Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ink - What Indie Film Dreams Are Made Of

When was the last time you saw a movie that really broke ground, stood apart from the pack and surprised you in ways you weren't sure movies could do anymore? Let's face it, there are a lot of good movies out there. Well made, talented actors, beautiful sets, amazing cinematography; but usually they are just reiterations on a theme you've seen before. I have just finished an independent film called Ink. To say the least, I was blown away. I had seen a quick trailer for this film some time ago and added to my list to see, but it wasn't until today, after a word of mouth recommendation to see it, that I forced myself to sit down and give it a chance.

Ink is many things. At it's heart, it's about redemption, but that's just the creamy filling. The candy coated exterior is packed with dream worlds, creepy looking villains, well choreographed action scenes, surreal shoot locations and hypnotic special effects. I don't even really want to elaborate on the story any further than the trailer does. Half the enjoyment of this film was in the journey of discovery! The first 20 mins of the story is almost frustrating in its complexity and apparent disjointedness...but like any good puzzle, it all starts to come together quickly and fall into place.

And the music! The music is so good. In fact I just saw a link to buy the soundtrack on the YouTube page while I was looking for the trailer embed code. There are several segments of the film, that evoke emotion like a good music video, there is actually very little dialog compared to your average flick. The film makers do a great job of getting points across without needing to have those odd scenes where two characters talk about plot points. You know, like they are talking specifically for you to overhear what the are saying as opposed to carrying on an actual conversation, often starting with a line like "so let me get this straight..." or "so wait, you mean that..."

I will say that Ink is not complete without flaws. For all the wow moments and dream-like sequences...there are a few spots where you can tell that this was a low budget independent film and a couple actors are noticeably noob-eriffic. But if you can get your expectations of flawless & polished film making to relax for just a bit, you will find a diamond in the rough. There is actually a 10 minute "making of" in the DVD extras that shows how many of the costumes, back drops, stunts and make up were done on a limited budget. And though I have yet to listen to it yet, there is also a full length commentary that I'm interested in.

To sum this up; this movie has all the right elements of a great film. You may even find yourself ready to shed a tear near the end. It's a cult hit in the making. You will never regret the 2 hours you spent watching or the 5 bucks you spent on the rental. Although you also wouldn't regret buying it. I think this is going to be added to my list of odd but awesome films that I will watch over and over again in the future. Story-wise, there are no similarities, but it kinda reminded me of Dark City or maybe Donnie Darko. It's got odd, quirky characters. Dark & disturbing villains. Great props, a touch of sci-fi, tons of atmosphere and a surprise twist in the end that leaves you whirling.

Get this film, grab some popcorn, dim the lights and get ready for a movie that really has no peers. You will be raving to your friends, as I am now and I guarantee this film will be in your top ten of 2009...if not all time. Enjoy.

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