This was a large format hard cover print book purportedly about the making of Disney's 2010 film. I enjoyed the film, but I found the book to be boring. It was far less about the actual making of the movie than it was a tedious and fluffy puff-piece for the actors, idolizing the main cast which consisted of Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Monica Bellucci, Omar Benson Miller, and Toby Kebbell.
I think the idea was to make a sequel to it, but it apparently didn't do well enough to go that far, which is sad because despite having some issues with it, I liked it overall. One of my main issues was that this movie is centered in a feud dating back to Merlin, with Cage's character Balthazar being the good guy and Molina's character Horvath being the bad guy. Let's forget for a movie that neither of those names has anything to do with Dark Ages Britain, and let's step right over the question as to why Horvath wants to destroy the entire planet. What's in it for him?! You kind of have to check your brain at the door for movies like this. Just enjoy the spectacle and hope it's not so bad that you wished you'd checked yourself at the door!
Because this is an American production, it cannot possibly take place in Britain - home of Merlin. Nope! It has to be brought to the USA, just like the treasures in National Treasure and its sequel - also Bruckheimer production starring Cage - had to end up in the USA. It's pretty pathetic that nowhere in the world is important enough to have its own history and events playing out. It's got be in the Homeland, doesn't it? How charmingly blinkered and provincial. Maybe when enough of these movies lose money, they producer will start to realize that hey, it's not the end of the world to stage a movie in another country - even one about the end of the world!
If you've never heard of a number of these actors listed above, it's because the writer outright lied about what sterling and up-and-coming stars-to-be they are. I'm not a huge fan of Cage - liking him in some pieces, not keen on him in others. The writer talked about what a huge range he has, but he's really Nic Cage in whatever movie he's in. I've never been a big fan of Jay Baruchel either, but he's ok. All he's really done since this is How to Train Your Dragon.
Alfred Molina is okay, but nothing fantastic. Who is Teresa Palmer again? Because this is the only move I've seen her in, and although she's made other movies since then, she's hardly become the breakout star the writer predicted. She plays a character named Becky Barnes! Is that like a female Bucky Barnes? Excluding her character entirely from the movie would have changed nothing significant in the story. It's no more appropriate to require a guy to be validated by a girl in a story than it is vice-versa. I really liked Monica Bellucci as Persephone in The Matrix trilogy, but other than that she's hardly shone in other outings. Alice Krige was in the movie briefly, and I like her, but her role here was so limited that it hardly did her any favors.
None of this prevented the author from singing lavish praises so I guess he had the right name for it. These actors listed in my opening paragraph are, according to the author, the foremost paragons of the acting world: the most generous; the most easy-going; the most hard-working; the most talented; etc., et-freaking-cetera. Barf. Is there any actor about whom these things are not routinely said in similar puff-pieces? Were I an actor I would be embarrassed by this crap and maybe these actors are, for all I know. Maybe none of them ever read this book.
The idolatry was about three-fifths of the book. Other than that, there were all-too-brief sections on various aspects of making the movie effects, but not really about making the movie, and that was it. If you like reading pieces which idolize and worship actors and tell you next-to-nothing about the process of making the movie, then this is certainly the book for you. It's not the book for me, and I dis-recommend it. In fact I'd go further than that and say I just dis it. You'll learn just as much from reading the wikipedia article about this movie.