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Moriarty Catches Up With BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA!!

Fandom is a funny thing. Especially when we fall in love with something while we are children. We form very strong emotional attachments to the art that is important to us when we’re young. I made the mistake this weekend of poking the Transformers fans in another talkback, something I’ve done a few times now, and I genuinely feel bad about it at this point. I may not like any of the Transformers stuff I’ve seen, like the old film or the old TV show, and I may think it silly, but it’s obviously very important to a percentage of our readership, and their passion is born from a genuine place.




In the case of this book, written by Katherine Paterson and based on the experiences of her son, David, I wasn’t aware that there was a fan base because, frankly, I’d never heard of the book at all. No surprise there, of course. I don’t pretend to be aware of every single title created in every single media. When the first posters for this film showed up online, I noticed a few people talking about how important the book was to them during childhood. Looking at the Disney marketing materials, it looked like exactly what the talkbackers have dismissed it as: a Walden Media NARNIA knockoff. For people to speak so passionately of the book, it seemed like there must be something to it that the trailers weren’t showing. And indeed there is. But any discussion of why TERABITHIA matters means discussing some important spoilers. If you’re a parent, and you’re thinking of taking your kids to see this film, I suggest you read the spoilers and consider your own child’s readiness for certain material. If you’re just curious about whether or not to see the film yourself, I’ll warn you before we dig into any of that material. The movie’s a bittersweet look at childhood from the moment it starts. This is no sunshiney nostalgia piece. Jesse (Josh Hutcherson) finds pretty much everything about growing up difficult and frustrating, and for good reason. He’s part of a large family, and there’s not much money to go around, so everything he gets is already worn out, and chances are it was for a girl to begin with. To his credit, Jesse doesn’t walk around with a chip on his shoulder. He seems to be a decent kid, all things considered, and in particular, his art is important to him. He’s not popular at school, and does his best to just stay invisible, under everyone’s radar. He harbors a shameless crush on his music teacher (played by the imminently crushworthy Zooey Deschanel). The one other thing he knows he can do is run. He’s fast. And he’s spent the whole summer leading up to the start of the film practicing to make sure that he’ll be the fastest one in his class when school resumes for the fall. He doesn’t anticipate that there will be a transfer student, though, who he’s never seen run before. And even worse, he doesn’t anticipate that the one person who will prove to be faster than him on that first day will be a girl, Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb). That’s exactly what happens, though, and his humiliation leads to an unlikely friendship that forms the core of this film. Yes, you see a lot of CGI in the trailers for this film. However, what you see is most of the CGI from the film. There’s maybe ten minutes worth in the entire movie, and it’s not meant to be literal or real. Terabithia is a name that Leslie and Jesse come up with for the “magic” woods they find near their homes. These are the woods where they go to escape the stresses of money or being different or being picked on. This is the place where they can make all the rules, where they can call things whatever they want, and where no one is going to judge them for it. In order to get to Terabithia, they have to cross a river using a rope swing they find. It’s just wide enough to make it exciting, and each time they go, it’s like they’re daring each other... go ahead... swing across... make the choice to run away with me. Their friendship is the kind you tend to make most in childhood: fast, complete, and unconditional. And both Hutcherson and Robb deserve credit for the expert way they play their roles. Hutcherson’s been working for a while now, turning in notable work in films like ZATHURA, LITTLE MANHATTAN, and RV. Robb’s biggest role so far was as Violet Beauregarde in CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. She’s a tiny Natalie Portman lookalike, only blonde instead of brunette, and she’s got an enormous, vivacious personality that is perfect for Leslie, the exact right complement to Hutcherson’s sullen angst as Jesse. Most of the movie simply deals with the way their friendship evolves, and the way they spur each other on with games of imagination. That’s where the CGI comes in that you’ve seen emphasized so heavily in the trailers... as they imagine things, the audience is allowed to see what they’re describing to each other. I’m sure that’s part of why Gabor Csupo was hired to direct the film... his background in animation no doubt came in handy in putting together the CG sequences. However, he really shines as a director of children, and it’s a promising debut film for him. Okay... remember those spoilers I warned you about? I’m going to start detailing them a bit in the next paragraph. For everyone else, I’ll just say that the film takes an upsetting turn in the final act, and younger kids may have a hard time with it. I’d be careful taking anyone under seven or so, and even with older kids, I’d make sure there was time to talk it over with them after they see it. It’s a worthwhile experience, but there are some potent life lessons built into it. It’s anything but simple escapism, and that’s the entire point of the movie. If you don’t want to be spoiled, bail out now.







