Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Exactly so...

Speaking of the rules is the rules - The Spiderwick Chronicles (RT Score: 80) gets that, and more, quite right. I haven't read the book series (heresy! I know, but what can I say? A girl only has so much time in a day) - I can't tell you what harm or foul the movie makers did or didn't do to the books, but I'm betting not much. It appears they turned five books into one movie, so perhaps some favorites got lost, some plot twists straightened, some magical creatures abandoned, but I'd venture to say that the Spiderwick spirit was hale and hearty.

I like kids' movies. I like kids' books. Maybe I'm a kid at heart. And maybe kids' books are just better. I don't know. Like I said, I'm an easy audience. Look, I dragged my best friend and my mom to see Madea's Family Reunion (RT score: 28) - and we were the only three honkies in that theater, trust me. But we all laughed. We honestly did. That movie was funny.

Back to kids' movies. The Journey of Natty Gann (RT: 88)? Fly Away Home (RT: 84)? Toy Story (RT: 100!!)? Shrek (RT: 89)? The Black Stallion (RT: 86)? I'm just saying... I don't care if I'm the oldest one in the theater with no tot in tow - I'm happy to be seeing a good movie. And by the way, does anyone know why we go to see a movie in the theater, but we watch one at home? Just wondering.

As for the Spiderwick Chronicles. Of course, I am quite predisposed to like any movie whose first scene centers on David Strathairn and whose second scene features Mary Louise Parker. And may I just say, if that's a kids movie, kids are a lot tougher these days than in my day. I'm, well, I'm old enough, and I was scared spitless. Good plot. Good pace. Good acting. Throw in Nick Nolte and Martin Short (haven't seen them together since The Three Fugitives, RT:8), some nifty effects and what more do you want from a movie. I mean, really?

Oh, and by the way, John Sayles co-wrote the screenplay. You know? He wrote Lone Star (RT: 92)? Eight Men Out (RT: 88)? Matewan (RT: 100)? The Return of the Secaucus Seven (RT: 85)? Not to mention, he wrote one of my favorite movies ever, Passion Fish (RT: 100), which also happened to star David Strathairn... fancy that.

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