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Friday, February 15, 2008

"The Spiderwick Chronicles" Movie Review

Last year I reviewed a series of small children's fantasy books called "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and this year, yesterday, the movie was released.

In a refreshing way, this movie did not so much retell the story in the books, but rather condensed all five books into one movie. The creature designs stayed fairly consistent with the artist's vision and the feel of the books. The actors did a nice job (there were a couple spots where I thought the boys could use some extra work). I absolutely loved the manner in which the actor portraying Arthur Spiderwick played his role. I wish I could remember his name but it eludes me.

And they used the field guide with the illustrations from the book you can purchase on store shelves. That, I think, was ingenious! Think of all the kids that'll want to buy the Field Guide . . . even some of the kids at heart (I unashamedly count myself among them!)

This movie has the most natural movements and interaction of fictional creatures that I have seen since Lord of the Rings. The Gryphon was absolutely fabulous and they inserted a long scene in which it takes the children for an exciting flight. In Harry Potter & the Prizoner of Azkaban they did a nice job with the Hypogryph . . . but this movie's effects with the Gryphon beat it (in my humble opinion) and the movement of the wings was natural, not a hint of the stiffness usually accompanying such special effects. They also did a marvelous job with Thimbletack . . . marvelous!

Overall, I give this movie a great rating. It didn't make my top ten, but it certainly was enjoyable and will find a special place in my collection. Please note: there were several uses of God's name in vain, even by the children in the movie. Thank goodness that wasn't in the books (though the authors' latest book has one instance of that in "Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles." This movie was a worthwhile investment for my 6 dollars!


Robert Treskillard said...

I've seen displays in the bookstore for these books, but don't know anything about them. I assume you would recommend the books, too?

Thanks for the movie review!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review Scott. The preview looked good, but since you can't go by previews, it's always great to have a good review. :)
Have you heard anything about the new James Bond? (we were talking about it today)

Scott Appleton said...

Yes, I recommend the "Spiderwick Chronicles" They were great little books, fast reads, enjoyable. But I don't care too much for their new book "Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles"

I knew they were making a new James Bond but I have no idea when it is coming out. I did like Casino Royale, with the exception of a couple short scenes...but I bought the professionaly edited DVD and it is great!


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.