Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Inkheart" (2008)

I'd had two friends telling me I needed to see this for years.  But I read the book a couple years ago and didn't care for it, so I kind of dragged my feet on seeing the movie.  I finally did, and I'm glad I gave it a chance!  Because it suited my tastes much better than the book.

Meggie (Eliza Bennett) travels around Europe with her father, Mo (Brendan Fraser), who repairs rare books.  When a guy named Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) shows up, Mo and Meggie go on the run, trying to escape a baddie named Capricorn (Andy Serkis).  Meggie starts discovering the truth about why her father won't read aloud to her and why her mother disappeared when Meggie was very small.

Mo (Brendan Fraser) has a magical ability to read things and people out of books.  As in, if he reads a story out loud, something or someone from the book will appear in the real world.  But in exchange, something or someone from the real world goes into the book.  This can be funny and innocuous, but it can also be sad or scary.

In both the book and the movie, Dustfinger is definitely my favorite character.  In both, he's sad and lonely, lost in a world he desperately wants out of.  He's much more helpful and kind in the movie than the book, and they cut out a subplot that bothered me a bit.  Win!


In the movie, Mo runs Dustfinger a pretty close second for my interest.  Mo here is a caring and protective father who makes his daughter his priority; Mo in the book was distant and closed-off.


Meggie in the movie is curious, but not meddlesome or reckless.  She's affectionate and nice, and I liked her a lot.  Book Meggie bothered me because she was sulky and selfish, and wished desperately that she could read things and people out of books like Mo, even though she could clearly see that this was a source of trouble and sorrow, not fun.


Capricorn was more fun in the movie, simply because he's played by Andy Serkis.  When is Andy Serkis not delightful?


And I want to quick mention Helen Mirren as Elinor and Jim Broadbent as Fenoglio -- they both made me laugh a lot.  Elinor loves books, and Fenoglio writes them, and I saw bits of myself in both of them :-)  Both were also far nicer and more helpful in the movie than the book.


So it's true -- sometimes, Hamlette likes a movie, but not the book it's based on.  Sometimes, movies are an improvement.  This is definitely one such.

Is this movie family-friendly?  Only for older children, like ten and up maybe?  There are a couple of bad words and some scary moments, especially at the end.

20 comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of the movie in general, but I LOVE Elinor. She cracks me up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elinor on a motorcycle is one of the best things ever.

      Delete
    2. YES!

      Also, when I saw it in the dollar theater with two of my friends, they both looked at me when Elinor turned up and said, "She is basically you in forty years, right down to the KEEP OUT sign." LOL

      Delete
    3. Oh, how I miss dollar theaters. There are none within a reasonable driving distance of us, and I'm so sad about that.

      I would totally have that Keep Out sign too. And a house filled with books. Okay, I have the latter already.

      Delete
  2. I read this book several years ago-- at least, most of it-- and didn't care for it at all. Probably cause I don't usually like fantasy, and it was just too weird for me.
    I often like movies better than the books, actually-- I like the Anne of Green Gables movies better than the books, which shocks most people. Also Hornblower. The books are kind of awful, but the movies....:-)

    ~Emma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like fantasy fine, but I need characters I can at least like, and there weren't enough of those for me.

      I do sometimes like movies better than books, though often I like them both for different reasons. Like The Bourne Identity -- I love the movie and I love the book, and they're very different, so I love them for different reasons.

      I have not read the Hornblower books yet -- are you shocked? But I've heard the movies are better from a lot of people, including my mom and brother. And I dearly love the movies.

      Delete
  3. I like this movie as well. My sister got the book from the library after we watched the movie and I tried to read it but didn't get in to and never finished.

    I love Aunt Elinor in the movie...we're a lot a like. (except I don't swear, haha;) But all of the (movie) characters are really interesting, especially Dustfinger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed the last 100 pages or so of the book, but not enough to make me a fan.

      Elinor is delightful!

      Delete
  4. I tried reading the book, but I didn't get into it. I think I will like the movie, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The movie is a vast improvement. I hope you can see it sometime!

      Delete
  5. I love both the movie and the book of Inkheart, but I think the characters are more lovable in the movie than in the book.

    YES DUSTFINGER!!! Isn't he amazing?!;)

    And yes, ANDY SERKIS. I was so happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you read the sequels? Do they improve?

      Dustfinger. Completely wonderful. Especially when played by Paul Bettany.

      Andy Serkis! Cannot be in enough movies to suit me!

      Delete
  6. Aw, this is making me realize I should re-watch this one. As I remember I really enjoyed it. A unique story to be sure. Never read the book though it sounds like maybe that's a good thing. ;)

    Glad you liked the film better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, "unique" is about the most perfect word to describe this story! And yes, I'm glad I liked the film better too. I hate it when I waste even $5 buying a movie I haven't seen before!

      Delete
  7. I read the book... and don't remember much about it at all, except deciding that Dustfinger was my favorite! The movie was more memorable, but I've forgotten enough that I wouldn't mind watching it again. And Dustfinger was still my favorite. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dustfinger is just the coolest. That's all there is to it!

      Delete
  8. Wanted to comment on this earlier but wasn't able too.

    Love this post! I've not read the book, but now I'm rather glad that I haven't because I adored this film! It was really neat to here the difference between the two. I really relate the author who got so excited to meet his characters--I wish that was me! I loved the story and the magic; and all the characters were greatI desperately need to give this one a rewatch. :D

    ~Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm usually loathe to say "don't read this book" when a book is not inherently bad, but... if you love this movie, I would not advice reading the book :-)

      And yes, I would have been just like that if I got to meet a character I created. I'd sort of walk around them in a daze, probably cackling to myself with glee.

      Delete
  9. Arggh. Blogger hates my comments. Why you do that, Blogger?

    Anyway, let's see if I can find out what I was going to say. I thought for a long time I was the only person I knew who had seen this -- in fact, we had just taken it out of the library again about 3 weeks ago.

    It's got all the stuff I like -- a hint of medieval, a bunch of actors (especially Paul Bettany -- I major <3 "Master and Commander") I really enjoy watching, although I kept thinking of Professor Slughorn when Jim Broadbent was on screen :), a cool plot and a pretty good ending.

    My bibliophile's heart broke for Aunt Elinor when Capricorn's henchmen tossed her books ... (and speaking of books, it sounds as though I should be glad I didn't read this one. I might never have seen the movie and that would be a shame).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does it always "eat" your first comment of the day, or the first comment you write after having been signed out of Google and then signing back in? It does that to me -- I always check to make sure it says "Hamlette" in the Reply As box under my comment. If it says "Google Account," then I copy my reply first before I hit Publish, and can paste it back in and post again.

      So yeah, if you love this movie that much, I don't recommend the book. I really don't. A lot of people love the book too, but... not me.

      Delete

Agree or disagree? That is the question...

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)