Tag Archives: Fairy Tale

Where the Wild Things Are

THERE’S ONE IN ALL OF US.  Lonely 9-year-old Max (Max Records) runs away from home and ends up in a place far away where the wild things are… and they declare Max their king. An adaptation of the beloved children’s story that takes itself seriously and comes very close to capturing (and reminding older audiences … Continue reading Where the Wild Things Are

Pan’s Labyrinth: Fairy Tale Fascism

INNOCENCE HAS A POWER EVIL CANNOT IMAGINE.  Pan’s Labyrinth got all the attention and won many awards, but director Guillermo del Toro has always been careful to link it to one of his earlier films, The Devil’s Backbone (2001). They are kindred spirits, as both portray effects of the Spanish Civil War, have a kid … Continue reading Pan’s Labyrinth: Fairy Tale Fascism

Shrek the Third

THE WAIT IS OGRE! When the King of Far, Far Away dies, Shrek is next in line to the throne; he refuses to shoulder the mantle and goes on a quest with Donkey and Puss in Boots to find the next man in line. There isn’t much left of the first film’s ingenious satire and the … Continue reading Shrek the Third


THE FAIRYTALE THAT WON’T BEHAVE.  Teenager Tristan (Charlie Cox) crosses a wall into a magical realm where he goes looking for a fallen star that he intends to bring to a girl he loves, but there’s dangerous competition. The Layer Cake director got Neil Gaiman’s blessing to bring his novel to the big screen, but … Continue reading Stardust

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

HE PUTS THE GREEN IN MEAN. The green Grinch (Jim Carrey) hates Christmas and the people of Whoville hate him, but a little girl (Taylor Momsen) wants to change that. Director Ron Howard delivers his Toys (1992) or Popeye (1980), i.e. a noisy, expensive disaster of a movie made by a good filmmaker who is suffering from … Continue reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

THIS HOLIDAY, CHRISTMAS CHEER TAKES A BREAK. Three children lose their parents in a fire and move in with a distant relative (Jim Carrey) who plans to kill them and steal their inheritance. This adaptation of the Lemony Snicket books is a dark and imaginative tale for kids and adults; learning a thing or two … Continue reading Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lady in the Water

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR A HAPPY ENDING. Apartment superintendent Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) finds out that a woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) lives beneath the complex’s swimming pool; she turns out not to be human, but a narf, and she’s in danger. Director M. Night Shyamalan’s bedtime story has a terrific score, a good performance … Continue reading Lady in the Water

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

THE FACTORY OPENS JULY 2005. When the reclusive Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) opens his mysterious chocolate factory to the public for the first time in many years, young Charlie (Freddie Highmore) becomes one of five lucky children to get invitations. Tim Burton introduces the amazing Roald Dahl original to a new generation and cleverly combines it … Continue reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Shrek 2

ONCE UPON ANOTHER TIME… Newly-weds Shrek and Fiona visit the princess’ parents and cross swords with the Ferry Godmother who wanted her son to marry Fiona. A typical example of how some filmmakers are first given a budget and then have to try to come up with a way to continue a finished story. The amazing … Continue reading Shrek 2

Shrek: Green Is Beautiful

THE GREATEST FAIRY TALE NEVER TOLD. There’s a new ogre in town and he’s not making Disney happy. Just imagine taking beloved fairy-tale characters like Pinocchio and Cinderella, stars in their own right, and reducing them to insignificant (and somewhat annoying) supporting parts in an all-new fairy tale. And those who are doing it are … Continue reading Shrek: Green Is Beautiful

A Christmas Carol

A NEW POWERFUL PRESENTATION OF THE MOST LOVED GHOST STORY OF ALL TIME! Charles Dickens’s ghost story would probably survive even the most slapdash filmization, but this TV movie is not one of those. It is a distinguished version where the filmmakers succeed in creating an atmosphere soaked in the emotions of Christmases past. The … Continue reading A Christmas Carol