'The Seeker - The Dark is Rising'
(Alexander Ludwig, Ian McShane, Christopher Eccleston, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (2007) 2008 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Filled with magical characters, thrilling action and spectacular visual effects, The Seeker is an epic fantasy adventure the whole family will love! During Christmas break from school, a seemingly typical teenager discovers he's anything but ordinary. As the seventh son of a seventh son, Will Stanton is The Seeker - a chosen warrior destined to restore the delicate earthly balance between Light and Dark. Guided by ancient protectors of the Light, young Will must travel through time to gather the hidden signs that hold the ultimate power to protect the world.
DVD Verdict: THE SEEKER revolves around an American boy named Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig). Will and his family are transplants currently living in England. On his birthday Will discovers that he is the last of a group of immortal warriors of Light, the "Old Ones". The Old Ones have supernatural abilities, including the power to travel through time and space, and are engaged in a long-time struggle against the forces of Dark.
Will is a special Old One, not only because he is the last Old One, but because he is also the Seeker--the person chosen to seek and find six Signs of Power (in the shape of a circle with a cross). When united the signs form a great weapon to fight the Dark. Will, however, only has a few days to find and united the Signs before the Dark Rider (Christopher Eccleston) and his minions reach the height of their power and will be able to overcome and withstand even the power of the united Signs.
THE SEEKER is based upon Susan Cooper's beloved novel, THE DARK IS RISING. However, other than a few names, locations, and sparse plot outline, THE SEEKER has no semblance to THE DARK IS RISING. For example, Will is turned from a British boy into an American, the character of the Walker is erased, and there is no hunt. I'm a huge fan of Susan Cooper's stories and when I learned about THE SEEKER, I was quite excited about it, but I was extremely disappointed by the movie adaptation. That's not to say the movie is terrible, because it's not.
It is a decent escapist fantasy flick that, as a movie, isn't too bad. It is, however, a very, very, poor adaptation of the story it is based upon. All of the Celtic mythology, sense of magic, and powerful spiritualism that are such an integral part of Cooper's novel have been eliminated. The result is a decent fantasy movie that's entertaining to watch, but that fails to spark the imagination or encourage the heart and doesn't have much spirit. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs but comes with no Special Features.