(2008/New Line/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD & Digital Copy + DVD with Widescreen
& Standard Versions)
Sound: B/B-/B- Extras: D Feature: D
I like Brendan Frazier and give him credit for mixing
dramatic and comedy roles with larger-budget adventure/fantasy projects. Some are done one times too many (The Mummy revival is beyond tired) and
others (the Journey To The Center Of The
Earth remake) may be a good paycheck, but do not seem to hurt his box
office clout or the studio’s happiness with him as one of the safest leads they
can hire. When it is something new like Monkeybone (2001) and now Inkheart (2008), you can imagine he is
hoping for a new franchise, but lands up with a dud.
Pairing with Director Iain Softley makes some sense, since
he did make the underrated K-PAX the same year as Monkeybone, but he unfortunately made the horrible Skeleton Key
afterwards and this is his first feature film since. It is as bad, if not as outright insulting.
Brendan plays Mo (that’s what they wrote), who loves to
read stories when suddenly, what he reads comes to life and this sends him and
his daughter to a fantasy past of centuries ago. They are put in jeopardy and at only 106
minutes, this goes on and on and on and on.
He just had to read a bad fantasy book.
Paul Bettany (who was almost The Joker at one point), Jim Broadbent and
Helen Mirren also surface, but none of them can save this monotonous mess. David Lindsay-Abaire wrote the horrible CG
animated Robots for Fox and actually
does worse here, despite adapting Cornelia Funke’s book… or any other
source. Hoping to get a belated or even
cult hit out of this, you too will see why it quickly tanked in first release.
The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot
by Roger Pratt, B.S.C. (lately of the Harry Potter films) in real anamorphic
Panavision, which helps make it look good, but digital work, clichéd effects
(another Wizard Of Oz-like storm,
yawn!) and nothing interesting to really shoot save overproduction does not
offer up any demo moments. The
anamorphically enhanced DVDs are even softer and has
Video Black limits, while both have motion blur, while the 1.33 X 1 Full Screen
version on the DVD only is beyond horrible and pretty useless.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 on the Blu-ray is better than the
Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix on all formats, but considering this is a fantasy
film, the use of the multi-channel is not very imaginative or impressive. It can be loud and the bass can kick in
often, but that is not impressive in either codec.
Extras include additional scenes, three featurettes and
the Blu-ray adds BD Live interactive functions with an exclusive of limited
appeal. The DVD version has Digital Copy
for PC and PC portable devices, so you can down load a low def version of this
is you so decide.
- Nicholas Sheffo