Monday, March 25, 2013

Rambling Reviews: Fairy Tale Movies

This is me peeking through the door. I can't resist. My id is most definitely stronger than both my ego and superego (that was a totally inappropriate show of my psychology skills). Since I'm so busy I've paused my reading and blogging, one would think that I wouldn't go watch a movie. But that, my friends, is the fine art of procrastination. I've been super excited to see the movie Oz The Great And Powerful, the prequel to The Wizard Of Oz. Here's the trailer:

So I watched it. And I enjoyed it. It was...nice. No surprises, everything was expected, no bumps along the way. Not the most satisfying movie, and I felt as if there was a lot more potential for it to be something better. But it fell short. It explained a lot of what is found in The Wizard Of Oz, though, like where the great hot air balloon came from, and where the wizard of Oz came from, and why he hides in a little room projecting terrifying images of himself. The witches (Evanora the Wicked Witch of the West, Theadora, and Glinda the Good Witch) were flat and stupid. Otherwise, all the other characters were on the edge between two and three dimensions. Not quite 3-D but getting there. Oz himself, though, was almost believable enough. Shallow as a person, but semi-believable nonetheless. He had some great moments, and the stuff that came out of his mouth was a thousand times better then the stuff coming out of the witches' mouths. He is a magician, a circus magician, so everything he pulls off is not real magic, but sleigh of hand. When he arrives in the land of Oz, he acts like he is the real Wizard the prophecy tells of, and plans to kill the Wicked Witch and take the throne. Become king and have the entire treasury in his hands. The mounds of gold. All his. (The part in the trailer in which he jumps in the gold coin pile). Though, of course, he's not. (That info is all in the trailer, had you bothered to watch it) My two favorite moments:
  • Monkey: And to think you almost killed her (Glinda the Good Witch)  for a bit of gold. Oz: For a bit? For mountains of it, buddy.
  • Oz: Hey, is that a wall? Glinda: Of sorts. It'll repel our enemies and protect us from harm. Oz: But we're headed straight for it. Glinda: Yes, we are. Oz: And..going very fast. How do you...uh...does this thing have any breaks? I'm going to die! Glinda: Don't worry, wizard. It's a magic wall. All good souls get to pass through. Oz: (nodding emphatically) I'm going to die!
And since I was on roll, I went on to watch a number of other movies. The best thing about movies like Oz the Great and Powerful is the quality. It's a film, not a cartoon, and so everything must look realistic. The magic, the scenery, the overall setting must be believable. And with the technology available today, it's no longer cheap props like the 80's (ET anybody?). It's a green background with everything edited and modified. But the final product looks bewitching (pun intended). Which is why the next choice came naturally. Breathtaking effects? Check. Based on a classic story? Check. Exquisite detail, overabundance of makeup, and beautiful clothes? Check, check, and check. Yeah, that's practically all I was looking for. And because I've been meaning to watch since the day it came out (3 years ago), I watched Alice In Wonderland. Here's that trailer:

This movie was even better than the first. It had a hint of thriller and definitely more suspense than the previous movie. It helps that the actual plot line of Alice in Wonderland has a lot more twists that either The Wizard Of Oz or its prequel. It's directed by Tim Burton, so I wouldn't expect anything less. Even the big battle finale between the forces of good and evil was amazing - and those are usually obvious and boring. It still stayed true to the basic components of the original Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. The rabbit, mad hatter, queen, cards, Cheshire, and all the other characters are there. I can't remember too much about the original story though, since it's been quite a while since I read it, I had almost no clue what to expect in the story. Was Alice's mission in the book to kill the Jabberwocky? And was there a good witch, who also happened to be the evil witch's sister, in the book? If so, I can't remember, and if not, I'm definitely delighted that those twists were added. Films are like this are the ones that fueled my dream to have a job in the film industry when I was younger. But unless somebody gives me some proper advice and encouragement, that's one more disappointing dreams that's long been buried. 

Looking for the next movie to watch that still fit into the same category as the other two, I thought of Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsmen. Both are retelling of Snow White, and so I watched both. Snow White and the Huntsmen has a little bit of the dark theme going on, while Mirror Mirror is much more fairy-tale oriented. I felt as if the former only took the major points from the original story and based the film loosely upon them, so hat we were left with a new film instead of a fairytale retelling. It also lagged in some places, and while it did have almost enough action, things could have been sped up. And then I saw the latter. It followed the original storyline much more closely, and it's the kind of film hat leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling and a big, big smile. And for those of you who watched it, that dance at the end was the best of all movie dances. The. Absolute. Best. And for those of you who didn't watch the movie, here are the trailers: 

A few comparisons, since they both supposedly follow roughly the same plot line. The apple was used to put Snow White to sleep in The Huntsmen while it didn't appear until the end in Mirror. In Mirror, the queen was, for lack of a better word, shallow. She wanted a rich king, money, dresses, and to be beautiful. She was shortsighted. And everything that came out of her mouth made me giggle. The movie starts of in cartoon form, with the queen narrating, and she says: "They called her Snow White, probably because that was the most pretentious name they could come up with", and later on, "The kingdom was a happy place where people sang and danced all night. Apparently, people had no jobs back then." She had me laughing by the first five minutes of the movie. She has a light, care free way pf speaking, which made me feel slightly bad for her. The overall movie was a fairytale movie. I loved it. Absolutely, positively. And the costumes, the magic mirror, the queen's...everything. And did I mention the silly dance seen? I can't help it. Here it is (Oh, and even though it sounds like the soundtrack was inserted, which it probably was, but the voice is Lily Collins. The Snow White actor. I would have thought she just mouthed the lyrics, but that's her voice. I think.) :

And The Huntsmen? It pales in comparison to Mirror. The the milk scene (shown in trailer) was spectacular. A few scenes were just as breathtaking. But then again, Mirror had it's own good scenes as well. All I'm going to say. 

There are a couple more movies that are fairytale retelling, like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Jack The Giant Slayer. But I was only procrastinating, watching these movies. Not trying to turn into a potato couch. Plus, you don't think I went incognito for nothing. I have a life, people. Even though it may not sound like it. But I do. Promise. 

Wanna hear something really weird? The most repeated spelling mistakes I make are in the words that end in o, like tomato and potato, and the word exercise. Tomatoe, Potatoe, and Excersice.