Customer Reviews


293 Reviews
5 star:
 (172)
4 star:
 (51)
3 star:
 (32)
2 star:
 (21)
1 star:
 (17)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


131 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy, have some people missed the point...
This is a stunning, gorgeous, mind-blowing movie.

It seems criticisms of this movie are stemming from two basic complaints: first, that the story is unoriginal/derivative; and second, that the movie is all visuals, no plot. The first complaint misses the point completely. The whole point of the story is that it is ARCHETYPAL. It deals with fundamental human...
Published on January 2, 2007 by Nikki

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I love the Henson company's past productions. I basically bought this movie simply based on my childhood affinity for Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

I am a more recent fan of Gaiman's works and was excited to see the two get together. Gaiman is (usually) a fantastic story teller with a good, clear vision.

This movie was visually stunning. I was awed...
Published on March 14, 2006 by Jaclyn Womack


‹ Previous | 1 230 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

131 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy, have some people missed the point..., January 2, 2007
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
This is a stunning, gorgeous, mind-blowing movie.

It seems criticisms of this movie are stemming from two basic complaints: first, that the story is unoriginal/derivative; and second, that the movie is all visuals, no plot. The first complaint misses the point completely. The whole point of the story is that it is ARCHETYPAL. It deals with fundamental human issues of identity, growth, dark and light, good and evil. To complain that an archetypal story is unoriginal is like complaining that an apple doesn't taste like an orange. To have completely unrelated expectations is to be disappointed.

The second complaint is once again an issue of erroneous expectations. A distinction must be made between film as pure entertainment and film as pure art. These two genres sometimes co-exist, of course, and there is a spectrum in between. Yes, this is a visual movie. It is self-consciously a movie intended to display film-making as a visual art, which it first and foremost is. When appreciating a painting, is the central issue the painter's choice of subject matter? No, it is technique, execution, mood, effect. Who decided film is only successful or worthy if the plot entertains us sufficiently? Seems to me that is rather a shallow, provincial and self-absorbed viewpoint.

For goodness' sake, leave your expectations and preconceptions at the door and just accept this movie offering at face value. Complaining about what it isn't (and isn't meant to be) is pointless and a waste of everybody's time. Watch it and appreciate it for what it is: a classic, archetypal story beautifully retold in an exemplary display of film-making as a visual art form.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


162 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return of The King: The Jim Henson Company, October 29, 2005
By 
B. Merritt "filmreviewstew.com" (WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
(This is based on the theatrical release of MirrorMask which is currently in theaters, 10/30/05)

With a little help from Neil Gaiman's masterful writing, and Dave McKean's able artistry and direction, the Jim Henson Company makes a fantasy-filled return to the silver screen.

I was a big fan of The Labyrinth and, even more so, The Dark Crystal in the `80's. The excellent puppetry work combined with human characters was a novel idea, far beyond Sesame Street, and formatted more for the adult who has a kid's mentality. I was curious to see how The Henson Company might have advanced in the intervening years, and I wasn't disappointed. Gone are the puppets (to the chagrin of some) and in their place are CGI screens that boggle the mind - a living tapestry that slowly trundles by.

Creating screen shots that mimic a painter's canvas, this movie is pure eye-candy (think Alice In Wonderland meets Van Gogh). Although the opening few minutes felt more TV-esque than magical, they were quickly whisked away by the sumptuous middle and ending of the film.

The story: Helena, a teenage circus performer along with her mother and father, is having the usual surges of defiance. She doesn't want to be in the circus anymore, and she and her mother have a heated argument in which Helena wishes her mother dead. And during the evenings performance under the big top, Joanne, Helena's mother, collapses and falls into a coma. It is quickly discovered that she has something seriously wrong with her (although it's never defined, a brain tumor is easily surmised). Helena is riddled with guilt over her nasty words and falls asleep one night, and wakes up in a world of muted colors and magical creatures. Giant stone beings, masked love-interests, idiot cat-sphinxes, and a growing darkness that threatens to envelope this alternate world.

