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"INKHEART"
(2009) (Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Extreme *Heavy Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Mild Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A bookbinder, who possesses the unintentional ability to bring literary characters to life simply by reading from their book in exchange for someone in his presence disappearing into the same, tries to find the book that swallowed up his wife and unleashed a number of unsavory characters who have no intention of going back.
PLOT:
Mortimer "Mo" Folchart (BRENDAN FRASER) is a bookbinder who doesn't realize he's actually a "silver tongue," a person with the ability to bring literary characters to life simply by reading aloud from the book in which they initially only exist on paper. When he reads from the book "Inkheart," he ends up changing his and his family's life forever.

And that's because whenever someone moves over from the literary to the real world via his reading, someone in his presence is sent the other way. Now, 12 years later, Mo travels with his teenage daughter, Meggie (ELIZA HOPE BENNETT), from one old bookstore to the next, all in search of a copy of "Inkheart" in hopes that he might be able to retrieve his wife, Resa (SIENNA GUILLORY), who disappeared on that fateful night.

He's not the only one interested in the book, however, as one of the characters who crossed over, fire-handler Dustfinger (PAUL BETTANY), desperately wants to be sent back. But others who crossed over with him, most notably henchman Capricorn (ANDY SERKIS) and his various thugs, including the knife-wielding Basta (JAMIE FOREMAN), have no intention of returning to their literary world.

Instead, they want to use Mo to further enhance and strengthen their position in their new home, something fellow silver tongue Darius (JOHN THOMSON) hasn't been terribly successful at, although he's done well in delivering any number of literary animals, from a unicorn and minotaur to the flying monkeys from "The Wizard of Oz."

When Dustfinger contacts Mo with the demand that he be sent back, Mo and Meggie go on the run, first stopping to see her great aunt, Elinor (HELEN MIRREN), and later the author of "Inkheart," Fenoglio (JIM BROADBENT), in hopes that he might be able to help him.

With other literary characters, such as Farid (RAFI GAVRON) from "One Thousand and One Nights," joining them, Mo and the others try to find a copy of "Inkheart" to bring back Resa, while Dustfinger desires to be sent back to his family, and Capricorn wants his book's scariest character, The Shadow, to cross over and further strengthen his position in his adopted world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the novels, anyone in the cast, or fantasy adventure films, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BRENDAN FRASER plays a bookbinder who's always on the lookout for another copy of "Inkheart" after his reading of it aloud years ago inadvertently sent his wife into the book in exchange for Dustfinger, Capricorn and others who came out of it (due to the power of being a silver tongue, something he didn't know he was or possessed at the time). When he does find one, he must contend with Dustfinger wanting to be sent back into it, as well as Capricorn having more nefarious desires for the book and his abilities to bring characters and objects from that. He ends up dragging his teen daughter to various locales to try to get his wife back, and must endure various perils along the way.
  • PAUL BETTANY plays a fire-wielding character from the novel who Mo accidentally brought into the real world. Now, he desperately wants to return to his literary world where his family awaits him, but must contend with Mo's reluctance to send him back, as well as Capricorn's motives.
  • ANDY SERKIS plays the lead villain in the story. Unleashed from the novel "Inkheart" by Mo, he's now the leader of a bunch of thugs who have no intention of returning. Desiring more power, he wants to use Mo and then Meggie to unleash The Shadow and thus give him ultimate rule.
  • HELEN MIRREN plays Mo's snooty, book-collecting aunt who, after a rocky start, finds a kindred spirit in Meggie, but must contend with Capricorn's thugs arriving and trashing her place.
  • JIM BROADBENT plays the author of the book in question who initially doesn't believe Mo's comments about being a silver tongue, but then ends up being dragged along to help.
  • ELIZA HOPE BENNETT plays Mo's teenage daughter who's grown up believing her mother abandoned her and her father, and thus is shocked to learn the truth. Following that, she wants to get her back, but must contend with Capricorn learning she's also a silver tongue.
  • RAFI GAVRON plays a servant teen from "One Thousand and One Nights" who thinks it's a dream that he's been removed from his book into the real world, but then latches onto Dustfinger as something of an unwelcome apprentice. He's also sweet on Meggie.
  • SIENNA GUILLORY plays Mo's wife who he inadvertently sent into the book he was reading, only to be drawn back out by Darius, but without the ability to speak. Now chained as a kitchen maid, she longs to be reunited with her husband and daughter.
  • JAMIE FOREMAN plays Capricorn's right-hand thug, who's often wielding a knife but is a superstitious character.
  • JOHN THOMSON plays another silver tongue who Capricorn uses to pull other literary characters and objects from their books, but his stutter means they don't always completely transfer.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this fantasy-based adventure film that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of a minor expletive, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. Some female water nymphs are seen in wet and clingy clothing, but nothing explicit is seen, which also applies to a brief and partial view of a belly dancer as well as an old drawing showing the outline of a woman's breast.