Seriously.















Stop reading.
















Okay. You’re asking for it.











As I said, Jesse has a massive crush on his crushworthy music teacher, Zooey Deschanel. She recognizes something in this kid. She gets the idea to take him to a museum. Jesse’s parents are good people, but they’re not the kind of people who would ever think to take their kid to a museum. For him, the trip represents a life completely away from what his parents have exposed him to, what they can give him. And with this beautiful woman taking him, it’s the perfect day. She asks him if he wants to invite Leslie along as they drive by Leslie’s house, and he tells her no. It’s a conscious choice. He wants to have the morning for himself. And that choice absolutely haunts him. Leslie dies while Jesse is at that museum. While he’s having the absolute best day of his life, his best friend dies, and he’s not there with her. It’s that simple. And the film doesn’t shy away from it at all. It’s doesn’t downplay it. It doesn’t softpedal. This is a film about the power of imagination, yes, but that power is tested by the most stark intrusion of reality possible. Jesse is blindsided by guilt and by grief, and it’s enough of a burden that no one would blame Jesse for breaking. At a time like that, Jesse makes some choices involving his younger sister May Belle (Bailee Madison) that give Leslie’s life real meaning, and which give BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA some real resonance. I think the movie does right by the difficult issues it raises, and I can see how the book must have marked the young readers who have discovered it over the years. This is a subgenre of Disney films that they have always done exceptionally well, and when they work, they are unforgettable. BAMBI and OLD YELLER were both unleashed on me as a kid, and both did the precise surgical damage for which they were designed. I think the marketing of the film could have embraced this tradition of Disney storytelling instead of trying to cash in on the current fantasy craze. The film had a promising first weekend, and I hope word of mouth is good. No matter what, this will have a long video life, and it makes an honorable companion to a book that’s already endured a quarter-century.


Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:45 a.m. CST

    another damn movie i wasnt interested in

    by hif4life

    but now i am.. good riddance

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Yay!

    by svefngenglar

    It's about time. Book was great, and so was the movie.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:01 a.m. CST

    gabor csupo honored my childhood!

    by the_bamf

    the translation of this from novel to film was handled excellently. between this and gary winick's 'charlotte's web' last year, my faith in adaptations is coming back. i only hope 'the giver' is given the same respect in its translation.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:08 a.m. CST

    They should adapt Blood Meridian.

    by Freddie Mercury

    Kids would love it.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:09 a.m. CST

    And Robb's biggest role was...

    by Freddie Mercury

    Because of Winn-Dixie. Durrrrr. IMDB ever?

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:33 a.m. CST

    The Death of Optimus Prime

    by Azlam Orlandu

    Sincerely I felt the same way about his death sitting in the theater back in 1987. Thanks for respecting that Moriarty. I too am skeptical of the new Transformers film, but I'm certainly going to give it a chance before I bash it.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Losing someone

    by Orionsangels

    I think this book was important to anyone who lost someone close to them. It helped them deal with it.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:23 a.m. CST

    um, hello, spoilers?

    by BadMrWonka

    way to spoil it for me, Mori...

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:29 a.m. CST

    BadMrWonka...

    by drew mcweeny

    D'OH!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Haven't read the book...

    by Bass Ackwards

    ...or seen the movie, but from what I've read it seems like the trailer is terribly misleading (and I know all trailers are to some extent, but this one especially so). I wonder how that will temper expectations/reactions to the film.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 4:03 a.m. CST

    It's about time..