As Helena moves her way through this strange land, we begin to understand that she isn't asleep nor dreaming. This is real. But she's traded places with another, less likable Helena who is destroying her life back in the "normal" world. Helena sees this "other her" through the drawings she's done that decorate her bedroom wall. She looks through sketched windows, watching helplessly as the "bad" Helena argues with her father, makes out with a boy on her bed, and generally wreaks havoc.

It is soon discovered that the reason the world the good Helena now inhabits is falling into darkness is because of the imbalance created by the trading of places by the two Helenas, and our heroine has to find something called the MirrorMask to help set things right. The search is a puzzling heroes journey that pulls her deeper and closer to a wickedly dark queen. Helena struggles with growing up and becoming a stronger person as she walks, runs, and flies through this surreal landscape, trying to get back to her family and, most importantly, to her mother's sickbed.

This is a great movie for adults to take their teens to. It'll give them something to discuss as their children grow and have to face the muted colors of adulthood.

[The film is now playing in limited release at many art theaters and comes highly recommended]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing what a movie does best, February 6, 2006
By 
Robin Hobb "Robin" (Tacoma, Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
Some tales are told best around a campfire. Others belong on the pages of a book. And some stories demand to be told via the film medium. Mirror Mask, I feel, is one of these. From the first moment when the theatre darkened to when the last credit scrolled off the screen, I was entranced. And I walked away convinced that this particular story could not have been told as effectively in any other way.I left the theatre feeling the intense genius-envy I get whenever I experience something Neil Gaiman has had a hand in.

As a purveyor of fantasy, I read a tremendous amount in the field and see many movies in the genre. It's so easy to become jaded, so easy to see exactly where the current of a tale is carrying you; and then I encounter something like Mirror Mask and I fall in love all over again. I realize afresh that fantasy has no boundaries.

There are movies that leave me with a feeling of satisfaction, where I give a great sigh and feel content with a wonderful ending. Others, like Mirror Mask, set off a string of creative fireworks inside my mind and leave me fully charged and ready to see all the wonderful beginnings in the world.

I highly recommed this film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I adore this movie!, April 21, 2006
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
Okay, first of all, yes the imagery and graphics are fantastic. All of them. Amazingly imaginative and just a little bit creepy in a whimsical sort of way.

Second, I notice that most of my fellow reviewers have knocked off points for this movie because the characters and the story line are rather two-dimensional. To them I have this to say: Of course they are; this is a fairytale world. Fairy tale characters and plotlines are two-dimensional and have been done a million times before--and this is WHY we love them.

So, reader, if you are looking for an amazingly complicated film full of deep insights, do not see this movie. If you want a beautiful fairy tale world something between Alice in Wonderland and The Nightmare Before Christmas: WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW!

Enjoy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brand new fairytale, March 24, 2006
By 
signal2182 (Terre Haute, IN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
A lot of reviews have stated this film has no real substance in the story but I must disagree. Those reviews keep trying to define Mirrormask in terms of their own childhood fantasies, but in Mirrormask you find a fairytale full of all the terrors that are unique to today's world. No longer are we concerned with children losing themselves in a vast, uncharted world. Now, the children are frightened of their "parents", the parents who don't love them, the parents who only want to use them. How are the children to find their way to the parent who truly cares for them; how can they tell the difference? In most of the movies that are compared to Mirrormask, the children are lost and in search of home where everything will suddenly be all better. Mirrormask, however, explores a new dilemma - children faced with multiple homes, none of which is the perfect place where everyone is happy all the time. And given the option of homes, how is the child to know the right one? To me, Mirrormask has achieved something only rarely seen today; it has created and brand new fairytale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, March 14, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
I love the Henson company's past productions. I basically bought this movie simply based on my childhood affinity for Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

I am a more recent fan of Gaiman's works and was excited to see the two get together. Gaiman is (usually) a fantastic story teller with a good, clear vision.

This movie was visually stunning. I was awed from the opening credits to the ending ones just by the sheer novelty of it all. It was exquisite.

