Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles

I took my son to see the Spiderwick Chronicles today. The movie started out with a Nickelodean acknowledgement, which sort of made me worried. I wasn't sure if that meant that it was going to be a silly movie, which would describe many of the other movies I have seen that Nickelodean was involved with. This movie was well done. NOTE: This review will reveal minor details regarding the plot.

The first thing I noticed about this movie was the rich dialogue. Although the plot has been done over and over again in different teen genres, the writing in this film was sharp. The dialogue didn't get too bogged down in drama, concentrating instead on weaving a fascinating story of fantasy, filled with fanciful figures that foment the imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and felt that there could not be much improvement in this area.

I did not realize that Nick Nolte played the ogre in this film until I looked up the movie afterwards. I thought he looked familiar. The ogre is pretty much animated in most of the movie, so there wasn't much acting required. Nick Nolte was a believable bad guy when he was in human form...but then again...he IS Nick Nolte. Freddie Highmore from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory plays a troublesome hero that was well developed (if not cliche) in this film. He was a likable character, and his acting was spot on. The best part of the acting for me was the interaction with the animation, which always seems to me to be a tough concept. Do I believe the creatures are there with this actor? That is the question. In this film, the answer was a resounding yes. The animation adequately blended with the actors. These actors did an exceptional job selling the animation.

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