Excellent, minor quibbles
I stumbled across this movie while testing out Netflix' video on demand service. Netflix rated it highly for me, and it sounded interesting, so I hit play and... Wow, I was totally blown away. Everything from the art direction, to the music, to the acting, to the plot in this movie is fantastic. It is seriously the best movie I've seen all year. However, I'm not writing this review just to gush. Rather, although the movie was absolutely brilliant, I have a few minor quibbles that I would like to point out. First, there is the plot. Don't get me wrong, the plot was great, but it is almost directly from the "after-school special" school of writing. Although Jamin Winans handles it with amazing deftness, there are a few moments when it drifts into glurge, especially during the scenes where Liev goes all "I know there is good inside you," to Ink. Furthermore, at one point after her capture Liev says, "I didn't come to fight you," But, if I recall correctly, wasn't she the one that attacked Ink first? The second thing that bothered me is the simplistic portrayal of good versus evil. The Storytellers are all cute guys and girls; the Incubi are all ugly men. The Incubi dress is SS approved uniforms. The Storytellers give all sweet dreams; the Incubi give all bad dreams (in my experience, dreams are a chaotic mix of all emotions.) The Storytellers live in a serene forest; the Incubi live in an urban wasteland. This makes both the Storytellers and Incubi one-dimensional, and I normally have no empathy or interest in one-dimensional characters. I'd much rather some of the villains be sympathetic and some of the heroes flawed. However, the presentation works for me in this film probably because Ink manages to be both. Finally, the biggest issue I have with this film is the amount of swearing in it. Ink would make an excellent family film, accessible to viewers of all ages - a film you could grow up with, adding layers of understanding as you pass through new life stages - were it not for the copious volumes of swearing John and Jacob engage in. I don't think that was necessary at all, and in fact, jarred with the overall tone of the movie. Overall, I recommend this movie very highly – it is original, beautiful and powerful.