Black and Blanchett will always be worth the ticket price
The House With A Clock In Its Walls is a perfect example of how it’s possible to turn a mediocre production into a quality picture with just big names. Jack Black and Cate Blanchett offer supreme power as leading pair Jonathan Barnavelt and Florence Zimmerman, providing real energy and thrill into a story that often lacks focus. Together, they steal the show, making 2018’s most bizarrely named film into one with actual worth.
Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) is sent to live with his Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) after the death of his parents. Freaked out by his strange style and living arrangements, Lewis wants nothing more than to go back to how things used to be. However, after discovering his Uncle and their next door neighbour Florence (Cate Blanchett) have special powers, Lewis becomes desperate to join in with their fun.
Without becoming too creepy or too unnerving, The House With A Clock In Its Walls traverses the line of family fun very well. Jack Black is an absolute genius when it comes to pleasing everyone, so his priceless skill was naturally going to be utilised fully by director Eli Roth.
Roth’s experience shines through as he uses the strengths he has in front of him incredibly well, essentially Black and Blanchett, at every opportunity. This goes a long way to cover up some of the films weaker elements, (e.g. its drawn out plot and shaky CGI), but as more of a replacement than a genuine cover up attempt. The balance seems to be well matched across the picture, despite it falling down in some key areas.
The House With A Clock In Its Walls is a vivid and passionate attempt to bring life to children’s cinema, something only animations seem to be able to accomplish in Hollywood’s current state. It has magic and warlocks with a somewhat exciting mystery. It certainly doesn’t blow minds, but Black and Blanchett will always be worth the ticket price; Whatever film they feature in.
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