In a stunning example of pleasure overload, I found Josh Groban's new single and watched "Inkheart" all in the same afternoon. The movie was designed to wind me down from the Feelings explosion -- haha, not so much. I'm on the verge of the kind of obsession that goes to find fic. When it first came out I thought it, like all movies with clearly strong elements of fantasy and magic except those to which I grant special exemptions, looked hideous. But I've been in a mood to see something new from Brendan Fraser ever since I found out he was briefly on Scrubs (FYI, those episodes + the aftermath? AMAZING), and I've pretty much adored everything he's ever done, so I gave it a whirl.
How astounding was this, let me count the ways:
1. BOOKS. OLD BOOKS. IT IS A LOVEFEST ABOUT OLD BOOKS. No one explained that all those stupid fantasy creatures on the cover are overshadowed by the appreciation people have for old books!
2. Helen Mirren's character is who I would like to eventually be.
3. I may have curled up in the fetal position as I watched henchmen rip priceless old books to pieces and then set a pile of the beautiful covers ablaze. I cannot recall ever seeing anything quite that upsetting.
4. Brendan Fraser has a kid, specifically an incredibly adorable, likable, and adventurous daughter. Who, despite being fairly talented and capable, also gets captured or threatened a time or ten and otherwise gives him reasons to go all furiously-protective-father.
5. He also has a wife who disappeared years ago, whom he's hell-bent on rescuing from her current state as a prisoner. How many more of my favorite elements can we pack in here?
6. Oh, I don't know, how about animals? Because there's a ferret, and then there's Toto, and for a distressingly brief amount of time there's even a unicorn.
7. Actually, what this movie does is create a completely new context to recycle all my favorite elements from The Mummy Returns (still holds my heart far better than the original, family adventures forever!), including the sidekick with neat accent and marked-up face. Dustfinger pretty much won my heart as soon as he showed up with a ferret, but he cemented my attachment on "I miss my family too." I spent the rest of the movie twitching with worry that, despite having found this film in the kid's section, they would somehow fail to wrap his story up with a happy ending.
8. Like all films with magic, the supposed climax is the worst part, requiring endless fast-forwarding as yeah, yeah, big scary bad guy, magic, fighting, special effects, good vanquishes evil, magic is stupid. Voldemort showdowns are generally the worst part of Harry Potter too; it's a universally hated thing. But the fact that this involved a literal invocation of "the pen is mightier than the sword" helped a bit, and at least it was gotten over with relatively swiftly.
9. I actually regret not seeing this in theaters. I didn't even want to see it in theaters, yet I spent the whole time today going "how amazing would a theater experience have been for this?"
Up next, "Nim's Island." I wish I liked Gerard Butler more, but it was still totally adorable and had Abigail Breslin (who is made of sheer magic) playing with a sea lion a lot, so I highly recommend it. I am never leaving the children's section again! If I can't get dashing leading men hooked up to the beautiful ladies I admire in rom-coms, then I will get my fix from father/daughter adorableness. ...um, for entirely different reasons, I hope that's clear.
Unrelated note: ... I think maybe the accent is why this pilot didn't get picked up. IT WANTS TO BE SCOTTISH. YOU CAN HEAR IT TRYING TO BREAK OUT IN EVERY WORD. JUST LET IT FREE.
Still, I bet it would have improved. Or I could have watched it on mute with closed captioning. That's his assistant, huh? Because I already love it like Doctor/Rose (haha, lookit, he's already licking things). WHY DOESN'T IT EXIST. WHY DID JERRY O'CONNELL STILL GET TO A HAVE A TERRIBLE LAWYER SHOW? And where do I go to find the full pilot so that I can watch it all and then despair that no more of it will ever exist?
On bright side, after much beating of Google and cursing out of Britain's murky scheduling over the past several weeks, it appears "Single Father," starts airing weekend after next. My hands are so grabby they've permanently flexed into claws. All I needed to hear was that he's a recent widower with four kids and falling in love with his late wife's best friend; nothing can dissuade me from the notion that this will be the most brilliant thing under my David Tennant tag yet.