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Entries in fairy tales (35)

Monday
Aug222016

Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Kubo and the Two Strings begins with Kubo's mother, navigating treacherous waves by slicing them in half with one melodramatic strum on her magical shamisen. The instrument has three strings, not two, but the title can wait. It's time to watch. Kubo's (Art Parkinson) narration warns us to do so closely.

"If you must blink, do it now."

That's a handy if redundant warning because who is going to blink during a Laika movie? The animated studio reliably crafts spectacularly intricate stop motion (with some CG boosting). When Kubo's mother splits the waves desperate to save the baby in her boat, it was hard not to think of Moses, twice over, both a babe in on the water and an ocean-parter.

Religiously suggestive folklore with magic turns out to be perfect fit for Laika because they always bring the eye popping images and movie magic...

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Saturday
Apr232016

The Huntsman: Winter's War

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad...

The Huntsman: Winter’s War, now playing, promises a “new” fairy tale. That’s true only if you’re willing to stretch the definition of the word. This “new” and awkwardly titled picture is both prequel and sequel to Snow White with some Frozen fan fiction in the middle. It begins long before the events of the revisionist Snow White & The Huntsman (2012) and eventually skips ahead to pick up where the last movie left off. In case you’ve forgotten your blockbuster history — spoiler alert! — Snow White and her Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) triumphed at the end by killing the true twin stars of the picture: Queen Ravenna and Her Oscar Nominated Costumes (a.k.a. former Oscar winners Charlize Theron & Colleen Atwood).

Dead though Ravenna was, when there is money to be made in franchise resurrection, nobody stays buried. In the new film we learn that the royal witch came to power alongside her kind loving sister Freya (Emily Blunt). After an unspeakable tragedy, though, Freya also became evil. Ravenna had that Magic Mirror to inspire her wickedness but Freya opts for a worn Blu-ray of Frozen as unholy talisman...

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Monday
Apr182016

The Furniture: The Wonderfully Weird Production Design of the Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm

With Tale of Tales and The Huntsman: Winter’s War both opening this weekend, we have a sudden double feature of fairy tale movies on our hands. That makes it an excellent time to revisit the only fairy tale film nominated for the Oscar Best Production Design, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. (That seems impossible, I know, but it's true.)

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm was the first narrative feature to be shot in the original 3-panel Cinerama process. The second, and last, was How the West Was Won, which I showcased two weeks ago. While the epic Western, or at least some its directors, tried to smooth over the unwieldy 3-camera process with landscapes and the occasional single-camera 70-mm shot, directors Henry Levin and George Pal really ran with Cinerama for their fairy tale epic. The results were a bit bonkers...

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Saturday
Oct102015

Posterized: Joe Wright's "Pan" and Peter Pan Movies

Jackman and Wright talk on setYou have to admit that Joe Wright was asking for it. He went and titled his Peter Pan epic, Pan, which is functioning like a command for the nation's critics who have done so mercilessly. It probably didn't help that he uglified one of our most handsome movie stars (no one needs to see Hugh Jackman going the Johnny Depp route). Worse, he truly stepped in it early on by casting the very white Rooney Mara in one of the few iconic roles meant for a Native American actress. (This issue has been discussed at very high volumes in the past few years since moviegoers and the media are sick to death of Hollywood's white-washing. But Hollywood is still wearing ear plugs.)

Will you see his latest despite the reviews?

And how many Peter Pan related movies have you seen? (More on Peter and Joe after the jump)

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Saturday
Jul182015

Say What? Charlize & Emily 

Amuse us. Add a caption or dialogue to this image of Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron on the set of The Huntsman. (No Snow White this time. It opens in April 2016)