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NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: The director of THOR’s live-action remake of Disney’s timeless animated classic fairy tale, CINDERELLA (based on the Charles Perrault version). I don’t recall seeing the 1950 cartoon, so I’ll review this on its own without direct comparison. (From what I’ve been told, there are some significant variations with the animated version, which may be better or worse.) If you’re not familiar with the basic fairy tale, welcome to planet Earth. Please register with the government, visit Wikipedia and come back here.
Written by Chris Weitz. Original story by Charles Perrault. Directed by Kenneth Branagh.
- All the Disney magic is on display: sweeping vistas, gorgeous landscapes, breathtaking castles, beautiful costumes and so on. Plus the usual impressive CGI you’d expect. (Especially the mice–a nice cross between animated and real, despite the goofy voice sound effects.) The colors alone will knock your socks off! Even the dreary scenes are pretty nice.
- Acting is spot on. Top-flight choices like DOWNTOWN ARBY’S–err, I mean DOWNTON ABBEY’s–Lily James as ol’ Cindy, Cate Blanchet as the wicked stepmom, GAME OF THRONES’ Richard Madden as the prince, HARRY POTTER’s Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmom, THOR’s Stellan Skarsgard as the duke, VICIOUS’s Derek Jacobi as the king, and more. Good stuff by good peeps.
- Marvel fans will have to look twice to recognize AGENT CARTER’s Haley Atwell as Cindy’s real mom at the beginning. (Here she’s a blond, but not the hot ’n’ busty bleach blond she dressed as in that one awesome episode. Too bad.)
- There’s a seven-minute new FROZEN short at the beginning (see “Cons” below).
- The transformation scenes with the pumpkin, mice and lizards are great. Clever, funny, fun to watch. Especially the change back near the end–great suspense and action. Best part of the flick for me.
- Cinderella comes off as believable and not as annoying as you’d expect. You want her to punch out the b****y stepmom, thanks to all the kick-ass females we see elsewhere, but of course she doesn’t. Yet she does have her inner courage and all that, and you do root for her. And she at least confronts the stepmom at one point. (No karate kicks to the face, unfortunately.)
- One of the stepsisters is actually pretty, and the plain-looking one has a nice rack (as does HB Carter, of course, who wears a corset and push-up bra). Didn’t really make sense from what I’ve seen of other versions, but as a horny dude, I’ll take whatever I can get here.
- Good music and only ONE song is sung onscreen, and it makes sense. This is not a musical like the animated one. (Which may actually be a “con” for some of you.)
- Lotsa positive message stuff about having courage, being kind, true love and believing in magic. In other words, nothing whatsoever to do with the real world. *sigh*
- Come cute, playful humor and light slapstick to make the kids/inner child giggle.
- Loved DRACULA’s Renfield/GAME OF THRONES’ Daxos (Nonso Anozie) as the captain. Coolest dude in the movie. Would have liked to have seen him beat up a few people.
- Rated PG, but only for suspense/danger and subject matter of death. No violence or swearing–it’s classic Disney family fare. (Tho I was reeeeeally hoping to hear Cinderella say, “Go f**** yourself, you wicked b****!” to the stepmother. Maybe HBO or STARZ will make a GAME OF THRONES version for guys like me.)
- See above. This is family fare, and definitely geared toward the girls–including the little girl in every woman. Not a drop of testosterone on display. No explosions, no aliens, no superheroes, no kung fu, no bullets, bombs, boobs or butts.
- The FROZEN short comes off as more of a money-grab than marvelous. Even the song wasn’t catchy. (Liked the mini-snowmen sneezes, tho.)
- No less than three (!) deaths in the movie! Gotta be a Disney record (or tie it). On the good side, it will prepare your kids for when you finally kick the bucket. No shortage of tear-jerker scenes, bad and good.
- More slow parts than I expected. Only real suspense is at the ball and afterwards.
- The wicked stepsisters weren’t really wicked. They were mostly just catty, stuck-up and stupid. Wouldn’t even qualify as high school “mean girls.” From what I’ve seen of other version, they’re supposed to be cruel if not evil. The movie even tries to make you feel pity for the stepmom at one point, but to me it didn’t make sense (she acted like a jerk from day one).
- The sister’s ball gowns looked like they had screen-printed roses on them. Where’d they find that service, the local mall?
- Fairy godmother’s age makeup/outfit didn’t look good. Looked like her cloak was made of dried mud.
- Cate Blanchet gets top billing although she has less than half the screen time of Lily James, who does a better acting job. Blanchet is a fine actress, but any A or B-lister could have done her part as well. Typical stupid Hollywood studio/contract BS.
- The lizard footman/coachman looked more like he was from LOST IN SPACE than a Disney film. Creepy and weird.
- Could have sworn the goose was played by the Aflac Duck. Didn’t see his name in the credits.
- No button at the end, other than Cindy’s voice-over saying, “Where did everyone go?” (Just saved you three minutes of sitting thru credits. Yer welcome.)
Females: SEE IT. Males: SKIP IT.
You will only hear honesty from me, folks. Every little lass who’s ever wanted to be a princess will love this to tears, and every straight dude would rather watch two hours of NFL REPLAY (including the Jaguars vs. Bucaneers) or a rerun of any superhero movie (including GREEN LANTERN) than this. Not as funny as the SNOW WHITE remake or fantasy-action-packed like SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN. Great for Mom-daughter bonding or date-nights (especially you young dudes looking for a good first date flick to make points).
Just bring tissues. (For tears, you dirty-minded maroons!)
P.S.: Want a princess of your own? Get an original art commission of any beauty (or creature) by Pascale! Even yourself or a loved one as a famous character. Mention this review and get FREE SHIPPING. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, princesses, princes, Prince, step-children or spouses, Walt Disney’s head, mini-snowmen with no arms, or fairy godmothers. Speaking of which, where the heck are all the fairy godfathers? (Bru thinks they’re in a San Francisco mob, but…you know him.)