Saturday, February 13, 2016

Phil sees GOOSEBUMPS from Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures-February 6, 2016

As a kid, I grew up reading the classics: Dr. Seuss, The Little Golden Books, The Hardy Boys and so forth. These books were so much fun to read that I'd read the same books five or six times. The idea of getting lost in a book and imagining you were on the ship hunting Moby Dick, or swinging through the jungle as Tarzan, or traveling 10,00 leagues under the sea. Fast forward to the present and today's generation of kids are reading a different kind book. One the is spooky and creepy, filled with chills and thrills, bizarre creatures and horrifying monsters. The series is called "Goosebumps" and they are written by the prolific R.L. Stine. The books were adapted into a very popular television series on the children network Nickelodeon that ran from 1995 to 1998. Then finally in 2015, the books was brought to the big screen. So let me tell you what I thought about the film GOOSEBUMPS.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange... he is a prisoner of his own imagination - the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it's suddenly up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach's friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to get all of them back in the books where they belong.

Unlike the televisions series which each episode focused on one particular story and character, the film featured of all these every single characters that haunts within the pages of Stine's books. Black is fantastic in the film as our strangely bizarre and reclusive writer and he also provides the voices of the creepy ventriloquist dummy Slappy and the Invisible Boy. Both Minnette and Rush have great on-screen chemistry as out teen leads and lovers Zach and Hannah, who has a very cool secret that gets revealed in the middle of the film. Lee as Champ is a riot and reminds us all that one friend we had growing up that was  just completely nerdy. But he gets his redemption by defeating a werewolf and saving the girl he likes. You go Champ!!

Director Rob Letterman made is feature length debut with the 2004 computer animated family film SHARK TALE, which did very well at the boxoffice. He then followed that film up with MONSTER VS ALIENS in 2009. After making two computer generated films, in 2010 Letterman made his first live-action movie GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, which marked his first collaboration with Jack Black. With his knowledge of making family films and taking on the classic children book series, Letterman once again proves that he has the ability to direct an awesome movie that is both fun and filled with action and humor with a touch of chills to keep the kids entertained as well as their parents.

GOOSEBUMPS is a worthy adaptation to a classic literary series that families will enjoy for years to come. The movie really does belong in your film library much the the book series should be on your kids' bookshelves. It really is that good of a film and one that needs to be seen over and over again. 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended viewing!

GOOSEBUMPS is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. It's also available on Redbox and Video On Demand. 

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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