The Last Mimzy Robert Shaye

The Last Mimzy Robert Shaye
I went into this with the lowest possible expectations; it was, after all, a kid pic directed by a studio head. Still, I was pleasantly surprised, both at its not crappiness and how un-conservative it plays for a family picture. A couple of young kids (Chris O’Neill and Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) discover a mysterious box while vacationing at their cottage, which turns out to contain "toys” that perform magical functions and increase the intelligence of their users. The children’s parents (Timothy Hutton and Joely Richardson) are understandably perplexed at their children’s sudden super-genius status, but that’s the least of their worries: things only get worse when the toys cause a blackout and rouse the attention of Homeland Security. Wormholes, time travel and advanced technology ensue. Though director Robert Shaye (the head of New Line Pictures) simply doesn’t have the chops to give the fantasy elements the magical aura they need, this is still a cut above the usual kiddie schlock, with solid writing that refuses to talk down to the audience. It’s also remarkable how liberal the movie is — there’s even a hippified teacher (Rainn Wilson) to introduce the tots to a little Eastern mysticism. Though it stumbles on more than one occasion (and completely defeats poor Michael Clarke Duncan as a Fed on a mission), it’s surprisingly solid entertainment that should please kids while not turning off their parents. Extras include a commentary by Shaye that’s very thorough, five featurettes on the science behind the movie that are too brief to be terribly informative, seven "behind the scenes” clips that are a cut above the average "making of,” 11 deleted scenes, a Roger Waters video for a very Pink Floyd’s "The Wall”-type song and three interactive games for children. (Alliance Atlantis)