    by segundus

    .. they produced a decent kids film rather than some over the top sugary nonsense that seems to come out during the summer. Walden Media seem to be shaping up very nicely as a production company, it seems.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 5:13 a.m. CST

    indeed

    by BadMrWonka

    Mori, I appreciated your spoiler warning both for its intrinsic and comedic value. but I was just thinking, honestly, didn't EVERY kid read this book? I remember having to read it in grade school, and I'm 27. my little sister is 8 years younger than me, and she had to read it...I think most of the spoiler coplaints made by talkbackers about the last couple reviews are from illiterate people, or people who were adults by the time it came out in 1977. but they're not immature enough, so I think it's just the illiterates...but they'd need some sort of device that reads out loud the text of webpages, and then allows them to dictate their text to the talkbacks. so I guess it's just rich illiterates with a lot of computer savvy. strange there are so many of them, but they are a vocal minority indeed. and they need to learn about death and loss more than anyone.<br><br>on to important business, where's your Indy 4 script review, Mori? you know you've seen it. you and Darabont are like THIS! (I didn't actually make the fingers crossed symbol, that would be silly, I just typed the word, "THIS"). <br><br>"It's official, Frank Darabont is writing Indiana Jones 4. And to be perfectly honest, I'm not excited." - Moriarty, 2002 ;o)<br><br>I knwo that wasn't cos of Darabont, but more your feelings towards the idea of a new segment. but anyway, I know you've talked with him lots, you must have seen it, I gotsta KNOW, man! please, sir!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 5:37 a.m. CST

    immenently => eminently

    by Mike Connor

    Very crushworthy either way. This book really imprinted on me as a kid. Looking forward to taking the next generation to see the movie. Just wish they could read it! Actually here's a question for people who know both: how much of the book does the movie miss and which is better?

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 5:58 a.m. CST

    By the way Mori...

    by v for vienetta

    Just saw Pro Life last night (bit slow to get our Masters of Horror over here in the UK), nice work - really enjoyed it. That and Sounds Like are my faves so far. Crouch End was awful and ridiculous if you've ever been to the real place! Have you done any more of 'em?

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Excellent but incredibly depressing

    by Trazadone

    I never read the book so I was unfamiliar with the source material. Based on the commercials, which are very misleading, I took my 7-year old to it thinking it was another Narnia. As noted above, "Terabithia" is featured for maybe 10 minutes of the film. Most of what you see in the commercial is in the final scene of the film. The depressing stuff is VERY depressing and word of mouth will probably causes a huge drop-off in numbers next week. It's an good film though and the acting is superb.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Darth Vader's Death Scarred Me For Life

    by Gorrister

    But it taught me an important lesson in life: Never have children!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:26 a.m. CST

    I remember this book.

    by RainJacket

    This book was a part of Story Time! when I was in the fifth grade. Boring as all hell. Especially when your teacher just sat there for 40 minutes a school day and read it verbatim. I just took apart all of my pens out of sheer boredom. And you couldn't lay your head down and fall asleep, or you'd get yelled at. Not that I would've wanted to, all of the desks smelled like bleach. Even at the age of 10, I remember thinking how much of a flaming faggot that kid was. I know, insensitive. But this thing had absolutely nothing to do with G.I.Joe, so I could've cared less. Then one day, we got to the end and his girlfriend died in a river. I remember thinking, "Oh, fuck, she died!" and I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud. God. That Deschanel chick is pretty fucking hot, though. Her sister, too.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Oh, and one last thing...

    by RainJacket

    Nobody calls Soundwave unchrasimatic!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Good to see the book wasn't ruined afterall

    by Bean_

    I never read it, but I know quite a few people who have and were pissed at the movie, because from the trailers they were showing on TV, it looked like utter crap.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Eh

    by zb.brox

    I don't want to write off the movie, 'cause it may be good, but the book just bored the hell out of me, then depressed the hell out of me. When I was a kid, it seemed as though the only purpose of the book was to do damage to me, so I rejected it utterly.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Nice to see you've grown up a little, RainJacket.

    by Zarles

    Emphasis on the word 'little'. Need a pen? Maybe after you take it apart, you could jam it into your eye. ~~ What a misleading promotion this movie is getting. Looks like Narnia 2, plays like My Girl 2. Hmm.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:58 a.m. CST

    How were the performances??

