Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles 

How refreshing: The Spiderwick Chronicles an adaptation of a fantasy adventure novel that’s 90 minutes long, looks unflinchingly at divorce, features a parent active in the goings-on of her children’s lives, and exposes the viewer to its fantastic elements gracefully, without introducing a lot of info dumps and characters who exist solely to give exposition. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun, and the relatively rote, by-the-numbers fantasy stylings of The Golden Compass or the latter Lord of the Rings movies are nowhere to be found. The Spiderwick Chronicles is genuinely original in its imaginings, to the point of fascination. It’s also nice to see David Strathairn, the actor who gave us a career-defining performance as Edward R. Murrow, shout lines like “you must protect the book from the ogre!”


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