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Now or Then – Inkheart or The Princess Bride?

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Now: Inkheart (2009)Then: The Princess Bride (1987)

In Inkheart, Brendan Fraser plays Mo Folchart, a so-called “book doctor” who, with his young daughter, Meggie (Eliza Bennett), and a cast of characters from other books, fights the villainous Capricorn (Andy Serkis), who has kidnapped his wife. In The Princess Bride , the heroic stable boy turned pirate, Westley (Cary Elwes), stops the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) from marrying his beloved, Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright). Which fantasy world is worth spending time in?

The Power of Reading
Inkheart: Mo and his daughter are known as “silver tongues”: they have the magical ability to bring the characters from books they read into real life. This isn’t always a good thing — after all, it was Mo who brought forth the nemesis Capricorn from a book called Inkheart.
The Princess Bride: A grandfather (Peter Falk) reads a book called The Princess Bride to his grandson (Fred Savage), who questions the story at first, before becoming absorbed by it.
The Winner: The Princess Bride. It’s a more honest portrayal of the wonder books inspire.

Separated Lovers
Inkheart: Mo’s wife is taken captive by Capricorn, who wants to use her as part of an evil scheme.
The Princess Bride: Westley and his mistress, Buttercup, are separated after he goes off on a mysterious mission. After years of waiting for him, she is betrothed to Humperdinck and kidnapped against her will by a trio of bumbling crooks.
The Winner: The Princess Bride. It’s one of the greatest romances in movie history.

The Threat of Supernatural Evil
Inkheart: Capricorn wants to use the power of the silver tongues to bring into the world the all-consuming Shadow, which destroys everything in its path.
The Princess Bride: Everyone fears the mythical Dread Pirate Roberts, and our heroes create a makeshift version of him when they storm the castle.
The Winner: Inkheart. The Shadow is surprisingly creepy.

Anti-heroes Who Join Forces
Inkheart: Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), a juggler from the Inkheart book trapped in the real world, plays both sides against one another, though he eventually becomes a good guy.
The Princess Bride: Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) is a brilliant Spanish swordsman who initially tries to kill Westley and kidnap Buttercup, but, in the end, he saves her.
The Winner: The Princess Bride. Inigo Montoya will not be denied.

The Verdict
Inkheart: The story is a bit overloaded (perhaps as a result of adapting Cornelia Funke’s 500-plus-page novel), but this well-acted and occasionally very exciting fantasy film is a lot smarter than your average kid’s fare.
The Princess Bride: A great fantasy and classic romance — with a mad dose of irreverent humor — it’s got something for all ages and hasn’t dated one bit.
The Winner: The Princess Bride.

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