Monday, March 31, 2008

Movie Review: Colour of Magic/Light Fantastic

Regular readers will remember me talking about the live action version of the
Diskworld book "The Hogfather" released by SkyOne in England two Christmases back and recently released on DVD. Well, now SkyOne has released "The Colour of Magic". It's a two part show that covers the first two books of the Diskworld series. And, I should add, that it was mucked about with sufficiently to reflect the quality inherent in the later books instead of the rubbish that were these first two. A narrator has been added and the whole thing works much better than "The Hogfather" did.

You should be able to download a torrent of it in all the less reputable P2P websites. Or you can do the right thing and wait a year and a half for it to come out on DVD. I already downloaded it AND will be getting the DVD.

Here's the story:
The Diskworld is a flat, circular world carried on the back of four massive elephant that stand on the back of an even more massive turtle. Most books focus on the city of Ankh-Morpork in one regard or another.
"The Colour of Magic" starts in Ankh-Morpork with the single most inept wizard, or "Wizzard" as his hat says, Rincewind being expelled from Unseen University after 40 years of not learning a single spell. Rincewind is played by the gentleman who once did the voice of Danger Mouse and Count Duckula.
Rincewind soon encounters a tourist known as Two Flower. Two Flower comes from the Counterweight Continent on the other side of the disk. It's made of a great deal of gold so as to act as a better counter to the main continent. Flashing around that much gold means that Rincewind just tries to get his share and vanish before the crowds slaughter Two Flower and take his gold. Two Flower is played by Sean Austin, recently back from his trip to Mordor and back.
What with one thing and another Ankh-Morpork catches fire and our heroes go looking to see the sights somewhere they're less likely to get lynched. They find themselves captured by some dragon lords and escape in a highly truncated sequence. As the dragon they escape on fades into nothingness they fall in the ocean and are nearly washed over the rim. They find their way to a civilization that wants to sacrifice them in the hopes that ... well, they escape onto a space ship that is going over the edge of the rim to find the turtle's gender.

There's a parallel story of a wizard killing his way to the top. But to get ultimate power, and save the world from plunging into a star, he needs all 8 spells in a book called the Octavo. Alas, the 8th spell is hiding in Rincewind's head.

In part/book 2 the spells have remade the Diskworld with Rincewind and Two Flower on it instead of drifting through space. On the way back to Ankh-Morpork they hook up with Cohen the (97 year old) Barbarian. They get back and save the Diskworld.

Of the whole series of Diskworld books these two are the weakest. They're also the first. This show does much better with the story but there's still value in reading the book.


Anonymous said...

Actually, "The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic" are still my two favorites Discworld novels ever, so I'd be cautious when saying that those are the worst books. You should rather correct that into "IN MY OPINION they're the books I liked less".

Vengeanz said...

I'd love to see Night Watch ... it would pwn ...

Anonymous said...

There is hardly a Discworld book that would NOT pwn if translated to the silver screen. Discworld is a moviegoer's delight and the characters are compelling almost to a man.

Anonymous said...

Calling any of his books rubbish looks kinda unproffessional to me. especially when they rock. These (rincewind) and the night watch series are IMO the best of them though Ive read all of it like 6times.. :)

have a nice day everyone.