Thursday, March 17, 2011
RED RIDING HOOD
RED RIDING HOOD (2011)
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
Amanda Seyfried - Valerie
Gary Oldman - Father Solomon
Billy Burke - Cesaire
Valerie falls for an orphaned woodcutter Peter, much to her family's displeasure. About to run away together, they find out that her sister is killed by a werewolf breaking the truce the village has had with it for years.
Hardwicke who left the Twilight series due to the fact that she wanted more money and time wound up making the exact same type of movie: a soulless love story with hollow main characters and wooden acting. She stuck to the same formulaic approach as she took in those crapfests. Female lead with overly breathy and dry narrative. It almost felt like the same movie with different actors. I mention Twilight as this film gives me the same feeling for some odd reason. Yet when I went into Red Riding Hood, I went in with no expectations. Hell, it has Gary Oldman in it and was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio so it can't be all bad. Can it?
Well, it was mostly bad. While some movies know they're bad, other movies try to be something more serious and deep. Red Riding Hood definitely tried to hard to be something that it clearly wasn't. You could open a fish market with the amount of obvious red herrings they were throwing around. They were discredited just as fast, and I mean right after they were revealed, sometimes even 10 seconds after. The story was just misfire after misfire. There were plot holes all the way through that even the characters saw and said nothing about. Now I don't mind love stories in movies, sometimes it actually helps. Just don't make it contrived. The main character goes back and forth so often in who she likes it actually made my head hurt the next day. As for the incestuous story line in the movie, yes that is a spoiler, it was just weird and pushed this movie into the next level of wrongness.
And what the hell was up with the ever expanding red cloak?
Now I have to talk about the acting in this movie as there were two sets of acting schools at work. In one corner you had the older actors who knew what type of movie they were making and just decided to start chewing scenery to see if they could escape the mess they got themselves into. The chief person in this was Gary Oldman. The man just showed up and ruled the screen as a holy roller executioner Father Solomon. Even when he was spewing his past history with werewolves you paid attention. Even when he was begging for his life he never groveled as most actors would, and gave this scene some respect that would have been lost otherwise. Michael Hogan in the short screen time he had was chewing through the movie as well until he got slammed by the werewolf like it was a freight train. For a movie that had so many great actors in it, it wastes all most every single one of them. Virginia Madsen is wasted as a mother that longs for her lost love. Michael Shanks who has charisma to spare is like a ghost in his role. As for the two main actors, if you can call them that, there was no chemistry between Amanda Seyfried's Valerie and Shiloh Fernandez's Peter at all. Fernandez's acting is so wooden it was laughable at best and painful the rest of time. As for Seyfried, I was wondering how her eyes didn't dry out as they were bug eyed throughout the whole movie.
Not everything was terrible with this movie, just most of it. The set design was actually quite brilliant. It felt like a fairy tale setting. The thorn forest in the movie was a wonderful idea as well. The art direction should be mentioned just for the shot of Valerie kneeling in snow while wearing her red riding hood. This shot almost felt out of place.
I still can not recommend this movie in the slightest to anyone. It could have just as easily been called Twilight Of The Wolves (thank you JeNee).
Dr. Daniel Jackson's weight loss by guttural dilation.
LINE THAT MAKES YOU SCRATCH YOUR HEAD IN CONFUSION:
They killed again.....the wolf!
The film was originally titled The Girl with the Red Riding Hood.
Catherine Hardwicke directed the first Twilight movie.
The films main writer worked as an assistant to Frank Darabont while he was filming The Green Mile. (What happened there?)