As the stars align, (or in this case, volcanic numeric crucibles), Trevor Anderson seizes the moment. Using Jules Verne's classic Journey to the Center of the Earth as a travel guide, Trevor doffs his job, dons a knapsack and debarks for our planet's substratum.
Since his brother Max Anderson disappeared on an inner-globetrotting trip 10 years earlier, Trevor has endeavored to find him. As did bro' Max, he directs the Center for Volcanic Activity, dedicated to exploring the globe's final frontier - the earth's interiority.
With a computer and a pair of teasingly tight tights, the movie shamelessly manipulates Jules Verne's classic novel. The fact that in his previous career, director Eric Brevig was a visual effects supervisor, explains the focus of the plot: throw in anything that a computer can make, bake and shake.
And if you don't have any fresh ideas, mooch from movies. Think Indiana Jones. Ricocheting rocks. Chases and races. Ravenous reptiles. Gnashing fauna. Macabre mines. Wayward carts. Spills down hills. And a boatload of tsunamic ablutions. Gawd, Trevor (Brendan Frazer) is even a university professor traveling with a kid (Josh Hutcherson), picking up a perky plucky pretty lady on the way (Anita Briem) - á la Indy and the Crystal Skull.
Brendan Fraser continues to quarry a career in other-worldly effects films. With his unique mellow allure and the two comely young'uns, this movie should appeal to the PG audience it's been appraised for. However, Mom and Pop, put on the pulp goggles and join the kiddies. Who can't thrill at flying piranhas and flaming magma blitzing towards your brow in TV 3D?
Oh, did I forget to mention that a limited edition of this Blu-ray disc contains two versions of the movie, the standard "Look, Ma! No glasses." 2D and the "Duck, Dad! Dino jaws!" 3D? The DVD comes with four sets of those goofy cardboard spectacles so the whole family can experience T-rex spittle in multi-dimensional grossness.
Could you resist indulging in "How to Make a Dino Drool"? I certainly couldn't. Predictably disgusting, the segment even supplied ingredients for your own homegrown gummy goop.
I am still looking for a reason to recommend the running commentary between Fraser and director Brevig. They small talked their way though the muted 92 minute movie. Pure diminutive drivel. (Sorry, guys, but I wanted to be enlightened - or at least be minimally engaged, informed or entertained. Nope. Nada.)
"Being Josh" is interesting for young Hollywood hopefuls, but still slightly light on content.
All the Extra effort was concentrated on the demi-documentary, a history of "Hollow Earth Theories." This segment satisfied.
Studio: New Line
Director: Eric Brevig
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem, Seth Meyers, Jean-Michel Pare, Jane Wheeler
Length: 92 minutes
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1:77:1
Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish