23 October 2009 | postillon
Great fun, a good book adaptation
The movie is quite entertaining, I think several scenes in the movie are much more successfully handled as in book itself. (I am only familiar with book one, yet.) So, I liked the way as scriptwriters anticipate some future elements of the story: for example by the sudden visions of Madame Truska or by bringing forth the character of Gavner -played by the always excellent Williem Dafoe- into this "prelude" movie. I have also very like that smiling facial expression performed by John C. Reilly by the end of the move (for this small gesture prefigured that affectionate relationship and love that Larten will feel toward his assistant, Darren. I liked the scenes with the Snake Boy, Evra, who is much for significant character in the movie than in Book 1 (particularly in the pompous Circus-scene of the movie). I big fight between Larten and Murlaugh in the cemetery was just great The flaws are (I mention here only a few): Darren's relationship with his parents is depicted in a very stereotypical way in the picture (I know, the parents here are just background-figures, but still) I have also missed the scenes with the tarantella, Madame Octa. The scene: stealing of Octa by Darren is extremely weak, and not excited at all. The special telepathic relationship between the spider and its trainer in not explained or discussed in the movie at all, and the filmmakers omitted some of the most interesting "kunst" Octa capable of (like the wet spinned on Lartens mouth, etc.) Octa was not controlled by the voice of the flute, that was just a secondary thing!! But she was controlled by human thoughts in the book!! Performances: Male actors steal the show. I especially like the performance by Michael Cerveris as Mr. Tiny. The acting of John C. Reilly (as Larten Crepsley) was a very-very pleasant surprise for me. I can congratulate from the casting-director and for the producers of their choice. Jessica Carlson (in the role of the monkey-girl, Rebecca) was charming and natural- including her tail The CGI: unfortunately nothing special, or "revolutunary new", just the usual good-level work. The Cinematography/Lightning: excellent choice for the the basic mood/atmosphere of the movie. The colors and tones are quite vivid, not so digitally soft and pale like in the trend today in fantasy movies (like in the last HP for example). This braver, more intense coloring was good for Cirque du Freak. I must praise the work of Tom Woodruff Jr. and his faithful partner: the "monster-costumes", and make up-effects were absolutely perfect!
In my opinion: It was a good start. I think that this movie desires the love of younger audiences, and also hope the studio-moguls will give a chance for the makers for continue this franchise after this start.
My rating: 7.5 (out of 10).