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Zathura (Special Edition)

4.3 out of 5 stars 361 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of this heart-racing science-fiction adventure with a special, all-new Blu-ray edition! Two squabbling brothers are propelled into deepest, darkest space while playing a mysterious game 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 who runs amok and an intergalactic spaceship battle. Unless they finish the game and reach the planet Zathura, they could be trapped in outer space forever.

Special Features

  • Jon Favreau and Peter Billingsley commentary
  • Featurette: The Making of Zathura
  • Visual Effects Documentary
  • The Cast of Zathura
  • Zorgons, Robots and 'Frozen Lisa'
  • Making the Game
  • Miniatures and the World of Zathura
  • The World of Chris van Allsburg

Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Kristen Stewart, Dax Shepard, Tim Robbins
  • Directors: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Scott Kroopf, William Teitler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000DBHX4M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,940 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zathura (Special Edition)" 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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Format: Blu-ray
I went into this movie at first not expecting much, and if you look at it on paper that's exactly how it seems. This observation starts changing with each new scene in the movie opening up a very pleasant experience all around. Zathura is a spiritual sequel/remake of Jumanji, and aside from the whole story being based on playing a board game there are almost no similarities between the two. That being said Zathura is a great film about sibling rivalry and bonding that unfolds in an ever-expanding universe of imagination and wonder. It's a family film best suited for young adults and young at heart.

Here's the plot. Two brothers decide to play an old wind up board game found in the basement. Every time they come to an event on the game it comes to life. This being a sci-fi game those events come in the forms of a rampaging robot, menacing aliens, a wayward astronaut, meteor storms and other sorts of mayhem that systematically trash their house and challenge the brothers to outrun or out-think their way out of every situation. In the process the brothers build a stronger connection with each other that ends with a very satisfying, even if ultimately stereotypical, happy ending.

The story is laid out in such a way where the viewer is learning new things as the plot moves forward. The set up of the characters and their lives, playing Zathura, finding solutions on the way. All of this is done in a way that empathizes with the point of view of the kids. Notice I didn't say "through their eyes". This isn't a movie trying to pander to younger audiences with goofy gimmicks. The storytelling is mature while at the same time very accessible. As an aside this story just isn't evolving around the family.
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