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maurice gee

Review: Under the Mountain, Amelia and Planet 51

By Cinema, Reviews

Under the Mountain posterAs the recent fuss over The Vintner’s Luck demon­strated, film­makers adapt­ing beloved New Zealand books open them­selves up to all sorts of poten­tial cri­ti­cism, so when Jonathan King and Matthew Grainger announced that their next pro­ject was going to be a ver­sion of Maurice Gee’s Under the Mountain there were a great many excited people (mostly around my age it seemed) thrilled that their favour­ite child­hood book was going to get the all-action big screen treatment.

And yet, as a story pitched at older kids and young adults, it was going to have to be brought out of the ori­gin­al 70s con­text (and updated from its early 80s TV incarn­a­tion) or nobody would come. It’s a fine bal­ance and for mine I think King and Grainger have done a good job – even if the rest­less crowd at Readings on Saturday after­noon might sug­gest otherwise.

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