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Mirror, Mirror fun and visually stunning

Paul Peterson

There is a new trend in movie making and its bundling themes or concepts. This summer we’ll see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Martha Washington Werewolf Slayer. Or something like that. It’s a cute concept but rarely translates to a good series of movies.
Recently we’ve seen studios making fairy tales into films. Red Riding Hood was interesting, and this year two companies are tackling Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. Later this summer we’ll see the darker version when Snow White and the Huntsmen  appear.
Mirror Mirror is a lighter version of the tale of family betrayal and Kardashian -esque vanity.
Starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins, there are some dudes in this film but really it’s a two woman show.
Roberts is over the top in a good way as the wicked step-mother who sees her title as fairest in the land upstaged by the blossoming Snow White. We get the back story here. Snow White’s dad is a really good guy for a King, and he teaches her all kinds of cool skills and and also how to be a good person. Snow’s mom died when she was an infant so eventually the King figures his daughter needs to learn things other than fishing and fighting so he remarries, and buckle up kids, cuz’ the ride gets bumpy once the step-mom enters stage left.
The King goes off to slay the dragon and do some other kingly stuff and the Queen goes Game of Thrones on the kingdom, By the way if you haven’t seen Game of Thrones the new miniseries that gives inbreeding and excessive extended breast feeding a bad name, consider yourself lucky. But I digress.
Once she’s 18, Snow is a clear and present danger to the Queen so she has her dispatched to the forest by the Queen’s henchman to be dispatched with extreme prejudice. But he can’t do it. He let’s her live and she starts to rebuild her life.
She makes friends with 7 little people, they prefer to be called dwarfs, not midgets, and while their names are Napoleon and Grim not grumpy and sleepy, they become fast friends. Sort of. Really, they’re a tough bunch to befriend. They’re Robin Hood’s merry men meet the cast of Jackass.
We are aware that there’s a showdown between good and evil and it’s played mostly straight. There is some humor in here, quite adult if you get the joke. The merciful henchman is turned into a cockroach, and gets violated by a cricket. Oh myyyyyy.
In other news, the Queen’s magic mirror is probably just some extension of her sublimated super-ego. I don’t know what that means but it sounded good and mildly Freudian. It’s her in the mirror but her magic comes at a price as we learn later on.
Meanwhile, back in beautiful princessville, well, things are progressing. Snow frees a handsome prince who Ms. Roberts has designs on and somehow we just know that the missing King is going to make a return.
It’s a good film, and for a story that’s been told a lot of times there are fresh elements. It’s nice to see a film with two strong female leads. Lily Collins is interesting as our damsel in distress. She’s the daughter of  singer Phil Collins and holds her own against Julia Roberts, who once starred as the new young mom in The Step Mom. Irrelevant, but to me, interesting.
I think Roberts is great in this role and while we all know how the story turns out, there are some interesting wrinkles. A lot of the credit for the look and feel goes to director Tarsem Sing, who made the Cell but we can forgive him after this effort.
The main audience for this film has been moms and their daughters, and I don’t think we’re going to create a flood of men to see it, but it is fun and visually stunning. Having said that, I need to see some Die Hard just to get myself right again. Yippee cay-eh
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Arts & CultureNews from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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