Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Movie Review Tuesday: I "Heart" INKHEART

Earlier this year I got to see one of my all time my favorite books that had been adapted to the silver screen. INKHEART by Cornelia Funke. It’s one of my family’s favorites as well. We listened to the book on tape on a long car trip several years ago and all fell in love with the story. I remember that special family vacation every time I think of INKHEART. The movie had some “big shoes” to fill.

For those of you not familiar with the book, click here for the Yahoo movie synopsis or (spoiler alert) here for the Wikipedia book synopsis.

For me, INKHEART is a magical tale about the power of the written word—the unique worlds where books can take you and the wonderful escape they can be. It’s everything I love about writing and reading all rolled into one.

I approached going to the movie with misgiving because, as we all know, Hollywood can sometimes monkey around with a good book. But I was pleasantly surprised. While some aspects of the story did change, for the most part they stayed very true to the central message. And they gave a satisfying ending that didn’t leave me yearning for a sequel (even though the book has two other installments.) One didn’t have to have read the book to understand the movie (big plus) and you didn’t leave wondering what in the world was going to happen to these characters you’d come to care for so much.

My question of the day you can answer one of two ways: what have been your favorite (or least favorite) movie adaptations of books?

Kay Thomas
BULLETPROOF TEXAS ~ April 14, 2009
4 stars ~ Romantic Times 4 1/2 stars Cataromance reviews


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  2. Kay:

    Great post! I have to say, some of my most favorite books to film have been the Harry Potter series. They've managed to capture the joy of the series on the screen - at least for me!!


  3. Sorry for the blogger error this morning...NEED. MORE. COFFEE...and it's nearly lunch! :-)

  4. Hi Addison,
    Thanks for stopping by. I've loved the Harry Potter movies (and the books!) too. I know there's been much discussion about the adaptation of those books to film but I so enjoy sitting back in the theatre and watching the magic unfold. I'm looking forward to the next one as much as my kids are.

  5. My favourite adapted novel was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. They added scenes, which usually annoys me, but I thought they were perfect to add a little more motivation to the characters, especially explaining why Edmund was such a brat... Second is the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility. Again, it had some changes but it was so brilliant I didn't mind at all. (I'm usually such a purist when it comes to Jane Austen).

    My least favourite adaptation was the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. It hurt me.

  6. Hey Kay! Lovely post. I didn't realize this was out even though you're the one who told me they'd made it into a movie some time ago. I LOVE Brendon Fraser...so I need to go rent this!

    As for books made into movies, The Bourne Series comes to mind. While the movies strayed far afield from the actual books, Matt Damien's interpretation of Jason Bourne fit my idea of the character perfectly, so watching those didn't bother me at all!

  7. Hi Kay,
    I'd forgotten all about Inkheart. It's on my to-be-rented list--as soon as it's released.

    My least favorite adaptation has to be Patriot Games. They took a good book, dragged you to top speed in the plot, and never gave you a break. It raced from beginning to end. I was exhausted and disappointed when it was over, mostly because we never had a chance to come to care for or dispise the characters.

    Favorite adaptation: The Princess Bride!

    Tracy G.

  8. Hi Amy,
    Sense and Sensibility is one of my "comfort" movies! I could watch it over and over. Everything about it seemed just perfect to me. And I prefer the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, too. There's just something about Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

    Hey Suz,
    You're make a great point about The Bourne Series. Matt Damon was excellent. If the characterization stays true, I don't mind if they "stray" from the original plotline of the book, either.

    Hi Tracy,
    ooh, The Princess Bride- another personal favorite!
    Most memorable quote:
    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means..."
    Cracks me up every time I see it.

  9. I'm with you, Tracy. The changes made to TPB-the-book only made the film better than it would have been as a literal adaptation. (Of course William Goldman wrote book AND screenplay, which helps!)

    I'm also a fan of the adaptation of STARDUST (and book author Neil Gaiman was one of the film's producers, which helped, I'm sure). In fact, I may have liked the film better than the book. Sacrilege I know, but what great FX! What a cast! (Robert DeNiro in pirate drag, I mean, c'mon.)

    Sally F (aka The Author)

  10. My favorite adaptation is "The Princess Bride."

  11. Hi Kay,
    I loved the movie adaptation of Red October. The pace was excellent. Whoever did casting hit the mark. :)


  12. Diana, I absolutely agree. I have watched Hunt a dozen times and I'll watch it a dozen more quite happily.

    Tracy G.

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  14. Hey Sally,
    Wasn’t STARDUST amazing? I’ll never forget Robert De Niro in that pink dress. I saw this one with my family, too. We were crying we were laughing so hard.

    Hey Jane,
    Thanks for stopping by. I once gave PRINCESS BRIDE as a wedding shower gift. It was on the bride’s “wish/registry list.” I thought that was a sweet request from the bride.

    Hi Diana,
    I saw the HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER before I read the book. I’d tried to read it before the movie came out but couldn’t. I kept getting stuck in the detail. After I saw the movie I had no problem reading the story. I thought that was interesting. You’re right about that casting. Sean Connery was remarkable.

    Hi Tracy,
    I’m starting to wonder if my own personal “litmus test” for a good adaptation is “Can I watch it more than once and like it?” All these movies we’ve named as favorites here today I’ve seen multiple times…liking them even more with each viewing.

  15. I haven't read Inkheart, but my son LOVED it...more than the Harry Potter series. We saw the movie and I loved it and want to read the book now.

    My all time favorite, though, is Gone With the Wind.