When Mo Folchart reads a story, the characters leap off the page. Literally. And that's a problem. Mo must somehow use his special powers to send the interlopers back to their world?and save ours. If ever a task was easier... more » read than done, this is it. Mo and his daughter Meggie, aided by friends real and fictional, plunge into a thrilling quest that pits them against diabolical villains, fantastic beasts and dangers at every turn. Brendan Fraser (The Mummy films, Journey to the Center of the Earth) leads a splendid cast (including Academy Award winners* Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent) in an all-fun, all-family film of Cornelia Funke's bestseller. Follow Mo and Meggie into adventure more exciting than any ever read. Because it's adventure they're going to live!« less
Kristian L. (Katomine) from PRESCOTT, AZ Reviewed on 9/18/2013...
One of the best movies I have ever seen
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Angie Kathleen L. from OREM, UT Reviewed on 5/19/2010...
Love this movie. Great adventure story, well told, great acting; but my favorite is the family involvement. Kids don't act alone as in so many books and films. There is love and caring between the adults and the child to create a whole family circle.
...all the elements of a great family-friendly film are here
C.J. Darlington | 02/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever wish Narnia or Middle Earth were real? Or that you really could sit down to coffee with Jo March or Anne of Green Gables? What if anything you read came out of the book and into your world?
People with this gift exist in Inkheart. They're called Silvertongues, and some of them don't even know they have this ability, like Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser). One night when he reads from a novel called Inkheart to his wife and three-year-old daughter, more than one villainous character suddenly appears out of the book, and his wife suddenly disappears into the book.
Mo has never read aloud again, and for nine years he's searched tirelessly for another rare copy of Inkheart in the hopes that somehow he can read his wife back out. His daughter Meggie (Eliza Bennett) is now twelve and travels Europe with her father, a bookbinder, from bookstore to bookstore. She doesn't know why her Mom abandoned them. She doesn't even know what her father's searching for. But she soon finds out when a strange man named Dustfinger confronts Mo, demanding to be read back into Inkheart. The adventure soon takes both of them into the wilds of Italy, and along the way they make friends and enemies, discovering more than they wish about themselves and the magic of Inkheart.
Based on a novel by Cornelia Funke, Inkheart is a wonderful tribute to the power of story and the love of reading. It's hard to see why its been lambasted by many critics, because all the elements of a great family-friendly film are here in full force. Its reverence for books shows kids that reading is magical and books are to be treasured. The fantasy adventure taps into a thriving market that's already been developed by Harry Potter and Narnia.
Inkheart features several noteworthy actors and actresses. Brendan Fraser is of course the quintessential action/adventure dude from the Mummy movies and Walden Media's Journey to the Center of the Earth. Helen Mirren as cranky and sarcastic Great-Aunt Elinor is brilliant (The movie's worth watching for her scenes alone.) Villain Capricorn is played by none other than the guy who brought us Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jim Broadbent (The Professor in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe) as Fenoglio, the author of the novel Inkheart in the movie, is thoroughly convincing as a curmudgeon writer in awe that his characters have come to life before him. Hardly the cast of a flop.
Why aren't we hearing more about this movie? Sure, there are a few minor continuity guffaws that'll have you scratching your head, like one minute it's day in a scene, the next minute the sun is setting. But this is a forgivable offense and found in many box office hits.
Maybe Inkheart veers too far from the novel upon which its based. It's been said big changes were made. Could this really account for the lack of ticket sales? We might never know. But even if you've never read the book, there's much to enjoy in the movie. With a strong theme of familial love and enough humor to crack up the room, it's amazing Inkheart is being lost in the shuffle. Let's hope it's the sleeper that becomes a DVD hit.
--Reviewed by C.J. Darlington for TitleTrakk"
Spaceguy | Germany | 05/23/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was surprised to see so many positive reviews for this movie. From a description of the plot line, it would seem like this movie would be full of fantastic creatures and an adventurous story. Instead, the story is painfully one dimensional and loaded with inconsistencies and fallacies. I will not give a plot summary here as others have done that better than I could.
Thumbs Up * Makeup and costumes were excellent. * I read another review that criticized the special effects, but I thought they were great. * The stylization is consistent and creates an interesting mood.
Thumbs Down * A story loaded with holes and inconsistencies * I wasn't attached to the characters. I thought the little girl was irritating and Brendan Frazer's actions were so erratic and nonsensical that he never truly caught my interest. Their story never really drew me in as an audience member.
Inconsistencies * Brendan Frazer's character claimed he never read the girl any stories, yet she knows quite a few characters from literature. * Why does the girl have a British accent? She's been raised by an American father. * In the middle of the movie, the characters decide to go to the author's house to see if he has an additional copy.... really?... they didn't think of this in the 9 years they've been searching?? * Brendan Frazer's distrust of dustfingers in the beginning of the movie doesn't make any sense. There is no disincentive to teaming up. * The characters realize that whatever the people with the "gift" read comes to life so they decide to read things that they want to happen. I have a hard time believing they wouldn't have come to that conclusion a little earlier. * Lighting the castle on fire in the end was completely unnecessary * They make it a point to drive to the Great Aunt's house. In fact, the Brendan Frazer character said "we NEED to get there". Yet there was absolutely no purpose in them going there. Great Aunt was really no help and there was absolutely no need to go there.
I don't believe this movie will necessarily motivate/not-motivate children to read. Even if the net effect of this movie were positive, there are other "pro reading" movies that do the same thing significantly better."
