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Zathura A Space Adventure

Zathura: A Space Adventure (also known simply as Zathura) is a 2005 American science fiction adventure film directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by David Koepp and John Kamps, based on the 2002 children's picture book Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg. The film is the second installment in the Jumanji film series and a spin-off of Jumanji (1995). It stars Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, and Tim Robbins. The story centers around two squabbling brothers, Danny and Walter Budwing (portrayed by Bobo and Hutcherson, respectively), who find a mysterious board game in the basement, which transports their house into outer space. Along with their older sister Lisa (Stewart) and an astronaut (Shepard), they try to survive the game so they can return home.

Zathura A Space Adventure

The boys discover the house is floating in outer space. Lisa thinks she has overslept because of the dark sky and prepares to go out, however the next card puts her in cryonic sleep, leaving her frozen solid. Walter soon concludes they must win the game to return everything to normal. As they continue to play, Walter and Danny overcome the dangers presented by the game, including the appearance of a defective robot, passing too close to a star, and an attack on the house by a race of reptilian aliens called Zorgons. One of Danny's turns causes an astronaut to appear, who methodically eliminates the house's heat sources, as the Zorgons are attracted to heat. The astronaut lures the Zorgons' ship away by setting the boys' father's couch on fire and ejecting it from the house.

The Zorgons return to the house with a massive fleet, with the intent of destroying it. When Danny makes the winning move, it is revealed that Zathura is a black hole, which proceeds to consume the Zorgons' fleet and the house. The siblings find themselves back in the house as it was before the brothers started the game, just as their father returns home. Their bond renewed, they promise to each other and Lisa to not tell anyone about the game and their adventure.

Favreau preferred to use practical effects instead of computer generated imagery (CGI) in the film. He said, "it's so fun to actually shoot real spaceships or have a real robot running around on the set, or real Zorgons built by Stan Winston. It gives the actors, especially young actors, so much to work off of".[4][5] Dax Shepard, who plays the astronaut, said he would not have been interested in doing the film if the effects had been CGI-based.[6] Actress Kristen Stewart enjoyed the on-set effects, saying, "When we harpooned walls and ripped them out, we were really doing it. When there was a fire on set, there was really fire," and that "[t]he only green screen I was ever involved with was for getting sucked out into the black hole."[7] The exteriors for the house were filmed at Oaklawn Avenue, South Pasadena.[8][9]

Miniature models were used to create the spaceships; Favreau enjoyed using techniques used in many earlier films, such as the Star Wars trilogy.[10] in some shots the Zorgon ships were computer-generated, and in many of the scenes digital effects were used to create, for example, meteors and planets, and limbs for the robot suit built by Stan Winston Studios.[11] CGI was used to augment the Zorgon suits, which were constructed so that the head came out of the front of the suit where the actor's chest was and the actor wore a blue screen hood over his own head, and to create an entirely computer-generated Zorgon for one scene.[12] A full life size frozen model of Kristen Stewart was made by Stan Winston Studios. She described the process of modeling and being scanned to make it as arduous; it included details down to the freckles on her arm. She called the result an incredible experience, comparing it to having a twin.[10][13] Real goats were used and extra eyes were later added using CGI.[14] According to visual effects supervisor Pete Travers, from Sony Pictures Imageworks, it "was a very important aspect of the effects" to retain the stylized "1950s sci-fi look" from Van Allsburg's book, and was inspired by the pointillist style in painting.[11][15]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it 3 out of 4 stars, praised Favreau, and wrote: "Zathura lacks the undercurrents of archetypal menace and genuine emotion [...] but it works gloriously as space opera."[31] Justin Chang of Variety said it was "arguably the best adaptation of a Chris Van Allsburg book to date" and praised "Favreau's amiably low-key sense of humor and assured handling of well-trod emotional territory."[32] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter called it a "rare beast -- a family film that even childless adults can enjoy", and praised the performances both from child actors and from Dax Shepard.[33] Stephen Holden of The New York Times said Zathura richly gratifies the fantasy of children; "not just to play a board game, but to project themselves into its world".[34] Desson Thomson of The Washington Post wrote that Zathura has "an appealing, childlike sense of wonder".[35]

