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Zathura: A Space Adventure 2005

Two young brothers are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when their house is hurled through the dephs of space by the magical board game they are playing...

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 7.8


Imdb rating: 6.1

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"Get me a juice box beyach!" 7/10
great movie..big fan of jumanji..but im more of a space geek(not really a geek) so i really liked this one however Josh Hutchinson is a weird lookin dude imho and his head annoys me in most movies he's in..but this one he's young and his head hasn't quite developed into hunger games josh Hutchinson so it wasn't as annoying 7/10
Space Jumanji!
I Think this is a great story, yes the moral of this movie is the same as Jumanji, but still there is another story and i liked this one alot This is a family movie especially for kids and grown ups that wont grow up ;) 9/10
Trailer Rating: As I'm watching the trailer I keep thinking to myself how this looks like Jumanji, except in space. To my suprise it is done by the same folks who did Jumanji. So I guess you should see it if you wished Jumanji had more to do with space than jungles. Crap, I don't know, how does a studio remake a popular movie like nine years after it came out?
a pretty good movie movie but not as good as jumanji
Based on the illustrated children's book by Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji, The Polar Express) and directed by Jon Favreau (Elf, Made, Swingers), Zathura is a science fiction/fantasy/action/adventure/family film. Parents or adults interested in family-oriented entertainment will find themselves passably diverted, if not particularly challenged by Zathura's familiar storyline or predictable (and, in one case, disturbing) plot turns. Even taking into account Zathura's target demographic (pre-teenagers and their parents), viewers will find it difficult, if not impossible, to look past the transparent similarities to Jumanji.

Allsburg wrote Zathura in part to capitalize on Jumanji's success (albeit twenty years after Jumanji was first published). In both books, siblings find a board game, and after playing the game, find themselves inside the world of the game. In Jumanji, the game world leaks into the real world, transforming the real world of the characters into a jungle, complete with hothouse vegetation, undomesticated animals, and a big-game hunter. In Allsburg's sequel, the story picks up with the children seen at the end of Jumanji (the book, not the film) finding a box or chest. Inside they find the Jumanji game, which they pass up for Zathura. In turn, the characters are thrust into a series of misadventures. Here, Allsburg borrowed ideas and tropes from 50s-era science fiction, including super-sleek spaceships, giant, metallic robots, and monstrous aliens.

In Favreau's adaptation, these science fiction elements have been retained for a contemporary storyline centered on two squabbling brothers, Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo). Walter is ten and uninterested in spending time with his younger brother, who, of course, wants exactly the opposite (i.e., Walter's love and respect). Walter and Danny also have an older sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart, Panic Room), who sees her younger brothers as nuisances to be, at most tolerated (when they're not being ignored). Their harried father (Tim Robbins) works from home, but he splits custody with his ex-wife (they each get their children for four or three days at a time, depending on the week). Neither boy is happy.

After an accident sends their father on a business-related trip to the local copy shop, the boys are left in their sister's custody. Danny finds a vintage wind-up board game, Zathura, in the cellar. With his brother looking on dispassionately, Danny begins the game, starting his game piece, a miniature rocket, on its course around the board. Zathura spits out a card at every turn. First up, "Meteor Shower. Take evasive action." After the meteor shower trashes their father's California Craftsman home (think wood paneling, lots of it), the boys discover that the house has become a spaceship, hurtling through space toward an unknown destination. The subsequent cards release a seemingly harmless toy robot and carnivorous, heat-seeking aliens. One card even brings in another wayward player (Dax Shepard), who drops in just in time to help save the boys from whatever Zathura throws at them next.

From there, Zathura crosses over into clich


Initial Reaction: What is a "Zathura"?

Main Characters

Walter: He's a twelve year old kid played by Josh Hutcherson.

Danny: He's Walter's younger brother played by Jonah Bobo.

The Astronaut: He's a -- er -- astronaut played by Dax Shepard.