    Violence consists of some fantasy and action-based striking of others, while various weapons are used to threaten and/or wound various characters, and a tornado causes some damage. Those scenes, various moments of potential peril, and some visuals (of monsters and such) might be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary for younger viewers. There's a little bit of bloody results from some of that violence, while a brief crude comment is also present.

    Various bad attitudes are present, and some of the stunts, action and other behavior might be enticing for kids to imitate (some of which could be dangerous, such as breathing fire and jumping from roof to roof, etc.). Tense family material is present, and there's a brief bit of apparent alcohol content.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that during a thunderstorm and as well as some flicker from flames.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some camera movement at various times in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Capricorn takes a sip of a drink from a carried tray, but Mo doesn't have any of the one offered to him (and we never know if said drinks are alcoholic or not).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Dustfinger has some old but large scars on his face.
  • Dustfinger burns his hands trying to retrieve a book in a fireplace (his briefly seen hands look blistered, etc.).
  • Farid tells Meggie she's as sour as goat's urine, with her replying she doesn't want to know how he knows that.
  • Dustfinger has a little bit of a bloody nose from an unseen hit on him.
  • From Meggie changing the story, various thugs turn to ash and fall or blow away.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Capricorn and this thugs have bad attitudes for their actions (including the kidnapping of others) and plans (releasing The Shadow on the masses), and want Mo and then Meggie to do the latter for them.
  • Capricorn and then later one of his thugs make fun of Darius' stutter, imitating that.
  • Capricorn tells Mo to read aloud for him or else he'll kill Elinor and imprison Meggie.
  • About Meggie's attitude, Farid tells her, "You stupid girl."
  • We see that Capricorn and/or his thugs have Resa chained as a kitchen maid.
  • Capricorn threatens to harm Resa if Meggie doesn't read more passages from "Inkheart" for him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material (but probably few others).
  • Similarly, various fantastical characters (the monstrous The Shadow, a minotaur, flying monkeys from "The Wizard of Oz," etc.) might be unsettling and/or scary to some younger viewers.
  • We hear voices emanating from somewhere in a room, but quickly realize they're coming from the books there.
  • Mo runs to rescue Meggie when a number of men suddenly invade Elinor's manor.
  • Farid falls to the floor hard upon being transferred to this world, and Capricorn tells him to be taken away and fed to the crocodile from "Peter Pan" (the latter doesn't happen).
  • Capricorn burns Mo's copy of "Inkheart" (thus making some viewers worry that he won't be able to get Resa back, etc.).
  • To create a diversion, Mo evokes the tornado passage from "The Wizard of Oz," thus unleashing the same on Capricorn's castle. It causes damage to the structure, while it also lifts a jeep and several thugs into the sky, with the jeep then falling back and nearly hitting Mo. During this, Resa tries to escape and joins Dustfinger and the rest, but falls through a hole in the floor and lands hard below.
  • The farm house from "The Wizard of Oz" flies through the sky and barely misses Mo and the others who drive by as it flies just above them.
  • There's some footage of The Shadow inspiring fear back in the original book.
  • Mo twice nearly slides down and off a tile roof, with Farid and then Dustfinger catching him.
  • Farid runs from thugs who chase after him, and Mo grabs and pulls him to safety just in time.
  • We see snakes in a book box containing another copy of "Inkheart," and an old woman picks them up to retrieve the book.
  • After Dustfinger's ferret grabs a thug's lucky charm, that man enters the crypt cell holding Dustfinger who puts his hand down into human bones to freak out the thug. Meggie then uses a large human bone to whack the thug over the head, stunning him.
  • Forced to do so, Meggie reads a passage from the book that transfers The Shadow, a huge storm/dust cloud of a monster with fiery eyes and mouth. That swirling monster then comes down at a suspended cage holding Fenoglio and Resa, with its fiery mouth coming right at them.
  • Parts of Capricorn's burning castle crumble and fall toward the ground, with Mo and the rest running for safety, but they're never in any immediate danger of being hit.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifle or Shotgun/Machine guns/Swords/Spears/Knives/: Carried and/or used to threaten and/or attempt to wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Various guards carry machine guns in various scenes set at Capricorn's castle.
  • One of Capricorn's armed thugs is transported into "One Thousand and One Nights" where various men hold their swords on him.
  • Basta holds a knife on Fenoglio.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Freaky man," "Stop ringing that damn bell," "For the love of Thomas Hardy," "She's as thin as a soap bubble," "What a little know-it-all," "You ignorant half-wit," "A noisy old bag," "Jackass," "You stupid girl," "You're as sour as goat's urine" and "I don't want to go back to my stinking book."
  • Some of the stunts and other action might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • Various thugs, who weren't fully transformed, have words (from their books) written on their faces and other skin, looking like tattoos.
  • Capricorn and then later one of his thugs make fun of Darius' stutter, imitating that.
  • We see a miscellaneous fire breather doing his thing, followed by Dustfinger doing the same, back in his story, and now in the present (juggling fiery sticks, breathing fire, etc.).
