Zathura
  • Zathura
  • Zathura

Zathura

3.7 10
Director: Jon Favreau

Cast: Jon Favreau, Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard

     
 

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An old and forgotten game develops magical powers in this fantasy for the whole family. Twelve-year-old Walter Budwing (Josh Hutcherson) and his younger brother, Danny (Jonah Bobo), figure they're going to be in for a boring time when their father (Tim Robbins), who was supposed to spend the day with them, is suddenly called away on business, and gives them strict… See more details below

Overview

An old and forgotten game develops magical powers in this fantasy for the whole family. Twelve-year-old Walter Budwing (Josh Hutcherson) and his younger brother, Danny (Jonah Bobo), figure they're going to be in for a boring time when their father (Tim Robbins), who was supposed to spend the day with them, is suddenly called away on business, and gives them strict orders not to leave the house. Walter, who doesn't have much use for Danny, is motivated by boredom more than anything else when he agrees to play a board game Danny has found in the basement during a round of hide-and-seek. However, the boys quickly discover the space-themed game Zathura has some unusual qualities -- a roll of the dice unexpectedly launches the Budwing home into outer space, and Walter and Danny are suddenly fending off menacing robots, angry aliens, and showers of interstellar debris outside the Earth's atmosphere. As the boys try to figure out a way back home, they get some unexpected help from an earthling astronaut (Dax Shepard) who has also lost his way. Based on the book by children's author Chris Van Allsburg -- who also wrote The Polar Express and Jumanji -- Zathura was directed by Jon Favreau, the actor-turned-filmmaker who enjoyed a breakthrough success with Elf.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
"Some days you have to grow up all at once," freshly divorced, overworked dad (Tim Robbins) tells his sons, Walter, ten, and Danny, six. This is going to be one of those days. Left to their own devices in their cavernous old house, the bickering siblings begin to play a vintage board game that offers more thrills and fantastic adventure than Chutes and Ladders. Before you can say Jumanji, the boys find their house transported to the outer rings of Saturn, where they face such perils as a meteor shower, a defective robot, and giant lizards. With this movie and Elf, director Jon Favreau has become Hollywood's top PG guy for creating family films all ages can enjoy. Based on Chris Van Allsburg's book, Zathura is a vast improvement over Jumanji, which covered similar terrain but was overpowered by the special effects. Zathura is grounded by the natural performances of its young stars: Josh Hutcherson and Jonah Bobo as Walter and Danny, who are themselves adrift in the wake of their parents' breakup; and Panic Room-survivor Kristen Stewart as Lisa, the boys' disagreeable teenage sister, who is initially oblivious to their predicament. Dax Shepard shows up as a stranded astronaut who played the game long ago, with tragic results. What also distinguishes Zathura is a script that respects the audience's intelligence and allows for genuine wit and emotion. Although Zathura’s not as visceral as Revenge of the Sith or The Goblet of Fire, the climactic encounter with the Zorgons may not be, in the words of the board game, "for the faint of heart." As a game, one can't imagine wanting to play Zathura more than once. The same cannot be said about the film. It is a winner.
All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Channeling the awe and splendor of Spielberg's early Amblin films, Jon Favreau splendidly expands Chris Van Allsburg's children's tale into a timeless adventure that the whole family can enjoy. More joyful than Jumanji, while less roller-coaster freakish than Polar Express, this adaptation nails the wonderment that both previous films missed out on, while still delivering the thrills and spills that are integral to pulpy space operas. Lizard monsters and '50s-era rockets populate this fantastical world, but the visuals would not be complete if not for the small, tight cast that holds it together. Jonah Bobo is downright adorable as wide-eyed youngest brother Danny, while Dax Shepard has a subtle charm that makes him immediately likable throughout. For his third feature, Favreau proves that he can pull off extravagant action scenes while still keeping the heart of the story intact. The director's humor shines through in various superb ways -- the best being his gleeful approach to demolishing J. Michael Riva's glorious set inch by inch. Despite its lackluster box office and a "believe it or not" reveal in the third act, Zathura taps into an imaginative world that is as wildly charming as it is exciting -- a rare feat for live-action kids' flicks in this day and age.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2011
UPC:
0043396381414
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:41:00
Sales rank:
8,334

Special Features

Jon Favreau and Peter Billingsley Commentary; ; 7 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes on the Making of the Film; ; Blu-ray Exclusive Race Through Space: Virtual Board Game

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jonah Bobo Danny
Josh Hutcherson Walter
Dax Shepard Astronaut
Kristen Stewart Lisa
Tim Robbins Dad
Frank Oz Robot

Technical Credits
Jon Favreau Director
Jon G. Belyeu Special Effects Supervisor
Peter Billingsley Co-producer
Louis D'Esposito Executive Producer
Michael De Luca Producer
John Debney Score Composer
Ted Field Executive Producer
Stephen Flick Sound/Sound Designer
Bruce Franklin Asst. Director
John Kamps Screenwriter
Avy Kaufman Casting
David Koepp Screenwriter
Scott Kroopf Producer
Dan Lebental Editor
Richard Mays Art Director
Guillermo Navarro Cinematographer
J. Michael Riva Production Designer
Laura Jean Shannon Costumes/Costume Designer
William Teitler Producer
Mark Ulano Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Zathura
1. Start [2:43]
2. Competing for Attention [3:27]
3. The Last Straw [3:34]
4. "You're Dead!" [4:04]
5. Banished to the Basement [3:25]
6. Take Evasive Action [6:39]
7. Cryonic Sleep Chamber [3:54]
8. Defective Robot [5:22]
9. Gravity-Field Strength [3:28]
10. Promoted to Fleet Admiral [3:09]
11. The Zorgons' Visit [4:50]
12. Stranded Astronaut [10:48]
13. Caught Cheating [5:35]
14. Shooting Star Wish [4:45]
15. "They're Back" [12:27]
16. The Game and the Ship [4:03]
17. Reprogram Card Played [1:53]
18. Another Wish [2:04]
19. "You Won the Game" [4:38]
20. Back Home [1:32]

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