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The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition)
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1. Helen Grace moves into the Spiderwick Estate with her three kids, Mallory, Simon and Jared. Simon and Jared are twins (played by the impressive Freddie Highmore)
2. It doesn't take the kids long to find a secret room, a locked chest and a book marked "Do NOT read"
3. You can guess what happens next
4. Up pops a tiny Brownie named Thimbletack (Martin Short) who changes into a Boggart when riled up.
5. He gets riled up a lot
6. There's an evil Ogre named Mulgarath (Nick Nolte) who commands an army of Goblins, and really, really wants the aforementioned book
7. The Ogre can change his appearance, and is at his most frightening when he looks like Nick Nolte.
8. During the machinations and shenanigans to protect the book, the kids meet a scene stealing Hobgoblin named Hogsqueal (Seth Rogen) who has a talent for expectorating and a penchant for bipedal, endothermic vertebrate animals that lay eggs (also known as birds)
9. The kids set off on a quest to find the author of the book, Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn)
10. When they get back, they have to quickly work out a strategy for repelling Goblins and an Ogre who looks like the Grinch on steroids.
11. Exciting yet somewhat disturbing altercation ensues
12. Just desserts are served for the grand finale.
The movie is based on the five books that make up The Spiderwick Chronicles, but barely touches book three, Lucinda's Secret and never touches book four, The Ironwood Tree.Read more ›
"The Spiderwick Chronicles" is a surprisingly well done movie. For a movie that covers five books, there isn't a feeling that much was lost in the translation. There is a lot of action that keeps the moving quickly. The child actors do a good job in the roles, especially Highmore in dual roles. The story is not complex, but is not simple either. Plus, it deals with serious issues like divorce, a topic that many kids will relate to. "The Spiderwick Chronicles" is an excellent move for kids from about 6-7 on up to adults. I highly recommend this film.
So starts this kids' fantasy, with a big element of "the grownups just don't get it." In this case, young Jared not only finds that thing that the invisible ouside beings want, he also perceives their threat first. A kid-empowerment fantasy ensues, with the grownups (including a teen sister in a half-grownup kind of role) finally catching on just barely in time.
If you want a bit of fantasy without overt violence (or not much), and with people keeping their clothes on, you came to the right place. There's a suitably scary buildup at the end, with some great CGI effects like those toad-like outside beings. Maybe it's not memorable, but it's fun anyway.
-- wiredweird, reviewing the theatrical release
Typical of the archetypes of the genre, you have the child-outsider of a broken (or bent) home who blunders into a magic world, along with quirky, sometimes ill-mannered, but ultimately well-meaning siblings and finally the single parent who doesn't believe a word-of it. The kid opens a book he shouldn't (like who would read a book that has "Do not open" on the cover, it should have read: don't open infested with Lice!" that would have kept `em out!) and then spends the film trying to make things right and bonding with his estranged family.
Production is pretty eye-candy using visual designers of the Henson school of creature making. John Horner (the not-Williams) composes a face paced soundtrack that matches the speed of the story and slows appropriately of the sappier moments of the movie. The cast is a watchable bunch of not-overly attractive kids, along with some voice cameos like Martin Short and Nick Nolte, not without distinction, plays the badie (physically sometimes) well enough.
We enjoyed the film and, if there isn't higher praise than this let me know, we were inspired to check-out the Spiderwick Chronicles book series at our local library to fill in all the plot holes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wanted this because I had taken my grandson to see it @ the theater when it first came out and we had enjoyed the movie.Published 5 days ago by Rosalyn Chamberlen
Peculiar things start to happen the moment the Grace family (Jared, his twin brother Simon, sister Mallory and their mom) leave New York and move into the... Read more
My kids (7 & 9) really enjoyed this. It was suspenseful and a great story. Very exciting. The ogre and other creatures were a bit scary for my 7 year old, but they both really... Read morePublished 17 days ago by MomReaderShopperNJ
Great storyline and decent enough acting for the family. Graphics were better than i expected.Published 18 days ago by Sunshyneyellow
He is such a great actor!! The movie was incredible the first time I watched!!Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
It's a good entertaining movie. My 7 and 9 year old kids really like it. Still like it just add much as before.Published 20 days ago by Team Cloud