Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
4.11

Awesome39.44%
Worth A Look: 36.62%
Just Average: 21.13%
Pretty Crappy: 1.41%
Sucks: 1.41%

7 reviews, 29 user ratings


Latest Reviews

MFA by Jay Seaver

You Only Live Once by Jay Seaver

November (2017) by Jay Seaver

Friendly Beast by Jay Seaver

Foreigner, The (2017) by Jay Seaver

Tom of Finland by Rob Gonsalves

Happy Death Day by Jay Seaver

78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene by Jay Seaver

Death Note: Light Up the New World by Jay Seaver

Brawl in Cell Block 99 by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed


MirrorMask
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"Not quite all the way there, but a step in the right direction"
4 stars

The Jim Henson Company returns to fantasy, the genre that showcased their best imaginative efforts, with “MirrorMask.” While the absence of puppetry and widescreen depth is missed greatly, the picture is a nice return of adult fantasy to the big screen, featuring complicated CG visuals that will surely make eyes pop.

Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) is a young juggler frustrated with her life working in her family's circus. After a particularly vicious fight with her mother Joanne (Gina McKee, "Notting Hill"), Helena wishes her dead, and is soon paralyzed with guilt when Joanne is rushed to the hospital that very night. Falling asleep with reminders of her intricate drawings surrounding her, Helena wakes up in a fantasyland of masked creatures, towering sights, and an evil queen (also played by McKee) who wants to rule this otherworld. With the help of a local, Valentine (Jason Barry), Helena battles her way through danger and mystery, looking for a special mask that will restore peace to the land and save her mother.

Looking to get back their fertile fantasy roots, The Jim Henson Company brings to the screen "MirrorMask." A fireworks display for the eyes, and an overdue dose of sincerity for the genre, "MirrorMask" mostly delivers on its complex promises.

The press notes stress that the Henson crew was looking to resurrect the fantasy entertainment that made them legends in the 1980s, with the wonderful "Labyrinth," and Jim Henson's masterpiece, "The Dark Crystal." For fans looking for that puppet-and-magic high, "MirrorMask" doesn't deliver on that level of optical thrills. Rendered almost entirely with shimmery golden CGI backgrounds and wildly imagined fantasy characters, there's a disconcerting polish to the film that doesn't envelope the viewer the way practical locations and people in rubber suits can. That doesn't suggest the tech credits aren't proficient (love those human/feline hybrids), and, at times, the landscapes are quite sumptuous, but the glossy, 1994-CD-Rom-adventure-game visuals seem to take away the immediacy and texture of Helena's danger in her new surroundings, and, at times, pop that crucial balloon of wonderment.

With beloved fantasy writer Neil Gaiman assuming script duties, "MirrorMask" features incredible depth in its settings and spots of originality in its story. While essentially a reimagining of "Alice in Wonderland," with a bit of "Labyrinth" thrown in for good measure, Gaiman instills in the film a strong sense of the abstract. He also crams in entertaining messages on the magic of books (sometime literally), and the importance of imagination. Gaiman's vision for the film is cluttered, but commendably ambitious, and he succeeds more than he fails in crafting an adventure/fantasy for thinking audiences.

Director David McKean does a capable job sorting out the many unique dreamlike sequences, and he accomplishes quite an intricate motion picture for a film with a shockingly low budget (reportedly 4 million). While some faulty ideas seep in (the Massive Attack meets Kenny G musical score kills the opening moments), McKean maintains "MirrorMask" through the many flavors of fantasy that it enjoys.

It isn't a perfect landing on this return flight for the Henson Company, but I really enjoyed the journey, even if technical progress has made the true magic of the genre obsolete.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11264&reviewer=404
originally posted: 10/07/05 00:44:16
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

3/20/17 Katja Total eye candy, even the real life parts; genuinely funny and touching. Weak story though. 5 stars
11/12/13 Vanessa Campos Interesting movie to look at, the story was ok but I ended up liking the music more. 4 stars
9/19/11 Quigley Not the best fanatsy film ever, but it really holds you in its grasp. Helena is gorgeous. 4 stars
5/02/10 PAUL SHORTT VISUALLY STUNNING AND IMAGINATIVE 3 stars
2/02/10 jcjs33 incredible, never seen such a unique, lovely, film of this type, awesome 5 stars
9/16/09 bored mom Somebody rescore the shitty music. Labyrinth is still less painful to watch. 3 stars
6/04/09 xlovebugx the imagination: music, characters, scene, idea, is astounding. definitely a fave of mine 5 stars
11/04/08 Z Beautiful. Amazing top look at. Story... not so much. Just watch is on mute with cool music 4 stars
8/22/08 KingNeutron Not at -all- what I expected- good for kids maybe but Valentine was best part of the movie. 2 stars
7/17/08 scbyfn4evr the only reason critics don't like this movie is because they have been trained against it 5 stars
3/07/08 myspace.com/b0bbi3maniscalco I loved it I own it 5 stars
4/03/07 Gian Absolutely beautifully, visually. Pulled off a dream world better than anyone else. Love it 5 stars
12/18/06 del Such a great concept and designs, so little payoff. A collosal disappointment. 3 stars
11/19/06 Ionicera I love Sandman and Gaiman/McKean, but the story was a little too familiar and formulaic 4 stars
11/04/06 Ryan_A Gorgeous to look at, although the story needs a little work. 4 stars
6/23/06 Mygaera I sat there, through the whole movie, gaping in amazement, for 90 minutes. 5 stars
6/06/06 Sarah IT WAS SO BORING! 1 stars
3/17/06 welsh angel Beautiful and unsettling. Not most original plot but made up for in mental-ness! 5 stars
3/14/06 Naka Fucking amazing. 5 stars
3/01/06 the laughing man fantastic fantasy, even though it had a flawed begining. 4 stars
1/30/06 R. Prigot Too bad it was limited release... 5 stars
11/25/05 NepruSmelu It was full of cool visual stuff but the story put me to sleep. 4 stars
11/24/05 ketil there is also a wonderful cocteau feel to it.. 5 stars
10/24/05 drfardook the story does fall short but visually incredible and lots of little henson moments 4 stars
10/20/05 BrianWilly Wonky and fun 5 stars
10/03/05 Tony incredible experience - all of the elements come together to create a hauntingly delightful 5 stars
2/25/05 David Taplin Utterly Awesome 5 stars
2/01/05 Lori Go see it...many, many times... 5 stars
1/31/05 Brian Erzen Fantastic, original and fun.... And quite smart too! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  30-Sep-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 14-Feb-2006

UK
  03-Mar-2006

Australia
  08-Dec-2005


Directed by
  Dave McKean

Written by
  Neil Gaiman

Cast
  Stephanie Leonidas
  Gina McKee
  Rob Brydon
  Jason Barry
  Dora Bryan
  Stephen Fry



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast