Who's in It:
Alexander Ludwig, Christopher Eccleston, Ian McShane, Frances Conroy
The Basics: Just because you've based your movie on an award-winning series of fantasy books for kids doesn't mean you're not just trying to cash in on the current craze for boy wizards. A 14 year-old learns that he's a "Seeker" and has to fight "The Dark" and find some signs that are just sort of hidden around in plain sight. There are battles and special effects and a lot of people standing around doing nothing but yelling, "Find the signs!" Grown-ups, if you can avoid picking the short straw for chaperone duty, then by all means do.
What's the Deal? I suppose I should recommend this movie based on the mullet wigs alone. I'm a big fan of that kind of thing (see: Meat Loaf and Michael Madsen in Bloodrayne), but all the awesome fake hair in Romania can't make something this bloaty and boring fun to watch. And worse, I'm sure the books are way more complex than this, or they wouldn't have won Newbury awards. But this script is so dimwitted you'd be unsurprised if they'd renamed the main character Barry Motter.
What's Good About These Cheap Shoots They Do in Romania: And they make a LOT of movies there now, by the way. But money's not the only reason. Romania just looks cool. And it does here too, all old-school Euro and mildly goth. Yes, I'm grasping at straws for something to like besides the super-dorky moment when the kid Googles "the light and the dark" to find out what's up with all this supernatural stuff going on around him.
Who Seems Embarrassed to Be in The Movie: Ian McShane, who looks like he spent all the downtime on the set teaching R-rated Deadwood vocabulary to the kids.