The title of this piece is a reference to my head-over-heels, 100% unrequited, totally irrational love for Lily Collins.
Director: Tarsem Singh
Thief of my heart: Lily Collins
In total control of her craft: Julia Roberts
Really good at acting like a dog: Armie Hammer
Half-pint: Mark Povinelli
Grimm: Danny Woodburn
Grub: Joe Gnoffo
Butcher: Martin Klebba
Wolf: Sebastian Saraceno
Chuck: Ronald Lee Clark
Napoleon: Jordan Prentice
Typical: Nathan Lane
Loves being royalty: Sean Bean
Had a car in War Horse: Robert Emms
Things I would do out of love for Lily Collins:
1. If there was a Tyrannosaurus Rex after us and we were cornered, I would light a flare and lead it away from her.
2. If I were the psychotic leader of a grassroots terrorist organization, I would heal my mental instability and give up my cult-hero status in order to be with her.
3. If I were in the Matrix and an agent had just shot me several times in the torso, killing me, and if she then whispered in my real-world ear that she loved me, and if she then kissed me and told me to get up, I would get right the fuck up.
4. If I were a knight and she the princess I was trying to woo, and if she asked me to lose a tournament after I told her that I would win the tournament because she thought my losing would better prove my love for her, I would lose the tournament. But if before I've lost she told me I have to win the tournament in order to prove my love, I would make an improbable comeback and win that god damn tournament.
5. If I had a magic carpet, I would show her the world. Shining. Shimmering. Splendid.
6. If she were a young brontosaurus and I was a young triceratops, and if shifting plate tectonics have ruined our homeland forcing us to journey for days and days and days to a place of rumor called the Great Valley, and if on this journey an earthquake struck and separated she from her long-necked grandparents and me from my horned parents, I would, despite the racism instilled by my parents, follow her lead and positive, let's-work-together-as-friends attitude, thus learning that my dad's blatant hatred of other dinosaurs is unfounded and that I don't have to be like him despite loving him very much, that I can love him, love triceratopses, and love other dinosaurs as well, especially of the Lily Collins variety--yup, yup, yup.
7. If she were a robot who suddenly appeared on my abandoned planet, and if I were a robot, and if she shut down, I would, despite her shut down-edness, watch over her and continue to spend time with her because she is magical, hoping that she will, one day, wake up.
8. If she were imprisoned in a tower and let down her long hair, I would climb that shit.
9. If she and I were best friends all our lives, and if she had a crush on me but didn't know how to tell me, and if we were at superhero high school and the most popular, pretty girl in the school also liked me, I would pick Lily.
10. If she were Batman, and if I were Maggie Gyllenhaal, I would say "Screw off, Aaron Eckhart."
11. If I had been betrayed by my best friend and several other people and unjustly imprisoned, and if I had escaped my imprisonment after 13 years in a really shitty place, and if I were hell-bent on claiming my vengeance, and if everything were going according to plan, I would abandoned said plan to run away with Lily and the great fortune I had acquired and my man-servant, Jacapo.
12. If I were a Manager for a mercenary group that specialized in high-profile assassinations and kidnappings, and if Lily was a key element of the job I had to do, the killing of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, and if in order to get her to do what my group needed her to do--because she could position the DSoHS where we needed him to be to best murder him and his family and get away--I had to sit next to her on a plane from Dallas to Miami, and if on this flight I was supposed to bully her physically and psychologically to get her to do what I needed her to do, I would not do any of this. I would turn myself and all my accomplices in.
13. If Lily were February 2nd, I would relive that one day over and over and over again.
14. If Lily had a half-deformed face and lived in the catacombs of an opera house, and if I were a singing at the very same opera house, and if she taught me how to sing because she loved me, and if I was torn between some girl from my childhood I had suddenly reconnected with--who was wealthy and very pretty and asks that I share with her one love, one lifetime--and the half-deformed, music-of-the-night loving Lily, I would choose Lily of the Drafty Catacombs.
15. If I were a seeker of treasure and artifacts, and if I were raiding for a lost ark, and if Lily Collins were a giant boulder chasing me through a cave, I would let her crush me.
16. If I were an alien predator visiting Earth for the sport of hunting humans, and if Lily Collins had a crew-cut, 42" biceps, and was the ultimate competition for an alien predator such as myself, I would throw down my shoulder canon, stop using my bet-you-can't-see-me technology, remove the mask hiding my truly hideous, vagina-like face, and ask her if she wanted to get out this jungle and grab coffee or something.
17. If she was a baseball hit over the fence and into a yard, and if in this yard there happened to be a giant, man-eating dog, and if I were 11 years old and terrified of this dog, and if Lily was autographed by Babe Ruth, I would don a pair of PF Flyers and pickle the beast in order to get her back.
