A little from Column A, a little from Column B. All my life I've been a critic, mostly of myself... but it's time to branch out. Here you will find the pros and cons of what I experience: food, music, movies, places, etc. I'm an artist. Art is the very air I breathe. I cannot help but to see the world through the eyes of a vocalist, a thespian, a painter... an appreciator of beauty in all its phenomenal forms.
Growing up in a family where a trip to the cinema was an anticipated, weekly event, I am still majorly a childlike fan of the silver screen. And, I haven't been able to go but once since the birth of my newest daughter in November. Naturally, for my oldest daughter's and my first bi-weekly girl date, what should I suggest? Why, a jaunt to the movies of course!
A couple of stops first: convenient store for sodas and candy then Wendy's for their new $.99 cheesy cheddar burgers, (they're truly the perfect movie munchies.) Last stop... Cinemark 8, our local $1 movie, (well, $1.50-$2.00 movie nowadays.) Giant purse stuffed with our goodies in hand, we buy our tickets and go in.
I still get a little rush of deviousness as I sneak food into the movies, fearing the thought and consequence of getting caught, especially after the one defined event in my movie-going life when my parents and I sneaked in giant Styrofoam takeout containers full of fresh Chinese food... and were almost made when the smells wafted through the theatre like a delicious song. Several staff members came hunting for us the culprits, flashlights in hand, scanning the aisles. I don't even know HOW we got away with it that time.
The building is old, has a less-than-well-kept black and white checkered floor and smells of stale popcorn... but that's another blog entirely, isn't it? Fortunately, our movie was playing in the larger theatre where the seats rock and have padded, moveable arm rests, but none of the theatres are stadium seating, thus the affordable ticket price.
We took our seat and eagerly awaited the lowering of the lights so we could bust out our stash of smuggled-in indulgences. The theatre was fairly empty. Much to my consternation, an elderly man sat just a few seats from us on the same aisle; there were so many other seats available. One never knows if a neighboring movie-goer will rat you out when they see your secret bag of bought-elsewhere food. I was put at ease almost instantly, however, when I saw him reach into his backpack and retrieve his own brought-from-home bag of popcorn in a giant Ziploc. Whew!
Finally, the movie began.
I had thought going in to see this movie that it would be cheesy and a story already overdone hundreds of times. .....................I was wrong.
What a marvelous picture! One I am going to recommend highly to ALL audiences.
Perfectly cast. Julia Roberts plays The Queen; shallow, vane, jealous, wicked, and in denial about her true age- how suiting this role is for her. She sincerely is a very spoiled brat of a woman in real life with about as much true depth as a shriveled pinto bean. (Disagree? Ask me about her rabbit fur coat. I'll explain gladly.) Nathan Lane is cast as Brighton, the Queen's page, (sort of taking up the role of the "Huntsman" from the original story.) Mr. Lane is hilarious as ever... never disappointing and sure to always fetch laughter. Armie Hammer plays Prince Alcott, and is adorable. He's handsome, charming and not without several humorous quips. (Mr. Hammer is currently IN New Mexico filming The Lone Ranger in which he plays the title role.)
Lily Collins as Snow White
And, last but certainly not least, Miss Lily Collins is the P-E-R-F-E-C-T Snow White. (It's a right shame she isn't cast in the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsmen; a movie I am surely anticipating but with a regrettable casting choice in Kristen Stewart as Snow. Lily auditioned for the role but I suppose someone in casting must have been a Twilight fan. *gag*) Miss Collins was a blissful breath of beautiful, fresh air. She stole the movie, really. Her smooth, ivory skin, huge brown eyes and raven-black locks were only trifles of her perfection befitting the role. Her look has a haunting resemblance to Audrey Hepburn and a familiar, heavy-browed, defined face like that of Jennifer Connelly. Did you know she is Phil Collins' daughter? **The character of Snow is a true delight. She is hardly the simpering, helpless lass as depicted in previous versions... but virtuous, brave, talented, strong and determined; an admirable role model for our young girls who look up to every storybook character, especially princesses.
I can't forget to mention the 7 dwarves... oh no! They were all loveable and each had unique characteristics. An unexpected twist, however, was that they were not the virtuous, hard-working miners of other "Snow White" tales, but actually bandits/thieves. Of course, later in the film we find out why and there is a definite change of hearts thanks to Snow. The most pleasing aspect for me of these little guys was that I recognized two of them from one of my favourite television shows: "Pit Boss." That's right... Ronald Lee Clark and Sebastian Saraceno finally achieved their dream to be cast in a major motion picture. (After watching that show for years and seeing their determination and struggles to make it in Hollyweird, it was nice to see them in such a cute movie.)
Snow White and the unique Seven Dwarves:
Left to Right- Napolean, Grubb, Wolf, Butcher, Half Pint, Grimm & Chuckles
There were many lovely qualities of this film. One strikingly obvious one would have to be the costumes. Such beauty! And the sets! From the first few moments, one is transported to a fantastical land reminiscent of true Fairy Tale tradition, but with modern elements of not only style but dialogue, making it an instantly likeable and easy-to-relate-to story.
In the end, the customary storyline is replaced with a more realistic version complete with a surprising role reversal, once again making the character of Snow even more loveable and noble.
This film is sure to be a classic favourite in your movie library. I know it will be in mine.