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What A Bad Film You Are, My Dear…..

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There are three good things about Catherine Hardwick’s Red Riding Hood. They are, in no particular order, Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman and the opening helicopter / pan shot of an impressive looking forest. The utter toss in between all these things is so unimaginably bad and hackneyed I had a pain in my face by the end of the film. The story, and I use that term loosely centres on Valerie. Young Vaelrie falls for an orphaned woodcutter, Peter. Played by a chiselled, moody looking and ultimately uncharasmatic Shiloh Fernandez. And being a Hardwicke film, he spends a lot of the film with his top off, staring moodily. OMG!!! HE IS LUSH!!!!!!

Valerie’s family are not best pleased with Valerie’s choice of betrothed, as they want her to marry the posh, richer but equally as uncharismatic Henry, played by Max Irons. The poor girl really is spoilt for choice, isn’t she? Anyway, the villagers begin to disappear, and there is talk of a werewolf. Being set in such times, suspicion automatically falls on Peter. Poor attractive Peter. And so Gary Oldman is sent for. Ah, Gary. I think they should have pushed for Valerie to marry Gary’s loopy Father Solomon. A far better option. Anyway, he warns the villagers of the “beast that lives among us!!”

What follows is tripe, complete and utter tripe. Catherine Hardwicke has a knack of telling attractive people to look moody and spout cliched, tired dialogue. And I am not a historian, but you can bet your hat that people back in those times were never that attractive. Come on, gout, diptheria, witch trials? Who would have had time to gel their hair or put on foundation? Ridiculous. I won’t ruin the ending, but let’s just say banish the story you already know.

Before I leave you, a few more gripes. Obviously, being aimed at the tween market, mostly girls, Hardwicke can not have full frontal nudity or rumpy pumpy. So as with the Twilight series, the lead characters stare at each other and roll around a lot. Hinting at sex, but never going to third base. And the whole “gobble you up” thing the werewolf does is clearly a veiled metaphor for what she can’t show.

As I said, the opening shot, Seyfired and Oldman are the best things about this unwanted retelling of the famous children’s tale. But both actors are hampered by tired, pedestrian directing, a cliched script and the shackles of a terrible, terrible film. Amanda Seyfired, Gary Oldman and indeed you the money paying cinema goer deserver far better than this. Avoid like a bout of old time gout…..

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Written by thepanch

April 24, 2011 at 8:45 am

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