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ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE

113 MINUTES | BOSTON COMMON + FENWAY + FRESH POND + CIRCLE/CHESTNUT HILL + SUBURBS

In this fable of sorts, fantasy spins into reality gone amok as two brothers (Josh Hutcherson and Jonah Bobo) are blasted, house and all, into outer space as a result of playing the title board game. They must continue to play to save not only themselves but their older sister (Kristen Stewart), whoís sleeping upstairs. But the real world has its problems too, since Dad (Tim Robbins) is recently divorced and a workaholic. When he dashes off to the office, the boys unearth the game and the creaky old house squirts through a black hole. Meteor showers, a berserk robot, and flesh-eating lizard men challenge their skill. The good news is that an astronaut (Dax Shepard) long adrift in the game himself drops in with some tips. The bad news is that Jon Favreauís direction has none of the needed edge, and the coming-of-age revelations plop like the same old platitudes. If thereís a tingle of déjà vu, thatís because the film is based on the Chris Van Allsburg book; his Jumanji and The Polar Express have had better luck on the big screen.

BY TOM MEEK

Issue Date: November 11 - 17, 2005
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