However, the story was very one dimensional. I'm sure it's very entertaining for a PG aged audience, but I was disappointed at the lack of layering to the storyline. Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, even The Muppet Show all held significant story based entertainment for audiences of all ages. Children would enjoy one, very superficial layer to the story, while adults could dig deeper and get the subtle jokes, irony, etc.

MirrorMask failed miserably in this aspect providing visual stimulation to all, but mental stimulation to only the very lowest denominator.

5 stars for visual effects and novelty.

1 star for story & character development.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Visionary Tour-de-force on Blu-Ray, November 26, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MirrorMask [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I wasn't sure what to say about Mirrormask until I had seen it a 2nd time, several months after I bought it. But now it is very clearly a work of visionary power. That power is seen thru the limits of a $3 million dollar budget, yet its the non-essentials that get filtered out. Its disconcerting on first viewing because we're used to the non-essentials. This is a rarity in modern times - A truly lean, well-made film.

If you've heard the criticisms of the plot or pacing, let me just say plot and pacing come thru as vividly as the visuals. Ditto for the musical score. And I think those criticisms are rooted in the fact this movie is suitable for kids. Think of it as a litmus test: How long can critics stay interested in something that has no violence and no sex? For myself, the characters are marvelous, and its hard to understand why we don't see these actresses and actors in more roles.

This is also one of those movies where the Making-Of doubles the value of the movie. Even having worked on the movie, people grasp for words to describe it. Commercialism is easy to describe. Creativity is hard to describe. What do you say when a world springs from someone's mind? Care to step inside?

Ultimately, I have to state the measure of Mirrormask's originality: Its like nothing I've ever seen or heard.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "How Do You Know If You're Happy Or Sad Without A Mask?" ~ Discourse On The Nature Of Darkness And Light, May 12, 2007
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
I took the time to browse through the existing reviews already on-line for the '05 movie `Mirrormask' before composing one of my own, which is something I usually avoid. The reason for doing so was to get a feel for what others think of this surreal, imaginative film and see if my personal rating was going to be in tune with a consensus opinion. However I was to discover a wide and varied spectrum of opinion on this highly original, artsy fantasy film that seemed to be just as enthralling to some as it was immensely boring to others. Isn't that always the way with true art? Oddly enough and impossible though it may be, I fit into both mutually exclusive categories.

How is this possible? Well... let me explain. If I'm in the mood for something that is simply meant to entertain, possessing a storyline that will keep my mind focused on the twists and turns of a good plot than this would be a horribly boring movie to sit through. On the other hand, if I'm in the mood for a journey into the inner landscape of dreams to explore vistas and inhabitants so bizarre that they literally become the plot in and of themselves, a place where it's better to remain unfocused on plot development and approach the film as you would Zen meditation then this is the film I would absolutely love.

Give 'Mirrormask' a try if you're in the mood something different. All you have to do is become open and receptive to the experience and let the colors, textures and images on the screen take you wherever they are so inclined. After all plot development isn't everything. I guess it's all about your approach. Definitely not a journey that will be enjoyed or appreciated by everyone, but it's a real treat for those that do.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What's green, hangs on a wall, and whistles?", September 11, 2006
By 
H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MirrorMask (DVD)
This story is certainly not new. Stephen King, for instance, had the same premise in his novel The Talisman. It also draws from Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, as well as presenting a peculiar, off-kilter sensibility ala Alice in Wonderland. However, writer Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean, big noises in the comic book industry, put their own spin and transforms this movie into a cinematic event.

Helena Campbell is going thru growing pains and is quarrelling with her mum. Her family runs the Campbell Family Circus and is thus very occupied, and her parents expect her to hold up her end (Helena juggles), but Helena is at that age when kids start to rebel. When her mum states to her, "You'll be the death of me," Helena replies with, "I wish I was." When her mum falls sick and has to have surgery, Helena is overwrought with guilt. She falls asleep and wakes up in a strange, dreamlike world, where every creature wears a mask.

