All prices are subject to change. Shipping costs are for the most economical method available, and apply only within the United States. In some states, sales tax may be added.
LIVE-ACTION ADAPTATION OF JEFF KINNEY'S ILLUSTRATED NOVEL ABOUT A WISE-CRACKING JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.
The first volume in Jeff Kinney's wildly popular Web and book series hits the screen in this live-action adaptation. The impish Zachary Gordon, who recalls Wonder Years-era Fred Savage, plays Greg Heffley, who enters middle school determined to become class favorite. It won't be easy. His best friend, Rowley the sweetly funny Robert Capron, is a big, redheaded lug who embarrasses him at every turn. Greg's obnoxious teenage brother, Rodrick Devon Bostick, advises him to keep his head down, but Greg believes he needs to excel at something to achieve his goal. Smart, but small for his age, he tries wrestling and safety patrolling, but nothing seems to fit. During gym class, he and Rowley meet wise-beyond-her-years newspaper reporter Angie Chloë Moretz, 500 Days of Summer, who finds popularity overrated. Greg isn't convinced, but the harder he tries, the more boorish he becomes, until even Rowley abandons him. After a humiliating encounter with some high school bullies, though, Greg learns what really matters: self-respect he also discovers that the dreaded "cheese touch" is just a myth. Berlin-born director Thor Freudenthal Hotel for Dogs avoids any dull or sentimental patches, which should please kids and adults alike an upbeat modern-rock soundtrack doesn't hurt. Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn could use more face time as the terminally un-cool Heffley parents, but Harris's rhythm-impaired moves at the mother-son dance provide one of the best laughs. Kinney fans will also appreciate the way Freudenthal weaves stick-figure drawings from Greg's journal throughout this zippy entertainment. --Kathleen C. Fennessy