I was beside myself with glee when I first heard of this movie. The book it is based on has been a book I have read and reread as well as given to children and adults alike over the years. So I was HORRIBLY disappointed at the changes made in this adaptation. Key elements left out, characterizations gutted, the mythos it was based on trivialized.After such great adaptations as LotR, Narnia and the Potter books to see this classic ruined was a sad sight.The books concepts depend on British folktales and legends (Arthurian based) and the movie seems to have tossed that aside in an attempt to woo American audiences. The family is changed, leaving out the close knit structure that is the basis of the story.Don't see this movie. Don't let your kids see this movie. Do yourselves a favor and read the book.Someday someone will make this movie with an eye to the source material.
If you saw the preview and thought "Pass", I would call you prudent. If you have been a fan of Susan Cooper's beloved book series since you were a kid, saw the preview and thought "Maybe it won't be as bad as it seems...", then I weep for your broken childhood love. If you were like me and thought "Even if it is cheesy, it might turn out to be fun", then I'm giving you a Get Out Of Jail Free card with this review. It is not enough that we must be subjected to one-dimensional characters, painfully predictable dialogue, hackneyed plot lines, cliché villains, headache-inducing camera work, and one of the worst climaxes ever recorded. No. Not by a long shot. The atrocity here runs deeper. Our intelligence is insulted, our tastes are ridiculed, and our freedom of choice turns on us and squeezes its fist around our throats. This film registers as a negative, a black hole, in the canon of cinematic creations. There were parts where I imagined the producers saying, "Just leave it that way. They'll never notice" or "You don't have to explain that, it'll fly right over their heads." I understand that the budget for this film was (gasp) a measly 20 million dollars, but lack of financial resources is NEVER, EVER an excuse to feed gold-plated crap to the masses. Christopher Eccleston fans may get a slight quiver of a laugh out of his (failed) quirky turn as The Rider, the wraith-like shape shifting ambassador of "The Dark". But in all seriousness, I think he may have just needed a few extra bucks for a down payment on an Aston Martin he might have had his eye on. Otherwise the acting is not even a subject to be brought up, since cardboard cutouts don't require much effort to portray. The special effects are where all the money went, and they're fairly decent. Though I refuse to count this as praise, any more than I would appreciate a smattering of whipped cream on the top of a rancid pile of stinking, eight-week old peach cobbler.In any fantasy, there are rules that must be set and limitations where magic is to be found. Otherwise, the whole thing becomes a free-for-all that never holds any kind of credibility. I don't think I have the time or the energy to describe all of the problems, violations, and inconsistencies I saw occur within this film that barely topped two hours. It would be a real challenge for someone to sit down and try to catch them all. There was no respect for the genre here, just a seemingly voracious need to exploit the current fantasy craze. If after The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Harry Potter, the bigwigs in the studios think that this sort of thing can pass as acceptable, then the legacy of Story is over already. Yes, I am being overly dramatic, but at this point, it's too late to turn back. Time once lost is not recoverable, money once spent requires more labor to regain, and the wish to walk away from a story feeling like we've been entertained, had our minds and hearts opened, once dashed is hard pressed to be soothed back again from boundless feelings of deep discontent and a sense that we have been robbed. It breaks my heart, and I left this film genuinely livid.
If you read the book, skip the movie. If you did not read the book, still skip the movie. I saw this with a group in which some of us had read the book and some of us had not. Everybody disliked it.The story was confusing, disjointed, and eventually pointless. Even if you had read the book, it appeared that the screenwriter was taking scenes from Harry Potter, scenes from the Fifth Element, and a few scenes from Cooper's original novels then patching them together. This led to an incoherent story line.The biggest question is what were they thinking when they disregarded the story contained in the book? In an episode of "all things considered" on NPR, screenwriter John Hodge asserted that he was trying to distance this movie from Harry Potter. If so, he failed miserably because the massive changes made this look more like a bad Harry Potter knock-off than a separate film. From the NPR interviews, it appears that Ms. Cooper had little or no input in the film. I suspect that the filmmakers were trying to make a Harry Potter-like film out of Susan Cooper's story so they could avoid copyright infringement. Unfortunately, they were trying to fit a square peg into the round hole and it did not work.
To whoever made this movie: I congratulate you. The only redeeming factor in this poor excuse for a film is that it will be nearly impossible to produce any of the sequels. (Though I'm sure that won't stop you.) You have managed to destroy anything and everything that made the book wonderful and unique. To be able to something this awful with such great source material surely takes a great amount of planning and deliberation.What, it was on accident? That is impressive.Honestly, if you're not going to do it right, don't do it - screenwriters, directors, actors - was there anyone who felt the need to perhaps point out that this thing was a piece of crap? My father, who has never read the books, said the movie was awful, and I would dearly love the home address of the people who destroyed my favorite fantasy series.