  • Farid, Mo and Dustfinger jump from one roof to another.
  • In what might be a symbolic move, Capricorn eats some sort of dip (or similar food) off his extended but not upright middle finger that he licks.
  • Dustfinger and Farid grab containers of gasoline and pour that all over the castle interiors, and then ignite that.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A fireplace suddenly ignites by Mo.
  • A figure is suddenly at a window.
  • A flying monkey (from "The Wizard of Oz") suddenly hits a wood fence.
  • A large minotaur suddenly comes at Mo.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, ominous and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 damn and 1 use of "For God's sakes."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • An old drawing in a Persian book shows a female figure with one breast exposed, but it's just an outline and certainly nothing explicit.
  • We see a partial and partially transparent image of a belly dancer doing her thing in standard garb.
  • We see Farid in a standard fictional Arabian vest (that's open in the front, thus showing his bare chest).
  • We see Dustfinger shirtless while he does various fire stunts.
  • There's a passage about "water nymphs" and we briefly see some such characters, women in wet, clingy clothing (nothing explicit).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mo is motivated by his desire to retrieve his wife from the book into which he accidentally sent her, while she desires to be reunited with him and Meggie.
  • Dustfinger is motivated by his desire to be returned to his family in the book after he's removed from it.
  • Referring to Meggie's mom disappearing, Elinor states that her own mother similarly abandoned her.
  • Meggie is upset when she learns for the first time that her mom didn't abandon her, but instead was transported into the book that her father was reading at the time.
  • Capricorn tells Mo to read aloud for him or else he'll kill Elinor and imprison Meggie.
  • Capricorn threatens to harm Resa if Meggie doesn't read more passages from "Inkheart" for him, and Mo worries about Meggie's safety when Capricorn and his thugs have her.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Referring to Meggie's mom disappearing, Elinor states that her own mother similarly abandoned her.
  • The comment that the written word is a powerful thing.
  • Capricorn and then later one of his thugs make fun of Darius' stutter, imitating that.
  • The notion that none of us know the end of our stories.
  • Dustfinger learns he dies in his book, but tells Fenoglio that he (Fenoglio) is not his god.
  • VIOLENCE
  • To get away from Dustfinger, Mo shoves him aside and then uses his bag to knock Dustfinger's ferret aside when it jumps at him. He and Meggie then flee to their vehicle and speed away.
  • Capricorn's thugs throw books around, overturn a bookcase and threaten Mo (Basta holds a knife to his throat). Elinor then comes up and punches one thug in the face, but another fires a rifle or shotgun into the ceiling as a warning shot. Dustfinger puts his fiery hands on one thug's shoulders, while Mo shoves two thugs aside to get to and grab Dustfinger. After he's grabbed again, Mo elbows one thug, but another hits him over the back, knocking him out.
  • We see Capricorn's thugs burning various books.
  • We see a miscellaneous man being dragged along by a thug.
  • Thugs shove Mo into a stable.
  • We see a flashback to the beginning of the film (and footage that we didn't see following that first scene) where Capricorn holds a sword on Mo, and Basta slices Mo several times on the arm (no blood).
  • An old painting shows imagery of people being speared (or having spears already in them).
  • We see that Capricorn's thugs have gagged (and presumably bound) Elinor.
  • Mo hits one thug, with the rest aiming their various weapons at him, and Basta pulling his knife.
  • Farid falls to the floor hard upon being transferred to this world, and Capricorn tells him to be taken away and fed to the crocodile from "Peter Pan" (the latter doesn't happen).
  • Dustfinger burns his hands trying to retrieve a book in a fireplace (his briefly seen hands look blistered, etc.).
  • To create a diversion, Mo evokes the tornado passage from "The Wizard of Oz," thus unleashing the same on Capricorn's castle. It causes damage to the structure, while it also lifts a jeep and several thugs into the sky, with the jeep then falling back and nearly hitting Mo. During this, Resa tries to escape and joins Dustfinger and the rest, but falls through a hole in the floor and lands hard below.
  • Dustfinger pushes a man aside in passing.
  • Dustfinger shoves Mo who then grabs him by his coat.
  • Dustfinger kicks one thug, allowing Farid to escape, but other thugs hold their guns on Dustfinger who later has a little bit of a bloody nose from an unseen hit on him.
  • We see that Capricorn's thugs have Resa tied up in a rope net suspended off the floor.
  • Meggie uses a large human bone to whack a thug over the head, stunning him.
  • Capricorn stands on Basta's fingers down below him while addressing others.
  • Dustfinger and Farid hit and knock out two men. They then grab containers of gasoline and pour that all over the castle interiors, and then ignite that.
  • Mo fights Capricorn and disarms him, with Capricorn then punching Mo and throwing him to the ground. A minotaur knocks over one thug as does a unicorn ridden by Elinor, while a flying monkey grabs and flies off with another thug. Mo then avoids The Shadow's fist/hand that smashes down toward him, with Capricorn then jumping down onto Mo.
  • From Meggie changing the story, various thugs turn to ash and fall or blow away.



  • Reviewed January 17, 2009 / Posted January 23, 2009

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    [Darkest Hour] [Just Getting Started] [The Shape of Water]

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