QUIRKS: Fantasy comedy based on a book. Yet another movie based on Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld series. His fantasy worlds are very detailed, yet very much based on today’s world, if it were to take place in the past. Discworld is full of tiny bits of satire. Fantasy stories littered with absurd and ridiculous comedy — which makes them easier to swallow, because things are never TOO serious. These are lighthearted stories.
PEOPLE: Starring Richard Coyle (Prince Of Persia:Sands Of Time, Coupling) as Moist Von Lipwig. David Suchet as Gilt (Wing Commander, Greystoke:The Legend Of Tarzan). The lovely Claire Foy as the somewhat gothy Adora Belle Dearheart. More of her, please! She’d be perfect for Tim Burton movies! She could take roles that Helena Bonham-Carter is now too old for :)
I totally recognized Manuel from Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs, as Groat. Which is pretty amazing, as it’s been 30 years, he now has white hair, and was talking with his real-life English accent instead of his fake Barcelona accent from Fawlty Towers. But his shortness, and some of his bodily mannerisms made me realize it was him. And it was. Glad to see his career is still going.
Lord Vetinari was played by Charles Dance (Claus from For Your Eyes Only).
Also, someone who played “Eric’s Drums” in 1 episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job — Steve Pemberton — is in this. He played Drumknott. What gives? Does he always play roles related to drums? Nope, actually, most of his roles are not drum related. He was Mr. Prosser and additional Vogon voices in the 2005 Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy movie.
And anyone who watched Black Books, or paid close attention to Shaun of The Dead, would recognize Tamsin Greig in this. (Not us!)
Mr. Pump’s voice was Nicholas Farrell (Torchwood, Pearl Harbor, Greystoke:The Legend Of Tarzan, Chariots Of Fire). All I could think of the entire time was that his voice would be PERFECT for Marvin The Robot (or whatever his name is) from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
PLOT SUMMARY: Con-man who ruined lives and was about to be hung is given a second chance as postmaster general. But the job is daunting. Not only do they have to compete with the clacks (think: internet email run via semaphor), but there are ghosts, and mountains of unsent mail to deal with.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Con-Man escapes justice, gets victim’s daughter to fall in love with him, defeats local technology startup.
VISUALS: A rich fantasy world that is not too different from our own.
MORALS: Personal redemption.
POLITICS: Corporate greed.
GOOD STUFF: The whole “postal mail vs. the clacks” subplot is pretty much mirroring how email has hurt the postal service in real life. People would even get me when “The clacks are down” — it very much felt like the internet was down. This movie also used the concept of a computer virus, despite the fact that there are no computers in this movie. THAT IS A FIRST, AND IT WAS AWESOME. I’d explain it more, but it would ruin the fun.
Nice and long. I’ve always contended that you need three full hours to properly convert any book to a movie. It’s why the Peter Jackson Lord Of The Rings movies are so good — they almost cover everything (almost… Tom Bombadil, where are you?!?). It’s why the Harry Potter movies are so much better if you manage to find a fan-edit version that restores all the deleted scenes and makes them three hours. It’s why we like previous Terry Pratchett movies like The Colour Of Magic and The Hogfather.
BAD STUFF: It’s made for TV. But I gotta say — of all the made for TV movies we’ve seen recently, this one showed it the least. No bad special effects here.
CONCLUSION: A fun fantasy romp with a great deal of comedy, with even subtle commentary about both corporate malfeasance, and about the internet reducing the delivery of paper-based correspondence. Three hour live-action Discworld-based movies are quite fun if you can find the time, and this is the 3rd one that’s been made in the UK. Good luck finding these in America, though.
RECOMMENDATION: If you like 3-hour Terry Pratchett fantasy movies made for UK TV — then here’s another one!
And I also couldn’t help but be reminded of Kevin Costner’s The Postman. The only two movies I’ve ever seen about re-starting postal service :)
“It was the most wonderful kiss I never had.”
“Has anyone ever told you, how beautiful you look, when considering violence?”Mood: hungry
Music: Triptykon – Abyss Within My Soul