Established May 2010.

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Film Critic for Twin Cities Live

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Monday, April 2, 2012



Director: Tarsem Singh
Starring: Lilly Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane

The fair Snow White (Collins) is stuck living her life in her bedroom. Her stepmother and guardian The Evil Queen (Roberts) sits upon her throne while the servants wait upon her. The Queen has stolen the thrown away from Snow White and has left the town in disarray. After sneaking out of the castle, Snow runs into Prince Alcott (Hammer) in the woods. A spark ignites between the two of them even though they do not know each other's secret identities. When Prince Alcott arrives at the Castle, the Queen becomes infatuated with him purely for financial reasons. She is determined to marry him for his wealth. She is so broke she can't even afford to throw him a ball to woo him over. She raises the townspeople's taxes and throws him a lavish affair. Snow White sneaks downstairs and eyes the Prince and their identities are revealed. The all-knowing Queen witnesses their connection and banishes her from the castle to live out in the woods. Along with the help of seven dwarves she encounters, Snow is determined to take down the Queen, regain the throne, and win her prince back.

There are two Snow White movies coming to theaters in 2012. The other one is Snow White and the Huntsman, which is a gritty darker version starring Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Kristen Stewart as Snow White. Mirror Mirror is supposed to be the lighter, comedic tale. The key phrase there is "supposed to be". There are so many problems with this version of Snow White. For a PG rated family friendly movie, there does not seem to be much life and fun to it. The story is flat, boring, and not funny enough to keep young children entertained. The acting is all over the place in style. Julia Roberts is bland and boring. She does not have the over-the-top wickedness that could make her Evil Queen a fun villain. Nathan Lane is typically the king of being over the top but falls flat and useless. Armie Hammer seems to be the only actor that is having fun. He's not afraid to be silly and goofy. He shines when he is struck by a puppy love potion.

Tarsem Singh is known to be a very visual director. The look of the movie is about the only thing that works here. The costume design by the late Japanese designer Eiko Ishioka is gorgeous. The bright reds and yellows help give the movie the fairy tale feel. I found myself more engrossed by the dresses Roberts was wearing over any of her acting choices or lack thereof. Unfortunately, one good actor and a fabulous costume design can't save a movie. What could have been a beautiful fairy tale movie for children and adults, Mirror Mirror is boring and lackluster for any age audience.

Rating: ** (2 out of 5 stars)
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  1. Pretty much exactly what my opinion of the movie was, too. This could have been a light, frothy fairy tale comedy ala "Princess Bride" but it came nowhere near it. I did enjoy the "puppy love" scene, though. :-) Otherwise very disappointing. I remain optimistic about "Snow White and the Huntsman," though.

  2. Kyle-
    The puppy love scene was probably my favorite by far. Armie Hammer is always good at being cute and adorable. I think "Snow White and the Huntsman" will be awesome. Charlize Theron will be awesome, wicked, and crazy as the Evil Queen. She's one of my favorites.

  3. I think this review is "bland and boring." I thought the Queen brought a new light to the Queen that you don't see in the fairy tale - showing her internal struggle with getting old and adding some humor to it in the meantime. While I don't think the movie was the best, I think this unimaginative review followed what the author thought the critics were thinking instead of analyzing the movie for himself.

    1. Dear Anonymous-
      I'm sorry you didn't like my review. I would like to think that I don't always side with what the critics say. I tend to be more forgiving than some critics. "Battleship" is a good example of that. I gave it a positive review as I thought it was a mindless fun summer movie. I know it will probably end up on many critics "worst of the year" list, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. I personally walked out at the end of "Mirror Mirror" expecting and wanting so much more out of it.