Helprin's book is a tad precious, but Goldsman has no trouble shmaltzing it up in a way that undercuts the magic, while calling attention to the massive effort he needs to create the kind of wizardry that Helprin can do with a sentence or two.
To boil it down to its simplest form, think of this as Fern Gully meets Braveheart. MK, a human girl previously unconcerned with saving the earth, is shrunk down to fairy size to help fight the battle between "the forces of life and decay."
Epic represents another cinematic betrayal of master children's storyteller and illustrator William Joyce, but this time with visuals that, while lush, don't do much to carry Joyce's distinctive style to the screen.
In that instant, something snapped in my heart and in my head. I realized that I was either part of the solution, or I was the problem. There was no in between. Standing on the sidelines was no longer an option. It was time for me to act.
For his part, director Paul Verhoeven joyously showcases ultra-violence in Total Recall, sticking it in the audience's face. Indeed, the entire milieu of the film is as downbeat as it is shot through with glee.