I was fighting off a sinus infection and camping out on the sofa, flipping randomly through all my cable stations, bored out of my mind and upset that I had missed another trip to the monthly meeting or gathering of the Liars’ Club, which is a group of very talented published writers. Darn this sinus infection!
I was about to give up on finding anything watchable when I came across a movie called Zathura. “What is this and is it worth me giving up a nap?” I asked myself. Snowflake, one of my little Chihuahua made the decision for me when she hopped onto my lap and snuggled under the blanket.
This movie came out in 2005, but I never heard of it before Sunday. It an adventure fantasy film based on the illustrated book by Chris Van Allsburg, who is also the author of Jumanji. Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Jonah Bobo as Danny, Josh Hutcherson as Walter and Kristen Stewart as their teenaged sister. Tim Robbins plays the part of the sibling’s divorced father, who they are spending the weekend with.
The boys are your typical brothers with the older brother picking on the younger brother and both brothers teasing older sister. When Walter is shoved into the dumbwaiter and banished to the scary basement by Danny, he finds a board game called Zathura, A Space Adventure. From that moment on, reality takes a vacation and the boys are thrown into non-stop adventure.
The board game is clockwork driven and only two people can play. Sounds good so far for two brothers to spend the afternoon playing peacefully, right? Wrong! They continue to bicker as little brother Danny takes the first turn and winds up the key. After the two metal space ships race across the board, a card pops up. It warns of an impending meteor shower, which the boys shrug off until big boulder size meteors almost destroy their home, which by the way is no longer on the planet Earth, but floating through space.
Their older sister, unaware of what her two bratty brothers are doing, is put into cryonic sleep mode; frozen like a Popsicle during the second spin and by the third spin; they are attacked by their now larger than life and angry as all hell, toy robot.
It’s about this time that Walter and Danny realize that the game is not a game and that the only way to return home is to play the game through. The game proves to be too much for the brothers especially when an alien race decides to attack them. Luckily on one of the spins, an astronaut (Dax Shepard) comes to their aid.
The brothers have a lesson to learn, but what is it? What secret is the astronaut holding back? That robot was one hell of a scary robot as were the alien Zorgons. I really enjoyed this movie, and strongly suggest you watch it if the film shows up on cable again.
With Zathura, a board game was released by Pressman Toy Corporation and it worked just like the game in the movie sans the live aliens and angry robots and frozen siblings. I’m going to see if I can find that game it looked like fun. Want to play?