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Hey Mori, I liked the review, but you included very little on the technical side (direction, script, acting) so how was all of that stuff? ;^)

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The Book and the Ending

    by The Funketeer

    I'm 36 years old. How is it possible any literate citizen of the United States around or younger than my age hasn't heard of this book. It was standard 4th/5th grade reading. Either way, if you really want to prepare your kids for the ending, have them read the book first. I know, reading and all that hard stuff you parents don't like to deal with. It's so much easier to plop them in front of a movie screen. But the book isn't that long and they'll have more time to be with the characters and work their way towards the ending than they would in a dark movie theater. They'll also be able to talk to you about it as they're reading instead of having to wait until the movie is over. DId I mention it's a book? Reading is good. Mori you should buy it for little Toshi now and put it away for when he's older. It's a classic.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 9:32 a.m. CST

    The previews to this are so damn misleading!

    by Nice Marmot

    I can't believe it was a crocodile & not a serial killer!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 9:35 a.m. CST

    From Bad To Excellent

    by Saluki

    I'm going to be one of the first around here to bad mouth the movie in any form. It starts out terrible. A Disney channel pop song or two, none of the kids can act except the two leads, and the ADR is godawful. Then the two leads get to the forest and... Magic. The movie becomes watchable, then fun, then moving, and then important. I've never seen a movie become this good this quickly. Like a freakin' phoenix from the ashes. So get through the first quarter, and it all becomes very rewarding.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Let me do the math....

    by Spandau Belly

    if Mori owns over 4000 DVDs, then how many books does he own? I know I've got at least four times as many books as I do movies, but then again I like books more.<br><br>I only bring this up because of Mori's statement that he wasn't aware of this book.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST

    As Others say, Good AND Annoyingly-Misleading Ads

    by Deandome

    We brought our 6 y.o boy, based on the fantasy-movie" ad campaign (and the fact that I didn't really READ the reviews as much as simply note how good they all were). He kinda liked it, which is kinda surprising, given how NON-fantasy it was. He didn't freak at the death stuff, but he was affected...so he kinda got the movie at least. Seeing that we all thought it was good, it was a matinee (low $$), and I didn't read up like I normally do, I'm not THAT upset that I was mislead into thinking it was a Narnia-esque flick....but the deception was SO blatant, others really should be forewarned via threads like this one. Still...NOTHING will ever trump the absolute 'WHAT THE FUCK??' I felt after (during!) seeing Cronenberg's "Dead Ringers". You know...the sci-fi medical thriller with the red robed, creepy/evil doctors and their freaky implements. Oh yeah...that was what the ad campaign led us to believe...not that it was a phycho-drama about mental illness. The level of dupery actually superceded, for me, the fact that it was actually a good, effective movie....I just left thinking "FUCK YOU!!!".

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST

    What's Ian McKellan up to these days? I miss seeing him

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    I am fighting the temptation to rent "Da Vinci Code," which I know will be super-idiotic, just for the pleasure of watching Sir Ian do his thing. He's such a charismatic actor... for some reason, he's one of those people who just bring a smile to my face. <p> I know he spends a lot of time concentrating on his stage career, but COME ON Hollywood, won't someone give him a big enough pile of loot to get him into a big summer action flick or something else sublimely ridiculous? We want Sir Ian!! <p>

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST

    McKellen was in "Flushed Away" most recently

    by Gorrister

    He's also just completed a couple of movies that will be out later this year. Don't recall the names, but I know there are at least two of them. He's also slated to do a "Magneto" movie as well.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 11:31 a.m. CST

    as big of Narnia defender

    by Bloo

    as I am and you all know that I am, I was surprised to see them marketing this as Narnia lite. I read the book in 6th grade I think along with I Know What You Did Last Summer and some Llyod Alexander. When is Walden going to pick up on that. Does Disney still hold the rights? If so that might end up being Walden's LOTR if you will. Anyways plan on seeing this when it gets to my theatre, taking the whole fam just like I did with Narnia and I think I'll like it.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Ian Need of Clarification...

    by Deandome

    WHY ON GOD'S FUCKING EARTH ARE PEOPLE ASKING ABOUT IAN FUCKING McKELLEN HERE? He was great on Extras, but again, why is anyone asking HERE, much less answering that person? Though I guess I can see where someone named "daddylonghead" would have an unnatural interest on the comings & goings of an old gay dude...particularly the comings.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST

    because it's a talkback

    by just pillow talk

    and all talkbacks can shift to 18 different topics. Lighten up Deandome.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Thanks Moriarty

    by SilentBob X

    I RARELY use talkback but I just want to say thanks for the understanding re: Transformers. I tire of wasting bile and energy on defending a franchise. I leave it at this: If it makes you feel good and gives you fond memories, ignore the hatred. Again, thanks