The connection to Jumanji may have been a disadvantage, with critics such as Luke Baumgarten for the Inlander referring to it as "Jumanji in space without Robin Williams".[36][37]

Jack Black expressed interest in the possibility of the franchise returning to space.[43] Hiram Garcia, a producer of the Jumanji sequels, said the game contained multiple universes and that the Bazaar introduced in the 2017 film was added to be a central hub for a larger game universe that the core characters would not know about, and that it could even go into space.[44]

Parents need to know that Zathura; A Space Adventure is a 2005 movie in which an old board game found in the basement of a newly occupied house leads to fierce space battles and extreme peril from lizard-like aliens with a taste for human flesh. The movie begins with typical tensions, resentments, and competitions between two brothers, age 6 and 10. Their father is divorced, and their teenaged sister is distracted by her interest in boys and parties. The film includes scary music, scary sound effects (crashes, explosions, alien-monster growls), and some images of space aliens and a big robot attacking the boys that might be frightening for younger viewers. Boys use some obnoxious language ("d--k," "screwed") and violence against the aliens to save themselves. The teen girl develops a crush on an older astronaut; when he's revealed to be her brother from the future, her first response is, "And I wanted to ... ." The movie does attempt to address sibling rivalries, the self-esteem issues that can develop, and the importance of two brothers learning to look out for each other.

Six-year-old Danny (Jonah Bobo) is feeling rather shut out by his older brother, Walter (Josh Hutcherson), who in turn feels besieged by the demands of a sibling who dotes on him. Older and wiser and increasingly impatient, Walter just wants to be left alone, especially as he's also feeling abandoned by his dad (Tim Robbins), who's working overtime to pay for two homes and is recently divorced. The boys find distraction in Zathura, a circa-1950s board game they find in the basement when Dad goes to the office and leaves them in the care of their teenaged sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart). The game essentially turns their house into a spaceship, floating through the starry sky somewhere near Saturn, buffeted by the occasional meteor shower or malevolent alien. Once they begin the game, the rules assert, Danny and Walter are unable to stop until they "finish," meaning that they need to find the reason they're playing, and, of course, reconcile with each other.

Their adventures are as episodic as the board game scenario suggests: Each boy takes his turn. But as Jon Favreau's movie is most interested in the boys' relationship, Lisa is best described as plot device, convenient witness, and occasional instigator for their realizations and efforts. In this, she's aided by the astronaut, who shows up during Danny's turn (he's instructed to rescue this stranger and then is attached to the astronaut, who identifies Danny as the one who "spun me"). This provides the younger boy with an eventual conflict, as the astronaut and Walter make different demands. Danny eventually comes to realize that Walter is his brother, no matter how ugly he's been to Danny in the past, and that makes him, as the astronaut observes, "all you have."

In Columbia Pictures' heart-racing sci-fi adventure Zathura, two squabbling brothers are propelled into deepest, darkest space while playing a mysterious game they discovered in the basement of their old house. On their fantastic journey, they are joined by a stranded astronaut and must survive meteor showers, hostile lizard-like aliens, a rocket-propelled robot run amok and an intergalactic spaceship battle. Unless they finish the game and reach the planet Zathura, they could be trapped in outer space forever.

After their father is called into work, two young boys, Walter and Danny, are left in the care of their teenage sister, Lisa, and told they must stay inside. Walter and Danny, who anticipate a boring day, are shocked when they begin playing Zathura, a space-themed board game, which they realize has mystical powers when their house is shot into space. With the help of an astronaut, the boys attempt to return home.

ZorgonGeneral InformationHomeworldUnidentified (destroyed)Body typeReptilianLocomotionBipedalDietCarnivorousSapience levelSapientBehind the ScenesUniverseZathuraZorgons are an advanced race of reptilian space creatures.

Although once having a home planet, they are now an entirely space-faring race. Their ships are surprisingly small, about the size of a house, and are armed with photon beams (presumably an extremely concentrated blast of visible light, as the beams are white and the heat-loving Zorgons would not want to use infrared).


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