Zathura : 4 of 5
I definitely wasn't expecting to be impressed by this movie (when I saw the trailer, I couldn't believe that the makers of Jumanji would make another movie with basically the same plot!), but I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed it! The basic idea is that two brothers at home alone one day find an antique board game in the basement (the design of the game is really cool - someone needs to make a replica!), and when they play it, the things in the game become real, right down to the fact that their house is soon floating in outer space. The two boys do a fine acting job - pretty impressive considering their age and the fact that they have to make us believe in quite a make-believe world. The opening of the film is a little slow, since they have to establish the brothers, their overworked dad, and their lazy sister, but once things get rolling the action doesn't stop. In fact, some of it's really nerve-wracking (being chased by killer robots, seeing large chunks of their house getting blown away by alien missiles), so much so that a kid next to me was pretty freaked out (but he survived the ordeal and enjoyed the adventure). The special effects are really nice, too, and hardly ever have that too-cheap CGI look (in fact, most of them are old-school minatures). For an exciting story from a kid's imaginative point of view, Zathura is really fun!