Jun 302012
 

If you’re looking for a breezy family film, elements that are often missing from modern movies littered with sexual content and questionable material, you can do worse than Mirror Mirror. The movie has fine performances from Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer, the visual effects are pretty good and the story itself, while obvious and predictable, is at least interesting enough to keep your attention until the end.

 

 


Mirror Mirror (2012)


REVIEW NAVIGATION

The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

 

Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy
Fox | PG – 106 min. – $39.99 | June 26, 2012

MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Tarsem Singh
Writer(s):
Melisa Wallack (screen story), Marc Klein and Jason Keller (screenplay)
Cast:
Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Marie Winningham, Michael Lerner, Sean Bean

Theatrical Release Date: March 30, 2012

DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, DVD/Digital Copy Combo
Number of Discs:
2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video:
1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles:
English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size:
41.8 GB
Codec:
MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s):
A

 


THE MOVIE – 3.25/5

Mirror Mirror is the first of two live action Snow White stories to be released in theaters in 2012, the other being the darker, more serious and better received, Snow White and the Huntsman. Having not seen that movie, I won’t try to compare but when this movie opens with a clunky voiceover by Julia Roberts, I didn’t have high hopes that this would be a good experience. However, despite any issues with dialogue or the actual story, I have to admit that there was something about Mirror Mirror that I liked…

Following the voice over introduction with Julia Roberts telling the audience that this is her story where we find out the king of a land has disappeared and presumed dead is now being rules by The Queen (JULIA ROBERTS), a cruel woman who lives only for wealth, power and dark magic conjured by the woman in a mirror (herself). She rules with an iron fist, bilking the villagers of all they have turning what was once a cheerful, singing population into a hungry and downtrodden one.

The Queen also keeps the king’s daughter, Snow White (LILY COLLINS), a woman who was set to take over the throne, under lock and key. But running out of the money needed to keep up her lifestyle, she needs to collect not only more taxes but a partnership with another kingdom to fill up her coffers. This financial rescue comes in the form of the charming Prince Alcott (ARMIE HAMMER) who first falls for Snow White after she rescues him and his assistant after they had been robbed and strung upside-down by seven dwarves (more on them later), not realizing she was in fact a princess. At this point, Snow White was heading into the village for the first time, and against the Queen’s demands, while Alcott was heading into the castle.

Meanwhile, the rebel force of the seven dwarves – comprised of Napoleon (JORDAN PRENTICE), Half Pint (MARK POVINELLI), Grub (JOE GNOFFO), Grimm (DANNY WOODBURN), Wolf (SEBASTIAN SARACENO), Butcher (MARTIN KLEBBA) and Chuckles (RONALD LEE CLARK) – rob one more person: the Queen’s kiss ass helper, Brighton (NATHAN LANE) who had came from the village to collect on taxes. The dwarves have no qualms about stealing from the villagers or the Queen since she had banished them and the town people failed to stand up for them.

Now being threatened by Snow that she might steal away the prince, The Queen orders Brighton to kill Snow White, though once in the woods, he refuses to do so and instead lets to go. She runs into the dwarves who take her in and eventually band together to confront the Queen who put the Prince under a love potion (a puppy love potion to be exact) and take back the kingdom before it’s too late.

Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Mirror Mirror. All I knew it was one of two Snow White stories released this year and while the opening is a bit clunky in both dialogue and pacing, the film is lighthearted and has more than a few truly funny moments that makes this movie a fun, family-friendly, romp.

One of the finer elements is the acting. No, it’s not a powerful and robust performance, but its obvious Julia Roberts was having a good time playing a villainous. She’s effective enough and rides the line of camp quite well that she brings certain energy in every scene she’s in. Similarly, rising actors Lily Collins and Armie Hammer both have good chemistry with one another that even with minimal amount of screen time; they at least make for a believable couple that would instantly fall in love.

The rest of the cast are good from the dwarves, including Danny Woodburn of “Seinfeld” fame and Martin Kelbba (Pirates of the Caribbean) to Nathan Lane playing the bumbling assistant and even a nice cameo by Sean Bean. Like the primary players, none of them are especially memorable but they fill out their parts well enough and provide the right amount of comedy and makes the jokes work.

Mirror Mirror was under the direction of Tarsem Singh whose previous efforts included The Cell (a movie I once enjoyed but have found to be on the more ridiculous side) and most recently, Immortals which wasn’t bad but was hardly a masterpiece of filmmaking. While this wasn’t a great movie, it was entertaining enough and Tarsem proves able as a filmmaker with some cool visuals.

If you’re looking for a breezy family film, elements that are often missing from modern movies littered with sexual content and questionable material, you can do worse than Mirror Mirror. The movie has fine performances from Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer, the visual effects are pretty good and the story itself, while obvious and predictable, is at least interesting enough to keep your attention until the end.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5

As has been done on occasional Fox releases, this one comes with a detachable lenticular front cover, not sure what the point of it is but I guess if you’re a fan of the movie, you can pin on the wall or something.

Deleted Scenes (6:55; HD) – Five scenes were, for whatever reason, excised from the final product including an Alternate Opening. There’s nothing here of value and it wouldn’t have added to the overall satisfaction.

Looking Through the Mirror (12:58; HD) is a decently made behind-the-scenes featurette taking a look at the direction, casting and story for Mirror Mirror. You’re not going to get a whole lot out of it since the cast and crew basically kiss each other’s asses throughout, but it’s not completely useless.

I Believe I Can Dance (11:01; HD) – This featurette takes a look at the choreography for the final scene and you, the viewer, can learn the moves too! Yeah, this is the type of feature you’d see on a Disney Blu-ray or DVD…

Mirror Mirror Storybook – With this feature you can read an animated storybook. Yawn.

Prince and Puppies (1:59; HD) is a promotional piece made for kids.

PreviewsIce Age: Continental Drift, Cowgirls N Angels

On the second disc is a DVD/Digital Copy Combo compatible with iTunes.

 


VIDEO – 4.75/5

Mirror Mirror is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a beautiful looking 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture here is pristine, free of any flaws and minimal amount of grain providing for great detail levels throughout. It’s not a surprise given how visual director Tarsem is, though. The color array is also fantastic with a vibrancy that allows this to really pop off the screen quite nicely.

AUDIO – 4.25/5

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is especially strong but certainly pretty good with clear dialogue levels and when the action does pick up, the front and rear channels displays all of it quite nicely. It’s not a lossless track that will blow your socks off, but it’s satisfactory enough.



OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, if you’re looking for a breezy family film, elements that are often missing from modern movies littered with sexual content and questionable material, you can do worse than Mirror Mirror. The movie has fine performances from Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer, the visual effects are pretty good and the story itself, while obvious and predictable, is at least interesting enough to keep your attention until the end.

The Blu-ray offers up solid video and audio transfers but does suffer in the features department. However, if you’re looking for a fun movie for the entire family, this is probably worth a rental.

 

Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Published:
06/29/2012

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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