Monday, February 18, 2013

Mirror Mirror

Lily Collins and Armie Hammer are pretty close to royalty in real life. Good casting in the annoying yet well-intended, Mirror Mirror from Tarsem Singh
*1/2 out of ****

That was pretty tedious. It seems wrong to be tough on what is essentially a kid’s movie, but I have a long list of similar films in mind which charm people of all ages. Also, I don’t know if I would have liked this movie as a kid. I’ve always had contempt for shaky stories as the result of a movie trying too hard to be cute.

That’s the other thing, in spite of interesting sets, great costume design, a cute-as-can-be Snow White and a visually talented director at the helm, Mirror Mirror is ugly! In a time when digital cinema is starting to get on its feet, this movie makes a strong case for those who believe it produces lifeless stale images. The boring lighting of EVERY scene and the coffee-stained color grading, produces a visual experience that is dull and far from the comparatively lush The Princess Bride, a film that, it is fair to say, this movie attempts to echo.

To be fair, it makes some very good attempts at being a good whimsical tongue-in-cheek comic fantasy. The intentions of this movie are way more honorable than the humorless, gloomy, yet ironically superior Snow White and the Huntsman. There are terrific one-liners among stupid ones. We are spared any needless mass battle scenes. The casting seems to have good comedy in mind. Snow White actually is fairer than the queen. The acting talents of real dwarfs are employed. Above all, Snow White and the Huntsman didn’t end with a Bollywood-style musical number and this one does.

Fairy tales should be fun and this movie at least tries to be. I had no idea it was so hard for talented filmmakers to achieve such a goal. This movie has many good ideas that never seem to flourish.
There is just something I hate about family films when all the annoying gags and cartoonish music cues for the kids are stupid and the self-conscious yuppie-humor aimed at the parents is annoying. Mirror Mirror will probably be enjoyed by many kids -and maybe their parents, but for anyone seeking magical escapism… it really isn’t here.

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