Plot Summary

It starts off with two boys arguing about who their father likes the most. The dad tries to make peacemaker, but doesn't get very far. The father leaves to do a few business things, leaving the older sister, Lisa (played by Kirsten Stweart) in charge.

The boys get into another argument that turns into a chase. Danny tries to hide from Walter in a miniature elevator, but Walter finds him and sends him into the basement.

Danny gets out of the elevator, wanders about, and finds a game called Zathura in the basement. He picks it up and brings it to Walter; he wants to play that game with him. Walter says no way, so Danny sets up the game and starts playing it by himself.

The game consists of two space ships, several spaces leading from the start to the finish line (a black ball with a "Z" on it.), a key, a number dial and a button.

To play the game, the player turns the key a few times, then the button pops up. The player pushes the button, spinning the number dial. The dial stops on a number between 1 and 10, one of the ships moves forward that many spaces, and a card pops out.

On Danny's first turn, the card says "Meteor Shower: Take Evasive Action." He shows the card to Walter. Walter thinks this is a joke, but changes his mind when meteors crash into the room they're in, causing great damage. Luckily, the boys get to the safety of a fireplace and aren't harmed.

After the meteor shower is over, the boys realize something is not on the up and up. They wander about the house and discover that the entire house is floating in space near Saturn. They also discover that in order to get home, one of them has to win the game.


Main Characters

The boys spend a lot of time arguing and screaming at each other. Where's Dr. Phil when you need him? Their arguments aren't funny or dramatic -- they're just annoying.

As for the Astronaut, he's got a secret that defies all logic -- including sci fi logic. SCORE: 3

Supporting Cast

Lisa doesn't do much in this film except ignore her father, get preppy for a date and fall in love with the Astronaut. Give her some more character, guys.

There's also a reptilian race that look great, but they're just savages who are there to blow stuff up -- you typical villain. SCORE: 2


One word: preposterous. How does the game get into that basement in the first place? How does that game get the house into space? Where do the Astronaut and the alien lizards come from? How does anyone live in the vacuum of space without a space suit? A story that starts out bad only gets more ridiculous with every passing minute. SCORE: 1


This movie is from the people who gave us Jumanji. If you take Jumanji and give it a space twist, then you get this movie. SCORE: 4

Violence Factor

Huge chunks of the house are torn off in large explosions, the house is attacked by an army of evil aliens, someone gets cryogenically frozen, and yet nobody gets hurt in any way. How's that possible? SCORE: 3

Other Moral Issues

This movie is supposed to be about loving your brother and your family, but the boys are played too much over the top for the message to be noticed. SCORE: 3

Final Score (out of 60): 16 % Score: 26.67%

The special effects are nowhere near enough to cover up the major flaws in the plot and characters.
This isn't Jumanji. Jumanji had an interesting back story and a fun Robin Williams. This has two kids bickering to the point where you want to slap them and oh yeah, no back story. What a disappointment. It gets too cheezy at certain points and it feels like it pulls crap out of thin air. Hey, at least crap out of thin air would be a magic trick with better production value.
Imagine a board game that sucks all its players into an alternate reality where all the things that happen in the game come to life! The game's mysterious pieces move all by themselves and the game spits out ominous messages of disaster. Is this starting to sound like the movie Jumanji?

Sony Pictures Entertainment, in a Columbia Pictures presentation of a Radar film, proudly presents Zathura, a new adventure from the world of Jumanji. The movie is loosley based off of a children's novel by the same title written by Chris Van Allsburg, the author of famous children's books such as The Polar Express and, yes, Jumanji. The 1995 Jumanji film was also loosely based off the Allsburg novel, and now we get to see another spectacular Allsburg story come to life!

