Sunday, February 24, 2008

Twice the Freddie, half the fantasy

I've been rooting for Freddie Highmore since Finding Neverland-- victorious when he got the Golden Ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and gushing when I saw him in person at Leicester Square. In short, I'm fond of the boy. In The Spiderwick Chronicles, I got to see him twice as much: as Jared and his twin brother Simon. Growing up hasn't exactly been kind to Highmore--he's in that awkward lanky period. I can't wait for his voice to change and deepen because his current husky voice has a tendency to become monotonous, (though his American accent must be commended). I wonder what his mom (who is also his agent) has to say about him dating Sarah Bolger (who plays his sister in the movie) and the rumors that she is pregnant. :( Get them out of LA, please!

I have never read the books on which the movie is based and I feel that it lacks that sense of grandeur that I was expecting. I'm sure everyone thought of the Harry Potter series when the griffin appeared (my mom thought of The Neverending Story). The story does not maximize its fantasy potential or stress the scale of destruction that the ogre is capable of. Instead, it becomes more about absent parenthood. The film has enough splatter and goo to call itself a Nickolodeon movie, but not enough wonder and the wide-eyed wow factor.

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