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The Color of Magic (2008)
"The Colour of Magic" (original title)

TV Movie  -   -  Adventure | Comedy | Family  -  23 March 2008 (UK)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,499 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 18 critic

As Rincewind involuntarily becomes a guide to the naive tourist Twoflower, they find themselves forced to flee the city of Ankh-Morpork to escape a terrible fire, and begin on a journey ... See full summary »

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Title: The Color of Magic (TV Movie 2008)

The Color of Magic (TV Movie 2008) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

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Narrator (voice)
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Galder Weatherwax
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Death (voice)
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Ninereeds
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Cohen the Barbarian
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Arch Astronomer
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Broadman
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Bethan
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Herrena
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Liessa
Geoffrey Hutchings ...
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As Rincewind involuntarily becomes a guide to the naive tourist Twoflower, they find themselves forced to flee the city of Ankh-Morpork to escape a terrible fire, and begin on a journey across the Disc. Unknown to them, their journey & fate is being decided by the Gods playing a board game the whole time. Written by Anonymous

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It's a pigment of your imagination See more »


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23 March 2008 (UK)  »

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The Color of Magic  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Like Vadim Jean's previous Discworld film (Hogfather (2006)), there were problems with the set flooding due to heavy rainfall while filming indoors. See more »

Goofs

During the opening title scene, at the docks, several shots show a radio aerial and mast on the side of a building. (Electricity and radio are unknown on the Discworld.) See more »

Quotes

Death: I think I've just had another Near Rincewind Experience.
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Mucked about by Terry Pratchett See more »

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Followed by Going Postal (2010) See more »

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We still need to wait for a truly magical Pratchett movie
5 February 2010 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

One thing I don't understand. Pratchett wrote quite a lot of Discworld novels, and some of them are simply begging to be put on the big screen. Most of the "Watch" novels for example. "Small Gods" as another. However, when Pratchett actually gets on the big (ok, small) screen, they seem to make the worst choices possible. First it was the "Hogfather", which is probably one of the most esoteric and confusing Discworld novels out there. Now they take the very first Discworld novels which - while perhaps being the funniest in the series - do not really present what Pratchett's work is all about. These early two novels are basically Terry taking a jab at (but also making homage) to a fantasy genre in general. Well, perhaps the entire Discworld series is like that, but in "Color of Magic" and "The light fantastic" this parody takes the front seat while a coherent story and characters sit in the back. And this works well in written form, but as a cinematic narrative it simply fails; clever jokes get cut, simplified and/or drowned in the overall chaos, the plot has to move quickly so it is nearly impossible to absorb everything that happens (let alone enjoy it) and overall it represents a rather frustrating experience, both for the Pratchett fans as well as the general audience.

The first thing that bothered me is the casting. Sean Austin is a fine Twoflower, even though I think it perhaps should have been cast by a more exotic-looking actor. David Jason, sadly, is a complete miss as Rincewind. This particularly bothers me since David is probably my favorite British actor; however he is just too likable to pull of a Rincewind. Someone like Rowan Atkinson channeling his Black Adder persona (but with less malice and much more cowardice) would be perfect. The thing is, you need to take pleasure in Rincewind constantly being put from one peril to the next; David's Rincewind is like a kooky old grandpa that you feel bad for when he gets thrown from a cliff, threatened or trampled on. And whenever he does something Rincewind-y (like taking off with Twoflower's gold), it actually feels out of character.

The rest of the cast is hit-or-miss. Death is horribly puppet-like - I endured him in Hogfather but here the rubber skull should really have been lees pronounced. Vetinari is on par (even though in those early Discworld novels he most probably wasn't the "Patrician", but that's fan service for you). Tim Curry overplays Trymon to the extreme, but I guess this is due to the bad direction - many characters seem to be overacting their bits probably to infuse a sense of lightness and silliness. Just check out the faces leader of the Krull makes while doing his speech; inexcusable.

However the biggest culprit is the plot. It is just too hectic, too chaotic and doesn't let the characters to develop or even establish themselves. This perhaps has a lot to with with (un)necessary exposition given by both the narrator and the characters - the plot hardly gets a chance to move along before the next bit of exposition has to get its turn.

It's not all bad however. There are some superb actors involved in this, the sets and effect look fantastic (especially for a TV movie). And even though I said Jason makes a bad Rincewind, it still is a joy to watch this fine actor doing his schtick. And it IS Pratchett, after all.

So I guess that bottom line I can give this a passing grade, but it's still a deeply disappointing venture. I hope they do "Guards! Guards!" next, and I hope they do it good.


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