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Nim's Island [Blu-ray]
Nim's Island
Actors: Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin, Michael Carman, Mark Brady
Directors: Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG     2008     1hr 36min

Nim Rusoe (Abigail Breslin) lives on a deserted island with her scientist father Jack (Gerard Butler) and her best friends: Selkie, a sea lion; Fred, a bearded dragon lizard; and Galileo, a plucky pelican. But when Jack go...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin, Michael Carman, Mark Brady
Directors: Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Creators: Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin, Joseph Kwong, Paula Mazur, Wendy Orr
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Adapted from Books, Family Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/05/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Excellent time for kids of about 6-8 and up
R. Kyle | USA | 04/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Nim's Island" is a tale of courage. Our three main characters each face trials of the spirit.

Jack Rusoe (Butler), a marine biologist, is a single father who is raising his young daughter (Breslin) at the foot of a volcano on a deserted island they found while the two sailed the seas searching for a blue whale that'd swallowed Nim's Mom, Emily. They live alone and like it that way. Nim (Breslin) is "Island schooled" by her father and has lizards and sea turtles for playmates.

Alexandra 'Alex' Rover (Foster) a writer of adventure stories featuring a brave man bearing her name. Alexandra calls herself a borderline agoraphobic. She hasn't left her apartment in San Francisco for sixteen weeks.

She's also got a problem--she's three weeks' late getting a draft of her latest "Alex Rover" novel to her editor, Buffy, and can't get Alex (also played by Butler) out of a trap in a volcano in Chapter 8. Like many writers, her character is real to her and he's tired of being stuck in the same predicament and wants Alex to get on with the book and both their lives.

Jack leaves on a specimen collection run and Nim stays home alone for the first time to assist with the birth of sea turtles. She's told to tell anyone emailing Jack that he'll return on Thursday and never divulge the location of their island. Alexandra becomes Nim's inadvertent penpal when she writes Jack asking about volcanoes and thinks that Nim is Jack's assistant. Nim thinks Alex is her hero, Alex Rover, and will do anything to help him.

Despite Jack's admonishment. Nim answers the author's questions about the volcano and accidentally injures herself rappelling down from the top. From the heights, she sees a cruise ship called the Buccaneer landing and believes the men to be pirates. When the ship returns with a boatload of tourists to enjoy the island, Nim thinks she's being 'invaded' and asks her hero, Alex Rover, for help.

Prodded by her character, Alex packs her bags and her courage, and heads literally toward uncharted waters to help a little girl alone. Pretty brave, since she's got to confront fear of just about everything.

Out on the open sea, Jack's encountered a storm and his ship's damaged. He may not make it back to his daughter.

Meanwhile, the tourist ship has come back and Nim's launched an attack on the invaders with the help of her animal friends. Poor Alex is struggling to make it to the island, and Jack's cobbling a ship together to get back home to his daughter.

The story's written for children, but the tale's so engaging you really are lost from the moment Nim (Breslin) starts telling us about the loss of her Mom and their travels. All the actors are people you want to see accomplish their goals.

WARNING: This story may not work for very young children. A little girl of about 4 next to us whose Daddy was in Iraq was pretty distressed when she thought Nim's Daddy was lost and was frightened through several of the scenes. "Nim's Island" is a wonderful adventure, but it could be scary and the issues of abandonment, scary spiders, sharks, etc. might be too much for them.

Rebecca Kyle, April 2008"
Home Alone - Island style
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 05/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Nim Rusoe: "Nobody invades my island and gets away with it."

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

1. No man is an island, but Jack Rusoe (Gerard Butler) finds an island for himself and his daughter Nim (Abigail Breslin)
2. They're not exactly "Lost" but they'd rather no-one knew where they are
3. Plankton hunting on the high seas can be rather dangerous
4. Nim plays "Home Alone" when intruders arrive at the island
5. Animal co-stars do most of the work
6. Alex Rover is an Indiana Jones-type fictional action hero
7. Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster) isn't
8. An exchange of e-mails brings Alex and Nim together, and getting there is more than half the fun
9. Lame and predictable ending
10. Cue U2 track

Foster and Butler tackle easy roles without having to stretch out of their comfort zones, Breslin's as sunshine-y as ever and the animals practically steal the show.

A relatively low budget comedy-fantasy adventure for the whole family, but might be just a little too cutsie-pie for adults to enter the theater without being accompanied by a minor.

Amanda Richards, May 24, 2008
Cute one for the kids
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 07/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This lightweight bit of fluff actually has a bit more substance than I expected, but nearly enough mass to bog it down. On the surface, it's a kid-empowerment movie. Nim, the nine year old girl, is adventurous, interested in everything, and fiercely self-reliant. Alex (that's Alexandra, much to the surprise of people expecting a male Alex) is too timid to open the front door, and gets carsick before the car even starts moving. Nim is fearless and Alex is omniphobic. Still, once their friendship forms, Alex overcomes her fear of everything but her shadow to help Nim when disasters leave her alone, hurt, and frightened.

