Friday, July 18, 2008

Movie Review Monday - Journey to the Center of the Earth

Movie Review #15
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem
Rated: Rated PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Type of Movie: 3-D, Science Fictioin, Action, Adventure
Theater or DVD: Theater
Description: Professor Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) teaches earth sciences at the university and heads the Center of Volcanic Activity. Max Anderson, Trevor's brother, built the monitoring system and placed the units around the world 10 years earlier. For some unknown reason, Max did not return, leaving behind a wife and son, Sean (Josh Hutcherson). Sean's mother leaves the teenager at Trevor's house to get some quality time with his uncle. They look at Max's copy of Journey to the Center of the Earth (Enriched Classic) by Jules Verne and find a secret code. Back at the monitoring center Trevor compares the volcanic activity numbers and finds that they are exactly the same as the ones in the book. Trevor and Sean fly to Iceland to check one of the units and to see if they can find some information about where Max went. Trevor hires a beautiful mountain guide, Hannah (Anita Briem), to take them up the volcano. During an electrical storm on the volcano, they get trapped in an abandoned mine. They search for a way out of the mine and discover a wall filled with large diamonds. Unfortunately, the floor they are standing on can't hold their weight, and they fall down a volcano tube for miles and miles until they reach the center of the earth. Once there, they encounter prehistoric glow birds, flying piranha, man-eating plants, and T-Rex dinosaurs that have been extinct for millions of years. They find that they are seeing the same things that were printed in the Jules Verne book. This gave them hope that someone was able to escape from the center of the earth and return to the surface.
OK for Kids? YES! Great Family Movie
Opinion: First off - given the choice to view this movie in 3-D or no 3-D - definetly go see it in 3-D! It was probably the best 3D movie I've seen. The 3-D effects weren't just thrown in there in a few parts as they do at the IMAX for some movies - the whole movie appears to have been made to show and enjoy in 3-D. My eldest son saw it both ways and said he enjoyed the 3-D much more!
That being said - also know the movie is very different than the Journey to the Center of the Earth book! The movie follows the son and brother of Max (aka Harry/Alex in the book) who in the book, went into the center of the earth with Professor Lindenbrock. In the movie - Max never made it out of the center of the earth. His son, Sean, and brother, Trevor find his copy of the book with lots of notes and clues in it. They follow the clues and end up taking a journey similar to the one in the book.
Differences aside - the movie was very enjoyable. No bad language, no sex, lots of action and adventure - 3-D fun - you can't ask for more out of a movie fun for the whole family!
I've seen reviews where people knock the "science" of the film (and the book for that matter) - but you must keep in mind - the book was written in the early 1900's when science didn't know a lot of what it does now. Verne was "guessing" and "making up" theories and science fiction that was as far-out to the people of that era as some of the science fiction from movies like Minority Report. Don't analyze it too much - just enjoy a night out with the kids!
(Four out of Five!)
You can go here and here for more reviews of the movie.
Visit here for a review of the book!


Lorie said...

We took the kids to see this this weekend. We live in a very rural place and 3-D was not an option. Just watching the movie, I could see how 3-D would make it so much better. It was an okay movie but kindof boring in some parts. The kids got really bored in some spots! Like I said, I thought it was okay.

Misty said...

it really was a very friendly family film, wasn't it?