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Mirrormask

12/19/05

  03:04:30 am, by Nimble   , 348 words  
Categories: Reviews, Movies

Mirrormask

Link: http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/mirrormask.html

Dena and I own most of the set of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, and I'm a tremendous fan of the old Henson movies Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, so we were terribly intrigued at the thought of a new movie with a Neil Gaiman story and the Henson crew producing.

So we went to see it at the Uptown, where it is currently playing at noon on weekends (it should be playing at the big theaters, dagnabbit - then again, we've seen the Uptown play movies before the big theaters pick it up as well - I think that's what happened with Triplets of Belleville.)

What a freaking treat the movie turned out to be!

It follows a girl whose parents are trying to keep their circus afloat, and she's utterly bone-tired of it. Something profound happens (I really can't spoil it here - it's interestingly done) which puts things in jeopardy. Late at night, in an interesting and somewhat horrible scene, she enters a dreamland... of sorts.

The dreamland is fantastic. It's somewhat steeped in sepia tone, and it has a strange old-time movie quality to it. I don't know quite what to compare this style or fantasy world to. The characters are great (the cast is surprisingly small - many people are listed with multiple characters), the mythology, in typical Neil Gaiman style, is interesting, self-consistent, and gives us very human motivations even in the fantastic.

My jaw dropped and I blinked intensely a number of times in the movie. It was just so... different, on top of being a really good story. Things like needing nets in various places of the library and how to fend off very human-faced, menacing cats. I mean, it works, but what the hell? :)

Fired up our imaginations for hours later, too. The twists and periodic urgency in the plot were magnificently done. Took a lot of Christmas shopping to calm me down after that.

I highly recommend it, especially if you've ever enjoyed well-written escapist movies like Time Bandits or Labyrinth. This is definitely going into my collection when it comes out on DVD.

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