Off the Page and Into Reality
Chris Pandolfi | Los Angeles, CA | 01/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some have criticized "Inkheart" for sending the wrong message about reading, as if it was warning children that opening a book will lead to disastrous results. I saw it differently; to me, "Inkheart" sends a wonderful message about the imagination of writers and the power they have to create and/or destroy entire worlds. When the forces of evil become overpowering, the writer regains control with a few strokes of a pen (or, more modernly, a few clicks on a keyboard). Far be it from me to want to sound corny, but as a writer myself, I respond well to stories that are about stories. Based on the German novel by Cornelia Funke, "Inkheart" is creative and fun, a fantasy about fantasy becoming reality. It tells the story of Mortimer Folchart (Brendan Fraser), a father who possesses the ability to bring forth characters from books simply by reading aloud. But there's a catch: If someone from the story crosses over into our world, then someone from our world has to cross over into the story.
Such a thing happened to Mortimer's beloved wife, Risa, as he was reading from the pages of a novel called "Inkheart." Nine years later, he and his twelve-year-old daughter, Meggie (Eliza Bennett), continue to search the world for a copy of that book, which has long since gone out of print. If he can find one, he'll finally be able to read his wife out of the story. He and Meggie finally find one in a quaint bookshop in the middle of Italy. It's there that they run into Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), a juggler who has the ability to start fires with his own hands. As it turns out, he's a character from "Inkheart," and he's spent the last nine years following Mortimer with the hope that he can get him back into the story.
Here enters Mortimer's aunt, Elinor Loredan (Helen Mirren), a snooty bookworm who dresses like Norma Desmond and lives in an isolated sprawling palazzo. She, Mortimer, and Meggie are kidnapped by the henchmen of the evil Capricorn (Andy Serkis), the villain of "Inkheart." His dastardly plot: Have Mortimer read aloud from "Inkheart" to summon The Shadow, a frightening monstrosity made from smoke and ashes. Capricorn's attempts to bring forth other literary creations have been unsuccessful; his reader, who has the same power as Mortimer, has a terrible stutter. The result is half-materialized creatures, unfinished lines of text written across their bodies. With the help of the author of "Inkheart" (Jim Broadbent), one of the Forty Thieves (Rafi Gavron), and a mute scullery maid (Sienna Guillory), Mortimer and Meggie set forth on a quest to restore everything to the way it's supposed to be.
The magic of this movie comes not from the digital effects or the elaborate settings, although both are quite impressive. It comes from the clever plot, the wonderful use of imagination, and characterization. This isn't to suggest that the characters are any more than fairy tale archetypes; heroes, villains, damsels in distress, wise elders, and comedy relief all contribute to the story in one form or another. Still, there's a complexity to certain characters that makes them more engaging. Take, for example, Dustfinger--he's a decent enough person at heart, but his circumstances often times lead him down a desperate, sometimes cowardly path. His only motivation is to return within the pages of "Inkheart" to be with his family (his wife, Roxanne, is seen only in brief glimpses and is played by Bettany's real-life wife, Jennifer Connelly). And the fact that he's afraid to meet the book's author made perfect sense; Dustfinger has never read "Inkheart" all the way through because he doesn't want to know his fate. When Meggie asks him why, he responds, "Do you know how your story ends?"
I also appreciated the references made to well-known works of fiction, most notably L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," which plays a very important role midway through the film, when the good guys attempt to escape from Capricorn's castle. I love the idea that a written fantasy could be freed from the page and used as a weapon against the forces of evil. It makes for a level of excitement I rarely feel. What's even more exciting is the fact that the exact same forces of evil can also use the written word as a weapon; at that point, survival depends on being able to expand on the author's original vision. To say more would give too much away, but rest assured that anyone able to appreciate the act of writing will find the ending of "Inkheart" very satisfying.
I will not go so far as to say that it's an original story. I will say, however, that it works with what it has got very well. It's always a pleasure to see a film that appreciates the art of storytelling, which I personally feel is one of the greatest gifts we as people can share with one another. I have so much respect for writers; they create entire worlds and inhabit them with characters that are not always relatable, but are usually fascinating just the same. Not all will agree, but I feel that "Inkheart" is a film that celebrates the author and the worlds he or she creates. It's a pure delight from beginning to end, fun, exciting, and magical--exactly what I wanted to see."
Fair fantasy flick
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 01/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever become so immersed in a book that it seemed to come to life?
Suppose it really did. That premise underlies this enchanted fantasy story. I have to admit, the movie's basic passion for the written word spoke to something inside me. So did the libraries of whispering books, which brought to life something that had only been metaphorically real for me before, and so did the girl with her own zeal for reading and aspirations toward writing. On top of that, I was somewhat tickled to see the best of today's movie making effect-meisters putting so much effort into this tribute to the low tech pleasure of reading.
Given that magical beginning, the story might have become more - but drew me along anyway. The characters never wholly engaged me, though. Even Helen Mirren couldn't quite give her character the drive I might have hoped for. In truth, I was happy to see the effects kick in toward the second half of the movie, to give me visually what the plot wasn't offering.
I confess, I haven't read the book. It seems to have a loyal following, and loyal readers often express disappointment in how their favored scenes and characters appear on the screen. I had the luxury of judging the movie on its own merits, so I generally enjoyed it. Although a bit much for skittish small children, it's a kid-friendly fantasy - and one that works against the view that reading is for nerds.
-- wiredweird, reviewing the theatrical release"
What a romp through space and time! WOW
Bonnie Jacobson | Reno, NV, USA | 09/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Inkheart was quite a surprise for me. I was not sure from the movie title if the film would be worth watching, but after watching it, I have to say it's one of the best fantasy films I've seen in quite awhile! The acting is superb, the story line is marvelous, and the creativity present in the story development was wonderful. There's plenty of action, some very interesting twists, and a great outcome. I felt good after watching this film, and excited to share it with friends. It kept me guessing every step of the way. Awesome film ... one I will watch again and again!"