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February 13, 2008

Spiderwick Reviews + Screening!

Tippett's Screening of The Spiderwick Chronicles is tonight, I can't make it due to a prior engagement, but I'll try and post up the overall reaction tomorrow.

Reviews are trickling in... %78 Fresh and a 61 metascore at the moment...

Here are some of the reviews out there on the interwebs:

"A caution to parents: The computer-generated goblins and ogre -- courtesy of East Bay-based creature master Phil Tippett -- are fairly frightening creatures. My own almost 4-year-old, who flees the room whenever Nemo's mother meets her fate, would not be able to handle these scenes. I'd recommend the film only for the 8-and-older crowd... The Spiderwick Chronicles is a modern-day family film, using swords, magic potions and otherworldly CGI creatures to dispense with divorce demons and adolescent anger-management issues." (variety.com)

"An enjoyable adventure fantasy that pushes all the requisite buttons while still managing to throw in a pleasant surprise or two, Paramount's big-budget gamble has impressive talent to burn on both sides of the camera... along with the other lively sprites, hobgoblins and assorted visual effects -- mesh seamlessly, thanks to the usual state-of-the-art contributions of Industrial Light + Magic and Tippett Studio, while Caleb Deschanel's patented bright, airy cinematography provides a welcoming, naturalistic setting for all the otherworldly developments." (hollywoodreporter.com)

"For much of the movie Waters sustains the delicate balance between scary fantasy and human story. But CGI is a seductive mistress and toward the end Spiderwick bogs down in a crescendo of effects and action, before fizzling into tearful reconciliation on all fronts." (sfweekly.com)

"The Spiderwick Chronicles is actually not as bad as it sounds, though what charm it does have rests largely on Highmore's shoulders. As family friendly fantasy movies go it's pretty solidly in the middle, its resolve to take no chances whatsoever keeping it from ever being more... But not nearly as annoying as the various CG creatures that inhabit the world. While the effects themselves are quite good (not entirely realistic, but it's an aesthetic that actually fits with their out-of-this-world nature) the characterization is awful." (comingsoon.net)

"The Spiderwick Chronicles may not be in the same fantasy league as the tales of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. Yet the family flick based on the books of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black is an all-around class act, even if its world of ogres and goblins is a bit stale in the wake of its more ambitious cousins in the over-the-rainbow genre." 2.5 out of 4 stars (canadianpress.google.com)

"The CGI creatures are well-produced, but many of these mythical beasties are scarier when they're invisible. If there's one element of the film that fails miserably, it's the attempt at comic relief from Martin Short (as a honey-addicted house sprite) and Seth Rogen (as a hobgoblin who spits in the humans' faces so that they can see the otherwise invisible creatures)... While 'Spiderwick' won’t necessarily delight parents as much as, say, the Harry Potter series, it still makes for a pretty nifty family outing to the movies." (msnbc.msn.com)

"The Spiderwick Chronicles is not great fantasy, but it's on more solid ground than The Golden Compass and will seem less baffling to some. There's enough here to keep adults engaged, which is an important component of any motion picture that wants to be known as "family entertainment." I would place The Spiderwick Chronicles comfortably in that category. 3 out of 4 stars" (reelviews.net)

"It's a little too incomplete in its storytelling to make adults love it, and far too scary for young children to enjoy. (The screening was not without tears.)
That leaves Spiderwick on an island, without a target audience. Which is kind of a shame - had the story been stronger or the CGI creatures toned down a bit, it might have scored big with adults and children." (azcentral.com)

"This movie probably won't appeal to those lacking in the children department. The artsy crowd will condemn it as, well, not a work of art, and the Lord of the Rings crowd will scream "blasphemy!" and possibly "plagiarism!" But truth be told, this really was an entertaining movie, and it should appeal to anyone looking for an engaging flick." (weeklydig.com)


Posted by dschnee at February 13, 2008 6:48 AM