Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Weekend at the Movies

Written By: Tracy - Jul• 19•09

A friend texted me that Redbox had The Color of Magic on dvd. (For those of you who don’t know, redbox is this video rental vending machine. You use a credit card to rent a movie for about $1.00 a day. You can return your movie to any vending machine, and if you don’t return it over a certain ammount of time, you’ve automatically bought it.)

Since there are only apparantly one or two copies of the movie in my city in the vending system, we began a frantic internet search to find it. (Being a Terry Pratchett fan, there was no way I was going to settle for Knowing or Push when there was The Color of Magic.)

The movie has a surprisingly good cast. I say surprisingly good because I never saw the thing advertised in theatres. Sean Astin, Christopher Lee, Tim Curry, Jeremy Irons.

The movie was fairly close to being a faithful adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s early novels: The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic. Which means that most of the scenes from the book made it into the movie, and it was somewhat long.

The pacing was a bit slow in places, and you didn’t quite get the sense that Rincewind was quite as big a coward in the move as you did in the book. There were plenty of ‘hey, it’s that guy’ moments. And nearly everyone who was cast for the movie matched my mental picture of the characters from the book.

I say nearly everyone. I think the thing that seemed the most off to me was that the part of Twoflower was played by Sean Astin. He’s a good actor, but in the book, the counterweight continent is protrayed as being fairly close in culture to an Asian society. I’d rather not get into the Racefail issues that have been stirred up in science fiction as of late. It was just off to me that Twoflower didn’t match my mental image of him. It might have been nice to see someone with comedic timing like Jackie Chan in the role of Twoflower.

But there were quite a few moments when I was cackling with glee. Seeing the luggage on the big screen was fantastic. As was seeing Tim Curry in a pointy hat and shoes. The Librarian made a better simian than he did a human, the Patrician was incredible. And I loved Terry Pratchett’s cameo.

In other movies, last night my husband and I went out with friends to watch Public Enemies, which has Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis.

This was another one of those movies where you’re thinking ‘hey, it’s that guy!’ all the way through. Keep an eye out for Emilie DeRaven, Billy Crudup and Giovonni Ribisi. All three of them have blink-and-you’ll miss them parts (Emilie DeRaven’s part isn’t even a speaking role). 

I liked it pretty well. The end had a few movie clichés in it, but they were handled well enough that they didn’t bother me too badly. 

Husband was a little worried going in that the movie would be a little too rough to be enjoyable, but I generally think that if the movie has Johnny Depp and Christian Bale in it, then the script had to be pretty good. There was violence. And there was a lot of violence. But it was consistent with the script and not there for the sake of violence. Nor was there nudity, (there could have easily have been) or gratuitous language. The movie gets high points for that. To me, if a writer has to resort to nudity, sex and violence to get an audience into the story, it wasn’t a good enough story to begin with. Which is why I stay away from most horror movies, and those comedies that get released ‘uncut and unrated.’


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