Monday, November 14, 2005

Roger And Me

I found Zathura disappointing. It didn't have the power of Jumanji, even though it's essentially the same story--kids playing a supernatural game with serious, real-life consequences. What bothered me most was the incessant whining of the two kids playing the game. I understand the point of the plot is to teach them valuable lessons in love and cooperation, but a little whining goes a long way. Also, there was a major plot point, where the older boy wanted to get rid of the astronaut, that made no sense.

Roger Ebert, who hated Jumanji, likes Zathura. Okay, his call. But his argument is a bit strange. He likes the latter because you never feel the lead characters will get hurt. I not only disagree with this--they are seriously threatened--but if I did feel that way, I'd like the film even less. (He also claims no one gets killed in Zathura, though it's pretty clear a Zorgon ship gets blasted to smithereens.)

Even stranger, he compares the three films based on the books of Chris Van Allsburg, these two and The Polar Express. Ebert claims the "differences between the three movies are fundamental." This is simply insupportable. Polar Express is definitely different, but Zathura and Jumanji are the same story dressed up a bit differently.

Ebert, incidentally, considers Polar Express a classic. He thinks it has "archetypal menace [now he likes menace?] and genuine emotion...." Gonna have to disgree again, Rog. The cold, pointless Polar Express looked cool, but had just about zero menace and very little emotion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zathura was just okay. Whatever, they blew the promotion, because it didn't make much money. Looks like another flop.

7:16 PM, November 16, 2005  

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