Monday, March 14, 2011
Movies 139: Red Riding Hood
I have to say I dreaded the thought of going to this movie after I read all the critics' reviews on this film. Well, a month a go, I could hardly wait. I was so eager to see this film. It has Amanda Seyfried in it, who has to be my favorite actress at the moment. And might I add Max Irons, as well, (Jeremy Iron's son).
I'm glad I didn't let the critics stop me from seeing it. Seriously, the director, Catherine Hardwicke put a lot of effort into this film. She created a world, long forgotten, not just an old tale. The setting is beautiful. The costumes so genuine. And she brought in Gary Oldman as the priestly, Were-Wolf hunter. Also there is the village, and there are twisted stories among them as you'd find in any time period. After all, we are only human. One of my favorite performances was Lukas Haas' as the village priest. He might be the only sensible one in the bunch.
Of course, you have eye-candy. This is a chick-flick. Girlfriends, young and old are given something to savor. There is the beautiful and charmingly earnest Max Irons as Henry, the one Valerie (Seyfried) is suppose to marry. Except, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) has always been the one in Valerie's heart since she was a child. Julie Christie plays the grandmother so eloquent. Virgina Madesen is Valerie's mother who is lovely, but keeping her own secrets, as well. Billy Burke plays Valerie's father who is given a chance to shine in this movie, too.
The movie is honestly a million times better than TWILIGHT. In spite of cheesy lines, girls doing sultry dances together, and an angry black wolf that likes to use telepathy. Oh, and those moments when you just wish they'd kiss already, in spite of waiting for the camera to get a longing shot of their face. It does have its flaws. Some are not happy about the Three Little Pigs innuendos, either.
And yes, I am a Henry fan. (Max Irons who is dating Emily Browning).
The music was quaint and never boring from Brian Reitzell and Alex Heffes along with Fever Ray. Although, during the odd 'wolf festival which had the 3 pigs involved', the song choice did sound just a little too modern gothic. But still, it had a pagan feel to it, and it made one wonder about church and paganism from a historical point of view. As we see, the story turns into quite a witch hunt. They even capture the most innocent in the village, Claude (Cole Heppell) the village idiot, even so, they just know he's studying the dark arts.
The film might not be perfect, but it is enjoyable. One might even want to watch it, again.
STORYLINE: Valerie (Seyfried) is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter (Fernandez), but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie's older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village. For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon (Oldman), to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon's arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon...