Archive for: October, 2008

DVD Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles

What’s this movie about? A kid and his lookalike brother and older sister move into a crumbling old house they inherited from their aunt. The kid finds a detailed book about magic creatures and all their secrets. An ogre and his goblin army want that book! Fairies and hobgoblins in coats get involved. The ogre can turn into a crow and a snake and most impressively, Nick Nolte.
This movie’s muted colors and autumn saturation make it look like a photo on the cover of a Swedish dance mix cd, but in a good way.
Why is it that every time a world of magic and fantasy unveils itself to a character in a book or movie, its some kid with an absentee dad, or an orphan or a a set of orphans with a cruel new guardian? Also, why is it that every time a dark force rises in an unseen world to threaten goodness, its always a set of children who defeat it? If I ever have an evil plan, and a bunch of preteens defeat it, then maybe it wasn’t that great of an evil plan to begin with.
I like the system of magic in this movie. Its all about using existing ordinary objects in new ways to produce extraordinary results. Tomatoes and salt burn goblin flesh; mushrooms in a circle keep out evil, etc, etc.
In the movie, everybody keeps talking about how if the ogre Mulgarath gets that book, he’ll take over the world. But he only seemed to have an “army” of about fifty goblins and a troll that two unarmed teenagers were able to kill. Maybe when they said ‘the world’ they meant ‘the backyard’ or ‘an acre wide community park’.
Rating: Seven Buttons On A Goblin’s Coat