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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Genre: Fantasy Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 106 (Mar 2006) Of Widescreen Review®

Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart & Tim Robbins

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 4
DD Sound Rating: 4.5
DTS Sound Rating: NR
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 3.5
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Special Features
Out of this world extras include commentary with Jon Favreau and Peter Billingsley; a 12-minute visual effects documentary entitled "Race To The Black Planet"; a 15-minute making-of featurette called "The Right Moves"; a 13-minute featurette on the five cast members who star in Zathura; a 10-minute featurette on the miniatures and models that were used during filming; a 13-minute look into the world of Chris Van Allsburg, the author and illustrator of Zathura, Polar Express, and many other fabulous children's books; yet another featurette, 17 minutes focusing on the creatures in the film, "Zorgons, Robots and Frozen Lisa"; and the final featurette, "Making The Game," which is 14 minutes devoted to the time and creativity spent on creating the boardgame in the film. There is also an Easter egg, previews, and up-front ads.

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 13475
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Rating Reason):

Fantasy action and peril, some language
(Retail Price): $28.95
(DVD Type): Single Side, Dual Layer (DVD9)
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 101
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2005
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 02/14/06
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Jon Favreau
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
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  DVD Picture Information

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  DVD Sound Information

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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Walter (Hutcherson) doesn't have much time for his younger brother Danny (Bobo), and the two are always competing for their dad's (Robbins) attention. When Dad has to go out one Saturday, he leaves the boys with their sister Lisa (Stewart) and tells them to behave. Danny finds a mysterious space adventure boardgame called "Zathura" in the basement and asks Walter to play it with him. And before you know it, the words interactive game take on a whole new meaning when the boys, Lisa, and their home all end up traveling in space amongst robots and Zorgons and astronauts (Shepard). Oh my! Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. (Tricia Spears)

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced 1.88:1 DVD picture exhibits colors that are slightly oversaturated at times, but are vibrant enough to keep younger audiences entertained by the color scheme alone. The color scheme is quite warm, with plenty of rich reds and yellows and slightly ruddy fleshtones. Blacks are deep and solid. Images can appear sharp and nicely detailed, with visuals that are more than adequate for the storytelling. Sometimes, the picture can appear a bit plugged up or undefined. There is some film grain inherent in the source element, but perceptibility is limited to a few scenes. Minor pixelization is noticed, but edge enhancement is rarely a problem with this title. (Suzanne Hodges)

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