PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 30, 2012

‘Mirror Mirror’ is the fairest, and funniest

Sean McBride
The Port Arthur News

— There are two sides to every story, so it’s only fitting that the evil queen from the Snow White fairy tale finally gets to give her side of the story in the new movie “Mirror Mirror.”

Naturally, things are a little different in this version. Most notably, it’s none other than Julia Roberts playing the evil queen. Even when she’s playing a villain, it’s nearly impossible not to love Roberts’ movie star persona. The actress simply exudes a joyous energy, making “Mirror, Mirror” into an infectious and delightful comic fantasy.

She’s not alone in her efforts to make the movie work. Lilly Collins (daughter of Phil) makes for a feisty heroine with the best cinematic eyebrows since Elizabeth Taylor. She plays Snow White as more of a revolutionary rebel leader than just a poor, put upon princess, and you completely understand why those seven dwarves are so taken by her charms.

Nathan Lane gets some solid laughs playing the queens’ long-suffering servant. Don’t forget about Armie Hammer, who plays an affable doofus of a prince charming whose self-effacing antics nearly steal the show. A love potion bit, in particular was so funny that the 10-year-old boy in the theater next to me snorted soda pop through his nose. It was messy, but I couldn’t blame the kid.

The other very notable element in “Mirror Mirror” is the amazing production design. Director Tarsem Singh has always been known for his visual flair. He doesn’t disappoint this time out, turning the castle and the surrounding forest into a wonderland of striking images. The screen is constantly filling with interesting sets and costume designs — especially the fanciful hats. I almost want to go see this movie a second time around just so that I can concentrate of the incredible look of the film.

This all comes as a genuine surprise. You may know that there are two Snow White films hitting theaters this year. “Snow White and the Huntsman” hits theaters this summer, and it looks so much cooler than “Mirror, Mirror” that most people had just written off this first film as a cinematic poser.

That was a mistake. “Mirror Mirror” is solid entertainment. Sure, there are some clunky moments, and the overabundance of physical humor seems a little too lowbrow at times, but for the most part the film sucks you in with it’s good will and silly antics. The images are stunning and the cast is obviously having a blast making the movie. It’s all quite infectious fun, and when you even throw in a Bollywood-style musical sequence, “Mirror Mirror” turns out to be a crowd-pleasing night out at the movies.

 

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.