USA, Andrew Davis (2003)

There were some clever and amusing moments in this filmed adaptation of what I’m told is a terrific children’s book. Kind of wish I’d spent two hours reading the book instead of watching the movie. Not that it was horrible, it was just there. A boy in the wrong place at the wrong time (he blames it on the family curse) is sent to a reform camp in the desert and forced to dig hole after hole after hole as a form of character building. What’s really going on is the evil warden is using the teenage chain gang to do her dirty work and find a mythical buried treasure. I’d recommend it for families looking for a movie everyone will enjoy watching. Adults will get a kick out of the comic performances of Tim Blake Nelson (always good,) Sigourney Weaver as the queen baddie, and especially Jon Voight as her number-one henchman.

Here’s the Gist: Quality family fare. [** 1/2]

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