By Rebecca Kelley
What is your best bet for entertainment this week? We have a 9/11 tear-jerker, an Easter tale, a re-mash of Greek mythology and a fairy tale. We’ll break down the options and let you know if it’s better to stay home and watch something on XFINITY On Demand or to head to your local theater. Click on the movie titles for more information about ordering On Demand or theater tickets through Fandango.
What’s On Demand?
A little boy travels the boroughs of New York City looking to reconnect with the father (Tom Hanks) he lost to the terror attacks of 9/11. His grieving mother (Sandra Bullock) worries for the boy when he finds a key that he believes holds clues to his father’s last whimsical quest, a quest that has him desperately meeting strangers. His biggest ally is the mute old man (Max von Sydow) who rents from his grandmother – a man with a devastating past of his own.
Our take: With 9/11 still so raw in so many hearts, you have to tread carefully on the subject. This film had so much promise, but got it very wrong. The main character, who is supposed to be charmingly awkward, comes off as downright annoying and mean. It’s hard to relate to him. The story is odd, with lots of unlikely travel and meetings that feel inauthentic. The beauty of the story, which should be in the connection with other ordinary citizens of New York, gets lost in the shuffle. This means you get all of the gut-twisting sadness of 9/11 with no mitigating joy or meaning. The film is a definite fail.
In this live-action/animation hybrid, a drummer bunny on the lam from his destiny as the future Easter Bunny meets up with a slacker named Fred. Moving in together, they both chase dreams – Hop as a rockin’ drummer and Fred as the first human Easter Bunny. Until the chocolate hits the fan.
Our take: With some good jokes and excellent animation, this movie will be fun to watch for Easter. The sappy, uninspired ending and some well-worn humor keep it from being excellent, but as a way to bring the kids down from their sugar high, it works just fine.
What’s In Theaters?
In an unlikely sequel to the terrible “Clash of the Titans,” semi-divine Perseus, who we seem to remember dying at the end of the first flick, is back living as a fisherman with his son. The gods of Olympus still have their problems with the creepy Titans, problems which trickle down to humanity. It’s up to Perseus to take up his sword again and fight to save the gods and humanity.
Our take: Greek mythology starts off confusing and this movie does nothing to help that. A convoluted plot, horrific acting and a script in serious need of a rewrite add up to a movie that should never have been made.
Lily Collins plays Snow White to Julia Roberts’ Evil Queen in this modern, stylized adaptation of the fairy tale. When Queen tries to kill Snow and schemes to marry the rich, clueless Prince (Armie Hammer), Snow teams up with some mouthy, updated dwarfs. Their cover story is mining, but what they really do is steal – something Snow turns into Robin Hood-like good deeds. Can she save her kingdom, the dwarfs and win the prince? Can she do all that in a ball gown?
Our take: Fresh and fun, this movie will delight little girls and not pain their parents. With a wry sense of humor and some beautiful images (not to mention fantastic dresses) it does the original story justice. It’s not a hard-nosed teen story, a la “Hunger Games,” but a younger, sweet, slightly sassy fairy tale. Julia Roberts is quite good as an utterly selfish aging woman determined to hold on to youth at any cost, and sends up her Hollywood cohorts with a wink and a nod.
Ticket or Click It?
Ticket! Get your fairy tale on with “Mirror Mirror.”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.