Saturday, January 5, 2008


Family adventure

Alex Etel: 12-year old Angus MacMorrow
Emily Watson: his mother Anne
Priyanka Xi: his older sister Kirstie
Ben Chaplin: hired hand Lewis Mowbray
David Morrissey: Captain Hamilton, ranking officer of the artillery unit

Really decent family-fare movies are something of a rarity as it is difficult to appeal to such a wide range of ages, interests and expectations. But this one pulls it off with an intriguing tale of monsters combined with fast-paced slapstick whenever things start to slow down too much. It has the requisite rude bodily noises that children have come to expect and parents have learned to tolerate.

Both the acting and script are adequate enough. Some of the scenery is striking and the musical score does the job although sometimes a little overwhelming.

There are a few scary moments but based on the reaction of the children in the audience it would seem anyone over 5 or 6 can handle them without difficulty. I guess kids are becoming somewhat inure to such things.

for some action/peril, mild language, brief smoking.

 When Anne comes out of the house several military personnel salute her. In the British Commonwealth only military officers are saluted, never a civilian, since the salute is to the commission they carry and not to the officers themselves.
 It is unlikely the British army would still be using WWI trench observation binoculars to survey the loch for monsters.
 As a code word used internationally as a distress signal “mayday” is always said three times in a row, not just once as the sergeant does, so it is not mistaken for some similar-sounding phrases.
 Angus is seen laying on the beach. He sits up and there is a small pebble stuck to his right cheek. Between that shot and subsequent close-ups the pebble comes and goes.

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