That should just about sum it up, but I'll continue. There were about 3 things about Susan Cooper's magnificent book that were preserved in this movie: a couple of names (but certainly not all of them--where was the difficulty in letting his father be named "Roger" rather than changing it to "John"??), a rook feather in the snow, and... that's about it. Sorry, couldn't think of a third. From the color of the Rider's horse to the number (AND AGE) of Will's siblings, from the abilities of the Old Ones (Swords and crossbows? Really?) to the utter importance of the Walker (I wanted to scream)... nothing nothing nothing was safe from being altered, disregarded, obliterated, and out-and-out ignored. I wasted $7.50, but had to be sure that it was as awful as I feared. It was worse. The last time a superb book-turned-rubbish-movie angered me this much was when I was forced to see Jim Carrey prance around as Count Olaf, who should've been one of the greatest villains to scare the wits out of little kids everywhere.I'd like to say I'm done with adaptations, but The Golden Compass is coming out, and that one looks like more than the gaffer actually read the bloody book.
Awful, awful, awful - from screenplay to casting to effects. Should one be surprised considering the director announced in the past that he thought the books did not give good movie material and that he dislikes fantasy/children's movies to begin with? Did he pick them up in the end after all to ride the Harry Potter wave? Announcing at the same time that he changed the script from younger British boy to older American boy to avoid having yet another Harry... Well, Susan Cooper's book series the Rising of the Dark sequence was written long before Harry Potter and it has all the material for a good movie. If you like Britain. Its landscape and people. And history, as the background of the book is the King Arthur legend. Unfortunately, the original book has been butchered to the point that the story is unrecognizable. That does not necessarily make a movie bad, just different. However, in this case, as a result of the butchering, the story does not make sense, lacks any depth, and is a disappointment from A to Z which the director tries to hide by using cheap effects and repetitive and lame shooting angles. Save yourself the theater ticket fees and buy those wonderful books from Susan Cooper instead.
The Seeker is not only one of the worst films I have ever seen it is probably the worst movie of all time. PT Barnum said there is one fool born every minute so I ask why were they all involved in making this pile of utter crap? It doesn't matter if it had followed the book (it woefully doesn't) but it isn't a good movie in any respect at all. This was a money grabbing, farce of a movie, with terrible plotting, terrible casting and even worse directing.It insulted, the readers of the books, children's intelligences worldwide and the movie industry in general. I wouldn't trust the writer nor the director to sit the right way on a toilet.If you ever read Ian Fleming's work you'd know that the books and film stories are totally different but they manage to convey the ruthlessness, the style and epic quality of the books and add their own style of fun to generate the longest running successful sequels in history.With the care and attention to detail put into the filming of the Lord of the Rings I honestly thought we were past the limitations that dogged fantasy films in older days but Fox proved us wrong, I can only surmise, that the financial and marketing people don't read, watch good movies or even have decent IQ's.How is this for a financial idea: Susan Cooper wrote a 5 book masterpiece that works for kids and adults alike. If we cast it properly, plan out a set of films to bring the books that brought joy to millions out to billions we could if done properly be in the money for years to come and rule the Christmas films for the next 5 years. Hmm who do we get to produce it, screen-write it and direct it for us.I know, how about we get a successful producer, can we get the one who did that massively acclaimed hit "Legally Blonde 2", a screenwriter who can't write for children and a director who admits he doesn't like the fantasy genre.I'm trying to work out if movies qualify under the Sale of Goods Act here in Britain. Calling the film "The Dark is Rising" might just be considered as false advertising or at least an infringement of the trade descriptions act. I can then claim my money back and clear the way for everyone else to get theirs back too.
Rarely have I been so disappointed, I actually walked out of this film half way through, not caring how they end this debacle. With such a rich text to draw from, this movie could have been awesome, the plot is pathetic, the characterisation all wrong, the dialogue clichéd drivel, what were they thinking.Why they had to change the setting away from Celtic countries & Saxon mythology I have no idea. The whole heart & soul is missing from the story.Everyone involved in the production of this film should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, they've chipped away at a cherished bit of thousands of peoples childhood memories by squeezing out this arse-gravy onto celluloid.
Like many it seems I dreamt of seeing The Dark is Rising on the big screen. Such depth, such scope. With such a true adaptation of the narnia classic already achieved I couldn't wait to view the trailer.... Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Is this really based on Susan Coopers book? What I remember as a powerful novel, full of magic, good versus evil and suspense bears no resemblance to the movie. What a waste of time and effort.I can't believe for one moment that Susan Cooper has authorised this movie which is supposed to be based on her book. I just hope that people new to this series will want to read the books if the first taste they have is this abysmal looking film.It seems the studio which produced this film have come up with the golden goose egg of formulas for those too stupid to appreciate the myths and legends in the book. Of course they would change his name from Jack to Jaqueline and get rid of the bean stalk for a rocket to the stars. Oh and not to forgot replacing the giant with a basketball player. But hey all in the name of making a quick buck.....