INKHEART [2008 / 2009] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Marvellously Entertaining! Fantastic Fantasy! Breathtakingly Spectacular!
When Mortimer "Mo" Folchart [Brendan Fraser] reads a story, the characters leap off the page literally! And that’s a problem. Mortimer "Mo" Folchart must somehow use his special powers to send the interlopers back to their world . . . and save ours. If ever a task was easier read than done, this is it. Mortimer "Mo" Folchart and his daughter Meggie Folchart [Eliza Hope Bennett], aided by friends’ real and fictional, plunge into a thrilling quest that pits them against diabolical villains, fantastic beasts and dangers at every turn. Brendan Fraser leads a splendid cast including Academy Award® Winners Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent, in an all-fun, all family of Cornelia Funke’s bestselling book. Narrated by Roger Allam.
FILM FACT No.1: Awards and Nominations: 2008 International Film Music Critics Award: Win: Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction Film for Javier Navarrete.
FILM FACT No.2: Shortly after the novel was published, author Cornelia Funke sent a copy of Inkheart along with a note to Brendan Fraser, explaining that he was her inspiration for the character of Mortimer "Mo" Folchart. The production also visited Hever Castle in Kent to shoot the exterior for Elinor's Tuscan villa setting.
Cast: Roger Allam (Narrator voice), Brendan Fraser, Sienna Guillory, Eliza Hope Bennett, Richard Strange, Paul Bettany, Dame Helen Mirren, Matt King, Steve Speirs, Jamie Foreman, Stephen Graham, Mirabel O'Keefe, Andy Serkis, John Thomson, Lesley Sharp, Tereza Srbová, Rafi Gavron, Jennifer Connelly, Jim Broadbent, Matthew Bower, Rod Buchanan, Terry Cavanagh, Tara Donelly, Faith Erde, Clayton Fussell, Anna Gamester, Pippa Gebette, Keeran Greener, Jessica Grist, Eloise Horwood, James Horwood, Gow Hunter, Alice Jackson, Ceri Jerome, Alec Mann, Jamie Meek, Cassie Newby, Helen Soraya, Paul Kasey, Marnix Van Den Broeke, Alex Argenti (uncredited), Stephen Armourae (uncredited), Jessie Cave (uncredited), Clive Dancey (uncredited), Adrian Gas (uncredited), Anthony Harwood (uncredited), Maurice D. Hunt (uncredited), Michael Lindall (uncredited), Lanre Malaolu (uncredited) and Chuen Tsou (uncredited)
Director: Iain Softley
Producers: Andrew Licht, Cornelia Funke, Diana Pokorny, Iain Softley, Ileen Maisel, Mark Ordesky, Toby Emmerich and Ute Leonhardt
Screenplay: David Lindsay-Abaire (screenplay) and Cornelia Funke (book)
Composer: Javier Navarrete
Cinematography: Roger Pratt, B.S.C. (Director of Photography)
Image Resolution: 1080p (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound
English: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Surround Sound
English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 106 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: New Line Cinema / Entertainment in Video
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘INKHEART’  finds Mortimer "Mo" Folchart [Brendan Fraser] and his 12-year-old daughter, Meggie Folchart [Eliza Hope Bennett], share a passion for books. What they also share is an extraordinary gift for bringing characters from books to life when they read aloud. But there is a danger: when a character is brought to life from a book, a real person disappears into its pages.
On one of their trips to a second-hand book shop, Mortimer "Mo" Folchart hears voices he hasn't heard for years, and when he locates the book they are coming from, it starts a chain of events that no one knows at the time what the outcome will be and hopefully , Mortimer "Mo" Folchart will solve these problems more swiftly so that he can find and save his beloved wife and gets her back into the real world and eventually get everything back to how it was in the real world and send people back into the fantasy world of the “Inkheart” book. The fantasy “Inkheart” book is filled with lots of illustrations of medieval castles and strange creatures and a book he has been searching for since Meggie Folchart was three years old, when her mother, Teresa "Resa" Folchart [Sienna Guillory] vanished into its mystical fantasy world.
But Mortimer "Mo" Folchart's plan to use the book to find and rescue Teresa "Resa" Folchart is thwarted when Capricorn [Andy Serkis], the evil villain of the rare book “Inkheart” and kidnaps Meggie Folchart and discovering she has inherited her father's gift, demands that she bring his most powerful ally to life and The Shadow [Marnix Van Den Broeke]. Determined to rescue his daughter and send the fictional characters back where they belong, Mo assembles a small group of friends and family and some from the real world, some from the pages of books and embarks on a daring and perilous journey to set things right.
