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Zathura (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

4.3 out of 5 stars 345 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In Columbia Pictures' heart-racing sci-fi adventure Zathura, two squabbling brothers are propelled into deepest, darkest space while playing a mysterious game they discovered in the basement of their old house. On their fantastic journey, they are joined by a stranded astronaut and must survive meteor showers, hostile lizard-like aliens, a rocket-propelled robot run amok and an intergalactic spaceship battle. Unless they finish the game and reach the planet Zathura, they could be trapped in outer space forever.

Amazon.com

Zathura, a smart and stylish kid's adventure, launches into action when Danny (Jonah Bobo) twists the key of a dusty science fiction game--a game that unleashes a localized meteor shower and wrenches Danny's house into orbit around a distant ringed planet, bringing Danny's brother Walter (Josh Hutcherson, Kicking and Screaming) and sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart, Panic Room) along. Soon a defective robot, a rangy astronaut (Dax Shepard, Without a Paddle), and an alien spaceship enter the picture. Only by completing the game can the kids return their house to its proper space-time coordinates, but the game board falls into the hands of some nasty, carnivorous lizards. Zathura has some obligatory emotional conflict and resolution between the two brothers, but that's pretty much beside the point; what makes Zathura a delight is the wonderful design, the skillful escalation of disasters, and the adroit direction of Jon Favreau (Elf), who is quickly becoming the go-to guy for mass-market movies with wit and timing. Some situations may be too intense for younger kids; Favreau ratchets up the suspense at a few points. Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji). Also featuring Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption). --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

Blu-ray Exclusive: Race Through Space: Virtual Board Game
Jon Favreau and Peter Billingsley audio commentary
Race to the Black Planet: A Visual Effects Documentary
The Right Moves - The Making of Zathura
3 The Cast
6 Miniatures
7 The World of Chris Van Allsburg
Zorgons, Robots and Frozen Lisa
Making the Game

Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Kristen Stewart, Dax Shepard, Tim Robbins
  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Scott Kroopf, William Teitler
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, Indonesian, Thai, English, Spanish, Japanese
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Thai, Spanish, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004VRK436
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,325 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zathura (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Yes, it does have the same basic premise as Jumanji (both books were written by the same guy, after all!)-- board game wreaks havoc on innocent children who happen to have a few problems other than an insane board game. But Zathura is about 100 times better. First of all, the characters aren't overshadowed by 1) huge special effects and 2)big name actors who take over the movie. This is a movie with heart, and a great way to start the holiday season, I might add. Remember how surprisingly good the fun, holiday movie Elf was? This is like that, and both are directed by Jon Favreau. This film does a marvelous job of making an implausible situation seem plausible, while giving the characters some realness.

Two young boys, Walter (age 10) and Danny (age 6) are constantly fighting. Danny just wants someone to play with. Walter could care less. Their father (played by Tim Robbins) is newly divorced, which only adds to this family's stress. There's also an older sister, Lisa, who sleeps until 2 pm and doesn't care about anyone but herself. When Danny finds a mysterious game in the basement called Zathura, he begs Walter to play. Walter doesn't feel like it, so Danny begins to play anyway. On his first spin, the game spits out a card that reads, "Meteor Shower. Take evasive action." Danny can't really read, and it's not until their living room is being pelleted with meteors that the boys take evasive action. Danny runs in circles screaming. Eventually, when the house if floating in the middle of space, they rescue a stranded astronaut (played wonderfully by Dax Shephard!), who reveals that he also once played the game and that's why he's a stranded astronaut. There's actually a twist in this movie about the astronaut, which I totally didn't see coming.
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Format: DVD
A highly entertaining family film about the inadvertant adventure of two boys and their teenage sister, "Zathura" is a space game the bumbling brothers find one day while stationed at dad's house (the parents are divorced and dad gets parenting time in this flick.) After about 15 minutes setting the scene of the brothers intermittently fighting, cutting down each other, failing to get along, and being bored at dad's house, dad goes to the store, the younger borther finds the game and, wow, does the movie go into outer space.

The game requires each player to turn a knob which tells them where to move, after which their spaceship correspondingly advances on the board, and a card pops up with a message. Essentially, whatever comes up on a popup card in the game happens to the boys in real life. Right away, their dad's house is hoisted to the universe where they are variously attacked by spacecraft, hone in on and rescue a lost astronaut, try to survive a deranged robot, fail to be fried by passage too close to somebody's sun, and a half-dozen other calamaities. Oh yeah, their sister becomes cryonic during one of these gambits and spends time as a frozen statue. That astronaut turns out to be somebody pretty special, too.

Jon Favreau's direction, the outer space staging, and the set designs are all sumptuous in this highly-evolved film that is basically for kids...but my wife and I laughed throughout and stayed involved all the way to the end. There's a moral to this tale, of course, that is predictably homespun. Tim Robbins plays the dad in the opening and closing scenes; he must have been filming elsewhere when he made this flick.
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Comment 24 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I took my 5 1/2 year-old nephew, a kindergartener, to see "Zathura". I expected Michael, as someone who's been exposed to a steady diet of Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Spider-Man, as well as to Peanuts, the Wiggles and the Muppets, to enjoy the sci-fi elements. Predictably, he spent the second half of the film cowering in his seat, latched onto both of my arms... and he walked out of the theater at the end loving every minute of it, completely jazzed about the experience. We spent most of the 10-minute walk back talking about outer space, aliens, and how it was all fiction, and he drew a lot of pictures of aliens (most of whom looked like Muppets) once he got home.

As others here have said, the language used by the two boys in the movie (10 and 7) is a little disconcerting. However, they use the same words I was exposed to at that age, and comparable to the language Michael is exposed to at home. Michael didn't walk out of the theater cursing, so that part of the movie did not bother me.

The scare factor is somewhat intense. The predictable monsters don't show up until the final two reels and aren't what I'd call terrifying, although that's the part of the movie that had Michael cowering. There's also a big clunky '50s-style robot, but when you find out who provides the voice you'll realize that this wasn't meant to be terrifying -- not if anything to say about it Jon Favreau had. The images of the house floating through space, alongside asteroids and suns, is what will really stand out for the younger viewer.

This is basically a kids' movie directed by Jon Favreau, so naturally it's going to seem odd.
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Zathura (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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