Sarasota: Phishey reports on the East Coast premiere of MIRRORMASK!!!
Hey folks, Harry here... Well - Sundance has yielded a few reviews thus far of MIRRORMASK and so far it sounds very very very worthy of seeing immediately on a huge screen in a theater near you. Let's just hope it gets there. I've been going absolutely stir crazy in this hospital room - and reading about a film like this makes me want to get out of here and seeing this movie asap! Here's Phishey...
View as text Hi all!
On Monday I saw what was the east coast premiere of Mirrormask at the Sarasota Film Festival. After the film was over, Neil Gaiman (who wrote the original story and the screenplay) asked the audience to try to get the word out so that the film would get a wide release, citing Ain't It Cool as a great place to start. So I thought, hey, I read AICN, and I loved Mirrormask, so I'm spreading the damn word.
This is a gorgeous movie. I know you've had a few reviews for it already, and they've all focused mainly on the visual effects, but you really can't understand the absolute beauty of the film until you've seen it for yourself. For anyone familiar with Dave McKean's art, the opening title sequence will feel strangely familiar, and these little hallmarks are apparant through the rest of the film as well, including schools of flying fish and cats with human faces. But words can't really describe the visual aspect of Mirrormask, and not a lot of reviews have spent time on the actual story.
The story is pretty simple: 15 year old Helena wants to run away from the circus and join the real world. She has a fight with her Mother, her Mother gets seriously ill, Helena falls into a dream world which seems to echo the world that she created in her paintings. In this world, there is a white queen and a dark queen who keep the world in a perfect balance. Except one day, the dark queen's daughter goes to the white queen's castle and steals the mirrormask, which sends the white queen into an eternal slumber. With the white queen out of commission, the world's balance is shifted and the shadows begin to take over. Helena decides, in the manner of dream logic, that whatever she does in this world will effect what happens in the real world; namely, waking up the white queen will save her Mother. With the help of the rather shifty character Valentine, she goes on a quest to find the mirrormask and set the world to rights.
All of the actors do a fabulous job, Stephanie Leonidas (Helena) carries the film and gives it an emotional heart that often keeps the audience from feeling disconnected in an entirely blue screened world. There are a few scenes where Helena is grieving over her Mother that are beautifully acted and really make you want to pick up the phone and call your own Mom. Gina McKee (Helena's mother, The White Queen and The Dark Queen) gives impressively versatile performances as the exasperated mother and the narcissistic Dark Queen. Jason Barry (Valentine) is hysterical as the untrustworthy and unapologetic Valentine. Although hampered by a mask covering half of his face, he still puts in a heartfelt performance, and utters some of the best lines throughout the whole film. Rob Brydon (Helena's father and the Prime Minister) plays a sweet, straight role throughout. The scenes between him and Stephanie Leonidas are probably the best part of the real world sequences. And the scene between himself and the chicken is one of the funniest in the film. There are a few notable cameos, among them are Stephen Fry as the librarian and Robert Llewellyn as the sphinx.
A few highlights: The transformation sequence of Helena into the dark princess. Valentine's glimpse into the future. The fake mirrormasks. Small Hairy. Valentine's tower. The ride to the center of town. Pingo. Everything in the circus. The amazing ending.
Um...yes. To conclude this review, this film is depending on sites like this one to help it get a wide release. I know a lot of people are sick and tired of remakes and sequels and are longing for something truly original to come along well...this is it. Support it. Tell people about it. Go out and see it if you can. Let the people that matter know that this is the kind of film we want to see more of. This movie was made by 17 animators on a 3 million dollar budget. It is proof that you don't need to have a fortune to make something beautiful. Let's try to give it a chance to be seen.
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Feb. 2, 2005, 10:28 p.m. CST
Got me interested in watching it without giving much away. Gaiman is a brilliant writer, I loved Neverwhere, and I'm sure this is equally well worth checking out.
Feb. 2, 2005, 11:14 p.m. CST
This movie looks like CACA!!!!