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST

    No It's NOT OK to..

    by Deandome

    change topics to something completely & utterly unrelated without a whiff of kevin-baconesque connection somewhere. If someone had dropped Ian's name in some context, say...had he been in Narnia, which was discussed here. Had there been ANY logical segue, I'd be OK (and don't get me wrong, I'm not really pissed, just befuddled). But if there's a 24 talkback and someone says "Hey....remember those funny group of guys in ape suits in the Ernie Kovacks show? what was their name?"....that person merits a beat-down. And yes, Sir Ian's inclusion in this thread is THAT obtuse!!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    SEE

    by Deandome

    ...talking about Transformers IS normal here, as Mori mentions it in his review...it's a big-screen adaptation of a children's 'thing' (toys/cartoon vs. book for Tabithia). Hell, I'd be OK with someone dropping a reference to Elizabeth Montgomerey/Dick York/Dick Sergent because "Tabithia" reminded them of "Tabitha". But not Sir Ian....

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:03 p.m. CST

    In referendom to the spatial complex....

    by The Dum Guy

    I don't even know what that means, but I for one never heard of this Terabithia until I saw the ad's for the movie. I guess my school just wanted us the read The Giver or The Rat's of Nihm, which didn't really teach me a damn thing... What is Ian McKellen doing these days, I wonder if we'll ever see him in the Hobit.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Noooooooo Dum Guy!

    by just pillow talk

    Per Deandome, no venturing off topic unless it's somehow tenously related to the TB topic. You dirty little billy bastard!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Propsize Saw Doll starting to freak me out

    by just pillow talk

    It knows my thoughts....<p>By the way, the movie does sound interesting...

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Kids can handle stuff

    by Mister Man

    Will the Boomers stop bitching about "Bambi"??? We've protected our children into drug-induced oblivion. Life is tough, deal with it. And, for God's Sake, DON'T apologize when you make a statement.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Bravo!

    by Kentucky Colonel

    You nailed it Drew m'boy! This one is going on my "someday" shelf....to show to my (eventual) offspring someday. Right next to The Iron Giant, Star Wars and Babe (among others). I'll revisit it on the big screen too in a week or so. But I never read the book nor even heard of it until recently. Gotta get that one...

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:23 p.m. CST

    But Dum Guy is Smart!!

    by Deandome

    He knows how to convolute!! People HAVE compared Tarabitha to other fantasy flicks like Narnia....Dum then envokes the Hobbit (by way of NIMH...I personally woulda gone "Neverending Story", as the troll in tarabithia was kinda evokitive of that flick, but I digress). Now..."WHAMMY"...he has opened the portal to the McKellenization of this thread!! FUCKING BRILLIANT!!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:42 p.m. CST

    NOW...How Long Until...

    by Deandome

    ...it's acceptable for Harry (and others) to openly discuss his desire to spooge on the chest & panties of the uber-cute AnnaSophia Robb (ala Hayden Panettier)?? WRONG!!!! IT'S A TRICK QUESTION...it was NEVER not super-creepy to discuss his desire to deflower/despoil a seventeen year old girl...thus it is even worse...perhaps CRIMINAL, to have such thoughts about a 13 y.o. BTW, if you think Dakota is a hyper-mature, pretentious freak (LOVED the SNL "Dakota Fanning Show" spoof!!), IMDB sez AnnaSophia a) insists on being called "AnnaSophia" (not THAT weird, I guess), and b) is enrolled in a "private Christian school" in Denver. Sigh...she seemed like she could/would grow up so normal....

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Good old ethnocentrism

    by Hamish

    This is the internet. It doesn't stop at the US border. A few of us live OUTSIDE the USA and - *gasp* - haven't read this book. It wasn't part of the NZ school curriculum, and the only reason I've even heard of this is that it was made here (like all the best films...)