18. If she were a lifeguard at a pool, I would fake drowning so she would save me, and if she saved me I would seize the opportunity to kiss her like the world were ending
19. If she lived in Germany, and I lived in Lorain, Ohio, and if we had been exchanging e-mails for months and really getting along and forming a deep connection, and if I, in a drunken mistake, had told her to never talk to me again because I thought she was a man and hitting on me--after I told her my girlfriend, well, ex-girlfriend, had been cheating on me and I hadn't even known--when she isn't a man but actually a sexy, sexy girl, I would embark on a bizarre eurotrip to reach her and proclaim my love.
20. If she were in a movie that is really predictable, has an awful framing device, a twist everyone can see coming, and a montage scene that makes no sense (because, chronologically, she learns to do all this awesome stuff in the time it takes Armie Hammer to go from the castle to the woods), I would not spend an inquiry ripping into the flaws of a movie I had otherwise enjoyed, but would, instead, do something different.
Did I Like It:
Yes. I had expected to hate it. Mostly because I think Singh is a little overrated. There are some great visual moments in the movie. Much better, overall, than Immortals, I think. But on the whole I don't think ANY of Singh's work is more visually striking than most films nominated for "Best Cinematography" or "Best Director". Maybe there are more fantastical elements to his films and shot composition. But how he frames an image is, I think, pretty boring. Sometimes he has awesome extreme long shots. But on average, his framing is pretty average.
It did not surprise me that Lily Collins did well and wooed me.
I liked Hammer more than I thought I would. And a lot of reviewers are saying this movie ISN'T funny. Maybe it's just not their humor? I laughed a lot. Especially at things Hammer said and did.
And the dwarves. Half-pint's moments of lovelorness had me cracking up. "'I love you all.' She...loves us all. All of us...." hahahahaha. Maybe it's just because I can relate to his position because I want Snow White to love me and for us to live happily ever after? But, yeah. All of his actions and reactions were great to me. Same with Napoleon. Grub. All of them. I was happy whenever they were on-screen.
Julia Roberts blew my mind. Her command. And presence. And how well she just...did everything. It was like watching Roy Halladay pitch against the Washington Nationals (11-1 record, 2.28 ERA). Not to say the rest of the people in the movie didn't do well, it's just...Julia Roberts has way more experience than Collins, Hammer, Woodburn and crew, Lane. I thought her performance was really refreshing. And, to be honest, I didn't like her acting that much before this movie. Probably because I still have the after-taste from Ocean's Twelve in my mouth. It's like how I associate the terrible taste of robitussin (the medicine) with pepsi. I can't drink pepsi anymore. I hadn't been able to take Roberts seriously (Charlie Wilson or Larry Crowne). Oh, and Mona Lisa Smile really hurt me when I saw it in 2003...I'm allergic to that movie. But. This was Roberts as I hadn't seen her in a while.
Everyone seemed as though they were having a lot of fun and enjoying themselves. I would too if I was around Lily.
Okay. And, seriously. The montage doesn't make sense how it's presented. We see Snow White go from not being able to do anything athletic to being skilled at these various activities. That's great. But right before this The Prince left the castle to capture the bandits. So he leaves to find the bandits. We then get the aforementioned montage. When the montage ends, the first thing we see is The Prince, in the woods, with soldiers, looking for the bandits. How much time passed between him leaving the room and getting to the point in the woods where Collins and Team ambush him? An hour? Two hours? Three hours? A day? Two days? I know it's a fantastical movie where Kings become Beasts, where a man becomes a cockroach, where people have mechanical legs that they can do all kinds of cool stuff on. I can believe all that stuff. I can't believe that, in a couple hours, no magic necessary, Snow White learned to do all the stuff she learned to do. Maybe it had been days or weeks or months? But Tarsem doesn't give us any indication of this. The only way we're able to judge time is that the montage fills the span between The Prince declaring he's going to find the bandits and then him riding in the woods. When he returns, mostly naked for the second time, there's no dialogue that gives us any clue. Roberts doesn't see, "All these weeks and this is the best you can do?" Sigh.
It would have been nice if the animated style used in delivering the backstory had appearing at other points in the movie. Little flourishes here and there. Or at key moments.
I thought the Bollywood number at the end was cool.
What It's Good For:
-fun and entertainment
-acting lessons by Julia Roberts
-a date movie
-humor may not be for everyone
-bad framing device ("It turns out it was Snow White's story after all." Though I guess it does get at The Queen's vanity that she would ever think otherwise. It's just sort of...apparent to us the entire time. So what's the point of having that moment because the rest of the movie already demonstrates how vein The Queen is?)
% Character / % Actor's personality
-Surrealist Singh-fests: The Cell; The Fall; Immortals
-Roberts being charming: Steel Magnolias; Pretty Woman; HOOK; My Best Friend's Wedding; Runaway Bride
-Training montages: Karate Kid; Rocky (all); Warrior; Bloodsport; Million Dollar Baby; D2: Mighty Ducks; Gremlins 2; Team America: World Police
-Fairy Tale movies: Disney movies; Puss in Boots; Sleep Hollow; The Red Shoes; Shrek; Pan's Labyrinth