Lewis Barnavelt is a young boy who loses his parents in a car crash. He goes to live with his uncle Jonathan who turns out to be a warlock. Furthermore, his house is hiding a dark secret that holds potential danger for all mankind. In an effort to make a new friend, Lewis inadvertently wakes a terrible evil bent on destroying the human race. Only with his newfound magic, and help from a kooky witch, can he hope to defeat his foe before it’s too late.
2018, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 45 mins
Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, 2.39:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro
Directed by Eli Roth
This is a fun family film that is suitable for all ages, though the youngest children might find it too intense. There are plenty of goofy moments which play perfectly to Jack Black’s strengths. Kate Blanchett, though a tremendous actress, is a bit out of her element as the kooky witch. Owen Vaccaro as young Lewis nearly steals the show from a cast of experienced actors. His star will certainly be on the rise. The action is plentiful and the magic tricks creative. The plot is a bit derivative, and the Harry Potter franchise has nothing to worry about, but it’s certainly something that will be enjoyed by fans of the humans-can-do-magic genre.
The image is stunning in every respect. Bold colors and deep contrast abound with sharp detail and a strong sense of dimension. No edge enhancement or other artifacts are there to spoil the fun.
The Dolby Atmos sound track is amazing and features some of the best surround effects I’ve ever heard. The opening sequence will have you looking for a clock in your walls as the ticking of multiple timepieces moves around the room.
Bonus features include a large collection of short subjects that go behind the scenes with the principal actors. You also get a gag reel, deleted scenes, an alternate opening & ending, and audio commentary from Jack Black and director Eli Roth.