Inkheart (2008)

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Released 5-Aug-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Fantasy Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 101:40
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (84:09) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Iain Softley

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Brendan Fraser
Sienna Guillory
Eliza Bennett
Richard Strange
Paul Bettany
Helen Mirren
Rafi Gavron
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Javier Navarrete

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I have lately had the opportunity to review quite a few adaptations of fantasy adventure novels such as City of Ember, Eragon, The Golden Compass, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Bridge to Terabithia and others. I enjoy these stories for their inventiveness and the other worlds that are constructed in them. Accordingly, I was keen to take a look at this film, Inkheart.

    Inkheart is the name of the film and is also the name of a book within the film. The story involves Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser) who is a ‘silvertongue’. A ‘silvertongue’ is a person who has the power to bring characters in books to life in the real world merely by reading the book aloud. The downside of this amazing power is that the character drawn out of the book no longer exists in the world of the book and must be replaced by someone from the real world. Before Mo realised the true extent of his power, he read from the book Inkheart which resulted in a character from the book, Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), a fire juggler & his ferret, Gwin being brought to the real world and Mo’s wife, Resa (Sienna Guillory) being sent to the world of the book. This occurred nine years before the movie kicks off.

    Now, nine years later, Mo is travelling the world searching for copies of the book so that he can attempt to read his wife out of the book. Dustfinger is following Mo trying to get Mo to send him back. Also involved is an evil character from the book, Capricorn (Andy Serkis) and his henchmen who were also read into the real world by Mo. They don’t want Mo to find copies of the book because they are very happy to be in the modern world as they are finding their criminal activities very profitable indeed. Capricorn has been on a campaign to find and destroy all known copies of the book. All of this comes to a head as the film proceeds.

    Mo is accompanied by his young daughter, Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) and sometimes by his aunt, Elinor (Helen Mirren) who is a great collector of antiquarian books but does not know of Mo’s power. Other members of a star studded cast include Jim Broadbent as Inkheart’s writer, Fenoglio and Jennifer Connelly as Dustfinger’s wife.

    This is an enjoyable action adventure fantasy film which was shot in Italy & England and benefits from the European look this produces. The book itself is originally German and was written by Cornelia Funke. The story is very much the star here providing an interesting concept to base the story around. My only criticism of the film would be that at times the storyline as presented in the film can become a little confused, relying a little too much on people having read the book. Perhaps a little more exposition and a slightly longer running time would have rectified this. Regardless, this is an entertaining action adventure which will appeal to younger teen audiences and adults who enjoy fantasy adventure (like me). It is probably not suitable for the younger infants school audience due to being a little dark and scary at times.

    None of the technical elements of the film’s production stand out in either a very good or very bad way. They are certainly competent and this has the feel of a quite well put together film.


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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good bordering on excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was sharp and clear throughout about as good as SD gets. Shadow detail is very good.

    The colour was very good with no major issues to report. This is not an overly colourful film however those present are well rendered and vibrant.

    There were no obvious artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read.

    There is a noticeable layer change at 84:09.


Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. The surround track is surprisingly effective really drawing you into the film.

    Dialogue was mostly easy to understand and clear, however, some scenes were a little difficult to catch, making the subtitles useful.

    The score is by Javier Navarette previously Oscar nominated for Pan's Labyrinth. It works well for the film and sounds good on this transfer using all five speakers.

    The surround speakers were also used extensively for storms, action scenes and the voices of the talking books. Very immersive atmosphere.

    The subwoofer was used for adding bass to the storms and other action effects.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     The extras are minimal. There are significantly more on the Blu-ray edition.


    The menu is functional, featuring music and a nice acorn cursor.

Eliza Reads to Us (3:48)

    The young actress who plays Meggie reads a scene from the novel which was not included in the film. Worth listening to.

Theatrical Trailer (2:01)

    Quality Trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 DVD release of this film includes the same featurette plus a full screen version. So, nothing exciting basically. Draw. The film is available on Blu-ray locally and in Region A.


    An entertaining fantasy adventure film which will be enjoyed by genre fans.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    Not much here.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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