Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The House With a Clock in Its Walls

The House With a Clock in Its Walls
Jack Black, Cate Blanchette, Kyle MacLachian, Sunny Suljic, Lorenza Izzo, and Owen Vaccaro

Rated: PG for thematic elements including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor and language.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: September 21, 2018 Released by: DreamWorks Animation

Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) and his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) spend their time searching for a clock that is somewhere in an old castle style mansion that Jonathan inherited from Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachian) who is an old time Wizard.  

The story begins when Lewis is sent to live with his uncle Jonathan after he loses his parents.  After a long bus trip he begins to learn that the dwelling he will live in has some special characteristics and so does his uncle. 

The journey they take together once Lewis convinces Uncle Jonathan that he has the skill and knowledge to become a warlock like Jonathan, is full and creative.  The search brings numerous interesting attachments, conflicts and the use of special powers.  Filled with usual and unusual characters, many not human as we are always on notice that anything can come to life. Furniture that has character, similar to "Beauty and the Beast" along with a sculpture of a lion that challenges everyone when he poops. It also has pictures on the wall that apparently has life and moves like those in the Harry Potter series. 

Kyle MacLachian as Isaac Izard is the wizard, in deep dark makeup to age him, He created the clock and placed it somewhere in the house. It set to bring the Earth back in time possibly to the point before the Big Bang which would take out all civilization.  

While they search Lewis is introduced to cats that change color, a friend at school who is not truly loyal, a chair that easily becomes up set, particularly when Lewis and Jonathan handle balls of electricity that reach the chair.  Jonathan at one point introduces Lewis to images of the universe swirling around the grounds of the house and they each are able to hold a planet or two.  When Lewis arrives at the house he finds a room filled with clocks that give the feeling of Dock Brown's place in Back to the Future,  and we even get to hear Little Richard in the sound track during one adventure sequence. The most exciting scenes take place when the clock is discovered and must be controlled before everything heads back in time before the beginning of existence. 

There is a lot to like at The House With a Clock in It's Walls but something is missing, it's good but not great.  

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Gerry Matt Claudette Jennifer Audralee Nina  Avg. 
The House With a Clock in Its Walls  B      D   D                     C- 

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