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ZATHURA

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Two bored, sparring brothers -- Josh Hutcherson and Jonah Bobo -- play Zathura, an old board game they find in the basement, and whoosh! -- suddenly their house is launched into outer space, where they must band together to fight robots, aliens and gravity issues, in order to return home. Not surprisingly, this game-come-to-life is adapted from a story by Chris Van Allsburg, who also penned the similarly themed Jumanji. Jon Favreau (Elf) directs this family-oriented actioner, keeps the pace lively and provides plenty of crowd-pleasing bangs and crashes. But the film drags in the last reel, and the inevitable family lessons are trite, if well intentioned. My favorite thing in the film: the beautifully rendered 1950s-style game board. Playing it would be irresistible. Starts Fri., Nov. 11. (AH)

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