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Inkheart

Release Date: January 23, 2009
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Movie of the Day for Sunday, September 30, 2007
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This is totally not what I will look like in the movie.

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Since The Lord of the Rings was a huge box office hit for New Line Cinemas, fantasy films based on books have been fired out by Hollywood almost as fast as CGI animated movies about adorable animals. So it’s no surprise that Inkheart, a children’s novel by Cornelia Funke, is getting the big screen treatment courtesy of New Line. Fantasy films targeted directly at children have found varying degrees of box-office success, with The Chronicles of Narnia striking gold, and other children’s book adaptations like The Last Mimzy (also produced by New Line), The Bridge to Terabithia, and Zathura all doing moderately well. Inkheart is clearly in this vein, bearing similarities to Mimzy and Bridge.

Meggie Folchart (Nanny McPhee’s Eliza Bennett), discovers that when her father reads her a story, the characters are transported from the page into reality, but after he releases three characters from the book “Inkheart,” it is up to Maggie to return them to the work of fiction from whence they came.

What makes Inkheart most intriguing is the casting of the villains. Andy Serkis is still not well-known by most audiences, at least not by face, but everyone remembers his brilliant performance as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Serkis plays Capricorn, who, along with Basta (Jamie Foreman, who was terrifying as Bill Sykes in Roman Polanski’s little-seen adaptation of Oliver Twist) are freed from Inkheart and lay carnage on the real world. Paul Bettany is also included, playing Dustfinger, a fire-eater also released from the book.

Iain Softley is directing the film, which has a much younger target-audience than his previous efforts. They include the cult hit Hackers, the Kate Hudson horror film The Skeleton Key, and the ridiculous K-PAX. David Lindsay-Abaire wrote the script, his follow-up to his debut, 2005’s Robots. Inkheart is yet another adaptation that is clearly banking on box office success by allowing parents to stick their kids in front a screen and relax for 90 minutes. Its quality is dubious, but if it’s successful enough, watch out for a franchise, starting with the sequel to the book, Inkspell. (Tom Houseman/BOP)


Vital statistics for Inkheart
Main Cast Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent
Supporting Cast Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis, Rafi Gavron, Sienna Guillory
Director Iain Softley
Screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire
Distributor New Line Cinema
Screen Count 2,655
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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