The film Mirror, Mirror came out in March, so this review is neither timely nor balanced. I'm trying to keep people from wasting their time and money on the DVD package or a retread viewing, which is what I watched this evening.
I cannot believe how awful this film was. After the first hour--yes, we lasted that long--we had to leave so I cannot spoil the ending for you. The fact that I have not seen the whole thing is irrelevant--this film is an unbelievable piece of crap. A more balanced review would assess the entire film and give you a review of the highlights and lowlights.
Forget it. There are no highlights. If you watch this film, expect Julia Roberts to behave like a piece of wood. She's barely engaged. She is full of cliches. She occupies space on camera but she doesn't bring anything wicked or interesting to the role. She has no direction and no inspiration here. And when you get a little ways into the film, she actually brings out her laugh from Pretty Woman. Yes, the laugh. The jaw-hinged laugh that people identify with her role from way back when.
Roberts delivers her lines like she's answering questions on a talk show. She makes no attempt to add anything to her sarcastic, flippant reading of the lines. Nathan Lane is simply Nathan Lane here, and no effort is made to bring him anything he can use to keep the scenes going. There are no other actors worth mentioning.
The sets on this film are ridiculous. You expect a magical realm. You expect a castle, a house where the dwarves live, and a fairytale setting. Instead, you get a castle set that looks like it can be wheeled away in moments. You get a forest setting of fake trees. Why film indoors (I swear, it had to be an indoor forest and that never looks good) and why use the same forest setting again and again? It was awful and unnecessary. The house used by the dwarves has no imagination or design.
The worst set of all was the one used by Roberts to "disappear" into her private lair. Roberts walks into a mirror and then transforms before a stick house on a lake. You would think that an evil queen with a magical mirror and her own private lair would have something a little more elaborate than a hut made of sticks.
There is a kitchen scene, for example, in what is supposed to be a castle set in a magical realm, and the canisters behind the head of the young actress gamely trying to play Snow White are actually labeled Flour, Sugar, and. Peas. This is fine if you're watching a movie about your grandmother's kitchen, not so much if you're watching a movie that claims to bring the legend alive.
The dialogue is so cliche-ridden, you have to wonder at the mental capacity of the people who made it. I don't know if this will end the career of director Tarsem Singh, but it should. How he was able to manhandle this awful, poorly-conceived version onto the screen without setting the thing on fire is beyond me. Why would you inflict this on people?
God, what a horrible, horrible film.