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The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition)

Kids & Family movie directed by Mark Waters

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"You Are the Book"

  • Jun 28, 2008
Rating:
+3
A terrific tale for children, `The Spiderwick Chronicles' shows the plight of a NYC family moving into an old, decrepit house in the country while the children discover an ancient book that brings faeries, ogres, and sprites to life. Led by chief, Mulgarith (Nick Nolte), the ogres try to steal the chronicles from Simon, Jared, (both played by Freddie Highmore) and Mallory (Sarah Bolger) while Hogsqueal (Seth Rogen), a hideous changing forms leader, tries to destroy the children. Enchanting, transporting, and whimsical, 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' aims to please, even as it might be a bit too frightful for the wee little ones.

Merits:

1.) The movie's a whimsical throwback to the stellar Spielberg days of `E.T.' and `Gremlins' with Highmore more than a passing resemblance to Elliott (Henry Thomas). Thumblejack (Martin Short) is a charming (if not high strung) original.

2.) Faeries, ogres, and sprites have their day once more in big screen splendor.

3.) The haunting gives the house a personality, reminiscent of the quality of `Monster House' and `Poltergeist'. Suspension of belief is in high size (as are the special effects).

4.) Excellent portal for the imagination with a good plug for the magical powers of books.

5.) The screen presence of David Strathairn (as past portal figure Arthur Spiderwick) and believable performances all around.

Demerits:

1.) Some of the film's elements are familiar.

2.) It could provide too many nightmares for parents with lingering images of tomato sauce splattered on the walls with holes poked through them. Potential Amber alert false alarms are presented with missing children hunting down ancient ancestors and fighting goblins.

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More The Spiderwick Chronicles reviews
review by . November 15, 2008
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)     1. Helen Grace moves into the Spiderwick Estate with her three kids, Mallory, Simon and Jared. Simon and Jared are twins (played by the impressive Freddie Highmore)   2. It doesn't take the kids long to find a secret room, a locked chest and a book marked "Do NOT read"   3. You can guess what happens next   4. Up pops a tiny Brownie named Thimbletack (Martin Short) who changes into a Boggart when riled up. …
review by . September 28, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Another fantasy movie starring white kids; seems that Hollywood is running out of ideas. Luckily this movie makes up with great execution and original special effects. I have never read the book that inspired this movie, but it must be good.    The storyline is simple enough, a divorced mother takes her twin sons and daughter to a house in the countryside that was owned by her aunt. There, the children discover a world of creatures of various shades of friendliness. Some of these …
review by . September 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I have to say that I was generally surprised by this film as, although I'm not much of a Freddie Highmore fan I've seen most of and liked most of his movies. Spiderwick Chronicles I expected to be bad but I was again surprised and shouted "DAMN IT!" as I liked another one of his films. I so want to hate Highmores films but again and again he constantly gives us something great. I think it's time I get over my hate filled feelings and just say, "OK he's awesome, I admit it." Even doing an American …
review by . July 19, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Decent action at times      Cons: Story, pacing, acting, and general sloppiness      The Bottom Line: A kid 8 to 11 might enjoy it, but anyone older would likely turn it off or fall asleep.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I look to young adult films the same way I look to young adult novels: when do the stories begin to move from the good versus evil to something where good and …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #100
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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About this movie

Wiki

A very good adaptation of the popular series of books by Tony DiTerllizi and Holly Black,The Spiderwick Chroniclesis one of the few family films in recent years to seamlessly integrate magical elements with a potent drama that will strike a chord with many kids. An exceptionally talented Freddie Highmore (August Rush) plays twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, caught up in a sad shock from their parents' divorce and coping with a decision by their mother (Mary-Louise Parker) to uproot the boys and their sister, Mallory (Sarah Bolger), from New York City to a small town. There, the broken family moves into a spooky old mansion passed on to them by the kids' great-aunt, Lucinda (Joan Plowright), who is spending her twilight years in managed care and whose scientist father, Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn), disappeared some 80 years ago. Jared, angry, defiant, and determined to live with the father who seems to have abandoned him, investigates strange happenings and discovers Arthur's secret notations on fairies, ogres, and other mythical creatures that live both in and outside the house. Having no idea where his curiosity is leading, Jared soon finds that he and his family are under siege from goblins and a powerful ogre (Nick Nolte) who wants Arthur's notebook. Suddenly, the boy who is a lightning rod for a troubled family becomes a resourceful warrior intent on saving his loved ones from powerful forces.The Spiderwick Chroniclesbenefits enormously from a ...
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Details

Director: Mark Waters
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Paramount
First to Review

""You Are the Book""
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