Friday, February 10, 2006

Mirrormask on DVD

Mirrormask is a great movie, from the minds of Neil Gaiman
and Dave McKean--it's too bad so few people went to see it in
the theater.

When the DVD arrives on February 14th, go rent (or buy) it!
It represents a creative approach to telling a story--versus
rehashing a previous effort--that needs to be encouraged in
the 21st century.

Some things I was reminded of when viewing it:
-Early Henry Selick animation (pre-Nightmare Before
Christmas) on MTV in the early 90's
-The CG series Reboot--especially Hexadecimal, a villainess of
many masks and powers
-The movie The City Of Lost Children
-The computer game Myst
-The movie Return To Oz

A contrasting film would be "Zathura," spawned by a similarly
talented artist, with effects wizardry from The Henson Group as well.
The problem I have with Zathura is: the two kids involved take such
a long time to warm-up to the idea of their home floating around in space.
That's a cool concept! Go with it! But there are the usual scenes of
"freaking out" and lots of "arrrgghhs" as limbs flail. The only female
character in the movie is frozen in place for the whole second reel.

Helena, the heroine in Mirrormask, instantly groks to her situation
and begins putting the pieces of her puzzling dreamworld together.
Is this realistic? Probably not to many short-attention span hellions,
but it's better than waiting for squabbling siblings to finally work
together an hour into a work of fiction (I've had enough of that in

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean have collaborated on many
projects before, but I think Mirrormask is a bold step for them
in a great new direction. They present family values without the
annoying Disney aftertaste, and offer problem-solving without
guns or explosions. Parent groups should uphold good movies
like this versus dissing the obvious targets--insert shoddily crafted
movie's title here.

Be sure to watch the extras too, including interviews with Neil and
Dave at a comic convention. The filming process is revealed to be
similar to that of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sin City
and Star Wars Episode III but with such a different and unique result.
See for yourself on February 14th!

Oh yeah, there's also some cool juggling.


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