Sunday, April 12, 2015

Cinderella Movie Review

I used to be a big Disney fan. I loved all the movies and enjoyed going to the parks. I can't say that I don't like Disney anymore, because they haven't really changed, but I tend to feel a lot less enthusiastic about their movies now. Maybe it was the slow rise of the two-tiered animated movie thanks to Shrek. You know the one - it appeals to kids, yet at the same time is loaded with adult humor and pop culture references that work even if you don't have kids. Disney's movies never really did that as much. They have always been more about family and about fairy tales, which is fine. It has its place. I love the classic fairy tale movies, I admit.

I wasn't a big fan of the live-action Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent didn't make much sense to me. One of the problems I seem to have is that these live-action versions offer very little that's new. I guess I can't see the point in remaking a movie if you aren't adding something or changing something. Alice's story was a bit darker, although nothing like the real novel, but it still felt like a live-action version of a movie I had already seen. The same with Maleficent, although it actually made one of my favorite characters and stories a bit worse, I think.

When I heard they were making a live-action Cinderella, I admit I wasn't all that excited. It's not one of my favorites in the animated canon, either, although I do love Gus. I grew up enjoying this movie, though, so I figured I should see it. After all, Rose from Downton Abbey and Robb Stark were in it and it was directed by Kenneth Branagh. How bad could it be?

And that's just it. It's not bad at all. It's just not new or interesting. The acting is solid and the visuals are quite impressive. Sadly, the story isn't really that good and it's more noticeable without singing mice. The movie has the same run time as the animated feature, without the singing, and it feels like nothing was added to fill the space. There was a lot of just... nothing. People walking. People dancing. People riding horses. The little additions that were there were great, actually, but they felt so random and sporadic.

If I had kids and they had never seen the animated version, I think they would love this. It's a decent movie, but it's boring if you've seen it before. It had so much potential, but I felt like they weren't even trying. There's actually nothing more frustrating to me as a moviegoer than a movie that just doesn't bother. I would rather have the filmmakers try - and fail miserably - than just coast by on something already established.

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies, but I feel really wary of seeing the live-action version. I felt like this Cinderella movie was an experiment in tedium and half-heartedness. I don't enjoy watching my childhood being retread with no passion, and I don't think I want to see them do that to one of the movies I still watch repeatedly.

Of course, what do I know anyway? I hated Frozen and Disney is going to ride that gravy train for another decade.

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