Friday, March 30, 2012

Mirror Mirror (PG)

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I love Julia Roberts. Love her! Inasmuch as anyone who’s never actually met a person can. I’ve liked nearly every movie she’s ever been in. I didn’t care much for Closer and I haven’t seen EVERY movie she’s ever made but you get my point. She seems so down to earth. And that laugh! Having been blessed (or cursed, depending on who you’re talking to) with a similar belly laugh I love that it’s almost become her trademark. She does NOT disappoint in Mirror Mirror. I love her in this movie too. Love to hate her. Oh. Does that seem a tad strong? You’ve got to know that’s what the producers wanted. They took America’s Sweetheart and made her Public Enemy Number One. Mwahahahahahahaha! Oh the drama!!!

I’m hoping that everyone who’s reading this knows the basic story of Snow White. If you don’t, you’ll have to Google it to get the 411. So there. I do have to say that this is officially my favorite version of the story. Do they stick to the basic plot? Sometimes. Do I like the changes? Oh yes. Yes, I do. And the other 11 or 12 people in the theater seemed to like them also. I don’t know why more people didn’t show up for this. I started to think that only midnight showings of action movies get the big crowds but Wrath of the Titans was showing at the same time and there was hardly anyone lined up for it either. I guess everyone just wanted to stay tucked in tonight. Let me warn you, guys, that you might not be thrilled with some of the changes. The guys who were at the theater tonight…er…this morning didn’t seem to mind them. Parents, this is definitely one to which you should take your daughters. It’s a girl-power movie that shows that it’s okay to be sweet and strong but that it’s also okay to have help sometimes.

Thinking this was going to be the same, basic story I was pleasantly surprised by the afore-mentioned changes, i.e. the mirror. It was so not what I was expecting. I love how they revamped it. There is also a beast in this telling. I don’t think there’s been one in any of the other stories. Kudos to the art department on that one. I kinda liked the look of him. Having mentioned changes in the story you may be wondering if two things were left in. The kiss and the apple. They are most definitely included but not in the way you think. These are just two of many reasons I like this version. And I dug the Queen’s bedroom. It reminded me of the movie Aladdin (the animated version).

Lily Collins plays the part of Snow White. Some of you may remember her from The Blind Side, Priest or Abduction. I can’t imagine anyone else in this role. I just read some background on the film and found out that she replaced Saoirse Ronan. I wonder why and also why she wasn’t the first choice. I also found out that she was beat out for the part of Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman. Having seen the previews for that, I definitely can NOT picture her as that Snow White. Sorry, Lily. You’ve got some chutzpah in this film but Kristen Stewart has the rough edges to portray a more hard core Snow. Wow! I think I just insulted both of them. Oh well. Carrying on…

Armie Hammer plays the part of Prince Alcott. He’s so stinkin’ tall! He looked like a giant next to Lily and the dwarves. Not that that is of major import to the movie. I just read that his mother and his grandparents are Okies! Wahoo! The only other movie I’ve ever seen him in is The Social Network. He portrayed the Winklevoss twins. So, having only seen him in two films I can’t even begin to guess as to how good an actor he’ll become. He was constantly irate in The Social Network and he was sickeningly sweet in Mirror Mirror. Not that I didn’t like him. No actor, playing this part, was going to get glowing accolades. He really was just silly. The kids will love him, though. There was one part in which the silliness stopped and I really did feel for him. It’s the part at the door. You’ll know it when you see it.

Julia Roberts plays The Queen. I didn’t want to dislike her but I couldn’t help it. She is evil. She is cruel. She is vain. She is greedy. The list goes on and on. Even her better half is lacking but only because she’s controlled by the evil half. I would say more but I don’t want to give much away. I did love her costumes, though. They were so over the top. I wouldn’t mind playing dress-up if I got to wear stuff like that.

Speaking of costumes, good job wardrobe department! If this movie had a chance at any awards this would be it. From the Queen to the dwarves to the villagers. They went all out for this film. I think my two favorites were Snow’s pants outfit and her wedding dress. The wedding dress especially. She was anime come to life.

The casting director(s) did a very good job regarding their choices and I especially liked the supporting cast. Each of the dwarfs was fun to get to know. Sadly, a couple of them were relegated to the background most of the time. We heard from them every once in a while but only Butcher, Half Pint and Grimm stood out. Well, and maybe Napoleon. The others were in the same scenes. I don’t really know why they weren’t as noticeable. I think my favorite was Butcher, played by Martin Klebba. He’s all kinds of cute. He’s one of those teddy bears with a gruff exterior. The other supporting characters I liked were Nathan Lane as Brighton, the Queen’s lackey, and Mare Winningham, a baker in the castle and Snow White’s confidant. Nathan didn’t get to be as funny as he usually is but I liked him all the same. I’ve never really made up my mind about whether or not I like Mare but my heart broke for her in the scene in which Snow White’s death was announced. What? You know the story. Or you should, anyway. Sean Bean makes an appearance also. I like him. I like him a lot.

Let’s jump to the break-down, shall we?

Sex/Nudity – we see the prince without his shirt a couple times but that’s the extent of the nudity. There is absolutely no sex. I read the parents’ guide regarding the rating on IMDB and had to laugh at what was written under Sex & Nudity. “Prince Charming Kisses Snow White in The Lips.” Oh no! I don’t mean to belittle what someone saw as a warning but it’s one of the tamest kisses I’ve seen in any movie in years.

Cursing – I think someone said “hell” once but that’s all I noted. And I did listen for bad language.

Drinking/Drugs – Yes to drinking. No to drugs. We see several people drinking wine and Half Pint shows up at the table a tad tipsy.

Violence – Yes but it wasn’t very scary violence. No blood at all. There were a couple of different sword fights and a fight against the beast but other than that…not so much.

Intense scenes – I thought that the worst scene for children would be the puppet scene. I would hope that it would bother them. Let me rephrase, I don’t want them to be bothered. I want them to be innocent enough that they would find it creepy. Not just the puppets but Julia Roberts in that scene also. Gave me shivers. The beast was a tad scary too but not as much as I thought he’d be.

If you think your child would be all-right to watch the first couple Harry Potter movies then they should be more than fine watching this. I can’t think of anything else to compare it to right this minute. I think kids’ll like the robbery scenes and the dwarves. I didn’t believe that those were the actual dwarves in the masks, though. You’ll have to watch and see if you agree. I would have absolutely no reservations with recommending this movie to PT and Armat. Or to my friend Daner for her kids. This is a fun, curse/sex/gore-free movie and I hope it does a LOT better this weekend than it did opening night. Go see it then spread the word.

P.S. After Lily sings (yes, that’s really her) at the end of the movie there’s no reason to stay unless you just like credits.
P.P.S. If you guessed the surprise before it was revealed during the climactic fight scene, well done, you. I did and was so happy I was right.

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