Zathura
Demonstrating the most wrong way to learn about girls.

Theatrical Release Date: 11/11/2005
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Kristen Stewart, Dax Shepard, Tim Robbins

It’s like “Jumanji” in space, but no Robin Williams. I didn’t know until after I saw it and looked online that it is the sequel.

My first impression is that despite this film coming 10 years after Jumanji, the computer generated graphics are only equally as good. I personally would like to think that 10 years would show much bigger improvements.

I was in a weird place with this movie though… I had higher hopes for a film from Favreau who at the time had written the wonderful “Swingers”, directed the fun “Elf” and made the horrible mistake with “Made”. So while I have expectations on him, I dismissed them because of the genre that this movie was catering to. It’s a good thing that I did.

I didn’t think much of the movie in any capacity. No great acting. No great film-making. No really great CG. It was all just like you’d think it was going to be from reading the synopsis.

It’s failure in comparison to “Jumanji” lies in the plot and the lack of someone as entertaining as Robin Williams. The plot suffered in that all movie goers have some experience with the behavior of animals (even if it’s cats and dogs), and we’ve seen the more exotic ones on the Discovery Channel so that we can sort of relate to what the look like and behave like.

There is no such relativity involving a house magically transported into space. Now if there was an actor in the film with the presence of a Robin Williams, than “Zathura” could become vastly more enjoyable in a heartbeat.

With a better plot or a more charismatic actor, then it could easily have jumped into the 3 range. All it would have taken was two or three fun / unexpected surprises or cameos to do so. But it is only a 1 of 5 because it was so formulaic and boring.