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Inkheart

Year: 2008
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Iain Softley
Producer: Iain Softley
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis, Jim Broadbent

I still expected a kids' film but wanted to watch this because I have an inexplicable liking of Brendan Fraser. Ironically, he was the one element that didn't really belong. A less action hero-ey actor would have fitted the role much better.

With a love of books and reading on its sleeve, the movie is about a special kind of person who can, just by reading books, bring characters in them to life and imprison real people in their place.

One such person is Mo (Fraser) who lost his wife into a book called Inkheart years before and has spent his life since dragging his now-teenaged daughter Meggie across the world looking for it so he can bring her back.

Not only that, but a cast of characters are trying to track Mo down, from the enigmatic street performer Dustfinger (Bettany) to the book's villain Capricorn (Serkis), who finds the real world and the power he can wield in it to his liking.

Despite wanting nothing to do with his power except to get his wife back (trapped as a slave girl in the villain's stronghold) Mo has to team up with Dustfinger and go into battle against Capricorn with the help of his prickly, aristocratic Aunt (Mirren) and the book's author (Broadbent) when the bad guys take Meggie hostage.

It would have been quite a sight on the big screen - the climatic monster (the shadow) was particularly well designed and executed. But like The Golden Compass, kids have seen this sort of thing a million times even in videogames and it needed to promise more.

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