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March 30th, 2012

Movie Review - Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror

Starring: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba, Ronald Lee Clark, Robert Emms, Mare Winningham, Sean Bean, and more...

Directed by: Tarsem Sighn Dhandwar Original Story by: Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm Screenplay by: Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller Original Music by: Alan Menken

Premise: The Queen of a small kingdom decides she must rid herself of her departed husband's daughter as Snow White begins to outshine her as the most beautiful woman of the realm. (Rated PG)


1) Acting - Thumbs Up - Julia Roberts was a hoot as the vain evil queen. Nathan Lane delivered any number of great lines and was the perfect toady. Lily Collins made a great Snow White, especially at the end when she showed the steel beneath the fair maiden! I have always enjoyed the work of Danny Woodburn, Jordan Prentice, and Martin Klebba. Now I have four more great actors to add to the list as well. The seven of them made a great team and looked to have had a lot of fun making the film and it shows. Armie Hammer brought a great air for Prince Alcott, whose ego suffered a few blows, but he learned in time. He pulled off the puppy love scenes hilariously. Robert Emms, though he unfortunately did not return in the latter part of the film, was a lot of fun as well. Great chemistry between all the cast.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up - From the gorgeous CGI castle, to the Beast, and the super amazing killer puppets, the special effects were outstanding. The integration of the Queen as she walked through the Mirror to the other world was amazing. And I totally enjoyed the cartoonish addition of hearts to the Prince as the Queen's potion took effect. Adorable! The beginning of the film as the Queen told her tale with the dolls was nicely done.

Totally loved the ships used during the chess match. Especially when they proved to be somewhat functional! 

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up - The screenwriters took a story that has been retold countless times yet tweaked things up enough to make it fresh. Expect many of the bits one normally ties to Snow White, though not always in the same order or to the same effect, but are there for those who know the story - whether it be from the original Grimm tales or Disney. The tack taken with the Seven Dwarves was fun and made them more real. There's also a story twist, with plenty of hints so viewers might get there before our heroine does. 

Comedic moments and one liners abound. The entire feel of the piece kept crossing boundaries, but also made sure to remain light even on dark subjects. Loved the direction they took on the concept of the mirror itself.

4) Stunts - Thumbs Up - There is a lot of fun swordplay. The stilt scenes with all the acrobatics during the robberies were great to watch. 

5) Locations/Cinematography - Thumbs Up - Lovely sweeping views of the forest and the CGI kingdom. Totally loved the fact that the Queen's open bedroom, showing the sky outside, would match the Queen's moods. The forest views and locations of interest there looked real and believable. 

6) Costuming/Makeup - Thumbs Up - They had a lot of fun with this. The Queen's costumes were always large and grand, to compensate for her fading beauty. The wedding dress she wore was a monstrous affair but lovely. Trying to look at all the costumes at the ball totally entertained. Some truly innovative thinking - see if you can spot the sheep. The walrus took a minute to figure out, but it was totally outlandish! And all were outdone by the eye burning colors of the wigs and clothes of the attendees at the Queen's wedding. You almost got the sense they were trying to compensate for their ever growing unhappiness. 

Watching Snow go through clothes for just the right thief look was fun. By the time they find just the thing, you're agreeing one hundred percent with the choice! 

Conclusion: Mirror, Mirror is a fun film enjoyable by the entire family. It is funny and light, with several surprises and cute moments. Well worth a watch. The in-joke to Bollywood during the closing credits (possibly a poke at the director?) was a lot of fun!

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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