Horror Movies, Music & More

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall; This Is the Worst Snow White of All

Here we go again. Recently, over at Planet Fury, I wrote about the competing Linda Lovelace projects. Now we’re moving on to competing Snow White projects. O Hollywoodland, you grow ever wearisome.

Just a few days ago, my colleague at Planet Fury, Heidi Honeycutt, wrote rather unenthusiastically about the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, the upcoming Snow White flick starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron. I believe Heidi’s exact words were “I can’t wait for the trailer for Mirror, Mirror to come out so I can shred these to pieces side-by-side.” Well, Heidi, sharpen up your talons, my friend, because you got some cutting to do.

I suppose it’s no coincidence that the producers of Mirror, Mirror released their trailer just a few days after the producers of Snow White and the Huntsman released theirs. And, yes, this is where I should make the “they weren’t released; they escaped” joke, but that would just be hacky, right? Sadly, after watching the recently escaped Mirror, Mirror trailer, I’m all hacked out. And, yes, after watching this preview, I had to make that joke. (Truthfully, it’s rare that I’m ever completely hacked out.)

Okay, no more jokes (you’re welcome). Let’s just get to it. The trailer for Mirror, Mirror is so freaking bad that it’s painful to watch. Oh my god. How did this happen? Who allowed this to happen? It seems like, from the very start, every choice made for this movie was wrong.

First, there’s the script by Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller. The film’s official synopsis calls Mirror, Mirror a “dark twist on the classic fairy tale,” but that sounds more like the Kristen Stewart Snow White flick. It surely doesn’t describe Mirror, Mirror, which more closely resembles an amateurish Borscht Belt comedy sketch that’s been painfully stretched to feature length.

Next, we have Julia Roberts as the evil Queen Clementianna. Yes, the woman who was once America’s Sweetheart might arguably be a charming screen presence, but she sure ain’t a natural comedienne. And for this bush-league burlesque to have any hope of working, the producers don’t need a Star; they need someone that can sell a joke. I mean, if they insist on using this high school script, cast it with actors that can make it work. Nathan Lane, a veteran of this kind of material, has been drafted to keep Roberts from looking too awfully bad, but even he can’t save this tripe. And, bless their second-billed hearts, the rest of the cast just fades into the background. It’s sad when even Snow White can’t hold the screen in her own movie.

Finally, we have the man helming this mess. As a director, Tarsem Singh is a wonderful production designer. And as the director of Immortals and The Cell, he’s sure not the first person you think of for a broad comedy — what, were Rob Reiner and Gary Marshall busy? — because Singh can’t bring a true emotional note to a scene, let alone make a joke sing. But his films always do look marvelous. And if nothing else, Mirror, Mirror appears to be beautiful…but in service of what?

I could go on, but I tire. So I’ll wrap it up. I’m trying to think of a simple way to express my distaste. I’d like to say Mirror, Mirror is all frosting and no cupcake, but that would imply this mirthful misfire tasted good enough to consume. And trust me, it’s going to be hard to swallow what the makers of Mirror, Mirror are cooking up. I recommend a nice sherbet instead. Or maybe pie. Pie’s always good.

~Theron Neel

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2 Comments

  • Sam
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Just as with Broadway, the critics of the film industry have gone to great lengths to be the first to critique a project…even when they are critiquing a 3 minute trailer of an as yet incomplete and unedited movie. As you well know, trailers often contain material that does not appear in the movie and there is plenty of time to edit, cut and tighten.

    Julia Roberts has never been my favorite actress though her work has improved over the years. I am willing to give her a chance at comedy even after seeing the trailer. Too bad Broadway, movie and TV critics can’t wait for the whole package to be released before sending shock waves over the internet, thereby affecting the audience decisions to see or avoid a project. You are welcome to critique the entire reel when you see it but I don’t know how you come to the conclusions you draw by seeing a snip of each actor’s performance.

  • admin
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree! Trailers often are not accurate reflections of the films they promote. And hopefully Mirror, Mirror will turn out nothing like (i.e., better than) this lame trailer. I wish the filmmakers luck, because this preview is bad.

    I don’t dislike Roberts at all, but she doesn’t seem a good fit for this material. I wrote that she is “arguably a charming screen presence” because it’s well known she’s not liked in all circles. Personally, I think that what she does, she does well. She’s great at light comedy and she’s made strides as a dramatic actor. But, as I said, she’s not a natural comedian. She doesn’t do shtick — and this looks to be all shtick. Very broad, crass comedy. Which is fine. I don’t dislike it on principle. When it’s handled well, by people who know how to make it work (e.g., Mel Brooks), it’s great. But this doesn’t look great.

    My comments are not personal. Just my opinions. Thanks!

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