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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Mirrormask Reply with quote

This is another "older" review I never got around to posting after I worte it...

The White Queen sleeps and will not wake.
Black shadows have fallen across her kingdom.
The balance between Dark and Light is broken and only the MIRROMASK can restore it.

I had hoped, upon hearing that Neil Gaiman had written the film, to see MirrorMask in the theater. Unfortunately, it was only playing in a single theater, many miles away and in a part of town I don't enter if I can avoid it. So...I missed it.

I was excited to learn that it was already being released on DVD (it came out on Valentines's Day), but events conspired to prevent me from obtaining a copy until almost two weeks later. And then, it waited for several days before I found the time to watch it. But watch it, I did. And now, several weeks later, I am going to attempt to remember what I thought of it.

Mirrormask left me with several impressions. The strongest was of a Bowie-free version of Labyrinth. It also felt like an alternate version of Coraline (complete with other-mother and other-Helena), but with an older, more rebellious, protagonist. The Henson-puppetry is amazing and the main character, Helena, played by Stephanie Leonidas, is a hottie who bears a resemblance to a young Catherine Bell (in my eyes, anyway).

Dave McKean's unique artwork (see the art from Coraline) is all over the place (the character Helena is an artist who is credited with the artwork). The drawings are a dark, other-worldly, and slightly creepy style - perfect for the tone of the film.

Admittedly, the story has a tendency to follow convoluted and confusing paths...and left me scratching my head in confusion at times, but I'm a little slow. Despite the challenge to my stunted intellect, this is an interesting, entertaining, and cerebrally stimulating film - all good things.

The DVD has several special features (I have watched none of them): the usual director/cast in-film commentary, an interview with Neil, an interview with Dave and interviews with other cast/crew members, two making of features, a time lapse video of the last day of shooting, and the Q&A session from the San Diego Comiccon. If only I had more time...

I apologize for the rambling nature of this post. The impressions that I received while watching this film have, for the most part, faded. And I can't find the time to devote to another viewing at the moment, so if you want to hear a more coherent and interesting write-up on the film, you should read Neil's thoughts in the Guardian.
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