Inkheart Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover for Inkheart is imaginative and exotic, with fire, castles, magic,  unicorns and flying monkeys.  It gives a real fantasy appeal to the movie, but the problem is that many of those magical items are only secondary aspects of the movie.  The cover makes the movie out ot be so much more than it really is, which I suppose is fine, but it just doesn’t completely fit with the actual feel of the film.

The menu was a static shot based on the cover, and it had no sound whatsoever.  Of course the menu can also be accessed (like all Blu-ray movies) at the bottom of the screen while the movie is playing, but overall the main menu, while beautifully presented in crystal clear high definition, it was just bland.

Features: 3/10

  • Additional Scenes – There were a number of deleted scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, and many of them are apparently taken directly from the pages of the book written by Cornelia Funke.  They are included and left out for a reason.
  • Eliza Reads To Us: Co-Star Eliza Bennett Shares A Favorite InkheartPassage Not In The Movie, Accompanied By Cornelia Funke Illustrations – Eliza Bennett, who plays Maggie in the movie, reads from a passage in the movie that was left out.  The passage she reads is, as she states, one of her favorites from the book, and it discusses what happens to the main characters after the dramatic ending in the movie.  It is a nice piece, and Bennett does a great job of reading it.  Apparently Cornelia Funke enjoys when people read from her books out loud, which is probably why this is included as an extra.
  • A Story From The Cast And Crew – In this interesting extra, the cast and crew each add a line to a line started by Cornelia Funke, to create a story.  It is kind of neat to see the strange twists that occur, and how the cast and crew add bits and pieces to make a semi-cohesive story.  A very strange extra indeed.
  • From Imagination To The Page – In this 10 minutes long piece, author Cornelia Funke talk about how she wrote the book and how it was transformed into the movie.
  • Exclusive Features Via Blu-ray Live – On the Blu-ray Live Warner Page we are given different scenes to choose from, English and German spoken languages, and a few other subtitle options.
  • Digital Copy and DVD Version of the Movie – Included on one disc, we are given both a standard DVD of the movie, and a digital copy, with the standard download code.  I like the fact that these are included on one disc instead of two.

The Movie: 5/10
Inkheart is one of those movies that sounds great in theory, but just kind of sputters on film.  Taken from the first of three books written by Cornelia Funke, Inkheart is about a man Mortimer (Mo) Folchart who has the ability to bring characters from stories to life by reading the pages aloud.  There are several people with this ability, and they are known as Silvertongues.  A very strange but unique premise.

The problem is that every time someone is brought out of the book, someone from the real world is transformed into the pages; a kind of switch if you will.  Mo’s main problem is that he had accidentally read his wife Resa (played by Sienna Guillory), and the mother of his daughter Maggie, into the Inkheart book.  Mo, a book binder by trade, spends his days travelling across Europe with his daughter (now 12 years old) fixing books and looking for a copy of the elusive Inkheart book, in the hopes that he can read his wife out of the book.  It has been several years, and his quest is taking a toll on both him and his daughter, played by Eliza Bennett.

So the premise so far sounds great, and exciting.  Add to the mix Dustfinger, a fire juggler from the book who was pulled into our world when Resa was put in the book, and the story seems to get even better.  Dustfinger wants nothing more than to switch places with Resa and return to his world.  Dustfinger is played by Paul Bettany, who really is a captivating actor.  His character however waivers between good and evil, as his main focus is getting Mo to read him back into the story.

Another twist to this crazy tale is that Capricorn, an evil character in the Inkheart book has also emerged from the pages, and he is set on taking over the world.  He has gotten another Silvertongue to read for him, and many of his henchman from Inkheart are now in the real world, albeit slightly deformed due to the fact that the Silvertongue is not as gifted as Mo.

The story involves Mo and Maggie trying to rescue Resa, who by now has been read out of the story, but without the ability to speak.  They search for a copy of the rare Inkheart book, in order to rescue her, while Dustfinger and Capricorn try to get Mo to read for them, for different reasons.  Obviously Dustfinger wants to return home, but Capricorn wants Mo to read out an evil character called the shadow, who will help take over this new world for Capricorn.

Well, as I said, the story sounds intriguing and exciting, but the movie just seems to meander along until the final scenes.  One of the main problems with Inkheart is the inability of the audience to get really involved with the characters.  I attribute this in part to the inexplicable decisions that are made by the characters.  An example is Dustfinger, who does things that seem to boggle the mind at times.  He wants to be read back into his book, and he knows that Mo has promised to do so ,but only after he rescues his wife, but Dustfinger doesn’t tell him that Resa is actually already out of the book and a hostage at Capircorn’s castle.  It  just doesn’t make and sense, and it seems to make the movie drag a bit when he makes such nonsensical decisions.

I did not hate the movie by any stretch, but it did seem to be a bit off.  The ideas sound great, and there are parts that are really a treat to watch, but overall this was just a mediocre fantasy movie in a time when there are plenty of better options.  This is one of those movies that probably worked better on the pages.  Maybe Inkheart is one of those instances where the characters should not have left the pages of the book.

Audio & Video: 7/10
The video for Inkheart really ranges from stunning to poor.  At times Iwas blown away by the brilliant colors and crispness of the shots (most of the ending of the movie looks amazing.)  At other times, scenes seemed washed out and at times blurry.  It was a bizarre mix that really did nt do this movie justice.

The audio on the other hand was amazing.  This was truly one of the better sounding films that I have seen in a while.  The levels were brilliant, the ambient sounds were stellar, and the overall  feel was outstanding.  Presented in Dolby TrueHD (which you need to set at the beginning of the movie) it was a great sounding movie.

Value: 5/10
Inkheart had a lot of potential, and it was presented as a fantastical movie that of course will be compared to recent offers such as the Narnia movies and Harry Potter.  The real issue for me is that this is a poorly paced movie until the end, and the story is not compelling enough to really get the audience as involved as they need to be.  There were good acting performances throughout, but not enough to make this a must see movie.

Overall Score 5/10