Mirror Mirror – Movie Review

2012 can definitely be considered as the year of Snow White. The story has two movies coming out this year, one of which is Mirror Mirror, and a TV series, Once Upon a Time, by the creators of Lost no less.

This adaptation of the infamous fairytale strives to balance comedy with drama – it seeks out light-hearted moments and intersperses them among the storyline’s darker elements, giving a rather refreshing approach to the story we all know.

The movie starts with the Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) telling what she calls her story of which the little girl, whose skin is white as snow and hair dark as night and so called that pompous obnoxious name, Snow White, is of little importance. As Snow White grew and her father, the king, realized he was unable to teach her everything she needed to know, he decided to remarry. The king was bewitched by the dazzling beauty and charm of a woman – the Evil Queen compliments herself plenty – and marries her. But a dark magic sweeps the land and the king is forced to go save his kingdom, never to be seen or heard from again.

As Snow White grows, the Evil Queen tries to keep her at bay, safely tucked away at the castle. But the Evil Queen knows that there will come a time when Snow must do what snow does best and Snow must fall.

Julia Roberts is riveting as the Evil Queen. Even though the movie is not really her story, she manages to make it all about her and she pulls it off remarkably. Whenever she’s on screen, she dominates – be it with her charm or uncanny ability to fool you with an innocent looking smile. Julia is a major contributor to Mirror Mirror‘s two faces. She can be hilarious at times and  downright chilling at others. In fact, the moment the credits started rolling, the people I was watching the movie with were positively surprised that Julia Roberts had it in her to portray an evil role. Even the comic relief moments she introduces here and there are of evil nature. For the doubters about Roberts’ ability to portray the Evil Queen, you will be impressed.

The rest of the cast, even Snow White (Lilly Collins), do very well with the characters they’re given. Those that are asked for seriousness are serious and those from whom comedy is required are often hilarious. Acting-wise, Mirror Mirror is simply charming and fun to watch, especially with the interactions of Snow White with the Dwarves or the Evil Queen with her minion.

The interesting thing about Mirror Mirror is that it doesn’t go along the typical Snow White storyline we’ve all known. The whole poisoned apple storyline is downplayed, the Evil Queen doesn’t want to kill Snow White because of her ethereal beauty but because she got active in the affairs of the kingdom. The band of dwarves, usually thought as kind, happy or grumpy or sleepy or whatever their names are, are not like that at all in Mirror Mirror – they are a band of thieves who pry on unsuspecting strangers passing along their path. These little detours from the fairytale we’ve all memorized are what keep Mirror Mirror an interesting movie to watch.

Mirror Mirror is a fun and entertaining movie, be it with its plentiful humor, Julia Roberts’ sarcasm, Lilly Collins’ innocence or Prince Alcott’s (Armie Hammer) facial expressions. As the title implies, the movie has two sides: one is comedy, the other is a fairytale and both work really well together. The happy ending doesn’t feel forced on it, the movie builds to it – what it doesn’t build to, however, is that Indian dance scene it concludes with. But even that ridiculously out of place ending sequence cannot derail what is a strong movie from being bogged down. Even Game of Thrones fans will be surprised by a brief appearance of the series’ most prominent characters and that’s always a good thing.

7.5/10

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Upcoming 2011 Movies To Be Excited About

I’ve come up with a list of ten movies coming up in 2011 that you should definitely be excited about:

10 – Larry Crowne:

Don’t judge me but I can’t help but be excited about a movie that has Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks.

9 – Transformers 3: Dark Side Of The Moon

Sure, it’s already a financial hit, a week before its release, but as someone who was thouroughly entertained by the first two Transformers movies and even though Megan Fox will not be present in this one (sadness), I expect this to be one of the biggest movies of 2011, at least financially. And if you’ve liked the first two, this one should be a no-brainer for you to go watch.

8 – Crazy Stupid Love:

Emma Stone: “Damn, it’s like you’re photoshopped” *insert lots of laughter* —> *googles release date*

7 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

I have really enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes movie and hopefully the sequel delivers as well.

6 – One Day:

Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess spend the night of their college graduation together and throughout the years, they revisit each other to see where they are in their lives. Based on the trailer, this looks like it’ll be a very interesting movie.

5  – The Tree Of Life:

This movie has been very polarizing. So I have no idea what to make of it. But it was one the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Festival, so it must be good enough, no?

4 – Where Do We Go Now?

The new Nadine Labaki Lebanese movie. Set for a September 22nd release in Lebanon, this is probably one of the most hyped about Lebanese movies this year. It doesn’t hurt that some of it was filmed in my hometown.

3 – A Dangerous Method:

A movie with Keira Knightley, Vigo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender about Freud? I’m there. Just watch the trailer. The movie looks brilliant!

2 – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:

Just finished the book upon which this movie is based and it’s a highly entertaining read. Set for a late 2011 release, the movie stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara and, even though no trailer has been released yet, judging by the movie’s poster, this will be great.

1 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

This should be a no brainer. Epic trailer. The movie is based on an epic book and it’s the conclusion of the series that was an important part of the upbringing of millions.

Wedding Madness

I am not a person who likes weddings. They’re usually crowded, involve lots of social etiquette (which is not something I’m usually good at) and, now that I’m over 20, they serve the double purpose of entertaining some invitees and letting them bombard you with the “good luck” wishes of you tying the knot soon, to which you always smile and say: “thank you”, knowing deep down that it will be a while before I do so.

And fittingly, I have a summer of weddings coming up, the most important of which is that of my aunt, taking place in June. Call it the calm before the storm, but these might be the last couple of weeks of “calmness” I will get. Come end of May, my family members will start trickling from different parts of the globe, some of whom I haven’t seen in over seventeen years.

Add to that the fact that my aunt is turning quite OCD about all the preparations, and you’re in for some “fun” times. Let me put it this way: her theme is that of gemstones and sweets. She asked me to come up with sentences that encompass that theme for the forty tables at her reception and trust me, it gets quite hard including the words “love” and “sweet” with a gemstone such as idocrase (I don’t know what that is as well, if it’s any consolation).

However, I am actually excited about all of this. It’ll be the first time ever that my whole family is brought together. The part I’m the most excited about? the family portrait my grandparents will take with all their children on my aunt’s wedding day.

I’m also preparing something for my aunt as my way of a gift. After all, I don’t work (and it will be some time before I do that) and I know my presence is the best gift (humble, I know) but I think something tangible would be nice as well. So I’m thinking of doing a heartfelt slideshow for the wedding involving this song:

I’m thinking of having pictures of my aunt with my grandparents at different stages of her growing up play with the first verse and the same concept for her fiance during the chorus. Then for the second verse, I would include pictures of the both of them on their wedding day. Any suggestions?

And a couple of weeks after my aunt’s wedding is my best friend’s wedding. However, unlike Julia Roberts, I don’t want to ruin it for her. She was just telling me about the massive preparations she’s going through and it’s mentally draining. I guess being a guy, this is all too much for me to comprehend. The idea of a wedding to me is: you and her, get together with parents and people you want to be there, go to church and say “I do”. My best friend then cuts my monologue saying: “but I’m a girl… I love this. My day should be the best day there is”

And I think that’s why weddings become a jumble of madness. Because those getting married (especially the women) want to make it the best wedding there is that they simply forget about the most essential thing: to have a good time on the wedding day and hope for a long and healthy marriage – not just one day where you impress those you invite, most of which will find ways to criticize, regardless of how spectacular your wedding is.

I think I will in my aunt and best friend’s wedding.