Cheeky visual references to classic children’s books, like the flying monkeys from “The Wizard of Oz” and the ticking croc from “Peter Pan” are among the creatures we get to see and keep the fantasy film is very engaging and gives great homage to its attitude towards the literature world. Visually, the film is totally impressively crafted in all respects all round, with lush widescreen views of coastal Italy and splendid palatial interiors by set designer-decorator Niamh Coulter and production designer John Beard. Eliza Hope Bennett is spirited and watchable as a girl who must ultimately draw on her own imaginative power to save the day, and Jim Broadbent is in reliable fuddy-duddy form as Fenoglio, the author of the novel within the novel. Dame Helen Mirren as the eccentric Elinor Loredan gives a performance so good and so right for the material when the actress appears on screen and her introductory scene in a storybook mansion on the banks of Lake Como is a master class in comic timing. Paul Bettany and Andy Serkis, in a rare non-motion capture role. The film has a handsome look due to the art direction by Rod McLean and Stuart Rose and the cinematography of Roger Pratt. There are wonderful touches of whimsy in the corners of the frame when you look for them and there is a mix of visual effects from the stunning to total silliness. It is definitely worth a look and it will appeal to children who love the fantastical fantasy film of this calibre.
INKHEART MUSIC TRACK LIST
MUNICH SCHMANKERL (Traditional) [Performed by The Bavarian Band and Chorus]
MY DECLARATION (Written by Tom Baxter) [Performed by Eliza Hope Bennett]
Blu-ray Image Quality – New Line Cinema and Entertainment in Video brings this Blu-ray disc with a totally stunning 1080p image presentation and is enhanced with the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. At times I was blown away by the brilliant colours and crispness of some of the shots and mostly with the ending of the film looks totally amazing. But was also outstanding is when the camera glides over mountaintops and swoops into medieval alleyways and it's all very stylish and gives the film some very luxurious golden, autumnal palette and the colours seem to feel like they pop out of the screen. There is an abundance of fine detail, in setting and costume, and these are fully realised to be very crisp and well defined. Then, once things get going, the transfer goes big time. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – New Line Cinema and Entertainment in Video has given us this Blu-ray disc two excellent audio presentations, which consist of 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound and 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Surround Sound, but especially the superb enhanced 5.1 Dolby TrueHD which engages every component of the films audio ambience, and especially from the subtle trickle of water, the crackle of fire, to the roar of The Shadow, to a cyclone right out The Wizard of Oz story, this audio mix offers spectacular support all round and gives all your speakers a good workout.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: A Story from the Cast and Crew  [1080p] [1.78:1] [6:36] Playing the game “Tell me a story,” where Novelist Cornelia Funke starts the cast and crew on this wild adventure by giving the first line, “I discovered the hole under my bed on my thirteenth birthday . . .” In this interesting extra, where you have the cast and crew each add a line to a line to create a story, it is kind of strange twists that occur, and especially how the cast and crew add bits and pieces to make a semi-cohesive story, but in the end this is a very strange and quirky extra indeed.
Special Feature: From Imagination to the Page: How Writers Write  [1080p] [1.78:1 / 2.35:1] [10:38] What goes on in the mind of a writer? How does an idea make it to the page? Novelist Cornelia Funke and others explain how you know you have a good idea, the creation of characters, the choice of location and the inspiration behind the film ‘INKHEART.’ We also get to view lots of clips from the film and we also get to see some wonderful rare behind-the-scene filming and of course intimate comments by cast and crew. Contributors include: Cornelia Funke [Author], Dame Helen Mirren [Elinor Loredan], Eliza Hope Bennett [Meggie Folchart], Paul Bettany [Dustfinger], Brendan Fraser [Mortimer "Mo" Folchart], Iain Softley [Director], Ileen Maisel [Producer] and Jim Broadbent [Fenoglio].
Special Feature: Deleted Scenes  [1080i] [1.37:1] [13:36] Here we get to view 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 and were left out for some reason and here what you get to view the following: Opening: Mo’s House; Alpine Village Sled Chase; Mo’s Flashback of Resa and Meggie at Book Fair; Library; Capricorn’s Chambers; Contryside; Fenoglio’s Place; Basta and Mortola Confront the Reunited Family and Hillside Reunion. As usual you, you can either watch them individually or Play All.
Special Feature: Eliza Reads to Us  [1080p] [1.78:1] [3:46] Here we are introduce to the Novelist Cornelia Funke explaining what we are about to view relating to her book in relation to the film with its characters and then we get to see the young actress Eliza Hope Bennett who plays Maggie in the film, reads a passage from the original Cornelia Funke “Inkheart” book that was left out of the film. The passage Eliza Hope Bennett states it is one of her favourite passage from the book, and discusses what happens to the main characters after the dramatic ending in the film. It is a nice piece, and Eliza Hope Bennett does a great job of reading the passage from the book. Apparently Cornelia Funke enjoys it when people read from her books out loud, which is probably why this is included as an extra.
Finally, with the film ‘INKHEART’ is all about the adventure fantasy starring Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany and Eliza Hope Bennett, that is based on a best-selling young-adult novel written by Cornelia Funke, who is a German author who not only based her protagonist on Brendan Fraser, she dedicated the book's follow-up to him. The film ‘INKHEART’ has a great deal of potential, and it is a fantastic fantasy magical film that will of course be compared to the franchise films of Narnia and Harry Potter. There were really good acting performances and some well over the top throughout the film and of course features fantastic special effects that I know all generations will really enjoy and especially seeing Dame Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent, interpreting the pages of the Cornelia Funke’s bestselling book, to the silver screen. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso