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Only 8 out of 10 because I would - of course - have loved to have
everything in it ( I would also have liked a big "Lord of the Rings"
budget and effort on this).
They have made a creditable effort to cram the most important bits in. I've watched it with someone who doesn't know the books and had, in fact, never heard of Terry Pratchett. It took him a while to get into the fun of things but he didn't need clarification on anything, so the story line cant' have been too hacked.
As TV productions go, "Colour of Magic" (and "Hogfather") are like watching filmed theatre; it is a stage setting rather than film scenery and the acting certainly is superb. The incidental moments with Death and Rincewind are great as is the scene with the Patrician ordering Rincewind to look after Twoflower. The magic sword, on the other hand, sounded like 'Eddie, the shipboard computer' from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". And they have to improve the dragons before they start on 'Guards Guards'.
I loved it - every minute of it. And Terry Pratchett had a hand in it so it must reflect at least some of his ideas - he always impressed me as being quite a strong character.
I hope they'll make all of them!!!
Despite all the "bad" reviews posted here, I guess it all depends on
your personal taste. I, for one, loved this movie! But like the tag
line says: "It's a pigment of your(!) imagination"
No movie will ever be as good as it's book (or books in this case). However, they did a very good job trying to capture the essence of the books and put it all in this movie.
The movie won't please everyone as you can see from other reviews posted here, but like Sir Pratchett said: "If I've would have written these stories to be a movie, I would have written them very differently".
All in all a good movie which will certainly please most people, regardless if they are familiar with Terry Pratchett or not.
I loved the movie. I saw that people gave comments like "it didn't live
up to the accuracy and quality of Hogfather", but what would you
expect? Nothing is perfect, and I can't say as a big Discworld fan that
I didn't have a lot of fun watching this movie.
I loved all the characters in it, even if they didn't look anything like I had them in my mind.. It is just so great to actually see a movie like this that I am more than willing to forgive little mistakes and changes and enjoy it for what it is.
Great scenery, really amazing, especially for a TV movie. Most of the CGI was very good (except the dragon). Loved the costumes and sets and also the acting was outstanding. All in all, I could not have hoped for anything better and am looking forward to the next adaption, the (currently) latest novel Going Postal. Could've used some CMOT though.. Still a 10 out of 10.
Not as bad as some on this site say. I am a huge Terry Pratchett fan, I
have read all the Discworld books and few of his other books. While
this movie/TV special doesn't really live up to the books, it isn't
half bad. I enjoyed revisiting the story with some pretty snazzy
special effects- even if some of the subtle humor was lost (or was it
just very very subtle?) I have to admit that many of the jokes in the
books I probably miss. I know sometimes it takes 10 pages before I
realize he's just made a joke, which makes me feel stupid, and then I
laugh at myself for being stupid. Sometimes I don't even catch them
till the second reading! This movie/TV show (or whatever it is) doesn't
really have that feeling.
If you are a fan of Terry, i say you should watch it, if your not.. then go buy one of his books and read that before deciding to watch the movie.
Vadim Jean's second adaptation of Terry Pratchett's longrunning
Discworld series of comedic fantasy novels cannot compare to the first,
though it is not really his fault. The series adapts Pratchtt's first
two novels, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, which together
form a loose single narrative. Set on a typical fantasy realm, replete
with trolls, dwarfs and demons, they are, effectively, a parody of the
hero's quest, in that the hero, an untalented "wizzard" named
Rincewind, has no intention either of being heroic or of going on a
quest but ends up fighting monsters, riding dragons and trying to save
the world anyway. He is assisted by his "sidekick" Twoflower, who seems
only dimply aware that he isn't on a packaged holiday. And that,
without mentioning specifics, is the entire plot. Along the way,
several fantasy (or perhaps D&D) conventions, such as talking swords,
scantily-clad, Heavy Metal-style warrior women, and raging loin-clothed
barbarians, are duly referenced and lambasted.
After the relative success of Hogfather in 2006, Vadim Jean decided to take the series in a surprising direction: backwards. Correctly in my view, he chose perhaps the archetypal novel in Pratchett's canon to adapt first. Hogfather was Pratchett at his absolute height, mixing adventure with philosophical commentary and existential humour, the most mature expression of such Discworldly themes of imagination vs. reality, the power of myth vs rationality, and the dichotomy of "the falling angel and the rising ape". "The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic" were written 25 years ago, when Pratchett was still finding his feet as a writer. As such, they lack some of the sophistication one comes to expect from the series. The books' humour, which would eventually become character and situation-driven, here operates on the level of broad parody, lampooning the absurdities of many fantasy and fairy tale conventions. The characterisation, which would become far more complex in later novels, is as broad as a wall, with Twofower the naive Asian tourist and Rincewind the cowardly non-hero. In a move that was either very wise or bewilderingly silly, Jean decided to cast Sean Astin as Twoflower, even though in the books he is East Asian in appearance. Perhaps this was done to lessen the racial stereotype, but if so, that doesn't reflect well on the source material. His decision to cast the elderly David Jason as Rincewind, who in the books is a youngish man with a scraggly attempt at a beard, is less explicable, other than Jean was simply grateful that Jason wanted to do another series with him.
But if the plot is slight, the actors certainly give it their all. Astin plays Twoflower with just the right kind of naivete, while Jason, though miscast, creates a Rincewind that is suitably cynical and craven. For Pratchett fans, a number of pleasing retcons have been incorporated: The Librarian becomes an orangutan much earlier; Death is now his fully-evolved, pleasantly bemused self, and the Patrician is unquestionably Vetinari, here played by Jeremy Irons- a nod to Pratchett saying that a good actor for Vetinari would be "that guy from Die Hard", ie Alan Rickman.
In summary, I think Pratchett fans will find pleasure in it, but others should probably stay away.
I haven't read any of the DiscWorld books, and I know you are going to say i should. For a TV series, I found it surprisingly enjoyable. It looks beautiful, but I do agree that most of it lacks magic. The special effects, while overblown in places, aren't actually that bad, considering the track records of slapdash effects in TV series. Try the Chronicles of Narnia, very good, and faithful to the books, but the effects tend to let them down. As for the performances, what can i say? Very good indeed! David Jason, Britain's funniest living actor, gives a very funny performance of Rincewind, considering he wanted to do that role for years, though he may have been duller than what Pratchett intended. Sean Astin, of Lord of the Rings fame, is also a nice contrast to Jason's Rincewind. It's true that some of the humour is forced, but the chemistry between the two men compensate. Tim Curry was an inspired choice for Trymon, and he did a superb job, showing off his versatility, bringing back fond memories of his performances in films like Legend, the Three Musketeers and It. He wasn't too frightening, or campy, just in between.Christopher Lee was great as Death, great lines.("that's when they'll be taking my mask off" and "I think I've had another near-Rincewind experience")The script had its downsides but was overall very funny. It is evident that the adaptation is unfaithful to the books, because I felt it could have done a little more with the ending, which was rather disappointing. Overall, an uneven but enjoyable adaptation of Terry Prachett, who actually liked the changes for once. Try telling Stephen King that! 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is a lot to enjoy in this adaptation of Terry Pratchett's first
two Discworld novels, and interestingly enough it all seems to come
from the adaptation rather than the source material. I am another
Pratchett fan ringing in here, but I haven't read these novels in a
very long time and my memory of them isn't very kind. With the
adaptation, the producers seem to have stripped back the arguably
juvenile, direction-less comedy of the novels down to the plot - which,
unfortunately for them, isn't strong enough to carry 4 hours worth of
The production values are high, the casting is superb (especially David Jason, who is nothing like my mind's version of Rincewind and yet is thoroughly enjoyable in the role, and Sean Astin plays Twoflower perfectly), and it doesn't suffer from the plodding pace that Hogfather had (though I would like to stress that I loved every instant of Hogfather, and haven't read the book in the fear that it won't be as good).
But the story of the Colour of Magic just isn't that interesting. I like Terry Pratchett very much, I think he's funny, and develops plot well, but I agree with Neil Gaiman in his appraisal of the early novels, saying that the plot follows the jokes, rather than the reverse which is true in the later novels.
So in conclusion, this adaptation is superb, it just doesn't adapt anything really great.
Technically, this movie is very good. The effects are well done, with
very high quality computer graphics for a "Made for TV" movie, that
won't stand behind theatrical release movies. The outdoor scenes were
all well produced, placing the actors in a "real" discworld. The
customs and environment are in a child-movie style, because of the
story's background (it came from a series of books made for children).
But that doesn't mean low quality. It just adds to the comical overall
feeling of the film. The actors followed this same
comical/child-oriented line when playing their roles.
About the story, it never gets boring, and a lot of things happen to the main characters. They practically cross the world in a single adventure, including a journey in "outer space". Multiple parallel plots also take place. In the end, this 3-hour movie entertains you the whole time. The main motivation is very original: following the steps of the first tourist. And the world description is ironically fun.
This story has 2 main perspectives. From the Twoflower point of view, it's a story about having an open mind. One may have much fun and learn a lot when he keeps his mind open to new experiences. From the Rincewood point of view, it shows that one must have persistence; and also that, even in the face of failure, your value doesn't diminish. You're not defined by your failures and/or successes as perceived by the others.
In the end this is a family movie, worth watching by itself, and even more with your children (if you happen to have any).
I quite liked this film thought I thought some elements of it would be lost on people who haven't read the book since there's only so much exposition you can fit in a film. One of my pet hates is when one of my favourite books gets turned in to a film where the director just can't resist changing every second character and adding entirely new scenes. This kept faithful to the books while still being enjoyable for those who haven't read the books. The version I got on DVD actually comes in two parts with the first part covering the first book - The colour of magic. The second part covers the second book in the series - The light fantastic. Not sure if that's the standard version everyone gets or if some only get part one.
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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