Two young brothers, Walter (Josh Hutcherson), about age ten, and Danny (Jonah Bobo), about age six, are left home alone under the supervision of their teenage sister Lisa, who would rather eat snot than play with her annoying younger brothers (she opts out to napping instead). Left to their own devices, the boys find an old board game in the basement of their dad's old and creepy, yet beautiful house. The old dusty box is covered in majestic cartoon images of space and adventure, and the box reads, "ZATHURA, A Space Adventure". Intrigued and excited, the boys eagerly wind up the vintage metal game board and begin to play the game. Upon taking their first turn, the board suddenly ejects a small paper card that reads, "METEOR SHOWER, Take evasive action." The boys soon discover that their dad's huge Craftsman house has been lifted from its foundations, is now floating in outer space, and is being pelted by red-hot space rocks! (They decide that taking evasive action is probably a good idea.) Soon enough, the brothers find themselves fleeing a killer robot, battling the gravity fields of large super-planets, and evading large meat-eating reptilian aliens called Zorgons in a dire race to finish the game!

On the surface, Zathura seems to be nothing more than a "Jumanji in space". Popular suspicion has dubbed this new movie as a high-tech, cheesy publicity stunt aimed to abuse the Jumanji concept to make some quick money off of kid audiences. I can assure you, this movie is anything but a cheap copy.

While Jumanji's special effects had some shady moments, the studio went out of its way this time to use as little computer-generated graphics as possible. What follows are some special effects sequences that are realistic, believable, and utterly jaw dropping.

Jon Favreau, Zathura's director (and director of the hit family film Elf), has created another amazing film the whole family can enjoy, proving all the negative gossip to be wrong. Zathura differs from Jumanji (and perhaps improves upon it) mainly in that it takes the original elements of the perilous board game and combines that with touching lessons about family and sibling life. The result is a movie that kids will love, that adults will enjoy, and that will strike an emotional chord in everyone.

Initially bickering and blaming each other for the terrible events that have fallen upon them, the brothers must learn to set their differences aside, lest they be swallowed by the horrible perils of space. As the boys argue and yell at each other, you simply want to jump up from your seat and yell at them, "Shut up and play the game!" but at the same time, you empathize with them and can feel their frustration with one another. Spinning up card after card (and disaster after disaster), the boys continue to become more and more angry at each other, and can think of nothing else to do but scream louder! What is especially enjoyable in Zathura is the same element of "ominous messages of disaster" that Jumanji so intriguingly presented to us, as the boys spin up such cards as, "YOU PASS TOO CLOSE TO TSOURIS-3, Enter gravity field" and "YOU ARE VISITED BY ZORGONS". The candid, matter-of-fact manner in which the cards describe the disasters is almost too funny, causing you to wonder what sorts of "fun" cards the boys will spin up next.

The brothers are nearly killed in another disaster (and are still arguing with one another) when Danny spins up a card reading, "RESCUE STRANDED ASTRONAUT". The character of the space astronaut is introduced almost uncannily "on cue", as the boys are on the brink of tearing each other apart (it almost seems that they would kill each other before the space disasters do!) Knowing the ropes of how to survive in the world of Zathura, this smart-mouthed astronaut (played by Punk'd goof-off Dax Shepard) so wittingly says what the viewer has been itching to say this whole time: in his words, "Don't be so quick to sell out your brother, kid; he's all you got. Some games, you can't play alone." Finally realizing the true meaning of brotherhood, the boys clasp arms and vow to help each other "fight off whatever comes out" of the game, "because that's what being a brother means".

Together with the space astronaut and Lisa (who just realizes what is going on), the brothers boldly take on an adventure that will teach them more than simply "how to survive in space".

Stellar acting (no pun intended), awesome directing, and wonderfully written, Zathura takes everything that Jumanji was and steps it up a level. Jon Favreau's spectacular rendition of this wonderful Allsburg novel uncannily rings a certain resemblance to both Jumanji (the predecessor to the film's basic concept) and Elf (Favreau's most renown film up until now); if you liked Jumanji or Elf, you will love this film. With the credentials of both these films under its belt, expect Zathura to go down as a classic. As the film's tagline states, "Adventure is waiting..."
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