Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Movie Review: The Dark is Rising

With the success of "Lord of the Rings" studios are rushing around trying to make childrens novels into movies. The latest is "The Seeker: The Dark is Rising" based on Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising". Oddly enough this is the second book in the series. I get the impression they intend to adapt more, but I'm also still expecting the second "Chronicles of Narnia" movie.

There's a 13 year old kid who just discovered he's some immortal being called "The Seeker". A lifetime of movies flashes through my head.
"Your father wanted you to have this [lightsaber] when you were old enough."
"You're a wizard, Harry."
"You are the last Dragonrider."
Luckily this veers off from the Star Wars formula. His mentors aren't remotely ObiWan-like or remotely helpful. The boy continues on with his life but over the next three days he keeps seeing signs that lead him to the seven signs that will defeat The Dark.
Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) plays the agent of The Dark. His power is growing so that by the end of the third day he'll be able to spread darkness over the whole planet unless the kid uses the seven signs.

I've never read, nor heard of, this series and I'm glad I haven't. It's clear that they stripped out a lot to make it movie length. But that's to be expected isn't it? It felt like it could have comfortably been two or three movies, but if they did that it wouldn't interesting enough for me to come back for the second part.

It's ok, but it's not wonderful. There's just somethings that you do while writing a movie that you don't while writing a book and vice versa. Movies work better as long short stories than shortened books.

I will not get it on DVD but I'll probably go see the next movie.

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