Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Spiderwick Chronicles. C-

I think the success of the Harry Potter movies has inspired studios to produce a new flock imaginative fantasy adventures based off of YA novels. But notice that a lot of these movies are put out in movie trash months January and February? Some of these include 'Inkheart,' 'Percy Jackson,' 'Bridge to Terabithia,' and 'The Spiderwick Chronicles.' The latter is I think the epitome of why these movies are not in the same league as the Potter franchise. Of course it has to do with the mediocre source material, but even more it's the predictable story line, the recycled characters, and most of all, the heavy use of obnoxious CGI. 'Spiderwick Chronicles' has all of these elements. The story is the most basic, dull mixture of Alice in Wonderland and Narnia and all the other famous fantasies. It creates a bland world where goblins and fairies roam about. And there's a villain who wants to take over the world. And the conflict is all resting on a secret book that comes into the hands of a lonely little boy. 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' are based off a popular series of short books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. I'm not sure if the movie combines different books from the series or not, but regardless, this adaptation was a bit of a mess. We never really learn much about this world or the villain. It was all pretty hazy, filled with too much boring action and not enough explanation. And I guess it's a flaw that the film doesn't even reach 90 minutes by the time the credits begin. It could have been longer and ultimately better. But it wouldn't have become a classic anyway, so the fact that this is a short movie is fine with me. It just means I get to leave it sooner.

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