Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #35: Live Action Fairy Tale Adaptations


Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share three movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you're up to it one of each.For further details visit the series main page here.


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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Live Action Fairy Tale Adaptations

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The live action Cinderella directed by Kenneth Branagh opens this week and fairy tales are back in vogue now. Just last year there was Maleficent and of course by now you might have heard about last week's Beauty and the Beast casting news. It's not just Hollywood too, the book world is also filled with fairytale re-tellings. Which is why today's theme is Live Action Fairy Tale Adaptations. My picks today are two favourites and one bad movie pick


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Red Riding Hood (2011)
Let's start with the bad. Red Riding Hood. At the center of this movie is a young woman choosing between two suitors one a supposed bad boy and the other the family's match. A love triangle, really it's a pretty sad attempt to throw romance and make the movie sexy which it still fails. This all of course takes place in the midst of a witch hunt for wolves or witches or both that's been tormenting their village which I thought was the more interesting aspect of the movie. Still, the movie was just so bad it even had the whole "what big eyes you have" line.

Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
If you love the Cinderella story you have to see this movie. It is a lovely spin on Cinderella with Drew Barrymore as Danielle who was orphaned when her father dies and is made servant by her stepmother. Smart and plucky, Danielle catches the prince's eye when in disguise as a noblewoman(to rescue another servant her stepmother has sold) she gives her opinion about everything. Danielle is definitely not a damsel in distress in Ever After.

Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1998)
Snow White has been getting quite a number of adaptation recently with Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman and its sequel which is in the works. However, the only Snow White movie that worked for me was the 1998 Snow White: A Tale of Terror with its interesting take on the well known tale. In it Snow White is a little bratty giving the stepmother, who didn't start out all evil, a very hard time. Then something terrible happens which threw the stepmother over the edge and out for Snow White's blood. The dwarves here aren't dwarves either but outcasts, while the prince charming is just another outcast who crosses path with Snow White after her stepmother went crazy. The movie does get quite dark and creepy in the second half, what with all the witchcraft going on, so this is definitely not a fairytale for kids.

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So that's it...my three picks. What three movies made your list today?

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Check out some of my random Thursday Movie Picks

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26 comments:

  1. Awesome! I love that you included Ever After...I almost did as well! Mine will be up at midnight :-D

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    1. Haha...of course, it's a childhood favourite...it's magical.

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  2. Red Riding Hood had potential, but they forced the story through a Twilight strainer and came up with mush. Haven't seen your other two. They sound interesting, though. Great post.

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  3. Ever After makes my list too; it was a lovely adaptation. I haven't heard of the Snow White adaptation you chose, but it does sound a bit scary.

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    1. It is. Sigourney Weaver makes a good evil stepmother.

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  4. I love Ever After! Drew and Anjelica Huston going head to head is brilliant, Judy Parfitt and Timothy West have great fun with the king and queen and Melanie Lynskey does some wonderful things to make the younger step-sister more than just a place filler. It has some amazing scenery to sweeten the pot as well.

    I only watched Red Riding Hood because Julie Christie was cast as the grandmother and her part was so minute I shouldn't have bothered because the rest of the movie was dreadful.

    Not sure why I've never gotten around to Snow White: A Tale of Terror since I love Sigourney Weaver. I'll have to correct that.

    My three this week:

    Freeway (1996)-Undeniably unique adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood. Reese Witherspoon plays Red, here reimagined as a pea brained, white trash southern teen named Vanessa whose mother is a meth head hooker and her stepfather a leering junkie. When they are arrested Reese handcuffs her truant officer to the bed and hits the road in an old junker to Grandmother's house. When the car breaks down she crosses paths with the Big Bad Wolf here in the form of a sleazy Keifer Sutherland. Strange, dark and deranged but definitely different.

    The Glass Slipper (1955)-High gloss MGM semi musical adaptation of Cinderella with Leslie Caron ideally cast in the lead. Takes a few liberties but stays pretty close to the story. Michael Wilding is a bit long in the tooth as the prince but aside from him the supporting cast is full of colorful characters and the film is a visual treat.

    Ball of Fire (1941)-In this spin on Snow White and the Seven Drawfs Barbara Stanwyck plays nightclub singer Sugarpuss O'Shea who while dodging a subpoena to testify against her mobster boyfriend hides out with seven professors who are complying an encyclopedia of slang of which she is a master. Stanwyck and Gary Cooper are charming together and the professors standing in for the dwarves are a collection of some of the most distinctive character actors working at the time. If you only know Barbara Stanwyck from Double Indemnity or perhaps The Big Valley TV series she's a comic revelation in this.

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    1. Now I've gotta see Freeway after that synopsis.

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    2. Ball of Fire - YES. Stanwyck is so brilliant in that!

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    3. I've only heard of the first two and with Reese Witherspoon plays Red in Freeway, I going to try and see it.

      Snow White: A Tale of Terror - you should definitely see it. I like what they did with the evil stepmother character. Pretty terrifying when she went crazy.

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  5. I could actually enjoy Red Riding Hood, though I felt it's a little cheesy. Anyway, I always thought that Hard Candy is a resemblance of this story. Anyone feels so?
    Anyway, I also liked Ever After when I was little though I kinda forget. I need to watch it soon in conjunction with the release of the latest Cinderella adaptation.

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    1. Red Riding Hood - it had some nice looking scenes with red hood contrasting with the white snow, the two guys were good looking but that was about it for me.
      Hard Candy - yeah a little I suppose. They certainly used the concept in the poster.

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  6. Ever After is a classic, full stop. I love everything about it. Haven't seen the other two, but have no particular desire outside of loving me some Sigourney Weaver.

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    1. Definitely check out Snow White: A Tale of Terror.

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  7. Love your choices! This has been one of my favourites weeks so far, so many others are choosing films I've never even heard of! I'm going to have to have a fairy tale marathon soon I think.
    - Allie

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    1. Thanks. I know right! I'm going to try and check some of them out.

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  8. That Snow White movie sounds interesting. I've honestly never heard of it. Ever After is a guilty pleasure of mine. I think the movie itself is kind of terrible, but I own it and have watched it several times. lol

    Red Riding Hood looked terrible, I skipped that one.

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    1. Terrible...nahh...its terribly good.

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  9. I have to admit I found this one difficult, I struggled to think of direct fairy tales adaptations I had seen and actually liked. I guess I'll check out the ones you mentioned (with the Red Riding Hood being the exception)

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  10. We struggled with these too. I guess we all have our blindspots.

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  11. Although I should say, we did do our homework again this week. Aside from the 9 different picks we have listed, we did also watched the new Cinderella, Pan's Labyrinth, The Orphanage, Freeway, AI, LadyHawke, and The Neverending Story. Phew!
    Planning a youth-oriented mini festival for tomorrow.

    Jay

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    1. So far no one has picked The NeverEnding Story. That was so part of my childhood and so fairytale-ish too.

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  12. Nice list this week, Wanderer. I realize Red Riding Hood was far from perfect, but I enjoyed it, just the typical film you have to turn your mind off and enjoy it for what it is. I think Ever After is the only Drew Barrymore flick I didn't care for, and I haven't seen or even heard of Snow White: A Tale of Terror but I'm definitely intrigued after that synopsis.:)

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    1. Really? You didn't like Ever After? Drew is so sweet in it, there's nice scenery and pretty costumes. What's not to like? Oh well maybe it's more of a girl thing?

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  13. I've avoided Red Riding Hood, it just looks awful from the trailer. Glad you picked Ever After too! It's just so darn charming.

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  14. I've never seen any of these, but that Snow White looks creepy as hell.

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