MOVIES: Spiderwick Chronicles not kind to fathers or goblins
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If you’re a dad or a goblin, be prepared to take your lumps when you see The Spiderwick Chronicles. I am one of the above, but still enjoyed this movie.
Strike one against dads: Richard (Andrew McCarthy) is the AWOL father of the three Grace children, Mallory (Sarah Bolger) and twin brothers Simon and Jared (Freddie Highmore). The parents are split up and Richard’s failure to make an appearance is a major disappointment for Jared. As Contra Costa Times/Oakland Tribune critic Mary Pols writes in her review, the film “is willing to tackle real-life sources of pain for both parents and children.” The way Jared’s anger manifests itself is rather bizarre though, and if you don’t mind a spoiler, here’s a spot-on analysis from Nick Owchar of the LA Times.
More fatherly failures from Arthur Spiderwick (David Straitham), who’s so distracted by his research and discoveries that he neglects his daughter. When he finally rallies, Lucinda (Joan Plowright) is 86. Pops has a decent excuse at that point, but that’s not much consolation.
Here’s my suggestion, dads: Take your kids to this movie (showtimes). Don’t let anyone else rack up those points, as you’ll need ‘em to counter any collateral damage you might suffer from the film.
As for the goblins, yes, as Pols writes in her review, they’re somewhat frightening. They’re also mincemeat. The battle scenes make you feel like you’re sitting in a giant bassomatic blender. Green oozy blood spurts everywhere. Apparently, you can blow up goblins and still get a PG rating.