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A Christmas Surprise
This afternoon we went to see Inkheart and were pleasantly surprised (even more surprised that my father did not ask questions or fall asleep and snore during it.) It was not what we expected at all. I haven't read the original books, and the idea (of characters being 'read out' or 'read into' books) is fairly well-used. However, it was well worked out, with plenty of action, engaging characters, and a plot which, while it would not stand up to close examination, did not hit you over the head as being stupid. It is a children's book and a family movie, and none the worse for either.

If it reminded me of anything, it was of Labyrinth, though lacking that movie's nightmare quality, but far more realistic. A good way of passing the afternoon,and a decent end to a year that has seen some decent movies but many slight disappointments (like Prince Caspian or Hellboy: the Golden Army.)
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I saw Inkheart on Saturday and was very pleasantly surprised indeed; Helen Mirren and Andy Serkis were fabulous, as was Pual Bettany, though I think he got a bit short-changed by the script. Shame they didn't do more with the animals, though.

I have the impression that they didn't have a huge amount of money for FX. What there was well done, but the Director played to strengths rather than risk too close an examination of the minotaur, for instance - Toto was lovely, though - exactly how I imagined him. That polecat ferret was very well-trained - delightful, in fact.

That's what a polecat ferret looks like? Ooh!

Sredni Vashtar arose in the morning/His thoughts were red thoughts and his teeth were white/His enemies called for peace, but he brought them death/Sredni Vashtar the Beautiful.

The idea of doing stuff on a budget makes a lot of sense.

Well, ferrets don't normally have two little horns! [grin]

There's a tradition of using ferrets in fantasy films - in the very bad film of The Beastmaster they replaced Andre Norton's meerkats with a polecat ferret. Mind you, they also replaced a genetically engineered sandcat with a tiger dyed black... and the entire plot, and the whole cast of characters, and turned an SF novel into a generic fantasy, but there you go...

That reminds me of a cheapo dinosaur movie I saw when I was a kid, probably a remake of The Lost World. I may have been just 6 years old, but I knew that an iguana looks nothing like a tyrannosaurus!

It was undoubtedly Irwin Allen's The Lost World but what really worries me about that movie is that, if I had been adapting that book, I would probably have made exactly the same changes that IA did.

I must go to see this film if I get the chance

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