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:16 p.m. CST

    WTF, KiwiBoy???

    by Deandome

    Um...people here are all talking about how odd it seems that so few of us have ever even heard of the book, much less inferred that it was univerally read...so what's your point? Nobody's calling this movie or book an American treasure. Hell, nobody has even MENTIONED the book/movie in any nationalistic context. But I guess a hardcore inferiority complex is all we can expect from a country so insignificant it makes Australia seem like a cultural mecca.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Deandome you haven't

    by Vergil

    been reading the posts from the beginning apparently. Several people have remarked that they thought almost everyone has read the book: "honestly, didn't EVERY kid read this book?" "How is it possible any literate citizen of the United States around or younger than my age hasn't heard of this book." Personally, I'm surprised that people think that education in the US is similar everywhere. It varies widely from one state to the next.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Vergil

    by The Funketeer

    You know you can read a book OUTSIDE of school as well.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Zodiac review???

    by El Scorcho

    Please?

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:05 p.m. CST

    I've Read These Posts AND Those inMiraBeth's Thread..

    by Deandome

    ...and the # of posts where people say they've never read/heard of the book outnumber those who say "hasn't EVERYONE read this?" by about 5-1. That obviously includes everyone who, like me, was surprised/duped by the promotional bait/switch...had we read the book, we wouldn't have been surprised. THAT SAID...I did indeed fail to connect Funkateer's direct "...literate citizen of the United States" reference to KiwiBoy's post. Still, while I'll admit I missed it, I won't apologize, because he failed to properly reference and/or quote Funkateer's post...AND, his inferiority complex caused him to totally misread Funky's CLEAR intent: Had he said "how is it possible every literate person on Earth" )hasn't heard of this book)...he could feel offense...but when he confines the slam to literate citizens of the United States", Funky is indeed limiting his derision to our citizens...he is giving foreigners a free ride for not knowing 'bout the book. I know it's just wordplay, but I'm adamantly Anti-Semantic!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Required reading for 5th grade it seems..

    by Ironmuskrat

    Strange, I haven't thought about this book in years. We used to have story time in my fifth grade class. Unlike most people my teacher, Mr. Jones, actually had a talent for reading books out loud and making them exciting. Most of the books he read where the silly fun stuff like How to Eat Fried Worms and such. This book sort of freaked me out as a kid, first it had that damn depressing ending, I think that was the first time I was exposed to a story in school that actually dealt with death in a adult manner. The thing that really got to me was that damn stream, it plays a big part in the book and on the property of my school was a stream that was just like the one in the book. Small enough that it wasn't really dangerous except in the spring time when the snow melted and it got deep enough to where you might drown in it if you slipped up. Weird thing was I never gave a thought to the danger of it, it was just something else goof around with on the playground. After the story I don't think I looked at that stupid stream quite the same way. Just part of growing up I guess.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Come with me. To Terabithia.

    by thebearovingian

    And be made whole. Nyuk nyuk.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST

    "Come with me"...bearovingian....

    by Deandome

    It ALMOST looks like you're making a killer reference to the Amstel Light "Come With Me...to Bee-Ya-Boo" radio ads that, for some reason, always made me laugh & stick thru the ad. I think it was "...the Great Tortuga Turtle nesting grounds" that got me. Maybe/hopefully that's what you're going for, but you failed to stake the joke in the heart.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Starring "He Who Will Grow Up to be Dax Shepard"

    by Drath

    Sorry, I'm a geek. I wish this didn't have to be a "reality is better than fantasy" kind of situation or that eye candy is becoming synonymous with bad. Frankly I thought the trailers did make it look good, a Narnia "rip off"only to asshats who don't want to look beyond a headline. But whatever, it is what it is.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST

    I HOPE She Becomes a Hottie....

    by Deandome

    but when they're this young, you never can be sure (think Lisa Wenchel on Mickey Mouse club). Tatum O'Neil? She seems like she's getting married to the same short-hair, blonde Pixie look in all her flicks...kind of a Samaire Armstrong Jr. Same personalities, too! Again, I'm all for her getting hot, but I don't think we can wank, er...BANK on it, yet!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 5 p.m. CST

    Is Zathura-Boy..

    by Deandome

    ..stuck in suspended, Michael J. Fox, hormone-imabalance perpetual childhood? What was Zathura...4 years ago? He doesn't look a DAY older...this during a time where adolesences should have rendered him unrecognizable at this point. Are mom & dad pumping him w/drugs to keep him young, like M. Jackson?

