the Pagemaster (Johnston/Hunt, 1994)

USA, 80 min

fuck, i’m stuck in some hideous time warp; can’t stop putting on kids’ movies. there must be a tonic for this. why the hell did i put this on?

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During a thunderstorm, a paranoid, safety-obsessed boy (played by Culkin-in-glasses) takes shelter in an enchanted library, is transformed into an illustration, and finds himself on a magical adventure with some silly talking books.

for the live-action sequences, we have only to thank the director who brought you october sky, jumanji, and honey, i shrunk the kids. (chortle…)

i actually remember secretly enjoying this somewhat when it came out, even though i was really a few years too old for it. (i was always a sucker for those on-message “reading is cool!” movies… plus there was still plenty of residual macaulay-interest in the air. come to think of it, ’94 was an atrocious year for that kid; though this fucker was filmed a few years earlier, when it finally rolled out it was sandwiched tightly between getting even with dad and ri¢hie ri¢h …)

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watching it now, i still feel vaguely embarrassed; as usual, the pre-teen culkin is painful at best, and the story arc is pretty flat.  but it DOES feature the voice talents of all of the following: christopher lloyd, whoopi goldberg, patrick stewart, leonard nimoy… win. if i had a six-year-old handy, i’d throw this on for ’em; sure…

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imdb

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