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INKHEART on iTunes


INKHEART ($36) is certainly a likable, family friendly fantasy movie, but it seems a bit too tame and pedestrian to capture the imaginations of an older audience for more than a single viewing. Watching INKHEART, I got the impression the filmmakers were holding back as if to say older kids and ‘tweens will enjoy the movie and make it a popular item on home video, so lets be mindful of maintaining the PG rating and keeping this a fairly bloodless affair. This isn’t to say that an older audience won’t get something out of watching INKHEART, just that they won’t be reaching for the movie time and again.

Based upon the book by Cornelia Funke, INKHEART tells the story of Mortimer "Mo" Folchart (Brendan Fraser), who has a special gift… Mo is a silver tongue, who, when reading aloud from a book, can bring the characters and or objects from the pages into the real world. Mo’s gift does have one drawback, for every character he brings into the real world; someone from the real world is transported into the pages of the book. As we learn, Mo was unaware of his gift until he became a father, and read his daughter a bedtime story from a novel called Inkheart, which result in several character being released from the book, while his wife Resa (Sienna Guillory) is sucked into the tome.

As the film opens, dozen years have passed since losing his wife to the book, and Mo has spent the years scouring the world with his daughter Meggie (Eliza Bennett), trying to find another copy of Inkheart, while trying to elude Capricorn (Andy Serkis), the evil villain that he released from the pages of the book. As you might expect, Mo does find a copy of the book, just as the villain’s henchmen find him and his daughter. The cast of INKHEART also features Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Richard Strange, Rafi Gavron, Matt King, Steve Speirs, Jamie Foreman, Stephen Graham, Mirabel O'Keefe, John Thomson, Lesley Sharp, Tereza Srbova, Jennifer Connelly and Roger Allam.

New Line Home Entertainment has made INKHEART available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. Uneven, may be the best way to describe the 1080p presentation. INKHEART is a movie, in which many sequences make use of digital elements, and those sequences appear mildly softer than those without digital elements. Still, much of the film is very crisp, nicely dimensional and provides more than respectable levels of fine detail. Colors are in generally, nicely saturated, but some sequences do offer up more subdued hues, which seem to a reflection some drab looking exteriors. Blacks are deep and the whites appear crisp. Contrast is a little uneven, but generally fine. Shadow detail is about the same, with some moments offering up more detail than others. The elements from which INKHEART has been mastered demonstrate virtually no imperfections. Grain is usually pretty minimal.

INKHEART is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This is a first rate soundtrack that proves itself enveloping and highly directional. The aggressive sound design makes terrific use of all the outlying channels for sound effect placement, as well as allowing for sweeping sonic elements that move effortlessly through the soundstage, as well as creating natural environments that enhance the locations in which the characters find themselves. Thanks to the lossless encoding, the fidelity truly enhances the sound effects, as well as reproducing a full-bodied musical component. The bass channel adds the required rumble to the proceedings. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. English and German Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, Spanish and German subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Featurettes include: A Story From The Cast & Crew (six minutes), From Imagination To The Page: How Writers Write (ten minutes) and Eliza Reads To Us (four minutes). Deleted Scenes close out the standard extras. INKHEART is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). A DVD and Digital Copy of the film are also provided, with both housed on the second disc of this set.

INKHEART is a likable family friendly fantasy movie, whose broadest appeal will be to the older kids and ‘tweens. The Blu-ray presentation is a little uneven in terms of video, but it seems related to the original production and not a flaw in the Blu-ray. Considering that the Blu-ray offers the best of all worlds, including DVD and digital copies for the kids and hi-def for the adults, this would be the best all around way to acquire INKHEART for the whole family.



Inkheart (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Amazon Digital Bundle + Digital Copy and BD-Live) [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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