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The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition)

Kids & Family movie directed by Mark Waters

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A Great Movie

  • Sep 21, 2008
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 accent when he's definitively upper class British is great, and he even plays two roles which, damn him he still manages to pull off brilliantly.

Twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace (Highmore) along with their sister Mallory discover a book, an encyclopedia if you will of goblins, fairies and other mythical creatures. They go unseen by the naked human eye but exist in a magical hidden world. The goblins are after this book as it contains mystical powers, which will help their leader Mulgarath become even more powerful. Their house is surrounded by an invisible field which keeps the goblins out, but now they are aware the book is in the house, Mulgarath and the goblins set out on a mission to get the book at all costs. In order to stop it, Jared, Shane and Mallory must find Arthur Spiderwick and have him destroy the book. The only problem is, Arthur wrote the book over 80 years ago and hasn't been seen since.

This is a genuinely magical film that will put off some casual movie goers expecting more. The use of special effects is authentic and unflinching with the interaction between the invisible creatures and the human characters seems shockingly real. The real genuine shock of it all is the interaction between the two Highmores. This was a genuinely unexpected item in the film and is no doubt something that will have pushed Highmores acting ability further. The evil Mulgarath goes relatively unseen until the final scene in the film, but is something that wont disappoint if you're expecting a truly scary looking creature.

One criticism I think I do have to point out is the cliché of the start of the film. It's very much like every fantasy film we've all seen, the main character discovers something magical and dangerous and tries to convince those around him what he's discovered. Guess what, they don't believe him until they themselves are attacked by the hideous creatures. It does counter this cliché when it becomes the film about closeness of family and banding together to fight the greater evil.

Great movie though, and is something that can be enjoyed by many film fans including the kids.

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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 . 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 …
review by . June 28, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
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, …
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Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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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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Director: Mark Waters
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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