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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unsung Gem
Most films released with such little promotion are horrible, but "The Thief Lord" is actually quite good. One of its finest selling points is that it contains none of the gross adult humor that is so popular in modern children's movies. "The Thief Lord" is based on the German children's book with the same name by Cornelia Funke. Although the same complaint about...
Published on March 19, 2006 by Meredith

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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ADVENTURE IN VENICE
Since a lot of movies aren't set in the lush Venice landscape, THE THIEF LORD is commended for its use of the canals and gorgeous buildings. The story based on a popular children's books is somewhat like OLIVER with a 16 year old Fagin.

Two orphaned brothers escape the grasping clutches of their nasty relatives and head for Venice, where they are taken in by a...
Published on March 31, 2006 by Michael Butts


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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unsung Gem, March 19, 2006
By 
Meredith "Writer and Reader" (The Banks of the Wabash Far Away) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
Most films released with such little promotion are horrible, but "The Thief Lord" is actually quite good. One of its finest selling points is that it contains none of the gross adult humor that is so popular in modern children's movies. "The Thief Lord" is based on the German children's book with the same name by Cornelia Funke. Although the same complaint about adaptations applies: The movie is almost never as good as the book, this should not keep anyone from enjoying the film.

There are a few minor changes to the story mostly to make it better suited to the screen, but the movie follows the book fairly closely, and the plot moves a lot quicker than its literary counterpart. Orphans Prosper and his younger brother Bo run away to Venice, the city from their mother's fairy tales, because their aunt wants to separate them. Upon arriving in Venice, the boys come under the protection of an older boy known as the Thief Lord who shelters a group of homeless street kids. However, their aunt isn't about to give up that easily, and a detective is soon on hot Prosper's and Bo's trail. When the Thief Lord agrees to perform a special theft for a mysterious count, the children, the detective, a photographer, and a crooked antiques dealer are all drawn into something much larger than any of them could have guessed.

The children are well cast. The boys playing Prosper and Bo are the cutest kids since the boys picked to play Ron Weasley in the first Harry Potter movie and Colin Creevey in the second, and Riccio looks like a young Johnny Rotten right down to the teeth. The film itself is well shot. It is obvious that this was a low budget film when it comes to the special effects, but things don't always have to look like they cost millions of dollars. The makeup and effects could have been better for Scipio's transformation though. That's the only real disappointment.

Overall, this movie is better than much of what is out there.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful For The Whole Family, May 30, 2006
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
Up until the day that I saw "The Thief Lord" on the DVD shelf, I was entirely unfamiliar with it and the book it's based on. It was a wonderful surprise. It follows the lives of two young boys named Prosper and Boniface who trek off to Venice in order to remain together after losing their mother. She always told them how magical Venice was, and their expectations were high. Instead, they are left to fend for themselves on the street until they meet the Thief Lord. He's sort of a cross between Robin Hood and Peter Pan, though his intentions aren't to stay young forever.

The Thief Lord houses a small band of orphans in an old theater, and Prosper and Bo join them. They gain the trust of the group when Prosper haggles with a local antiques dealer and garners a large sum of money for the group. As the story rolls along, Bo and Prosper's relatives hire a private eye to seek them out. They also run into a nice photographer who ends up helping them quite a bit during their adventures. Eventually, the duo uncover some wild information about the Thief Lord, hunt for a magical wing, and help there fellow orphans along the way. It's all done in a wonderful and child-like fashion. The magic of Venice is slowly revealed and results in quite a grand climax. The antiques dealer adds a nice bit of comic relief, especially near the end of the film.

In closing, give "The Thief Lord" a chance. It doesn't have the same budget as many other modern "family friendly" films, but it is a much better film overall. It's getting a lot of comparison to the "Harry Potter" flicks, but I believe that it stands apart from that film and really doesn't have much in common with it other than the English accents. I highly recommend it, especially if you have children, but I even recommend it to adults who simply enjoy magical tales.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geepers., May 3, 2006
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
To tell you the truth, this is probably the best movie I've seen all year, and probably will be with in the top two or three. Plus, it's a movie the whole family can enjoy, since kids of all ages can watch it.

I rented this movie from blockbuster, and now I'm bugging my mother to buy me it so I can watch it over, and over, and over, and never have to return it.

Alright, so here's the deal, the movie's plot was based on 'The Thief Lord' a book that was written by Cornella Funke. As many say, the book is better then the movie. But darn, did this get close.

Both the movie and the book were full of action, adventure, secrets, and mysteries that had to be uncovered as the plot progressed.

