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When a seismic geologist (Brendan Fraser) discovers his lost brother's notes in a copy of the titular Jules Verne novel, he and his nephew (Josh Hutcherson,Bridge to Terabithia,Zathura) head to Iceland. There, joined by a fetching mountain guide (played by Icelandic actress Anita Briem), they get trapped in a cavern and go down, down, down, finally arriving in a primeval underworld full of prehistoric beasts and carnivorous plants. It would be pointless to complain about the empty-headedness of it all;Journey to the Center of the Earthaspires to be a kinesthetic experience. It wants to engage your adrenal glands, not your brain or your heart (the dialogue and characters are so generic, the script may have been cut-and-pasted from previous versions of Verne's book). Fraser, with his goofy handsomeness and accessible presence, provides a reasonably human axis around which all the frantic flying and swooping CGI effects revolve. The movie is as hollow as the world it depicts, but as mindless action movies go, you could do a lot worse. (Note:Journey to the Center of the Earthwas released in theaters in 3-D, full of whizz-bang demonstrations of how far 3-D technology had come--trilobite antennae quivering towards the audience, a T-rex lunging out of the frame, even affable star Brendan Fraser spitting on us--as well as a half-dozen action sequences clearly destined to become video games or theme park rides.)--Bret Fetzer
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CastBrendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Seth Meyers, Anita Briem, Jean Michel Paré
DirectorEric Brevig
DVD Release Date:  October 28, 2008
Runtime:  93 minutes
Studio:  New Line Home Video
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review by . November 15, 2008
I am a fan of science fiction, especially the classical kind of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and other European authors of the pre-Hollywood era. I've read many of these books, and have watched almost all the English-language movie adaptations of said books, and I will say that this is the best adaptation of Journey to the Center of the Earth produced by Hollywood so far. This version is not as faithful to the book's plot as previous versions. But as a movie, it is by far the best, for the following …
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