Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
S8E7: With only two more episodes left in the entire series, Entourage finally pulls out the big guns – and by big guns, I mean big ol’ crocodile tears. It took eight seasons, but the show finally found an emotional hook. And no, I’m not being sarcastic. I felt compassion for Ari. I felt sad for Dana. I felt worried for Turtle. I felt anger at E. And I actually felt happy for Vince. Is this an alternate universe, or am I just getting soft because I know it will all be over after next week’s episode? Perhaps it’s a mixture of both.
“I’m like the Francis Ford Coppola of iMovie.” – Turtle
To convince Sophie to date him, Vince enlists Turtle to help make a video of all his old girlfriends talking about how he was sweet and took great care of them – with one last newly pregnant ex as the kicker. This is the hardest we’ve ever seen Vince try for a girl and it’s not that he’s ever been a bad guy, it just seems strange that he’d nab such a catch. This plot point probably falls on the “acceptability because of sentimentally” side of things, but hey, it’s Vin’s last hurrah, so let’s let him be happy for once, eh?
Drama drops off the video for Sophie and tries very hard to convince her to date his brother. Kevin Dillon’s acting may be as terrible as his character’s is supposed to be, but Drama convinces Sophie to give Vince a chance, even though she doesn’t date celebs and her last her boyfriend was a pediatric surgeon at Johns Hopkins. Yeah, Hollywood star doesn’t sound quite as prestigious.
Later, Sophie calls a number that she thinks is Vince’s and it’s actually Turtle’s. He continues the sentimental praise for Vince – and what I’m guessing is the series’ way of sending off the character that is the anchor for its each and every plot – and he tells Sophie to give him a shot. She says she’ll have a drink at the Chateau Marmont with Vince even though this is the “weirdest courtship of all time.” True, but can’t a Vanity Fair journalist muster a better adjective?
“The only reason I didn’t knock out that firecrotch Flay for being in my house is that I can’t afford a lawsuit.” –Ari
Vince’s script still isn’t materializing into a movie for Billy Walsh and Drama and it takes a squirrelly little game of whodunit (though if we paid attention last week, we’d know that the guilty party was Phil Yagoda, in his office, with a box of smashed apology cookies) to figure out who the wrench in the system is. Dana loves the script – for a TV movie – because it’s emotionally manipulative. Hmm, smells like Lifetime (or the Hallmark Channel if you’re Dana’s buddy). She says she’ll pull some strings, but Ari needs to read it. He’s so distraught over his marriage that it brings him to tears IN HIS OFFICE of all places. He’s actually forged an emotional connection with it and will do anything to get it made, there’s just one small snag: the Hallmark Channel wants Zachary Levi and Phil Yagoda wants anyone but Drama as payback for the Johnny’s Bananas walkout. The solution? Vince throws 100 Gs at Phil’s dog charity and boom, Drama’s back in and the movie’s a go.
Ari, however is still very much out of sorts. While in bed with Dana, all he can talk about is figuring out how to get money to pay off his soon-to-be ex wife and she asks him what he’s doing with her. In one of the most honest and tender scenes I can remember on Entourage, Ari tells Dana how wonderful she makes him feel but admits he still loves his wife. Dana’s extremely sad but she tells him he has to figure out what his wife is missing and give it her. (And let’s be real, he will and it will all end happily ever after.)
“Turtle, you got your checkbook?” –The Don Pepe Couple
The Queens couple is still being a pain in Turtle’s ass, but at least they finally admit it. They only came to LA to be wined and dined; they had no intention of opening a Don Pepe’s West Coast location, but they wanted to see the restaurant where the Octomom (blech) used to go, and they want to rent the space for Don Pepe’s because the street it’s on, Bella Rosa, is the owner’s mother’s name. Two small problems – the price tag is a bit steep and the couple won’t invest a dime.
Cue Turtle calling investors – including The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira as well as the Knicks’ Amare Stoudmire – but they’re getting annoyed that he’s asking for more money and he’s risking losing their support altogether. It gets even worse when A-Rod mentions that Avion went public and that everyone Turtle advised to sell their stock like he did is going to be pissed because they just lost the opportunity to make millions. Turtle’s upset because he could have used his millions to start Don Pepe’s. Miraculously (and we’ll okay this because it’s the second-to-last episode), Vince kept his stock and bought Turtle’s and says he’ll sell it back for its original price (300 bucks) so that Turtle will get his $4 million return, which means he’s rich and he’s opening a Don Pepe’s. I’m not going to lie, it makes me happy to see Turtle succeed, even if it’s because Vince saved his ass again.
“Oh – you’re fired go fuck yourself.” –Johnny Galecki
Despite the immense profitability of having Johnny Galecki as a client, E still wants Scott to drop him on pain of E quitting the agency. E continues his streak of being a complete and total idiot and finally the characters in Entourage’s little world are getting fed up too. Scott refuses to drop the actor, gets E to admit he slept with Melinda, chastises E for being such an idiot and tells him to get his shit together and get over Sloane. At least someone finally said it – and no, Ari’s little “grow a pair” talks never count because none of them ever listens to Ari.
For some idiotic, self-sabotaging reason, E is still sleeping with Melinda, and we get to see them lying awkwardly in bed together while E bitches about Sloane. You’re not fooling anyone E, you sound like a teenage girl trying to convince herself that she’s just so much hotter than that boy who dumped her. He says he has to tell Melinda because his friends are tired of hearing about it – well, guess what E? So are we.
But, the drama escalates. Turtle spots Sloane and Galecki at the Farmers Market, right after Melinda says E’s still in love with Sloane. On cue, E heads right over to confront Galecki and Sloane with Melinda in the Farmers Market because her dating Galecki confirms that she slept with Seth Green way back when – at least in his mind, I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure. He chases her out of the restaurant and berates her before finally calling her slut. And this is when I growled with rage because I actually cannot believe that after all these years he’s actually this much of an imbecile. He gets his just desserts when Galecki so eloquently fires him, but he makes sure to follow Sloane home she he can be a big boy and apologize.
It turns out she was actually going to tell Galecki that she needed to break up with him and when E says he wants her back and asks if she still has feelings for him, she says it doesn’t matter is she’s not over him because her family means more. Then comes the shocker – yes! Finally a really shocker with the Sloane/E saga! – she says she’s pregnant and she’s only slept with E so it’s his. But – and it’s a big but – she’s still going to NY and she doesn’t want anything from E.
Thank you, Entourage. Thank you for making these last few episodes about the relationships and not the “Eh! Is Vince gonna do the movie?” back and forths. Some of us have had our gripes about this show through the years, but the thing that’s kept us coming back and that’s made sure we’re all here to see these final episodes are the characters. They’re our guys and through mediocre plots and so-so acting, we love them just the same. It’s only fitting that the last few episodes would have more concerned with their happiness than their pocketbooks – well, maybe not in Turtle’s case, but a lifetime of great Italian food is almost as good a relationship, right?