Plot: Prosper (played by Aaron Johnson), age 15 , and his little brother Bo (played by Jasper Harris), age six and a quarter, ran away to Venice after their mother died to escape their aunt and uncle who weren't exactly the nicist people in the world. Once they step foot into Venice, misery seems to follow them everywhere. First off, they have little food and only a few cents left in money, and then Bo comes down with a cough, plus they have no shelter. But all of that changed when Scipio (Played by Rollo Weeks.), also known as the Thief Lord.

Sorry, I can't tell you anymore of the plot, ^_~ No need for me to spoil it for you.

Actors/Actresses: They casted the cast very well, Bo was adorable and did look like a little angel, while both Scipio and Prosper were very cute, while the dective did seem to always change faces with his numerous fake-hair peices, then Hornet and the others were equally good at their ability to act.

Music: The music was wonderful, it really did bring the movie to life. I really did enjoy the ending song, it really did fit the movie well.

Lighting: Wonderfully done, well thought out, and well planned. Of course, the majority of the movie took place at night, which is (I think) hard to do since it's usually pitch black, but even then you could still see the actor's and actress's faces with out putting a blinding spot light on them.

Animation/Special Affects: I think for the budget that this movie had, they did very well. Clearly, this wasn't like the Harry Potter movies where they had alot of cash to film it, but still it was well done.

Pros:

Good actors/actresses

Good animation for the budget

Intense plot that kept you wondering what would happen next.

Music was wonderful

The actors/actresses carried their roles well.

Kept close to the books original plot.

Cons:

Never going to be a second one. :(

I wish they had it a little bit longer to fit in a few mor thigns, but not everything can happen.

Over all: I give it five stars. ^_~

Oh, one last thing, I suggest that you rent the movie before you actually buy it maybe. For some people who like alot of violence, this movie doesn't have to much of it. But, if you enjoyed the book go ahead and get it, you won't be disappointed.

Hope you found this review helpful! ^_^

-De
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Great, April 16, 2006
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
My friend and I were at a movie rental place when my friend's dad found this movie among many popular ones. My friend and I were utterly surprised. Having read the book and loved it, i was apprehensive to get it since it never came out in the theaters. But we decided, since the book was so amazing, to try it out.

I am glad i did. The movie followed the plot precisly and i found myself laughing and sitting at the edge of my seat. The characters were exactly how i pictured them although at times they were dry. The movie theater they lived in was better then i imagined it and i was blown away by the scenery of venice.

Overall, i found it very refreshing, having followed the book and bringing my favorite story to life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably one of the best non-American family adventures in recent history, September 30, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
The Thief Lord was released in my country a couple of months ago and for some reason it immediately caught my attention. A German family adventure/fantasy movie with English language and with English actors - all of that seemed quite unusual and therefore interesting to me. At the same time I never heard of Cornelia Funke's novel of the same name so I didn't know exactly what to expect from it.

I watched Thief Lord today and actually I liked it. It was really fascinating to watch something fresh and different from typical and often annoying Hollywood family stuff. For young ones Thief Lord is an enjoyable family adventure with talented young cast against the background of one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world, Venice. For grown-ups besides that it's a story of bitter loneliness and sometimes misunderstanding which unite most of the characters. Two brothers fifteen years old Prosper and much younger Bo after death of their parents are separated. The younger goes to the old childless relatives and Prosper has been sent to an orphanage. But brothers can't live without each other and for six years old Bo Prosper is the only person who cares about him and loves him so much. Desperate, they run away. They have nowhere to go in the whole world and they are heading to Venice, the city that their mother loved so much. But the city is not welcome to runaways with no money and only unexpected help of a mysterious boy, who called himself Thief Lord and saves them from more troubles. Bo and Prosper join him and his team of orphans who find a refuge in a deserted movie theater. Soon our heroes learn that ancient city is full of surprises and what's is more that strange magical things can happen there. They become involved into rather unexpected events and lives of different characters collide in Venice. We meet a lonely wife and husband, who also heading to Venice, trying to find a runaway child, who was merely a way to suppress their own loneliness, a lonely detective, who was hired to find Bo and some other characters. However, finally for many of our heroes salvation from their troubles will come in a rather unexpected way for each other.

