven piece. Favreau managed to take a film which should have been about the effects and make it a film about his characters, the same thing he did with Iron Man.

What had to be the toughest thing about this movie is the fact that all the lead characters are children; this puts so many restrictions on what you can and can’t do that it becomes a nightmare to shoot. On top of that a lot of child actors are difficult to work with. Watching Zathura you never see any of the difficulty. Perhaps this is because Favreau is an actor and a father so he could relate to the kids as actors, or perhaps he’s just that good.

Zathura pleasantly surprised me. I did not expect to enjoy the film, but was very glad to find that not only is it as good as Jumanji but it’s an enjoyable film in its own right.

Director: Jon Favreau
Writers: David Koepp & John Kamps
Danny: Jonah Bobo
Walter: Josh Hutcherson
Artronaut: Dax Shepard
Lisa: Kristen Stewart
Dad: Tim Robbins

Walter: Zathura. Attention space adventurers, Zathura awaits. Do you have what it takes to navigate the galaxy? It's not for the faint of heart, for once you embark upon your journey there's no turning back until Zathura's reached. Pieces reset at the end of each game. Play again and again for differnt adventures.

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