Tag Archives: Cate Blanchett

‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls’: Snapshot Review

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

2.5 stars (out of 4)               1 hour, 44 minutes

Rated PG for thematic elements including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor and language

PLOT: A young orphan boy moves in with his warlock uncle, and begins to learn about the world of magic. Soon, the boy and his newly adopted family, which also includes a friendly witch, find themselves going toe to toe with evil forces.

SCOOP: The film is based on the 1973 novel by John Bellairs, and viewers who enjoyed “Goosebumps” have a reasonably good chance of warming to this project. Jack Black is likable as freewheeling warlock Jonathan Barnavelt, and Cate Blanchett is solid as the friendly witch Florence Zimmerman. Owen Vaccaro has a nice starring turn as Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan coming to terms with the death of his parents and a magical world he never knew existed.

The art direction and special effects for the movie are appealing, and the scary sequences are mild, meaning most children older than five should be OK with the content. There aren’t a lot of live-action films targeted at this audience, and that’s a feather in the cap of director Eli Roth, who is better known for darker projects, including “Hostel,” “Cabin Fever” and “Death Wish” (2018). Alas, “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” isn’t as charming as similarly themed works (think “Harry Potter”), and it’s paced on the slow side. Bottom line: It is a reasonable escape for parents looking to treat their youngsters to Halloween fun, but it won’t be remembered as a classic.

STARRING: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Colleen Camp

DIRECTOR (co-writer): Eli Roth (“Hostel,” “Cabin Fever,” “Death Wish”)

 

 

 

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Predicting the Oscars: Best Actress

Who’s going to win Best Actress at the 2016 Academy Awards? Forrest makes his prediction in a new installment of “Forrest on Film.”

 

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘Jersey Boys,’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ and ‘Tammy’

John Lloyd Young plays crooner Frankie Valli in the Clint Eastwood musical “Jersey Boys.”

John Lloyd Young plays crooner Frankie Valli in the Clint Eastwood musical “Jersey Boys.”

This week’s major home video releases include the sequel to a popular animated film, the latest comedy from Melissa McCarthy and a musical drama by director Clint Eastwood.

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Video Verdict: ‘Captain Phillips,’ ‘Blue Jasmine,’ ‘Machete Kills,’ ‘In a World…’

Tom Hanks stars in the Academy Award-nominated drama “Captain Phillips.”

Tom Hanks stars in the Academy Award-nominated drama “Captain Phillips.”

Two movies that earned multiple Academy Award nominations lead this week’s crop of new videos.

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Video Verdict: ‘X-Men: First Class,’ ‘Hanna,’ ‘Everything Must Go’

Saoirse Ronan plays the title character in director Joe Wright’s “Hanna.”

It’s an outstanding week for home video, as all three major releases rank among the best films of 2011.

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Video Verdict: ‘Robin Hood,’ ‘Ondine,’ ‘Tinker Bell’

Russell Crowe plays the title character in director Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood.”

Fairy tales and folklore rule the home video world this week, as new releases include Disney’s latest take on Tinkerbell and Russell Crowe’s stab at the Robin Hood legend.

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Video Verdict: New DVDs for May 5

 

Brad Pitt, left, and Cate Blanchett star in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Brad Pitt, left, and Cate Blanchett star in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

This week’s DVD crop features notable stars appearing in dramas that range from a big-budget blockbuster to a tiny independent. 

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