Directed by Andrew Davis
Young Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) is walking one day when a pair of pricey celebrity running shoes fall from the sky. Stanley runs home and hands them to his father (Henry Winkler) who is inventing odourless running shoes. Then, bad luck strikes — the police bust Stanley for stealing the shoes and the courts send him to Camp Green Lake for delinquent boys. Actually, the camp is in a desert. Stanley joins campmates Squid, Armpit, ZigZag, Magnet, X-Ray and Zero in digging one hole each day under the burning sun. Why? Turns out the wicked warden (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistants Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) and Mr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson) are looking for buried treasure that belonged to a legendary outlaw, Kissin' Kate Barlow (Patricia Arquette). Trouble arises when Stanley escapes into the desert with ZigZag. Louis Sachar's best-selling children's novel about buried treasure and friendship successfully travels from page to screen here. Sachar's own screen adaptation rolls right along under the sure hand of director Davis. All actors, teen and adult, deliver sharp performances, mixing toughness with laughs that will charm families. Sure, there are saccharine moments and story contrivances, but this is a Disney movie after all. The disc is packed with extras. The boys' audio commentary sounds like a locker room, but the writer and director's track, plus the short profile on Sachar, are insightful. The deleted scenes are interesting, while the gag reel and music video are window dressing. Plus: "making of" featurette, more.
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