But the loneliest and most suffering from that is mysterious Thief Lord himself who is trying to keep his secrets inside of him. This key character is playing by Rollo Weeks, who looks very good in his rather complicated part. Both Aaron Johnson (Prosper) and Jasper Harris also left very positive impression from their acting, self-reliance and naturalness. Adult characters sometimes look cartoonish but it's really important that they never collapse into stylish clichés so typical for Hollywood family entertainment. Even if because of limited running time sometimes the movie doesn't have enough room to development of some characters we know enough about them to feel sympathy or antipathy to them, which is very important for such a film. The acting among adult cast was also not bad with most memorable and likable performance from Jim Carter as Victor.

Thief Lord In the beginning the movie is fast paced and probably a little too short but mostly it's exciting well-filmed film with interesting and original story. The soundtrack one it's own looked very good and it's a very good addition to visual part even if sometimes the music is abstracted from what we saw on screen. And let me to say that visuals for such low-budgeted production were also not too bad. If you are looking for a good non-American family adventure film on English language as an alternative for Hollywood production featuring talented cast, probably you would be unable to find better choice than Thief Lord. Also it's worth to notice that the movie mostly successfully avoids typical and clichéd for American family films crude humor and language.

I know possibly I'm too generous and surely Thief Lord is not a flawless masterpiece but I rated it 9 out of 10. Unfortunately such enjoyable and beautifully shot family movies so rarely appear in our movie theaters or video stores.

And the last one thing that I almost forgot. I liked very much title song "Orphan skies". It was pretty good one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Romp in Venice, March 26, 2006
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
We rented this movie because of the location - Venice. We enjoyed viewing it as a family.

The plot has been summarized already: Brothers Prop & Bo lost their mother three months earlier. Six year old Bo (for Boniface) is living with his unpleasant aunt and uncle and Prop ("Prosper") is an orphanage. They escape together to Venice, the place they would have moved with their mother if not for her untimely death. They meet up with a team of orphans who live in an abandoned theater and support themselves with petty crime.

Prop is tempted to steal some cough medicine to help Bo but then replaces the bottle. He is reticent to take part in any sort of thievery. Little Bo reasons that if these other children have helped him, he'll help them in return regardless of whether the activity is objectionable.

The adults are cariacatures, as one typically finds in movies made for kids. Vanessa Redgrave shines as an empathetic adult who becomes involved in their adventure. The children are appealing characters, unlike your standard Disney brats.

I was concerned that this movie may glorify crime but I don't think that it did. The scene toward the end with a magical merry-go-round may spook younger children a little. I'd definitely sit with them through it.

For me, the beautiful scenes in Venice took center stage with an enjoyable story tagging along.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I guess it's just to good for theatres!, April 20, 2006
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
This was an amazing movie! I think it followed the book very well. Besides that point, it had beautiful shots of Venice, and it was also very adventerous. The movie had great acting and amazing visuals. It also explained the bond between the kids very nicely. I'll have to say thumbs up for the thief lord.(it rocks your socks off)And I guess it's just to darn good for the theatres!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The theif Lord, January 24, 2007
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
The novel The Thief Lord was my favorite book. The setting of this book is Venice, Italy. The main characters are Scipio, Prosper, Bo, and Hornet. Prosper and Bo ran away from their home to Italy. In Italy they meet new friends. To find out more you will have to read the book.

Peter.S,Grade 5, ,Harrisville, RI
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funke is superb., June 6, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
When you watch the predictable, tired drivel that make up the Harry Potter stories and then see this imaginative romp through Venice with just enough "magic" to make it interesting, you wonder why are not more people lining up to buy Cornelia Funke's books. This is a delightful story, full of fun, fancy and fantasy but with substance. It appeals to both the younger-- my 8 year old granddaughter loved it-- and the older set-- her 70 year old grandfather did too, as did my wife and all of us who watched this delightful tale.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ADVENTURE IN VENICE, March 31, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Thief Lord (DVD)
Since a lot of movies aren't set in the lush Venice landscape, THE THIEF LORD is commended for its use of the canals and gorgeous buildings. The story based on a popular children's books is somewhat like OLIVER with a 16 year old Fagin.

Two orphaned brothers escape the grasping clutches of their nasty relatives and head for Venice, where they are taken in by a gang of young thieves, headed by the charismatic Thief Lord, Scippio. Meanwhile a private eye has been hired to find the boys, and the quest for a mysterious wing lures the boys into a lucrative theft.

It's all far-fetched but engaging, and the young cast tries hard. The warmth and love between the two brothers is refreshing and the adults are game, including a cameo by Vanessa Redgrave.
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The Thief Lord
The Thief Lord by Richard Claus (DVD - 2006)
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