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Nim's Island (DVD Review)

3 Aug, 2008 By: Rachel Cericola

Nim's Island

Street 8/5/08
Box Office $47.9 million
$29.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG' for mild adventure action and brief language.
Stars Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler.

Nim (Breslin) is a young girl living on a remote island din the South Pacific. She spends her days reading adventure novels by Alex Rover (Foster), while her dad, Jack (Butler), studies marine biology.

While researching her latest novel, Alex contacts Jack for information about a local volcano. Since he is stranded at sea, Nim tries to help her favorite author, only to find herself in a one-girl war with “buccaneers” trying to take over the island.

Of course, the group isn't a band of pirates — just tourists looking for the island experience and a free buffet. However, Nim summons her favorite adventurer, who also happens to be insanely agoraphobic. With the help of her imaginary alter ego (also played by Butler), Alex manages to get into a cab and across the world in an effort to save her little friend.

Based on the book by Wendy Orr, Nim's Island does inject a bit of girl power into the tween scene. It's a great vehicle for Breslin, as well as all of the girls who will surely follow her to the current big-screen adventures of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.

However, watching Foster flop around like a fish out of water gets to be a bit uncomfortable. The movie starts out interesting, with a sweet story and slew of special effects. However, about halfway through, it relies too much on slapstick, focusing on Alex's endless travels and Nim's Home Alone-style attack on the island's visitors.

Commentaries by directors Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, and another with Foster and Breslin, will probably go over young viewers' heads. Two notable extras for all viewers include the featurettes “Working on Water,” as well as “Nim's Friends,” which spotlights the film's four-legged stars.

The Blu-ray version also includes a few games, including a “Write Your Own Alex Rover Adventure” and “Nim's Island Trivia Track.”

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