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Blu-ray Review: Inkheart

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Written by Senora Bicho

Silvertongues are those who have the amazing ability to read a book out loud and have the characters come to life. Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser) was unaware that he had this amazing ability when he began reading to his baby daughter. Twelve years later, Mo, a book buyer, is visiting an old bookshop and finds a book that he has long been searching for, Inkheart. When leaving the store, Mo in intercepted by Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) who is seeking his help and warns him that people are looking for him to make him read out loud. Mo takes his daughter Meggie (Eliza Bennett) to eccentric great-aunt Elinor’s (Helen Mirren) home in an attempt to elude his captors.

The hooligans don’t take long in tracking them and taking them prisoner. While jailed, Mo explains his gift to Meggie and Elinor. He tells them how he brought the captors to life by reading Inkheart aloud and that when they came out, Meggie’s mother, Teresa (Sienna Guillory), went in. One of the villains, Capricorn (Andy Serkis), intends to keep Mo enslaved so he bring to life anything that he desires. Dustfinger helps Mo, Meggie, and Elinor escape so that Mo can put him back into the book to return to his family. The adventure continues as the group tries to stop Capricorn and save Teresa.

Based on Cornelia Funke’s bestseller, Inkheart is a surprisingly fun action adventure that offers an original story and interesting characters. The movie includes a great cast with Fraser, Bettany, Mirren, and the always-good Jim Broadbent leading the way. Young Bennett is also delightful and holds her own while working with these acting greats.

The video is presented in 1080p High Definition with an aspect ration of 2.4:1. The film uses a limited color palette frequent use of blacks, particularly with the bad guys, that blend together in low light situations. Textures seen in the foreground are clear, but their sharpness falls away in the background. The establishing shots in the mountains become a blur of colors. One problem comes from the poor choice by the costumer to give Fraser a corduroy jacket. When it stays on screen too long in the same shot and position, it causes a slight bit of aliasing.

The audio defaults to Dolby Digital English 5.1, but is also available as Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 as well. It is mixed rather low, and requires the volume cranked up to hear the dialogue. There is minimal surround, mainly just music with a little bit of ambiance, such as the whispers from the books. The front speakers do a good job of placement, such as a train passing by or characters shooting flames on different sides of a hallway. The subwoofer stands out during the Shadow’s appearance at the climactic battle.

The special feature offering is a bit sparse but what is included is worth watching. “A Story from the Cast and Crew” introduces the game “Tell Me a Story” that viewers can later play with friends and family. Funke starts the game by providing the first sentence of a story, the members of the cast and crew then each adds a sentence to complete the tale. “From Imagination to the Page: How Writers Write” gives Funke the opportunity to discuss the inspiration behind Inkheart. “Eliza Read to Us” is a passage from the book not in the movie read by Bennett and illustrated by Funke. There are also deleted scenes. A second disc offers a digital copy and a DVD version.

This is one of the best family films that I have seen in a long time. After making the huge mistake of taking my nephew to The Taking of Pelham 123, it was nice to watch a wholesome movie that provides exciting action with no blood, gore or cursing. It is sentimental without being overly sappy and has a story that will entertain children and adults. If you didn’t get a chance to see it while it was in theaters, make a date with your family to enjoy it now.

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  • http://www.whalertly.com/wordpress Robert M. Barga

    really, you actually liked it?
    oh, you are going to hate my review of it on, well, blu-ray like assigned

  • http://www.chatropolis.com MJ Ludwick

    I usually buy everything on blu-ray just to have it in my collection. I’m gonna skip this one.