TIM Burton glossed up Alice In Wonderland to add a different dimension to the famous fairy tale immortalised for the silver screen by Walt Disney, and the trend continues with this week’s big holiday release Mirror Mirror.
This time it’s arty if overblown Tarsem Singh calling the shots – he may have less of a back catalogue than Burton but he’s made his mark with the likes of The Fall and Immortals, and there’s no denying he has an individual eye.
So it looks lovely, there’s a stack of CGI trickery to help it along, but what’s lacking is any drive or pace that would make you buy into this reworking of the Snow White story.
Julia Roberts has fun as the wicked would-be queen, and Lily Collins looks suitably fresh-faced but feisty as the innocent heroine.
Nathan Lane is good fun in a cameo role and Sean Bean pops up as the king.
The twist here is that the seven gentlemen of restricted growth who come to the aid of our young heroine when she is abandoned in the forest are a bunch of streetwise shorties, outlaws rather than law-abiding miners and more than capable of matching their evil adversary in the cunning conspiracy stakes.
Glorious costumes and some catty one liners to cherish from Roberts are all very well, but younger audience members will fidget and the older ones will wish that they’d stayed at home with Walt’s evergreen offering.
> It seems we’ve been waiting for ever to see hunky Henry Cavill as Superman in the forthcoming Man Of Steel, but it’s still not due until next year. Though he was pretty much a movie newcomer when he landed the role, since then he’s been fitting in some calling cards that show off his impressive physique and darkly handsome looks.
Let’s not hold Immortals against him. That’s really down to Tarsem Singh – yes, him again – and in The Cold Light Of Day he’s cast opposite Bruce Willis in a fast and furious thriller.
Bruce is the head of the family, forced to reveal that he puts food on the table by working as a top rank CIA agent when his wife and other kids are kidnapped by baddies.
That’s a surprise to son Henry, but the two quickly form a generation gap tag team as they ride to the rescue. Loud, lurid, completely forgettable fun.
> Scandinavian thrillers are the flavour of the month so look out for Headhunters, a Norwegian tale about an art thief aiming to make the score of his criminal career.
It all starts to unravel when he looks to lift loot from the wrong man, and has to go on the run. It’s adapted from the bestselling novel by Jo Nesbo and produced by the company behind the Millennium trilogy and Wallander, so it has the pedigree to make it worth checking out.
> Titanic 3D is also released this week. The only reason to watch it is to provide James Cameron with the cash to pay for another expedition to the bottom of the ocean, where he is more than welcome to remain. A pointless extra helping of a film we’re all bored of now.