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STUDIO E1 Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 103 Minutes
• Making of Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Cast Interviews
• Behind-the-Scenes Footage
A dreadfully boring adaptation of a children’s story meant for little girls.
Director: Gabor Csupo Actors: Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry, Natascha McElhone, Dakota Blue Richards
When 13 year old Maria Merryweather’s father, leaving her orphaned and homeless, she is forced to leave her luxurious life and go live with Sir Benjamin, an eccentric uncle she didn’t know she had, at the mysterious Moonacre Manor. Soon Maria finds herself in a crumbling moonlit world torn apart by the hatred of an ancient feud with the sinister De Noir Family. Maria discovers that she is the last Moon Princess and guided by an unlikely mix of allies, she must overcome her family’s pride in order to unearth the secrets of the past before the 5000th moon rises and Moonacre disappears into the sea forever.
The Secret of Moonacre is not a film for the masses, but for the most attentive young girls between the ages of 4 and 7, this may be a real treat. Unfortunately, I am not of that age range and I don’t believe most of the readers at CHUD fall into that category.
The film is directed by the director of The Bridge to Terabithia and as with his other film, he assembles a worthy cast for the task but this time he doesn’t do as good assembling all the pieces into something that can maintain interest. The extras occasionally look directly at the camera, the set pieces aren’t always consistent. The camera work seems very apathetic and has a complete lack of creativity for a story that should wow youth. Say what you will about High School Musical and the other weak girl tales, but most of them move so fast they barely make sense, unlike the coma bound brain matter exposed here.
The color palate is composed a dreary browns, greys and blacks. The extravagant dresses are black/crimson and even the horse our girl rides is dirty and dull. When the few magical moments do occur, they reel the budget in, and only show CGI for but a few glimpses. There is a Unicorn, which I think is the title character from the book this is based on, but I have seen more CGI in automobile commercials than this feature length crawl.
This movie creeps along at a snail’s pace, making it a perfect lullaby for a bed strapped child. Tim Curry is swarmy when he gets screen time, stealing all of his scenes. Natascha McElhone is stunningly beautiful as always and is always a delight to watch. The young Dakota Blue Richards puts in a good performance too, but after those three, the performances are as lifelike as the CGI. Ioan Gruffudd continues to show why his Reed Richards wasn’t able to carry the respect it should have.
The Blu does come with a decent array of features, but to provide the most consistency of the entire package, they also are lifeless and dull. The advertise 90 minutes of Bonus Features, and what you get are 15 minutes stretched to give the Blu Ray a cover quote. The deleted and extended scenes were more sleepy scenes. The behind the scenes is shot as if you are a fly on the wall, but not during any of the interesting part and the cast interviews appeared as if the actors were exhausted by the production and calling in one more thing.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars