Mirror, Mirror

Tarsem Singh does it again!

When the word “Re-imagination” is thrown about by Hollywood, this is what they’re talking about. Admittedly, Disney has created my understanding of the tale, but a quick check of Wikipedia confirms that the 1937 animated classic hews closely enough to the Grimm tale. This film does not. It takes certain core elements and then completely shuffles the deck. The dwarves are now bandits in the woods, Snow White is still a Princess, but now she’s also a Robin Hood figure. There’s a CGI Chimera-type creature I don’t recall ever having been in the story before, the mythical “Poisoned Apple” makes but a token appearance, and the credits roll with a Bollywood style dance number.

Welcome to the tale of “Snow White” as presented by Tarsem Singh. It’s mildly humorous on occasion, but the “Adventure” element – which they ARE trying to interject here – falls completely flat. That’s ok! There are excessively extravagant costumes throughout! (Honestly, this movie was wardrobed by some kind of fairytale fetishist.) The Queen presides over a Louis the XIV style court, while Snow White swashbuckles in the woods with the Prince. Meanwhile, the dwarves spring along on accordion legs and act more like the mini-merry-men of Sherwood Snow White forest. Singh even renames them! Instead of Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey we have Napoleon, Half Pint, Grub, Grimm, Wolf, Butcher and Chuckles.

I kid you not.

Julia Roberts snarks, sneers and snidely smiles her way through her self-absorbed Wicked Queen. She’s relatively abusive to Snow White, I recall thinking – well, that’s not going to endear audiences. And yet, the movie definitely plays her as kind of co-lead. It’s obvious she’s supposed to be one of the comedic charms of the film, they devote as much time to her as they do to Snow White. I just couldn’t get with it I guess… I wasn’t amused. Its humor for women with vanity issues I guess. As to Snow White and her Prince, Armie Hammer and Lily Collins are a mere three years apart in age. Yet he looks 30 and she looks 14. It was a little distracting. They both do fine in their roles, however, I absolve them from any blame here. Collins is pretty and believably sweet, Hammer is funny enough when called upon.

What little humor there was in the film came via the Dwarves. Between their interplay with each other, their training Snow White in combat, and the times when they rob people, they deliver some occasional mild humor.

I’m going to stress the occasional here. I went to this one at the 7:00 showing on opening night, and the theatre wasn’t full (not a good sign), but there was a strong representation of children there. Lots of families with little kids. As such, I expected a responsive audience… lots of laughing when this film tried to make the kids laugh… But there really was none. There was one scene where the dwarves infiltrate a party that the Queen is having, and a couple of them hide under women’s skirts, getting their faces close to women’s butts. THAT drew the laughs out of the kids. Pretty much not much else though…

It made me wonder who the target audience for this movie is supposed to be? It’s way too kiddified to be for adults, yet it’s way too slow and not frequently funny enough for little kids. It’s nowhere near risqué enough for today’s tweens, which leaves us with an age range of about 8-10. And I’m 50/50 as to whether or not to say we should eliminate 8-10 yr old boys from that pool as well.

I’m not going to totally thrash it with my grade… I have a feeling a lot of my discomfort was that I’m the total antithesis of this movie’s target audience. Younger children and those with more feminine sensibilities may approve far more than I did.


28 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror

  1. That’s too bad. From the previews I thought it would be funny. It’s too bad it was Julia Roberts as the Queen, I can’t stand her. She ranks right up there with Tom Cruise for me.

    I like it when someone puts a different twist on an old story, Disney’s Tangled was good.

    My family wants to see this, based upon the commercials. But I may go into it biased as well since ABC did a great job with re-imagining the whole fairy tale thing with Once Upon A Time. I love that show.

    • If you liked the trailer, you might like the movie much more than I did.

      I thought the trailers looked bad, and then the movie was basically the same stuff over an hour and a half.

      So by that logic, if you LIKED the trailers, you’d probably enjoy the film.

  2. Dude! Not only did you need the helmet and glasses you should have been quoting Hunter S. OUT LOUD at inopportune times! Now I am 50/50 on whether I should flee. Maybe if I approach it as a visual representation of a bad acid trip I can turn it into some surreal fun!

    Fogs, Thanks for taking one for the team! Too bad you cant do this one as MST3K. Sounds ripe for the ribbing!

    • It isn’t quite that bad. There’s potential in some parts. but on the whole it was really kind of just dull and bland. He adds his “Flair” but then its such a shallow story.

      I wish it was worse, actually. I prefer my movies on one end of the spectrum or another, you know? If your flick is going to be bad, make it terrible! This one really wasnt bad enough to get riled up about. Just… strange and stupid. Approaching it as “a visual representation of a bad acid trip” is a solid plan. I wish I had thought of that! LOL

  3. I think that pretty much covers my reaction to the movie. I was incredibly bored through most of the first half of the movie and got vaguely interested in it as it finally started heading towards its conclusion. I thought it looked beautiful and made some good choices, but in the end there was very little of substance in it.

    • Yeah, Bubba. That whole boring thing at the beginning? You cant have that in a kids flick. I mean… I was shocked at how quiet the crowd was. The movie kept throing out jokes and stuff and I was like, that is going to go RIGHT over kids heads. LOL.

      I was pleased they used real sets for the most part, I’ll give the “look” that. LOL. 🙂

    • I like her well enough. I cant really blame HER for whats going on here. I mean, that’s the character they’re giving her, and she does her best. I dont know if it would have worked if they had given it to any actress, honestly.

      As a blogger, you do what you gotta do. I know how that goes. As a moviegoer, I’d advise staying away. LOL

  4. I usually like Julia Roberts, so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy this one more than you did. I am a little worried about that 8-10 year old target demographic that you gave it, though.

    While I haven’t personally experimented with “fairytale fetishism”, I’m willing to try anything once… Or twice… Or… Oh, Who am I kidding. I’ve got a whole closet of tiaras and frilly dresses made out of swan feathers.

    Happy weekend Fogs!

    • Seriously though, I’d keep an eye out for this one come Oscar time in the best costume category.

      Not my cup of tea, but they obviously spent a sizeable chunk of the budget there!

      On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 1:23 PM, Dan Fogarty wrote:

      > Oh! > > Then this is DEFINITELY the movie for you! LOL. There’s tiaras, and Swan > hats and big poofy dresses with all kinds of colors and stuff. 😉 You’ll > love it! > > 😀 >

      • Yeah. I’ve got it at #3 in costumes and #9 in art direction. The costume designer Eiko Ishioka just passed away after finishing the project (as horrible as that sounds, it often gives them a boost for the award). Plus this is probably one of her more accessible works, having Julia Roberts and all.

  5. I am not a big Julie Roberts fan (didn’t think she should have gotten that Oscar) and the previews so turned me off that I don’t plan on even watching it on video.

  6. I actually had some small hopes this would turn out to be OK, but it doesn’t sound like it’s panning out. Ah well. I can’t say I’m really surprised at all.

    For what it’s worth, I’ll defend them on changing the names of the dwarfs. They didn’t really have a choice. Grumpy, Doc, etc., weren’t the original names of the dwarfs in the first place. Disney came up with those, and if someone other than Disney goes calling the dwarfs by those names, well… Disney legal team. Not something you want to mess with. The traditional names, at least in the versions I’ve read, have the dwarfs named after the days of the week, which honestly makes it easy to get confused as to who’s who. So coming up with new names is a logical decision, as far as it goes. I’d expect Snow White and the Huntsman to have yet another septet of dwarf names.

  7. Well, I’m sad & happy at the same time…I was going to go see it yesterday, but got sidetracked, so I’m happy that I saved some $….I’m sad because I really wanted you to like this movie, so I could justify seeing it in the theatre…LOL… I’ll wait for Netflix this time around 🙂

  8. I wasn’t too enthused about this when I saw the trailer and your review confirmed my dread. Regarding Armie and Lily, “…yet he looks 30 and she looks 14” Wow I didn’t even know they’re only 3 years apart, Snow White is supposed to be very young but Armie perhaps looks too mature for his age. Anyhow, I’ll probably just rent this one.

    • It wouldnt be bad if you just rented it…. but if you weren’t enthused by the trailer, I dont know if I have good news for you. LOL. The trailers paint a good picture of what youre going to get in the full length version!

      I was really surprised that theyre so close in age Ruth! I looked on IMDb and I was like wow, thats it?

      Its Lily Collins I think. She really looks young. She’s like 21 or 22 I believe, but I’d have guessed mid teens somewhere if I had been asked without knowing.

  9. Believe it or not, I enjoyed this a little more than I did “Wrath” and gave it just a slight bit more of a rating. (My review will post this evening). I didn’t like Julia Roberts for her humor, but I did like her for her evilness.

    • No, I can see that. I mean, it’s not saying much, Titans wasn’t exactly Oscar bait.

      I can see someone giving this like a mild recommendation. I don’t know if I’d get carried away though, lol!!

  10. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | LAMBScores: Wrath of the Titans, Mirror Mirror and Goon

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