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Mirror Mirror (2012) Print E-mail
Monday, 02 July 2012
ImageEverything in Hollywood comes in twos.  That used to be true.  Now its, everything in Hollywood comes in threes.  The latest batch is centered on fairy tales.  In this particular case, the fairy tale of Snow White.

At roughly the same time we have the television show “Once Upon A Time,” then Universal’s “Snow White & The Huntsman,” and finally Fox’s “Mirror Mirror.”  Unfortunately for us today, “Mirror Mirror” happens to be the dud of the batch.

The film is easily explained as one-note.  Everything is bland.  The characters have no depth.  The writing tries to be comedic but ends up being nothing more than a lame stand up comedy routine.  The film’s story is almost a background to the legend of Snow White except for the characters are not quite the same.  For example, the seven dwarves don’t have the right names and are thieves instead of mine workers.

Julia Roberts portrays the wicked queen.  While she is wicked in her depths, on the surface she is nothing more than a frustrated comic.  She runs the palace like a Miss Fancypants.  Still, her actions do have an evil behind it, just not in the sense that we get from every other Snow White tale.  Now, that could have been an interesting twist, but alas it doesn’t seem to satisfy our image of the wicked queen.  We just can’t seem to give in and accept her playful evil nature.

Lily Collins is fresh and original in her role as Snow White.  Unfortunately, the depth of her character is too simplistic with only hints in the story as to deeper emotions.  Lily has the look to pull off Snow White or many other Disney characters.  However, here, she is hindered by story telling and character development.  Still, she does seem to embody the “fairest of them all” quality.

Set design is quite elaborate, but the degree of the scale is off.  There is the forest, the town and the palace.  However, they are not tied together very well.  Each one only feels as if it were just a few steps away from the other.  In fact, some sequences actually show the woods at the foot of the palace entrance.  I thought Snow White was supposed to run far, far away.  Instead she is a mere leisurely walk away.  I don’t buy it. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for “Mirror Mirror” given that it was up against a more detailed Snow White film and elaborate television show.  While it afforded some entertainment, it just failed to strike any chord.  I won’t even begin to talk about the absurdity of the Bollywood dance at the end.  Chalk that one up to director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar.  What is it with inserting these ridiculous sequences randomly in films?  Stop it, please!

Somehow, the so-so film has received a tremendous video transfer.  Now, I forewarn you that this image quality may not sit well with many of you.  I am one of them.  I am not a fan of digital filmmaking.  The cleanliness of digital detracts me from my immersion into the film.  Be that as it may, this transfer is true to the source and revels in its detailed nature.  The details are simply incredibly.  Every texture and nuance is easily discernible.  The colors are accurate to the source, but too much in contrast to one another for my taste.  Meaning, the sequences in the woods are based on blues and the other sequences are based on earthy browns.  The two don’t work well together for me.  It makes me feel like I was watching two different films simultaneously.  Nevertheless, “Mirror Mirror” has one of the most immaculate transfers I have seen to date.  That being said, I don’t think it is a good thing at all.  But I cannot fault the transfer in any way.

For live-action film, “Mirror Mirror” has a more animated sound design scheme.  This IS a good thing in contrast to the video.  The audio is fully immersive.  The LFE channel gets some good bangs and booms.  The dynamics are flawless.  The dialogue is clear and nicely prioritized.  The surround channels contain ambience and directional effects throughout.  The directionality and panning of sounds throughout the channels is impressive.  The music score by Alan Menken fits perfectly, and probably is what makes the film better than it should be.

“Mirror Mirror” comes to Blu-ray with a fairly standard set of bonus features.  There are some deleted scenes.  “Looking Through The Mirror” contains cast and crew interviews.  “Mirror Mirror Storrybook” is a storybook version of the film.  “I Believe I Can Dance” talks about the utterly ridiculous bollywood dance at the end.  “Prince And Puppies” escapes my comprehension.  Just take a look and you will be as stumped as I was.  A DVD/Digital Copy is also included.

“Mirror Mirror” is one that might entertain pre-adolescents, but it doesn’t contain any real substance so even that is a stretch.  The audio and video qualities are amazing, thought the cleanliness of the digital video image is just too unnatural for my eyes.

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