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, seriously man, I'd love to do books for AICN.

    by Bachalon

    I've e-mailed Bacombe, and he told me to e-mail you. I've done that twice but still no response. Hit me up: bachalon@gmail.com

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Sure Deandome

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    Because your insane ramblings about pedophilia are much more valuable than a general and non-sexual appreciation of Ian McKellan. <p> Come on, don't pretend that thinking of Ian McKellan doesn't bring a little smile to your face. The man's so damned entertaining!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:17 p.m. CST

    RIVER GOTTA EAT (CHILDREN)

    by LordMadhammer

    I'm 34 and I'd never heard of this book before. Who knew. I'm just waiting for a non-shitty film version of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Poor marketing, Disney spoiled the story

    by Gargolito

    This movie should have been more like Pan's Labyrinth; dark, grity and poignant. Instead Disney marketed the movie as a fantasy adventure like Narnia when it was much closer to Pan.. it really sucked.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Like an American version of Pan's Labyrinth

    by Big Bad Clone

    Took my kids to see it earlier this evening. The marketing was so misleading that even when I told them exactly what would happen, they dismissed me with a swift "Uh, uh."<lb><b>Even after crying her little eyes out, my daughter said she enjoyed it. I choked up a little when they showed the kid deal with his friend's death as something similar happened to me when I was younger.<lb><p>Still, some of the CGI still was pretty goofy.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 9:51 p.m. CST

    why the hell do they even talk about kids movies?

    by spanky malone

    no one cares about this crap. now, NARNIA, cool. pg, but cool. this children's book crap takes up space that could be used for good movies.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Bad Marketing

    by DarthDooku

    This movie needs better marketing. Seriously. The trailers looked so cool, i read the book just because of it. And while i realized that the CG scenes were pretty much just their imagination, the book was great, and it's great to have this in a movie form. But it's the fault of the studio or whoever that this movie was not advertised right, i hope people do go out and see it, though. And boy, a few more spoiler warnings would've been nice ;)

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Censorship?

    by Messyjoe

    My post was removed just about an hour after being added! What gives? Are you working for Disney, and don't like criticism?

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Messyjoe?

    by The Dum Guy

    What was the post you had about? Was it anything offensive?

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 1:22 a.m. CST

    To all the book snobs...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    I'm in my mid-30s, and have read a lot of books in those years, from Archie comics to stories with NO pictures of cartoon girls at all. And I've never even HEARD of "Bridge To Terabithia" until this movie came out. Now, while I'm sure that calling people who aren't familiar with the story "illiterate" makes you feel intelligent inbetween sessions of World of Warcraft... you really just come across as annoying asses in desperate need of an ego boost.

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 2:18 a.m. CST

    not every school district taught this book

    by drave117

    I'm 29. Grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I'd never heard of the book until the movie came out. And I was a voracious reader as a child. I used to stay up until 3 in the morning, reading under the covers by the light of my alarm clock. Excellent movie, in my opinion. I plan to check out the book soon.

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 3:07 a.m. CST

    MessyJoe...

    by drew mcweeny

    No one removed your post or censored you. <P>You posted your first comment under MiraJeff's review of this film. Then posted your paranoid accusations under this one. <P>Relax.

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Frustrating!

    by ofmiceandmarth

    While I ended up enjoying this movie version of Terabithia (having never read the book), I found myself very conflicted through most of it. Yes, the death in the last act was handled very well, and quite respectful for a kids movie. But I found most of the rest of the movie to be far too pandering. Kids at their school dressed in ways that kids in small town schools would never dress. Leslie, despite coming from two "artist" parents from the big city, looked like a clown--straight out of some Urban Outfitters catalogue. The main family had all these nice things and great Hollywood hairstyles, despite being "poor." And in places where there could've been a wonderful timeless score, there were faceless pop songs. I think a lot of this junk automatically kills any sense of timelessness, and 15 years from now, people will watch it and laugh (as we do now for "cheesy" movies from the 80's). Basically, when I'm saying is that despite the good intentions, this flick was still manhandled by the usual Hollywood marketing and PR people, killing what could've been a truly classic movie.

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Yes I see. Sorry.

    by Messyjoe

    However the switcheroo to this column was not obvious. Anyway I still think this movie is a fraud. I still think that if a magical world is laid out for kids, it should be maintained. How can one forget in Arthur & the Invisibles, nice cartoon work, then suddenly there is Mia Farrow passed out in her bed, then back to the cartoon! Give me a break.