Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Movies: No Dark Cinderella and Maybe Witch Hunters is Awesome?

Photo by Dark Cherry on DeviantArt/ Official Movie Poster

The Cate Blanchett/ Mark Romanek Cinderella is a Bust
Gah! Just when we thought we might have a top-notch dark fairy tale coming down the studio pipe, Disney has decided that Mark Romanek's Cinderella is too dark for Disney. Click the link to hear Io9 rant and rave and echo my anger at this development. Fingers-crossed that some other studio has the gumption to snatch that project up. Disney doesn't need another regular Cinderella, or another modern twee Cinderella. Disney should have had the balls to delve. </rant>

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Might Not Suck?
In other news, it turns out that Witch Hunters may not be so bad afterall? The new redband trailer has a tongue in cheek flavor to it:

My fellow blogger Drown My Books will probably disagree with me, but Jeremy Renner still has yet to earn a "I will see anything he is in" card from me. Gemma Arterton, on the other hand, from her performance in St. Trinians, I can definitely get behind. Something to Read for the Train (Cate, who is in fact a girl) weighs in with some really thoughtful remarks about the nature of fairy tales to reflect the values of the times, and how, while many had moral lessons, they were meant as entertainment. She also treats us to my favorite version of Little Red Riding Hood to illustrate her point.

I have a feeling it's gonna be an awesomely terrible action romp, with the cool fighting moves and awesome slow mo and dead-pan badass one-liners (I admit it! The "we'd do this shit for free" line in the trailer hooked me.) And I'm kind of ok with that. (Though, my fairy tale racism argument still stands!)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book: Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Dust City
by Robert Paul Weston

"I pad over and put out a paw. "Pleased to meet you, madam."
She blushes, the varicose veins in her cheeks swelling with blood. Instead of taking my paw to shake, however, she turns it over as if it's a piece of bruised fruit in a market. "Hmmm..." She pores over my palm, nodding like a fortune-teller. Her spectacles slide comically down the bridge of her nose, and when she looks up at me, her face is full of mock astonishment. "Oh, my! What big teeth you have!" She giggles and kicks her slippered feet."

Henry Whelp is the son of the wolf who killed Little Red Riding Hood. This has been the defining characteristic of his existence. He is currently in St. Remus juvenile detention facility for dropping a brick onto a moving truck (a Nimbus truck like the one that killed his mother). When a sudden death reveals some lost letters from his father, Henry must break out and discover the truth of his father's crime at any cost....

See the rest of the review on my other blog, Palimpsest!

End of the Year Roundup: Cinderella Movie, Cinderella in the News, and Maria Warner on The Brothers Grimm

Well, well, ladies and gentlemen. I have kind of dropped the ball for the end of the year! And I am ok with that. Rather than focusing on trying to get every little bit of fairy tale news that comes down the pike, this year, I am going to focus on the things that really spark my interest, that I really feel passionate about. This will mean that my posts are fewer and farther between, but it will also mean that I will be able to devote some quality time to the posts I decide to write.

Here, however, is a digest of some other news items we missed in the mean time:

Cate Blanchett to play Evil Stepmother in New Cinderella Movie
While, yes, I still feel that we need a greater diversity of fairy tale movies, I love me some Cate Blanchett. Here's hoping that her endorsement of the movie means it has a good script. The director is Mark Romanek who directed One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go, so here's hoping he does it as awesome as those!

We Are the Folk, Volume II: Cinderella in the Closet and Blood in the Shoe
Something to Read for the Train examines two more news stories that smack of fairy tales in modern life, and not in a happy ending kind of way. She explores schadenfreude in a way that shed new light on the idea for me (the comfort not only that we are not getting shat upon by life like those guys over there, but that we are not the crazy ones so we will be ok). She also delves into a horrible case of child abuse as a parallel to Cinderella, insisting that the marriage and the slipper do not a Cinderella story make; it is about a girl who rises from the ashes of abuse. She goes on to discuss why we shouldn't shy away from the scary or the gory in fairy tales (a favorite tune of mine): "What I would claim is that a child who hasn’t been sheltered from fairy tales is going to have a little bit more in her mental arsenal when the shit hits the fan, if only because they might have just that much more faith that all will turn out well, and that help, in whatever form, is on the way."

Maria Warner's 10-Part BBC Broadcast about Fairy Tales
While I have not listened to all of them, the topics look fascinating! She traces the ancient origins, discusses those who contributed to the tales, examines the fate of the tales in the hands of Nazis, delves into the psychology of the tales, the history of their censorship, and the future of the tales. All topics we here at The Dark Forest love to talk about!

That is all for now. For anyone who wants to know, yes I did love Once Upon a Time's midseason finale. They know how to do a finale. I do think that Mulan and Aurora should get together, and damnit Regina is awesome and deserves to be happy, but from what I have seen of the clips from "The Cricket Game," this is not going to happen any time soon. Here's Io9's recap/review.