An all-star cast is hitting the movie theaters this week in the new fantasy thriller, "The House with a Clock in It's Walls."
The film is like a slice of cheese pizza - it's not going to do any harm, but it doesn't do any good either. It's sort of like a cross between "Downton Abbey" and "Lemony Snicket", let me walk you through it.
Owen Vaccarro plays Lewis, a newly orphaned boy sent to live with his magician Uncle Jonathan, played by the always delightful Jack Black.
Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett plays Florence, the down-on-her-luck witch next door. Both Black and Blanchett say working with each other was truly magic.
What Lewis doesn't know is his uncle's mansion was previously occupied by an evil warlock named Isaac Izard. And when Lewis gets tricked into bringing the bad guy back to life - well - all hell breaks loose.
Okay - I get it - it's sort of sophomoric and funny. But the pumpkin barf is the only thing that gels about this movie. The "House with the Clock in It's Walls" desperately wants to encroach on Harry Potter territory, but it just doesn't go deep enough to be more than a celluloid amusement park ride, Black and Blanchett do their best, but there's just no there there.
This one will be fun for kids, painless for adults, but you won't think about it two seconds after you've left the theater.
I give "The House with a Clock in It's Walls" two and a half broomsticks.