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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: March 30: Ink


March 30: Ink

"A mysterious creature, know as Ink, steals a child's soul in hopes of using it as a bargaining chip to join the Incubi - the group of supernatural beings responsible for creating nightmares."

   As I sit here writing this review of Ink, listening to the music from the film, I am in a state of contemplation. The movie, mixed with the incredible score, leaves you emotional and full of thought, thinking about what is really important in life. It makes you question if what you're doing is good enough or if you can do better... be better. The film lingers in your mind, even hours after viewing, and you can't help but admit how incredible it is. Sure, it has its faults, like every thing does, but at its heart, Ink tells a beautifully tragic story about one man's love for his daughter and the lengths he goes to protect her. The film is much more deeper than you'd expect and insanely creative. Ink is a combination of Inception, Pan's Labyrinth, and What Dreams May Come, except it's not. The movie does have many familiar themes, but the finished product feels completely new and it's very rewarding. 

Along with the emotional punch Ink packs, it is also rather disturbing

   The plot and story of Ink are its greatest strengths. Between our "realities" (awake and asleep), there exists others who create our dreams (the Storytellers) and others who create our nightmares (the Incubi), as well as drifters, who roam around seeking a meaning to their lives because they have no place to go. Among these drifters is Ink, a creature who kidnaps the soul of a girl in hopes of using it to join the ranks of the Incubi. As neither the Incubi nor the Storytellers can interact with the real world, a child's soul that crosses the plane into the "in between" is incredibly valuable. Thus, a war for the girl ensues, and the Storytellers will do whatever it takes to save her. Meanwhile, in reality, John, the father of the girl, is coming to terms with his own personal tragedies and wondering if he is fit to be a dad. The Incubi are using John's weakness's to plant evil thoughts and dreams into his head, wanting him to succumb to the darkness so that he poses no threat of rescuing his daughter. The Storytellers ask for assistance from Jacob, a Pathfinder who, in a sense, is a master Drifter and can physically alter objects and events in the real world. Jacob's plan is to bring John into their realm and use him to save his daughter. He beautifully orchestrates a chain of events that lead to an accident and, for a very short time, John is between realities. This all may sound very complicated, but Ink does a tremendous job of explaining as much as possible and does not confuse the viewer. It's masterfully written and in the end, ties together marvelously. 

   The acting in Ink is very hit and miss. John is played by Christopher Soren Kelly and he does a terrific job in the role. He has a very short filmography and I am surprised I have not seen him more, as he clearly has talent. The rest of the cast, however; is very average, as many of them seem to be drama students that just graduated acting school. This is only the slightest bit distracting and is very easy to look past. When it comes to the visuals of the film, Ink is very impressive. With such a low budget, Jamin Winans, the director, is able to do so much with so little. I can't help but imagine the epic heights the film could have reached if Winans had more money. I hope that one day (soon), Winans has the chance to direct a big studio movie, because I can only assume he'd work wonders. It should be noted that Winans also wrote, edited, and scored Ink, and this combination is obviously similar to that of Robert Rodriguez, who eventually directed Spy Kids and Sin City. Here's to hoping that Winans will follow a similar path. 

  Ink is a rare kind of film. It sparks a curiosity in your life and leaves you thinking about things you normally wouldn't even bother with. It does have its faults but they are very minor to the overall message of the film and can easily be overlooked. Ink succeeds in that it is nothing like anything you have seen before and, in its originality, you appreciate it even more. Now, I can tell that Ink may not be for everyone, as I feel it might be an either love or hate kind of film, but I do suggest at least giving it a chance. If you don't like it, you will have only wasted 107 minutes of your time. However, if you love it as I do, you will have experienced an amazing little film that deserves much more credit and recognition than it has. Ink is very ambitious and shows that creativity is not dead in the film world. It will inspire you to think, write, draw, or even make a movie on your own. I highly recommend Ink

The Good:
Christopher Soren Kelly proving that you don't need a household name or be in a studio movie to have some damn fine acting chops
The Better:
an elaborate, yet simple plot that combines reality with our dreams and leaves you thinking about what is most important in life
The Best:
Jamin Winans incredible score that raises the emotional level of the film to insane heights. should also mention that one of the main themes in Ink is used on the soundtrack for The Grey, one of my favorite movies of the year 

Overall: 9.4/10

Best Quote:
Jacob: They're all reactions! One thing begets the next. A man has a weakness, he's flawed. That flaw leads him to guilt. The guilt leads him to shame. The shame he compensates with pride and vanity. And when pride fails, despair takes over and they all lead to his destruction. It will become his fate... Something's gotta stop the flow.

Extra- The song featured in Ink as well as The Grey


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At July 8, 2012 at 2:58 PM , Blogger Ryan McNeely said...

I. Love. This. Movie. Totally and completely.

If you haven't seen it already, you should watch Uncle Jack. It's a short film Jamin Winans made with the same cast. It's on youtube here:

At July 8, 2012 at 11:06 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I'm glad to see you went back enough in my blog to find this little gem and one of my favorite reviews. I will most definitely check out Uncle Jack.

Winans actually lives about an hour away from me, and I continually think of what it would be like to meet him and even interview him. He's a busy man, though, so who knows. But maybe one day (sooner than later) I'll manage a contact with him and you'll see an interview on here.

I just gave myself chills thinking at how cool that would be.

Thanks for the love, the link, and the feedback!


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