I never caught "The Spiderwick Chronicles", based on the popular book series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, when it came out in 2008. It was a Nickelodeon kid's movie so I avoided it and had no opinion about it. The Blu-ray was released on June 24, 2008, with all the basic features, Subtitle, etc. The BD is of course in 1080p and the aspect ratio is 2.35:1. The audio is in Dolby True HD 5.1 for English. It's directed by Mark Water and the screenplay was written by Kary Kirkpatrick & David Berenbaum. It's a Nickelodeon Production and they promoted the hell out of it on their channel.
"The Spiderwick Chronicles" is about a single parent family that moves up-state, into the home of their long deceased Great Uncle Arthur Spiderwick (David Straithairn). Arthur's daughter lived in the home until she was put in a home for being insane. They find all types of odd things in the house that she left behind. The three kids, Jared, Simon, (Freddie Highmore, yes he plays twins in the movie... I wonder if they paid him double) and their sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger) hate the place, want to return to the city and its pretty obvious about their feelings to go back. They cause all type of problems for their mother, Helen Grace (Mary Louise Parker). When stuff starts disappearing around the house, the more troublesome one, Jared, gets blamed. During a fight with his sister, Jared stumbles upon a hidden dumbwaiter that leads to a secret room in the house. While searching in the room, he finds "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around you" and learns about a Hidden realm of "Good and Evil". The book that Arthur put together has knowledge that could do much harm if it fell into the wrong hands or Mulgarath's (Nick Nolte) hands, who is a shape-shifting troll that wants the book to rule the hidden world and ours. The Grace children find friends and allies with some of these creatures to fight the forces of evil.
"The Spiderwick Chronicles" is a great movie to watch with the kids and has enough action and adventure for adults to be entertained. The video quality is very good; I see that there is no amount of makeup to hide Nick Nolte's wrinkles. The Audio was pretty good, also, I don't know if it was my copy but there were a few scenes where the audio hopped around, which wasn't a smooth transition, but nothing too noticeable.
The Extras I enjoyed:
- It’s all true! - Is an intro to the Spiderwick and overview of the movie and books. They also give you a survival kit to make it through the other features.
- Meet the Clan! - Interviewing the cast and seeing how some of the movie works. They also cover how they jip Highmore out of his double salary. Well they should have.
- Making SpiderWick - a look at the behind the scenes and production of the set, costumes and movie itself.
- Magic of SpiderWick - this covers the CGI and other special effects.
- Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide - I like this one because you can click through all the creatures and spells.
- Field Guide movie mode - where you do a trivia on the movie and extras.
- Theatrical Trailers & Spots - (the ones that were over pumped on nickelodeon). Finally the Deleted Scenes. I had a good time with this Blu-ray and extras.
It's a kids movie! A lot of the true fans were upset that a lot of the sub-plots were reduced or removed. It's only a 97 min film, so you can't ask too much unless you turn it into a trilogy. I, not being a fan wasn't affected by the changes and saw a solid movie.
Nick Nolte! 'nuff said.
I came into "The Spiderwick Chronicles" with no knowledge of the book series. In the end, I enjoyed it and it makes for a great kids fantasy film. The monsters aren't too scary, so your kid won't have nightmares. And it's entertaining enough where the average adult isn't bored to tears. It goes by real quick and it's fluffy enough to have kids watch and not bug the hell out of you. I recommend this for any family with kids from 3-11. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give this a TOV 4, mainly for Seth Rogen eating Nick Nolte.