The Movie: 3/10
I like fairy tales. I love dark forest legends with creepy mythologies that capture my attention and imagination. Red Riding Hood has dark forests. I didn’t like it. There’s not a lot more to say unless I want to go on and on about all the things about the movie that were not entertaining, not stimulating, not interesting, but that might get boring. Trust me, when talking about this movie, there’s enough boring to go around.
Oh, I don’t like to be negative about movies. I love movies. I don’t love ALL movies. Little Red Riding Hood is such a compelling story. A little girl in the woods hunted mercilessly by a wolf who eats her grandmother (spoiler) and then is anti-climactically by a man, her father..whatever. The good parts of the story are the wolf vs. a young girl. It can be interpretted as a battle of wills, of strength against innocence,or just a cautionary tale to keep children from making choices their parents tell them to steer clear of, or choose from any other theory you have about the story.
This is one of the problems with this telling of this particular story, it has no heart. There isn’t one point of view that I can hang my movie loving mind on. It’s got our leading lady as pouty but sometimes bold with no real character. She’s not distinctly romanticized and she’s not particularly assertive. The leading men are the same. The leading leading man, her childhood love interest is really annoying. I can’t even sum him up except to say he’s like watching a cover of a bad romance novel come to life…ick.
The bad guy is Gary Oldman, well, he’s supposed to be a bad guy of sorts. He’s a deranged religious man, witch hunter or demon killer, something like that. Even Oldman couldn’t salvage this one for me, and that’s saying a lot about the weaknesses of this movie! The idea is that this guy has come to kill the wolf, or wolfman that is tormenting the village. OK, so is it a wolf or a wolfman? So many things about the writing of this slice of ‘entertainment’ left me a shadow of the happy film watcher I used to be:)
I’ll say the acting isn’t great, just borderline good, with our leading lady doing well enough to hold it all together. Other than that glimmer of averageness these folks did what they did with what they were given. The dialogue is often awkward and the story, well, it’s neither dark enough nor fantasy enough and that adds to the wishywashy feeling I get just thinking about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even trying to be hateful or mean about Red Riding Hood, it’s just that there’s not much about it that gave me a positive vibe. I wanted to like it sooooo much, and that probably lead to even greater let down when scene after scene I was struggling to stay interested. I don’t have the feeling that I want a movie to be over very often, and yet that’s how I felt after about 20 minutes. It was like there must be something good around each corner of the twisting “who is the wolf” drama, but there never was. She’s got a cool cape, Grandma is kind of weird and watchable, the sets were too polished but still good enough, but none of these things adds up to a good movie watching experience.
- Alternate Cut – A different cut of the movie, doesn’t make it any better though.
- Secrets Behind The Red Cloak (PIP Commentary) – A PIP commentary mode similar to the Maximum movie experience, lots of trivia here for Twilight fans.
- Gag Reel – Lots of falling down and clothes getting stuck on the set, no outakes featuring Gary Oldman though I guess he never messes up.
- Red Riding Hood: Red’s Men – There are a bunch of featurettes in this catagory on the disc. They cover most of the production. It’s still interesting to pull back the curtain on movie making even though I have seen these kinds of featurettes before.
- Music Videos – A couple of sexy movie videos, excuse me while I go vomit.
- Additional Scenes – A selection of additional scenes, I would have prefered these reinserted into the Alternate cut though.
- DVD & Digital Copy – A DVD & A digital copy for viewing in every situation.
Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
I’m not picking on this movie relentlessly, trust me, I don’t like most dvd covers, and this makes that list. It’s uninteresting, not true to the story, style over substance, and it’s just not appealing to me in any way. The lintickular thing is annoying and the images are too swoozy romantic and immature. The menu is basic, functional, neutral.
Audio & Video: 8/10 (By Ascully)
If you listened to the podcast you will realize that I did not really like this movie. That does not mean it’s a bad Blu-Ray though as the 1080P VC1 transfer looks great. Director Catherine Hardwicke uses a lot of soft focus shots which come across well in HD. The only problem I did have were some of the werewolf scenes seemed a bit muddy and dark (might have been for the best though). This is a decent transfer which unfortunately doesn’t make the film any better.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track is also quite good with some interesting spacial awareness in the surround speakers. Whenever the Werewolf comes around the Inception inspired score causes your subwoofer to shake. There are also some decent music sequences that wake you up from the dreary dialog.
Again whatever you think of the movie (I am sure it will come up on our worst of 2011 list) the Blu-Ray presentation is well above par.
If you come across this movie on late night cable on Halloween night, give it a try. If you see in in a store or online with a pricetag of more than five bucks, find something else to blow your cash on. I don’t want to sound snotty, but seriously, this movie doesn’t inspire me to recommend it or watch it again or even think much more about it once this review is done. It’s kind of sad really, because it has such great potential and yet it misses almost every opportunity to live up to it.
Overall Score 3/10