She finds out fairly quickly that there's something wrong with her new surroundings. The Queen of Light (who looks like her mum) has fallen into a deep sleep. A charm, you see, has been taken, causing an imbalance in the kingdom and also strengthening the shadows, who threaten to lay waste to everything. Helena, believing that she is in a dream, nonchalantly sets out to find the charm, the MirrorMask, and save the kingdom, accompanied by a juggling entertainer of dubious character named Valentine and aided by The Very Useful Book. Occasionally, on their journey, when Helena would chance to gaze into an errant window, she would oft see a darker version of herself in the real world.

Thru a chain of circumstances fraught equally with bizarreness and peril, Helena, at last, comes to believe that everything about her is real, thus dramatically raising the stakes for her. The gravity of her situation is never more dire than when she is captured and delivered to the Dark Queen, who believes Helena to be her daughter and means to keep her forever. Can Helena and Valentine find the MirrorMask in time to save themselves and the kingdom? Can Helena regain her way to her own world and find out the fate of her mum? And will Valentine end up being a waiter?

Let's get the acting and the plot out of the way. The acting is across the board excellent, with several actors portraying dual roles. Young Stephanie Leonidas as Helena and Jason Barry as Valentine are particularly excellent, which is a good thing as they are in most of the scenes. And the plot? Well, as stated earlier, it's not exactly brand new. The fascination lies in the carrying out of the plot. When you have the likes of Gaiman and McKean in control of the story, you know you're in store for some wild inventions of fancy.

MirrorMask is something Tim Burton wishes he had made. Even though the first 19 minutes take place in the "real" world, the circus scenes instantly set the baroque and dreamlike nature of the movie. Renowned abstract and surrealist artist (and now first time feature film director) Dave McKean uses his artistic sensibilities to indelibly stamp his mark. From the get-go, as he frames his live action sequences with illustrated doodles, we realize that these are only early harbingers for the more lavish special effects yet to come.

When Helena enters the fantasy world, we are immediately treated to surreal, soft-edged landscapes and weird denizens that recall the vivid works of Bosch and Dali. The colorful, stunning, eerie visuals wash over the senses and give one the sensation of having ingested some form of hallucinogen. The imagery really is beautiful, intoxicating stuff. And some of these weirdly put together creatures are oddly endearing. My favorite was the feline-like Sphinx thingamagig who's actually quite bad at riddles. I was also fascinated by the slow spoken, embracing stone giants and felt quite sad at their fates. Meanwhile, Josefine Cronholm's sensual renditions of the Burt Bacharach standard "Close to You" and the closing credits song "If I Apologize" add greatly to the deliriously offbeat mood.

The special features include film commentary by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, interviews with Gaiman and McKean, the behind the scenes feature "Beginnings - The Genesis of MirrorMask," cast & crew interviews, "Day 16" - a time lapse video of a full day of production, "Flight of the Monkeybirds" - making the Monkeybird sequence, "Giants Development" - about the design and creation of the stone giant sequence, a 20-minute Q & A session from the San Diego Comic Convention, and a poster & cover art gallery.

One negative is that Gina McKee, when playing the Queen of Darkness, reminded me a bit too much of Tilda Swinton's the White Witch of Narnia. Another minus is that the film never makes it quite clear if all the weird events actually did happen or if Helena had dreamt everything. Was everything in MirrorMask, then, an allegory? I dunno. I, myself, am not creative or imaginative enough to peel away too many layers from the surface.

Surreal. Dazzling. Inventive. I guess the most apt description of the film can be credited to one film executive, who, upon first viewing MirrorMask, informed Gaiman, "That was like Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, on acid, for kids"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MirrorMask - Outstanding!, May 19, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MirrorMask [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This movie is not for everybody-some might find the storyline simplistic (which it is), however, this is a film that young and old can be captivated by. It's a Henson film with a different view of family life and relations, and the battle between the good and the bad inside one's self. That being said, the BD transfer is absolutely Outstanding! PQ & AQ are gorgeous, and truly capture the film maker's intent. Very Highly Recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 230 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

MirrorMask
MirrorMask by Dave McKean (DVD - 2006)
$14.99 $9.94
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.