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Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D 

In this day of overly convoluted popcorn movies filled with countless subplots, characters and explanations for everything, Journey feels downright minimalist. There’s no angst or edginess; this is just fun, classic pulp adventure. Trevor (Brendan Fraser) is a scientist carrying on the research into seismic activity started by his brother Max, who went missing years ago. Trevor is your classic absent-minded professor type, having forgotten that Max’s 13-year-old son Sean (Josh Hutcherson) is coming to stay with him for 10 days. Sean’s mother brings along a box of Max’s possessions, including a copy of Jules Verne’s classic fantasy novel Journey to the Center of the Earth in which Max has written notes. Journey doesn’t have the frenetic ADD feel of so many modern effects-heavy films. Instead, it takes its time to get going, letting the audience know the characters before thrusting them into the action. These aren’t especially complex characters, but they aren’t cardboard, either. This isn’t a great movie, but there’s definitely a place for this kind of family-friendly (though not strictly for the kiddies) adventure film. ***

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