Feb. 3, 2005, 2:08 a.m. CST
Zilla, what are you just fresh off watching Baby Geniuses 2:Superbabies or something? My fucking god man, I know the visuals in Mirrormask aren't like the ones from The Land Before Time 12: The Valley of Who Gives a Shit you're so used to but for fuck's sake understand many many MANY other people think this movie is going to blow everyone's minds this year. Look, maybe it's time for you to just go away, put on your lil glasses and watch Spy Kids #D a couple of times while the grown ups talk about movies ok?
Feb. 3, 2005, 3:12 a.m. CST
go here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v175/somnambulating/Natdeathcopy7xf.jpg go here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v175/somnambulating/4a2ad5c1.jpg go here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v175/somnambulating/death0natty.jpg And once you're convinced, go here: http://www.petitiononline.com/Somnambu/petition.html
Feb. 3, 2005, 3:57 a.m. CST
I pretty much agree with phishey's review.btw phishey i was dressed in black,bald,6'2",big guy. I had taken my little nephew with me,anyways...would and adult enjoy it...I did. would a little kid enjoy it?...he did also, he talked about it the whole way back to tampa (1 hour drive).I had walked into the movie with lowered expectation due to some almost negative reviews and it then surpassed them.A longtime sandman fan and collector, it would be a little hard for me to be unbiased when it comes to Gaiman/McKean, but i left completely satisfied with their initial attempt at making a movie (on a 4 million budget but look like at least a 30 million budget) together. The only real beef that i had with the movie was not really there fault...the opening sequence...the music was blaring so loud it was distorting,i surprisingly enjoyed the soundtrack...Especially the "transformation" scene. that was completely the best scene in the whole movie for me. if movies were drugs, the high you got from that one scene would be simular to Heroin...you have to trust me on that (7years clean).The cats were also real cool also, in a way they sorta reminded me of a more evil version of the seagulls in "Finding Nemo"...dont let them see you scared...To anyone wanting to see this movie, I would recommend that they go in with not so high hopes and a little patience, it takes a little while for the ball to get rolling until you start to get sucked in, but once you do, you end up wanting more.
Feb. 3, 2005, 5:28 a.m. CST
by The Reef
At last. It finally sounds as if someone is finally putting a tentative foot in the water to see if Neil's stuff will fly on celluloid. I can just imaging the look on most execs faces when the pitch for a Gaiman project is made, utter confusion. However if this movie does well I can see the current fad of comic movies and the bank roll from Mirrormask giving us Death:The high cost of living and possibly even Sandman. Or (please) American Gods. Support originality and more originality will be your reward. See it.
Feb. 3, 2005, 7:26 a.m. CST
but they can make a knock off instead? Granted the film itself is far and away different from what The Talisman would be, but the basic premise is damn near the same. Kinda sad. Oh well, I'll still see it, and cry for my lost Talisman film, and what could have been.
Feb. 3, 2005, 9:08 a.m. CST
Wolf, wolf!! OK I agree, the premise is definitely a lot like the Talisman, and I know when I see Mirrormask, and I will, I will undoubtedly be looking for further similarities, but lets give it a chance, it does sound good so far and the visuals Ive seen are more fantasy-like then anything ive seen since Labyrinth (bitch all you like, I loved Labyrinth). I think this movie has great potential, so they can count on me for word of mouth and at least 2 tickets (my girlfriend wants to see it too). Good luck all!
Feb. 3, 2005, 2:51 p.m. CST
by Ninja Nerd
That is a Gaiman tale I'd LOVE to see filmed. Burton could do it justice, but it might be better in the hands of Gondry. (I really, really liked Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Feb. 3, 2005, 4:07 p.m. CST
1 more vote for wide release. Even though I now live in a 'big city', I still remember having to wait for shit to come out on DVD. Please put this everywhere and have Mirrormask make tons of money and get more people to check out Gaiman/McKean.
Feb. 3, 2005, 10:14 p.m. CST
...Of the MGM version of Wizard Of Oz. A youngster travels to another, magical land filled with alternate personifications of friends and foe alike...sound familiar? *** Hope this is a dry-run for a fully independent version of The Sandman, free from Hollywood's sticky paws...
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