Bad movies. Bad movies everywhere!
Not really. Not for me anyway. This week I managed to mostly steer clear from the bad stuff, but of course I had to watch at least one bad one, otherwise we wouldn’t have a post here.
I’ll premise this by saying that my ‘bad’ movie of the week might not be necessarily bad if you’re a kid. Then again I don’t think many kids would read this blog. I’ll stop being annoyingly self-referential and give you a mini-review without further ado.
The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) – 4.5 (IMDb 6.6) – Adventure, Family, Fantasy
‘Spiderwick Chronicles’ was clearly trying to cash-in on the whole adventure/fantasy craze started by blockbusters like the Lord of the Rings films, the Harry Potter franchise and the similarly titled Chronicles of Narnia. My little sister is probably the key demographic for this film and she liked it; my mom also really liked it. I thought it was trying to hard to establish a new brand, but it fails because it’s too much of a child friendly film (which typically alienated adults), while at the same time featuring some fairly scary stuff (for a kids movie anyway). Nickelodeon’s brand of humor and portrayal of family is also really starting to get on my nerves. So much so, that I find myself agreeing with Born to Buy (2005) author Juliet B. Schor, but that’s a whole other discourse for another time.
Going back to the film, the fantasy elements are weakly executed or explained. The creature design is cartoony and laughable at best. The acting is standard and clichéd, bordering annoying. There are some interesting visual elements, but the film tries to do too much, while at the same time not having the guts to sway from what’s considered a “normal” look in these kinds of films.
Yes, overall I can’t wait to end this review because I really disliked it, although some of the family drama, I must say is rather effective, but still annoying. To the film’s credit they managed to cut it in a way that is action-oriented, so at least it moves at a fairly good pace.
Recommended if you’re a kid, not recommended if you’re a thinking adult.