Review: Ink

Director: Jamin Winans (11:59,Spin,The Maze,Blanston)
Writer: Jamin Winans
Producers:Kiowa K. Winans
Starring: Chris Kelly, Quinn Hunchar, Jessica Duffy, Jeremy Make, Jennifer Batter
MPAA Rating: 14A for Course Language
Running time: 102 min.


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Prior to watching Jamin Winans’ Ink, I had read few reviews after seeing a few Facebook posts from New York Lately, director Gary King. King and the other reviewers all praised Winans’ work as something special and after 2 viewings I have to agree with them. Ink does something that is very difficult for films to do. It takes what is in effect a simple story and combines it in a huge fantasy world. Many movies try to do this and fail because they lose sight of the importance of the characters. They get caught up in the special effects and trying to show everything that exists. Ink, though manages to effectively balance the epic nature of the world with the personal story of a father who has lost what is truly important, his family.

ink-8The world of Ink is the world of dreams and nightmares. Each night the Storytellers bring dreams to people and the Incubi bring nightmares. One night a playful girl named Emma (Quinn Hunchar) is sleeping under the watchful eye of one of the storytellers. A large ratty robed deformed man come in taps her on the head and proceeds to steal Emma off into his world. The initial battle during between Ink and the Storytellers is one of the more visually appealing battles. Jamin manages to combine a raw gritty fighting style, some extremely interesting special affects and a camera style that still allows you to see everything while bringing you right into the action. This initial battle is blew me away the first time I saw it and while the later fights are not as impressive they still are interesting to watch.

ink-6While we follow Ink in his quest to bring young Emma to the Incubi, we are introduced to her father who is on the verge of making a huge deal for the company he works for. John (Chris Kelly) has thrown himself into his work after first losing his wife to an accident and then lost custody to his wife’s parents. John is good at his job but it is all he has. Even when Emma’s grandfather shows up telling John that she is in a coma all John does is cut a cheque for him after yelling that he has no daughter.

ink-6Throughout the rest of the movie we are shown how John’s world and the dream world where Emma is now stuck merge together. While Emma’s story is told in a direct path John’s is told through dreams and nightmares non-linearly. We are introduced to different Storytellers, Incubi and regular people and Jamin does a beautiful job of creating multiple worlds all at the same time with what feels real with fully fleshed out secondary characters even though we do not spend too much time with them.

ink-6Ink does what many movies fail to do it combines beautiful special effects with a large world and a very personal story of redemption into something that really is special. It is not a huge blockbuster movie with millions of dollars behind it but it is something much more wonderful. It has everything that the big budget movies such as special effects and great action but more importantly it is a movie with heart. I fell in love with the characters of Ink and I really hope to be able to return to the world some day in a sequel until that day I will just have to settle for re-watching Inkas I have already done so.

One final extra note, Ink ended up with a much too limited release. I highly recommend showing your support for independent film by heading over to Double Edge Films and ordering this on DVD or on Blu-Ray where it will look amazing.

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Andrew James
Admin

Saw this tonight at Flyway and man does this thing sparkle! The character creations alone are super cool looking – particularly those Incubi. Damn that was neat to see something look like that on a shoestring budget.

The music is great and even the fight choreography (which normally I can't stand) was fantastic; which surprised me.

Some of the back story drama was a bit on the heavy-handed side, but other than that I have no problem with your 4.5/5 star review. This movie is all kinds of awesome.

Kurt
Guest

Congrats on the Launch of Dark Bridges John!!!!!

Andy
Guest

Wow. That trailer looks incredibly epic. I hope the film lives up to the promise.

Jonathan
Admin

Needless to say, this looks amazing. I'll be sinking my teeth into this one asap.

Andy
Guest

Just checked it out on Netflix Live today and I loved the imagery. It had a fantastic plot, which is half the battle for me. The acting left me wondering what this film could have been if Winans could have gotten some proven talent involved..

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[…] in release this week, a SciFi/Fantasy film that deals with lands of dreams & nightmares which John over at Row Three has a glowing review that’s secured it sweetly on my to see list. Also up this week is the award winning Ballast […]

Jonathan
Admin

It took me long enough to get to watching this, but I was extremely impressed by this. As of now, it's sitting in my top ten for the year. I have a few movies left to see, but I'm pretty confident it will make the list.

Good story. Great visuals. Very imaginative.

Jonathan
Admin

p.s. Ink can now be watched for free on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/116313/ink

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

I finally got around to watching this yesterday too (thank you, Netflix Instant Watch!), and yeah, wow. So many filmmakers with many times the budget can't manage to pull off something this tight, innovative, and beautiful. I wasn't sure about the timelines once in a while (maybe a rewatch would clear that up, but I'm a little concerned he sloughed it off with "time doesn't work the same way"), but other than that I was pretty much totally sold. Even my bit of distaste for how hot the lighting was in the real-world scenes was eventually countered by the story, which at least allowed me to invent a reason for it that satisfied me.

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