Fans of visual director Tarsem Singh's movies were no doubt excited to hear he was getting the chance to work within the world of fairy tales with "Mirror Mirror." It sounds like the perfect way for Singh to show off the unique visual stylings he's used in the past in his movies "Immortals" and "The Cell." Did critics and moviegoers feel like "Mirror Mirror" lived up to their expectations?
After seeing what Tarsem Singh is capable of, I felt like "Mirror Mirror" was an opportunity he didn't fully take to show off his talents. It almost felt as if he was using the movie to prove to mainstream Hollywood that he too can make normal blockbuster movies. The visual imagery, sets, and backgrounds seemed tame in comparison to what we've seen in a movie like "The Cell."
As far as the story is concerned, it reminded me of "Ella Enchanted," trying to be "hip" and "in the now" but still taking place a long time ago in fairy tale times. Some of the jokes worked, while others seemed tired and cliché.
Critics were torn over the film. Linda Holmes of National Public Radio called it "a clever, luscious-looking fairy tale you really can take kids to -- no allegedly family-friendly snot-and-fart humor here -- and a bundle of high style and sharp wit and terrific performances for yourself."
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Steven Rea wrote, "Everything looks, well, fantastic." Stephen Whitty of The Newark Star-Ledger stated, "The dwarves provide wonderful fun, Singh's visuals have true magic and Alan Menken's score is charming."
Some critics, meanwhile, found cracks in "Mirror Mirror." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly remarked, "'Mirror Mirror' is a film that's all picture and no propulsion, each scene static in a basic set -decoration color scheme of teabag and banana."
The Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert complained, "The dialogue is rather flat, the movie sort of boring, and there's not much energy in the two places it should really be felt: between the Queen and Snow White, and between Snow and the Prince." James Berardinelli of ReelViews commented, "Perhaps the overriding problem with 'Mirror Mirror' is that it mines territory so overworked that there's nothing new or valuable to be found."
Audiences were divided over the movie as well. Alex C. called it "A gorgeous and good-humored Snow White by Tarsem with great depth, texture, fun performances, and surprises." Tiffany M. declared the film "[A] fairytale [with the] perfect amount of campiness, Julia Roberts, and a dance number at the end." Ryan V. said, "Awesome movie! I was not disappointed. [It was] very entertaining from start to finish."
Conversely Nicolas T. complained, "Horrible movie! [I] wanted to leave the theatre after the first boring 30 minutes." Que S. stated, "It was boring [and] it dragged on. It's not relatable on an emotional level." Trager J. exclaimed, "Awful. Horrid writing, mediocre acting and memorable only in how painful it was to sit through. It's possible that it would be acceptable for children, but hard to believe."
Family entertainment website Plugged In reported, "'Mirror Mirror' isn't exactly deep or thoughtful … But it's about as clean a live-action, mainstream film as we're likely to see in 2012. It's also pretty fun-filled with color and humor and a 'Princess Bride'-like whimsy."
Tarsem Singh directed "Mirror Mirror." It stars Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, and Mare Winningham. The movie is rated PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor. It was released through Relativity Media on March 30, 2012.
For more articles by Eric Shirey , check out:
Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo! , DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Kenneth Branagh, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.
Find showtimes and tickets near you on Yahoo! Movies.