A musical version of the classic story about a miller's daughter who recieves help from a mischievous dwarf, then ends up over her head. Now, she and a mute servant girl may be the only ... See full summary »
Dame Diana Rigg (TV's "The Avengers"), Billy Barty ("Willow") and Sarah Patterson ("The Company of Wolves") as Snow White star in this feature-length, live-action, musical version of the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.
Based on the fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretel are trapped in the deceptively decorated house of the witch Griselda who wishes to fatten Hansel so that he may be baked ... See full summary »
In Europe several several centuries ago, a group of prisoners about to be executed are freed as part of the celebration of the upcoming marriage of the emperor's daughter, Princess Gilda, ... See full summary »
A cat belonging to a poor miller's son thinks up a great plan for bringing a title, wealth, and marriage for his owner. He begins to carry it out, using a few birds and rabbits as gifts for... See full summary »
Grandma is babysitting her two grandkids. The girl wants to go out, but grandma asks them to hear a story first. The kids accept if they can change aspects of the story such as replacing the wolf with a werewolf. Is there a catch?
The high spirited daughter of the village lord and her mother have been living in the forest for seven years near her wise grandmother. They wait for her father to come home, meanwhile, her literally heartless uncle rules. He sells his soul for the aid of an enchanted wolf who turns himself human in order to spy. As the tyranical lord begins to see his niece as a threat, he sends the wolf to deal with her. Written by
Percival's "Why have you cut your hair?" to Lady Jean was not in the original script, but was added when Isabella Rossallini, who kept her hair in an iconic short bob for the majority of her career, was chosen for the role. The directors felt an explanation was needed for why a medieval woman would have such short hair, and the implication of the line was that Jean cut her long hair in mourning for her missing husband. See more »
Excuse me, ma'am. I don't know where I am; whose lands these are. I happen to be a stranger just home from the war.
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One of Cannon Movie Tales' lesser films, but has enough to make it worth a view
The Cannon Movie Tales films are all worth watching at least once, though overall quality wise they are variable. None are perfect, though some have more and bigger flaws than others, but none are worth avoiding either, with the best three being Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and the Beast and Snow White and the worst being The Emperor's New Clothes, Puss in Boots and this (was mixed on Sleeping Beauty as well).
Red Riding Hood is nicely photographed, as is the case with all of Cannon's films, even when the low budget shows everywhere else in the visuals. It also contains one of Cannon's best songs in the cute, funny and menacing duet Never Talk With Strangers (which is the song that serves the most point to the story, and the only one to move it forward) and some witty scripting and entertaining chemistry with Ninet and Dagger. There are some decent ideas and one does have to credit the film for trying to bring in some life-like themes and situations, while the scenes telling the story that audiences are familiar with are executed quite well, with some nice humour and suspense. The acting is very much a mixed bag, with the best performances coming from a charming and sweet Amelia Shankley without being too sugary and a touching Isabella Rossellini.
Was mixed however on the songs and Rocco Sisto. There are some good songs here, Never Talk to Strangers is great and Good at Being Bad is sung and acted with relish by Sisto. Lost in the Woods however goes on for too long and suffers the worst of the problem of taking too long to explain things and then over-explaining it, and Man Without a Heart is just limp in every way imaginable, with uninspired choreography, forgettable at best melody, cringe-worthy and again over-explanatory lyrics and Craig T. Nelson's one-note and pretty tuneless singing. There is some lush and energetic scoring, but along with Puss in Boots there are some cheap synthesised sounds that give it a more 80s sound than the rest of the Cannon films. Sisto plays Dagger the Wolf with real playfulness and really entertains in his chemistry with Shankley, but he could have been much more menacing, there were times where it did seem like he was underplaying too much.
Craig T. Nelson is all over the place in his dual role of Godfrey and Percival, he looks zombified as Percival and then plays Godfrey with such a hammy over-theatricality that it jars with everything else. Apart from the photography, Red Riding Hood is one of the cheaper-looking Cannon films, with drab lighting, bargain-sale-fancy-dress-like costumes and incredibly unimaginative, minimally furnished and recycled sets, Godfrey's throne room is the sparsest and cheapest-looking throne room personally seen and the forest set is completely lacking atmosphere or character. While the dialogue and interplay between Ninet and Dagger was entertains, the rest was rambling and stilted and while Rossellini and Shankley are endearing together, any scenes shared with Nelson come over completely cold. The story is treated disappointingly here, appreciated the ideas and the life-like themes (plus reasons are given for Dagger's pursuit of Ninet and why Ninet appears unharmed after being saved) but more could have been done with them and they ended up convoluting and dulling the story rather than adding or expanding anything, with at least half an hour of pedestrian pacing and not much happening (somewhat aimless in fact). The actual story of Red Riding Hood that everybody is familiar with, while among the most successful parts of the film, arrives too late into the story and it felt like not enough time was dedicated in telling it.
Overall, not a bad film and has enough to make it worthwhile, but one of Cannon's lesser efforts. A good try but doesn't quite come off. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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