Sunday, November 16, 2008

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) PG - 3½ Stars

Great Sci-Fi mystery writer Jules Verne, would probably not like the latest version of his classic novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth he wrote way back in 1864. And perhaps if I were not old enough to have seen the original 1959 version of this classic, I would have enjoyed the movie more myself. I read the book after seeing the 59' classic and I will never forgot how curious yet frightened the primitive dinosaurs and non special effects has me feeling. Even though I knew, going into the movie, I was not going to like the 3D hype that was advertised with it, it just seems they could have done so much more with the story rather than spending it all on the special effects. I'm probably being too critical but, based on the original, this version seemed like a Hollywood - Disneyland production right down to the 3D glasses. The glasses did nothing for me on my television but I have heard that watching it IMAX style, makes the viewer feel they are actually part of the scenes. I am sure this would be an awesome effect if it's true. Perhaps the producers also tired to reach a wider audience by adding the movie's romantic element, and family element by involving a young boy into the adventure. I really did like the magnetised stepping stones Sean had to get across. The movie served it's purpose of the classic summer movie all the kids wanted to see and it was entertaining. Definitely more entertaining than the other 2008 version produced I've already reviewed.

Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) is a professor of science and clings to a theory that there is a center of the earth man can travel to. Ever since his brother was lost trying to prove this theory, Trevor has fantasized about finding some sort of sign to prove he was right. But what he doesn't expect is to have his brothers son Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson), dropped in his lap to spend time with now that his father is gone. He figures Sean might be in the way of his determination, but he also looks at it as a way to give his nephew a piece of his father back.

On a whim, the two travel to Iceland and meet Hannah (Anita Briem). Hannah too has lost her father to the believe of this underground world. When the trio finds evidence of her father's research, the three set out to find more clues. But a lightning storm traps them inside a cave with the only way out going down. Once below the surface of the earth, they must find their way back out before either becoming dinner for some large plants and creatures or being evaporated in the constant exchange of molten rock.

Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Director: Eric Brevig
Writers: Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin, D.V. DeVincentis
Producers: Charlotte Huggins, Beau Flynn
I viewed 10/08

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