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MIRROR MIRROR ($40) is a charming, comic and slightly adult version of the classic Snow White fairy tale that is quite beautiful to look at, thanks to the keen visual senses of director Tarsem Singh (Dhandwar). I am a fan of Tarsem Singh's earlier films THE CELL, THE FALL and IMMORTALS; all three of which are visually compelling, but alas, two of which offer more style than substance. In Tarsem Singh's hands MIRROR MIRROR is glorious to look at, and does offer substance and humor, in addition to the tremendous visual stylings. Sure, the story isn't perfect, but it does draw the viewer into the film's slightly off kilter fairy tale world, allowing them to sail away on a cloud opulent imagery.

MIRROR MIRROR stars Julia Roberts as Queen Gertrude, the beautiful, vain and evil ruler of the film's fairy tale kingdom. Living a lavish lifestyle fit for a queen, Gertrude has bankrupted the kingdom, which leaves the queen needing an infusion of wealth. In addition to being rotten to the core, Queen Gertrude is also stepmother to eighteen-year-old princess Snow White (Lily Collins), who is far more fair than the queen, and the rightful heir to the throne. Being reminded of Snow White's rightful position and her beauty, the queen sees her not only as a threat to her position, but also a threat to her potential marriage to Prince Andrew Alcott (Armie Hammer), who is not only handsome and charming... but also quite wealthy. In an effort to rid herself of Snow White and make a grab for the wealthy prince, the queen enlists her bootlicking lackey Brighton (Nathan Lane) to kill the girl. Of course, the cowardly Brighton isn't up to the task and he sets Snow White free in the woods, where she meets seven dwarves, who turn out to be bandits. Soon, Snow White attempts to reform her newfound friends. Now robbing from the rich and giving back to the poor, Snow White transforms herself into a bandit princess... who also finds herself in the position of rescuing a handsome prince from an evil queen. The cast of MIRROR MIRROR also features Mare Winningham, Michael Lerner, Danny Woodburn, Martin Klebba, Sebastian Saraceno, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Ronald Lee Clark, Robert Emms and Sean Bean.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made MIRROR MIRROR available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Shot digitally with the Panavision Genesis cameras, MIRROR MIRROR provides a marvelous looking 1080p presentation, which maximizes the beauty of Brendan Galvin's cinematography, Tom Foden's sumptuous production design, the late Eiko Ishioka glorious costumes and Tarsem Singh's carefully composed visuals. Everything appears wonderfully sharp and beautifully defined. Fine details and texturing are sublimely rendered and add to one's appreciation of the visual experience. Colors are rich, vibrant, fully saturated and reproduced without flaws. Additionally, flesh tones are tremendously appealing. Blacks are pure, as are the whites, plus the contrast is very smooth. The elements from which MIRROR MIRROR has been mastered appear virtually flawless. Being an all-digital production, there is no actual film grain, but there is a bit of noise in the image.

MIRROR MIRROR is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The sound design is appropriate to the material, maintaining a simpler, more intimate style for quieter dialogue driven moments, as well as a bigger, more boisterous sound when the fantasy and action elements come into play. The outlying channels are engaging and effective for the fantasy sequences, as well as for fight and crowd scenes. Much of MIRROR MIRROR is dialogue driven, which relies on the sound design's ability to envelope the viewer within the atmosphere of a given scene's environment. By virtue of the lossless encoding, fidelity is excellent in regards to both Alan Menken’s score and the sound effects. The bass channel is deep, but does not call undue attention to itself. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Looking Through The Mirror (thirteen minutes), I Believe I Can Dance (eleven minutes), Prince And Puppies (two minutes) and Mirror Mirror Storybook (interactive). Deleted Scenes, a Theatrical Trailer and Bonus Trailers close out the standard extras. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray. An authorization code is provided for a Digital Copy of the film, which is just a download away.

MIRROR MIRROR is a charming and amusing take on the classic fairy tale. In Tarsem Singh's hands MIRROR MIRROR is glorious piece of eye candy that is beautifully served by the Blu-ray presentation. For fans of the director's work, MIRROR MIRROR is a must have. Recommended.


Mirror Mirror [Blu-ray/ DVD + Digital Copy] (2012)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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