Ursula S. from BRANFORD, CT Reviewed on 6/22/2014...
Excellent! My grandchildren loved it and watched it several times.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Susan G. (imaginaryfriend) from NORTH POLE, AK Reviewed on 5/18/2013...
Having never read the books, I had no expectations when I started watching this movie. As a result, I found it to be very entertaining and it kept me wondering how, or if, the evil Mulgrath would reach his demise.
Filled with magical and wondrous creatures as well as evil and ominous ones, this is a classic tale of how curiosity can lead to terrible consequences which causes a struggle between good and evil with the whole of civilization hanging in the balance.
Not as intense, as dark or as full of magic as the Harry Potter movies but still a delight that late pre-teens and older will enjoy.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Fun fantasy flick
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 02/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Grace family moves into an old family estate, long uninhabited - or so they think. In fact the house has an inhabitant. More to the point, the woods around the house have their own trolls and gnomes, unfriendly ones, who want something that's inside the house.
So starts this kids' fantasy, with a big element of "the grownups just don't get it." In this case, young Jared not only finds that thing that the invisible ouside beings want, he also perceives their threat first. A kid-empowerment fantasy ensues, with the grownups (including a teen sister in a half-grownup kind of role) finally catching on just barely in time.
If you want a bit of fantasy without overt violence (or not much), and with people keeping their clothes on, you came to the right place. There's a suitably scary buildup at the end, with some great CGI effects like those toad-like outside beings. Maybe it's not memorable, but it's fun anyway.
-- wiredweird, reviewing the theatrical release"
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Michael Zuffa | Racine, WI United States | 02/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Helen Grace (Parker) and her kids Mallory (Bolger) and twins Jared and Simon (both Highmore) are starting fresh after Helen's separation from the kids' father. They are moving into the Spiderwick Estate, a mansion that Helen inherited from her Aunt Lucinda (Plowwright). The estate has an interesting history though. 80 years ago, Arthur Spiderwick (Strathairn) wrote a "field guide" to the world around him. This guide includes all kinds of fantastical creatyres. By writing it, he unleashed some terrible forces and now an army of goblins is amassing. Led by the ogre Mulgrath (Nolte), they seek to take the book away from the protection of the house. The kids are all that stands between Mulgrath and world domination.
"The Spiderwick Chronicles" is a surprisingly well done movie. For a movie that covers five books, there isn't a feeling that much was lost in the translation. There is a lot of action that keeps the moving quickly. The child actors do a good job in the roles, especially Highmore in dual roles. The story is not complex, but is not simple either. Plus, it deals with serious issues like divorce, a topic that many kids will relate to. "The Spiderwick Chronicles" is an excellent move for kids from about 6-7 on up to adults. I highly recommend this film. "
Condensed, but creative eye-candy
Kevin J. Loria | New Orleans, LA USA | 02/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Condensing 5 books into one film can hurt storylines and make for lots of undeveloped characters. But the archetypes in Spiderwick are so familiar (like the abbreviated Potter movies) that it is less of a disadvantage than you would think. We, as objective movie viewers have to let go of the expectation for the Holy Grail of the perfect book-to-film translation and face that the mediums are apples and oranges. This is an easy task for me this time because I haven't read any of the Spiderwick series. But having said that, my children and I, enjoy the film. The look of the "world" created in the spirit of the books were originally stylized enough to make it a departure from the world of Hogwarts (which is no small accomplishment when you also have trolls and griffins.
Typical of the archetypes of the genre, you have the child-outsider of a broken (or bent) home who blunders into a magic world, along with quirky, sometimes ill-mannered, but ultimately well-meaning siblings and finally the single parent who doesn't believe a word-of it. The kid opens a book he shouldn't (like who would read a book that has "Do not open" on the cover, it should have read: don't open infested with Lice!" that would have kept `em out!) and then spends the film trying to make things right and bonding with his estranged family.
Production is pretty eye-candy using visual designers of the Henson school of creature making. John Horner (the not-Williams) composes a face paced soundtrack that matches the speed of the story and slows appropriately of the sappier moments of the movie. The cast is a watchable bunch of not-overly attractive kids, along with some voice cameos like Martin Short and Nick Nolte, not without distinction, plays the badie (physically sometimes) well enough.
We enjoyed the film and, if there isn't higher praise than this let me know, we were inspired to check-out the Spiderwick Chronicles book series at our local library to fill in all the plot holes. "
Harold Tucker | Alabama | 02/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Without boring you with a long drawn out review, I just wanted to say it's a wonderful tale. It's a fastasy adventure for all ages."