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INKHEART, 2009
Movie Review

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INKHEART
Movie Review
Directed by Iain Softley
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

A young girl discovers her father has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook's hero.

REVIEW:

Inkheart is a film that reminded me of that cable show cook Emerald. He was (or maybe still is) that guy who yelled “poof” and “shazam” whenever he added spices into whatever he was cooking. The suburban people (including my parents) loved it. He had style and he had that polarizing charm that either made people laugh or made people barf. Either way, he got people noticing him and his show. He's a gadget personality as his catchphrases hid any talent he had as a cook.

I love to study game film of all kinds. I go back and watch past football games, old films and TV shows and take a look at certain moments in slow motion so I can truly understand how something was done. Go back and study Emerald the cook. He really isn't much of a cook and his recipes are bland and cliché ridden. But no one notices because he is yelling “pow-ee” when he boldly adds an extra gram of garlic in his jumbo chicken. He's a sham but has found the formula to grab attention.

Inkheart is the same way. It's filled with all kinds of gimmicks and I like to think we're wise enough to be tired of them now. We want more and expect more for our dollar than your typical tired old setups for storytelling. They attempted to setup situations that we've seen many times in the past and don't really want to see again, so we just got bored. I felt it in the crowd. People were talking amongst themselves and no one was upset about it like they usually are if it happens in a movie they emotionally engaged in.

Unfortunately, (and I do feel bad about it as I never want to see a movie not do well) Inkheart is not a good film.

Something did happen during the screening of this movie that I feel really bad about. I fell asleep for about 20 minutes. I was knocked out cold. I see a lot of movies and this never happens to me, but in the rare times it does, there is a reason for it. My mind is stuck watching something I really don't want to watch, so I feel trapped in this dark room. In order for me to get away from this brainwashing, I close my eyes and go into another world.

That's how bad I thought this movie was. I just didn't get why they made it.

First off, they scared the wits out of their younger audience because the setup of this film is about a guy who when he reads out loud from a book, bad things happen. So kids who see this movie will now get scared when their parents read them a bedtime story. And they made this movie because......

I kind of hoped that they would of made a film about the pleasures of reading. Especially because today's Generation Y is more inclined to watch videos on the internet and/or play video games. I assumed they were attempted to make a positive movie about reading, but they sort of made things worse.

Our only hope is for this film to be a failure and for no kid under 13 to ever see it. Inkheart just sends a bad message. The only positive message that Inkheart can give us is that we all should just read a book instead of going to see this movie.

Paul Bettany does pull off a great performance though, playing Dustfinger, a fictionalized character from the book Inkheart transported to our current world. He's a man who has the greatest emotional arc in the film but is relegated to a supporting role. Dustfinger's characteristics have been setup and told to him by this creator (the book's writer) and he's trying to reinvent himself. He's a man who wants to create his own destiny and not be told what that destiny is. That is an interesting storyline, a great parallel to many stories of our current world and a story that can send a nice message to today's kids.

But we're given another plot that carries the story. A plot we don't care about.

Brendan Fraser seems to be the token actor for these fantasy films. And I wonder why as he just doesn't seem to fit into these films. But that could be just me.

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