Combustible Celluloid
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With: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem, Seth Meyers, Jean Michel Paré, Jane Wheeler, Garth Gilker
Written by: Michael Weiss, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin, based on a novel by Jules Verne
Directed by: Eric Brevig
MPAA Rating: PG for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Running Time: 92
Date: 07/10/2008

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Crust or Bust

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Oscar-nominated visual effects man Eric Brevig (Men in Black, Pearl Harbor) makes his directorial debut with this family friendly, 3-D adventure, but instead of collapsing under thunderous CGI and fart jokes, Brevig crafts a delightfully retro entertainment, light and funny and summery. To that end, he makes perfect use of Brendan Fraser as the modern-day hero, curious and sturdy, but charmingly goofy. Trevor Anderson (Fraser) recruits his nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and a beautiful, tough Icelandic guide (Anita Briem) to travel beneath the earth's crust, looking for clues of his late brother's work. Jules Verne's novel exists in this world, but may not be fiction. Brevig and first-time cinematographer Chuck Shuman keep things brisk and clean, so as not to render the 3-D look too jarring or headache inducing.

Yes, the DVD comes with 3-D glasses (it's also viewable in a 2D version).

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