Snow White gets another movie, and this time it's a bit less pouty and a bit more humorous. Let's get right into it.
MIRROR MIRROR tells the story of Snow White (Collins), a princess in exile and the evil Queen (Roberts) who ruthlessly rules her captured kingdom. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince in this magical comedy filled with jealousy, romance, and betrayal that will capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences the world over.
I heard mixed things about this film when it was starting to get reviews rolling in. Some called it a very lighthearted twist on an old tale, while others called it a failed attempt at reinventing a story that didn't need much reinvention. For me, it fell somewhere in the middle.
Mirror Mirror had a very solid, talented cast of folks to make this work. Julia Roberts as the very evil queen was an interesting selection. She brings the charm, as we all know from her past works, but seeing a tiny bit of 'bitchy' evil from her was enjoyable. She was good in her role of the antagonist and very believable. It was a great casting choice for the queen and let me just add that I'm thrilled she didn't try a British accent. Thank you for not doing that, Mrs. Roberts.
Equally as good was Lily Collins as Snow White. She brings a cute innocence to her role that should propel her into bigger and better things. She was fun to watch onscreen and played a very charming, strong Snow White. Her counterpart in the film was Armie Hammer, who also brought the same amount of wit and charm to his role of Prince Alcott, as Collins to hers. He seemed to have fun in this lighthearted role, and it shows onscreen.
The supporting cast was pretty strong, and I simply loved Nathan Lane as the queen's groveling servant, Brighton. That man can do no wrong. The issues with the film aren't with the cast, it's with the script.
The story has incredibly unbalanced. Some things happened too fast, while others developed too slowly, and the audience was begging for a conclusion by the end of the film. For example, the beginning was perfect, as the queen tells the tale of Snow White from her perspective (very humorous). The movie follows the original story of Snow White perfectly, as she eventually is run out of the kingdom towards certain death at the hands of Brighton by the orders of the queen. After this point, the story gets messy. Snow White's relationship, which needs building, with the dwarves is empty. She is a threat to their thieving operation and one of them wants her out. They agree on a one-night stay and she suddenly wins them over by the next night. It's all empty, especially when she screws them over by taking their gold and giving it back to the townspeople. Sorry, the way the story was working meant that she was either exiled from their home or killed by their hands. Somehow they forgive her by an empty plot point and the relationship becomes a full friendship, which is puzzling.
After that, Snow White becomes a bandit with them, almost Robin Hood-esque, and eventually robs the prince of his goods. All the while, Julie Roberts' Queen is trying to find ways to get more revenue from her starving kingdom and make sure that she marries the prince. Somewhere along the way, the prince falls in love with Snow White and the story gets confusing from there. The scenes with Roberts are slow at best, and they make the film boring at times. The scenes with Snow White and her compadres are too quick and undeveloped, which causes issues when Snow White goes from cute princess to badass bandit.
This screenplay didn't do the acting, or the original story any justice whatsoever. It was the one element that failed the film, and one that should have been caught well before filming began.
At the end of the day, if you don't have a healthy screenplay then you're probably going to have a disaster of a film. The screenplay was messy, the characters were undeveloped and it just didn't have a competent flow to it. Despite the fantastic acting from the cast, they just couldn't do enough to make this story worthwhile.
As for the Blu-ray side of things, the film was pretty solid on the HD transfer. While there is a large amount of black/white in the film, there are still some beautiful moments that show how well the transfer really took. For example, the dance scene with Collins and Hammer was gorgeous, as there were plenty of reds, blues, yellows and greens that stuck out beautifully. The end scene with the wedding was equally as impressive in terms of visuals. There were moments of graininess and artifacts, but they were brief and happened more towards the darker scenes in the film. There wasn't color banding, though.
Finally, you get the following special features:
- Deleted Scenes
- Looking Through the Mirror
- I Believe I Can Dance
- Mirror Mirror Storybook
- Prince and Puppies
There isn't a lot here, but the features are somewhat entertaining. The deleted scenes might have helped the movie a bit. The Looking Through the Mirror and Prince and Puppies are pretty charming features. They do compliment the film quite well. Overall, not a bad set of special features, but nothing particularly overwhelming awesome.