See–I haven’t forgotten this is a blog devoted to fantasy literature (especially those books written by me) and movies.
Having just watched Inkheart (U.S. release, 2009) starring Brendan Fraser et al, I can happily recommend it to fantasy fans. The movie is based on a young readers’ book by a German writer, Cornelia Funke–and if that ain’t a nom de plume, I dunno what is. But for once we get a clever and creative story that doesn’t fall apart before it ends, terrific sets, a good cast, and fast-paced action. Oddly enough, I read that Fraser was Ms. Funke’s personal choice to play her hero: indeed, that she’d written the character with him in mind. I wonder if I can get Claude Rains to play Lord Reesh once my books make it to movieland.
I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so I’ll tell you just enough to get you interested. Fraser’s character has an inborn talent that’s very rare: when he reads aloud, he makes it possible for the characters in the story to come into our world, the real one. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy for them to go back. Some of them want to stay here and make trouble. But one of them wants very badly to get back home, and he’s on a mission to force Fraser to “read me back where I belong.”
I gotta read Ms. Funke’s book.
Look, if you like a very imaginative movie that doesn’t let you down–I’ve gotten to where I always expect it–Inkheart is for you. Never mind that some of the villain’s henchmen look like they’re getting ready to go to Walmart: it’s not a serious problem. And I should mention that the supporting cast of Helen Mirren, Eliza Bennett, and Paul Bettany is very strong… and for once the special effects don’t look like a video game.
I think there is a video game based on this movie. Oh, well…