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Wilder's Movie Review

By: Dwayne Wilder

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‘Mirror Mirror’ – Julia/Julia
In the first of two major Snow White movies this year, Julia Roberts portrays the evil Queen who has it out for our young heroine.
“Julia….Julia,” what were you thinking?!
Roberts has come a long way from “Pretty Woman” and winning a Best Actress Oscar, but this seems to be a step back. She is more snarky than evil in this re-imagining of the Snow White tale. Yes, some of it is funny, but overall, she probably should have stayed home.
In the immortal words of my 13 year old son, “That movie stunk it up!”
Now, the movie isn’t entirely bad……….there are seven dwarves in it! With the script – by Jason Keller and Melisa Wallach – erring on the side of slapstick, there are some comedic moments; most by the aforementioned dwarves.
“Mirror Mirror” is slow to begin but does pick up steam through the end, which is relatively satisfying. The first 30 minutes is like walking on glass; you know it hurts, but you have to get through it. The rest of the 106 minute film is passable as Snow White regains what is rightfully hers.
Lily Collins – Phil’s daughter – is okay in her film debut. She looks the part; very pretty, even resembles what I think of when I think of ‘Snow White.’ Collins does a respectable job with the role and she should continue to get such roles.
As we follow the evil queen and her plot to get rid of ‘Snow’ and marry the rich, clueless prince, we are introduced to Brighton, played well by Nathan Lane; and the prince himself, Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer-the Highland Park product). Veteran actress Mare Winningham plays ‘Baker Lady’ as leader of the castle servants and de facto mother figure for Snow White.
Lane is the best of the movie. His smallish role as the queen’s manservant is done hilariously. You can tell he’s done farce before. He does his best with the material he’s given. Hammer is good as the prince looking for an ‘adventure’ who ends up a pawn for the evil one and a love interest for ‘Snow.’
“Mirror Mirror” is in competition with the second ‘Snow’ movie, which opens in June, “Snow White and the Huntsman.” This has happened before (Re: 1991’s ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ and “Robin Hood” among others). Usually, one outshines the other; and in this case, the June movie will be the better.
“M M” was released last Friday and ended up as third at the box office with some $20 million. Not bad; but not good either. This PG rated movie – for fantasy action and mild rude humor – needed more.
Director Tasem Singh has taken the Jacob and Wilheim Grimm story and added a few touches, but the results are less than perfect. The scenes with Snow and the dwarves are the best in the movie. Herein lies the strength, but unfortunately, the movie is about the evil queen………………..
One note: the unusual animation at the beginning, which aids in telling the background of the Snow White story, is top notch. It has a ceramic look which I haven’t seen; and looks really ‘cool’…………………….
Too bad they went live action for the rest of the story…………………..!


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