The two main characters balance beautifully. Nim is yound and bold, by nature, but still a little girl who gets scared when truly scary things happen. Alex embodies timidity, but has a core of mousy bravery that rises to the occasion. Nim lives in the world of Alex's adventure stories, which turn real around her as she reads them; Alex lives with the characters she writes, too, but has a much more argumentative relationship with them. A few other things come across nicely, too: the pervasive love of reading, nearly lost in today's media-mad world, and the image of scientist-geek as loving, strong, and physically competent. The girl-power message is there too, without being exclusive or overbearing. And despite a positive view of science, Nim brings a touch of magic, too.

I might not remember this one a week from now, but it's great entertainment for any kid in your life (with a very few slightly scary moments). If you have a rainy afternoon, have a blast.

-- wiredweird"
The Isle of Uncharted Courage
Chris Pandolfi | Los Angeles, CA | 04/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Nim's Island" is the kind of film you'd expect to open with "Once upon a time" and end with "Happily ever after," but since it's about the magic of imagination and courage instead of actual magic (if there is any such thing), there's really no need. It does, however, begin and end with Abigail Breslin's voiceover narration, and she establishes a story so lofty that it's difficult to think of it as anything other than a fairy tale. While the plot of "Nim's Island" is completely unrealistic, and while the characters are anything but relatable, it tells such an innocent and good-hearted tale that you don't really think about those things. Its heart is in the right place pretty much all throughout, even when it lapses into sappy moments; that's saying a lot, since the entire film is based on a premise sappy enough for three family films.

The story: Nim Rusoe (Breslin) and her marine biologist father, Jack (Gerard Butler), live alone on a secluded island somewhere in the South Pacific. They came to live there after a whale (supposedly) swallowed Nim's mother after being spooked by a cruise ship called The Buccaneer; Jack and Nim found the island while searching the world's oceans for the whale and decided to stay. Since then, Jack has been obsessively looking for a new form of sea-dwelling amoeba, and Nim has been reading. Apparently, both would prefer that no one else inhabit the island, so whenever the supply ship stops by, they don't allow it to dock--they sail to it while it's still offshore. How such exchanges could ever be managed, I have no idea, but as I said before, this is not a realistic film. If you stop to question this, then you might as well stop to question how Jack could have a working computer with a reliable Internet service provider. Or why Nim and the island animals can communicate with one another. Or how they can keep the island a secret when we have satellite imagery that can locate anything anywhere on earth.

One of Nim's favorite reads is a book series featuring Alex Rover, a rugged Indiana Jones-type who travels the world and goes on daring adventures. There's a moment when Nim imagines one of the scenes from the latest book, and lo and behold, Rover looks just like her father (meaning he's also played by Gerard Butler). What Nim doesn't know is that Alex Rover is also the name of the author that created the character. What she also doesn't know is that the author is a woman; Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster) lives in San Francisco, and despite being a very successful writer, she's agoraphobic, germaphobic, and obsessive-compulsive. Much like Nim, she can imagine Rover (the character) as a real person. But she takes it a step further--she has full conversations with Rover, relying on him for courage and support. It's easy to see why she writes these novels: she's too afraid to have a real life adventure.

For the past three months, Alexandra has been struggling to finish her newest book; she doesn't have all the information she needs about volcanoes. She e-mails Jack for information, knowing that he lives on an island with a volcano. Since Jack is away at sea, Nim responds, pretty much at the same time a monsoon hits the island. Believing that she's corresponding with the adventurous, male version of Alex Rover, Nim begs Alexandra for help, not only for the sake of her father--who is now lost at sea--but also because the crew of the Buccaneer cruise ship has discovered the island and plans to turn it into a tourist attraction. This means, of course, that Alexandra has to face her fears of the outside world, and we all know how difficult it can be to face a fear.

If this sounds to you like nothing more than an implausible kid's story, then you're not getting into the spirit of it. Consider the moment when Breslin fires an army of lizards onto a beach-load of tourists, or when Foster packs a suitcase full of soup cans and hand sanitizers, or when Butler receives a tool belt from a pelican; these moments are supposed to be fun, meaning they're not meant to be taken too seriously. On the same token, "Nim's Island" sends messages that are both positive and meaningful, and this is good because most of the better family films have done the exact same thing.

One of the most surprising things about this film is Jodie Foster, whose quirky fish-out-of-water role called for a strong comedic personality. Her career has been defined almost entirely by dramatic roles. Even as a child star, films like "Taxi Driver" and "The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane" never let a sense of humor emerge. It was refreshing to see her play a light-hearted character in an equally light-hearted movie. If only she and Breslin had been given more screen time together--their characters officially meet at the very end, which isn't really satisfying as far as plot is concerned. Then again, the film's message is overcoming obstacles on your own, so it's quite possible that they were supposed to be separated all throughout. Whatever the case, "Nim's Island" is a charming little fable, despite the fact that it's completely preposterous. But as I said earlier, a fairy tale doesn't always begin with "Once upon a time" and end with "Happily ever after." Sometimes, fairy tales are defined by nothing more than the good intentions of carefree filmmakers."