Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Journey To The Center Of The Earth

As a young man I loved Jules Verne’s as an author. While I was a troubled kid, I wasn’t all bad; one good thing is I loved to read. I never regretted that love, and thankfully, knowing some of the classics has been of benefit as I got older.

Over the years there have been several variations of Journey to the Center Of The Earth, (JTTCOTE) that have been made. It was one of my many favorites by Verne’s and of all of the versions; I think I liked the 1959 version starring Pat Boone best. While not a great movie, this story, which inspired a television series, several movies and a great album by Rick Wakeman is a story that still stirs up dreams for boys and girls.

While there have been various versions of JTTCOTE, few have taken contemporary technology to the level the current film in 3D has. Seeing this story along with my family was something I had looked forward to for most of the summer, and while Brendan Fraser will be in an even larger box office hit this summer in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, it is likely there are many middle aged men who was looking forward to seeing JTTCOTE with their sons.

Michael Weiss has done a decent job with the screenplay for the newest 3D version of the film. One knows from the git go that this movie isn’t going to be much more than a popcorn flick that is there for the sole purpose to entertain. With that in mind, one won’t be disappointed, the 3D effects are enjoyable and the performances by Fraser in the role of Professor Trevor Anderson and Anita Briem as Hannah Asgeirsson help deliver some fun chemistry. There is also the young Josh Hutcherson who does an adequate job playing nephew Sean Anderson. The adequate job of acting in this popcorn flick along with some nice special effects mixed in with some fun 3D helps JTTCOTE become a fun roller coaster ride for the fan watching the movie.

While the development of the characters is somewhat lacking, and the plot isn’t deep one realizes this isn’t the primary purpose of the film. Fun is the purpose, and hopefully along the way, there is enough interest in the story to inspire young readers to pick up the book and read it. In that regard, this movie has a chance to succeed for some young viewers. Unfortunately, with a little more effort, this could have been a better movie. Fraser is a much better actor than many realize although he has picked up much recognition as a summer flick adventure hero. This isn’t his best work, but most of that has to do more with the script than it does his ability.

There are some good themes touched on in Journey to the Center of The Earth. The importance of family and the value of not giving up on your dreams are briefly addressed. There is nothing new here though other than the inclusion of the 3D effects. There is an aspect that I think is worth mentioning though, that is that there is nothing wrong with going to the movies to have fun. For me, this was also a good film to reflect on my own youth, my own journeys, and then sharing in those moments with my son.

To share about seeing the movie when I was a kid moved me to go to the video store and buy a copy of the old movie. While that particular movie isn’t a classic, it is in the mind of a young boy who dreamed of dinosaurs, fabulous journeys and the whole experience of taking a trip to the center of the earth. Dreams, stories, and imagination are beautiful things God has given all of us. If wanting a fantasy adventure, this is a movie that can inspire a good time as it is appropriate for the entire family.

I have to wonder how this movie will carry over to DVD without the 3D effects. Hopefully it will I don’t know, for that reason I recommend seeing it in the theater. Even with the additional cost for the 3D features, it is still worth it at a matinee price.

While not a great movie this a fun movie for the family, especially with the 3D effects. For that reason, on a scale of 1 – 10 minus the 3D effects, plus the additional dollar or two you will pay to get in I give Journey to the Center Of The Earth an enjoyable 6

To see the trailer for the movie, just double click on the video below, if the video don't work, just click on the following link:


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