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June 17, 2024

Mirror, Mirror: A Reflection

By Bernie and Sand Pilarski

Sand said:

Wow, this movie brought the haters out of the woodwork. Boring, they said; Stupid adaptation, wait for Snow White and the Huntsman if you want a really thrilling story, said others. Julia Roberts is a joke, pacing is bad, not even popcorn made this film worth watching, etc, etc.

Oh, bull.

I admit that in the first few minutes of Mirror, Mirror I knew something was a bit "off" of other films. However it didn't take long before I identified what was "off." Mirror, Mirror didn't shift scenes as often as everything else I've seen on TV or in movies. Scenes were allowed to flow, the camera following the action rather than rapidly shifting from character to character, location to location. I do believe that for the popularly-formed viewer, such attention to prolonged scenes would be as distracting as having to watch old black-and-white movies in which movie stars act and portray a story, with little glitz and cutting.

The trailer I saw for this movie (last year) convinced me to see it. Julia Roberts can be really funny, and Mirror, Mirror promised to be quite silly and entertaining. Roberts ensured that it fulfilled its promise. As the Evil Queen, she was self-absorbed, despotic, jealous, mean-as-pig-tracks, vain, and yet ... she accepted herself for being so. The Evil Queen was her profession as well as her persona, and it was her life's work. So appealing was Roberts' portrayal that I found myself wishing she were a better manager of resources, so that she could go on being Evil Queen, always feared and annoying, but running things, keeping them going in her own way.

Alas, it was her step-daughter who proved to have the better managerial eye: Snow White, portrayed by Lily Collins, goes to visit the people of the realm and sees first hand the mismanagement of resources and the misery of the people.

You know the rest of the story.

More or less.

One of the things about this movie I appreciated was how little-child friendly it was. I can envision watching this one with the great-grand-babies, should I live so long. Another thing that I appreciated was Armie Hammer as the prince. What a shame he wasn't picked to star in John Carter -- I'm sure it would have done better at the box office.

It was a nice movie, and I'm glad I went.

Bernie said:

You almost always have pictures you took on your vacations, right? Exotic places you've visited ... like maybe Cleveland, or Altoona. Those are special memories, all right. But the reality is that those magical moments don't make up the bulk of your life, or even the majority of the pleasant experiences in life. Our lives are filled mostly with the visits with family and friends, the everyday moments that you rarely take out the camera for, unless of course cousin Bubba has a bit too much to drink and decides to indulge his cross-dressing fetish. That's always good for at least a couple pics.

Going to the movies is like that too. Yeah there are movie masterpieces, movies that attain Clevelandesque heights of cinematic excellence, but that's not always why you go to the movies. "The movies" is where you go to get out of the house, or to take a date, or just to pass some time. The movie itself isn't necessarily all that important, it's just the being there that counts. Even so, a lot of these movie-going experiences end up having movies that are actually entertaining.

I mean, really, they churn movies out by the hundreds! Not just for theaters, but for the "straight to video" markets, the made for TV movies, the Syfy channel movies, and on and on. There are lots of cousin Bubba movies out there.

Mirror, Mirror fits into one of these categories of "not really a Cleveland-worthy" film, but a movie for whom I would put on a pot of coffee if it came over for a visit. It is a cute take on the old Snow White story, complete with all the recognizable characters -- Snow White the beautiful but abused princess, the evil Queen with the really cool magical mirror, seven dwarves, handsome prince ... you get the picture.

There are some twists to the original story, not the least of which is that is a comedy, and director Tarsem Singh seems to delight in having fun with it. Good, clean fun, not the potty humor so prevalent in a lot of movies. This is a film that all ages can enjoy. Some critics have billed it as a kids' movie, but the audience at our showing were mostly older, and we all chuckled and giggled our way through the showing.

The film is beautiful to watch; the art and the costuming are lavish and surreal and, like other Singh films, effectively transport the audience into a fanciful world.

Anchored with solid performances by Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane, the cast is effective and fun to watch. There will not be Oscar nominations for these roles, but that doesn't mean they weren't good. (Seriously, Bruce Willis has never once been nominated for an Oscar, but is there any denying that he has amassed a library full of memorable characters?) I liked them.

I wouldn't say you had to rush out there right now to see this picture, however, I would say that if you decided to go, you'd get your money's worth of entertainment from this Mirror, Mirror, and you would feel good about having seen it.

Article © Bernie and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2012-04-02
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