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The Dressmaker (2015)
I made it 3/4 of the way through the movie before I finally gave up. I spent the whole 90 minutes wondering when I was finally going to start giving a crap.
My biggest immediate issue was the range of ages in the casting. I'm all for women above the age of 35 being the lead in a movie, but not at the expense of believability. Kate Winslet was born in 1975, and she was supposed to be in the same age cohort as Liam Hemsworth who was born in 1990. Kate looks great, but she seemed like a cougar in this role.
Like every other low reviewer, I had a hard time buying into any of the story lines. There's a murder mystery which is revealed to be a childhood accident (taking away what little tension there was in the movie), there is kind of a question of Winslet's paternity that is brought up when she is called a bastard and her mom a slut when she is younger (but honestly the way it was approached didn't even have me wondering who her father was), there is some curse that Winslet's character is supposed to have that is mentioned every once a while, there is a love story that is cut short in an important lesson to NOT JUMP INTO A SILO BECAUSE YOU MIGHT SUFFOCATE, then there is some dress-making that goes on because that's the title.
Maybe the last half hour was redeeming? I don't know if I will ever find out. One star for the amazing outfits, one star for the sassy mother, and according to every Australian that loved this movie I should be giving one star for Winslet's convincing accent. Lack of stars due to poor editing, poor story telling, poor translation, and focus on giving personality to the townies. We get to see a husband rape his wife after he doses her with some sort of hysterical woman tonic, a cross-dressing law enforcer who will drop anything resembling ethics if presented with luxury fabric, and a bunch of other random crap.
Apparently this was a book, and it should have stayed that way. Unless you're Australian, then you will probably love this movie for some reason.
Once Upon a Time (2011)
Falls short from its potential.
First of all, I love a good fantasy or fairy tale movie/TV show. I somehow made it through 12 episodes of this show before I finally decided that any glimpse of grandeur were just that- a glimpse.
You follow the main actress who is the obnoxious reformed bad girl who gave up her son for adoption ten or so years ago, who is now just as obnoxious as she is. The adoptive mother is the evil queen, and her main role in the current day Storybrook is to tell the aforementioned bad girl to leave HER son alone. Bad girl doesn't listen because her new relationship with her son makes the storyline plod around.
Every character in Storybrook had a past life as a fairy tale character and every episode will retell the story of at least one of these folks in a new way, mostly they seem to be prequels to where most stories start off. They were trying to be fresh with their renditions, the mini plots are way too simple to have any drama to keep you hooked, so I am guessing that the people who LOVE this show are either preteens without standards or are easily distracted by fancy special effects/ Red's crazily inappropriate uniform for the café that she works for. Oh and for some reason it takes all 12 episodes that I watched for Snow White and her prince charming to finally quit beating around the bush and get together in the modern day. This show would definitely have benefited from taking inspiration from the early seasons of Desperate Housewives in terms of how to drive a dramatic romance.
Be prepared to role your eyes at the shenanigans that the characters pull seemingly without any consequences. Character development is minimal, except for Mr. Gold/Rumpeltiltskin or however his name is spelled. I'm pretty sure that he is the main reason I watched as far along as I did, and I seriously hope that he screws everyone over in the end. Another interesting character was one that the queen killed off early on in the most original plot of the entire first season as far as I am concerned, so now it is up to Mr. Gold to carry the shoddy and predictable plots/acting of everyone else. Yes, I am aware that there is a second season so my review is way behind the times,I seriously hope that they pulled a Harry Potter and chose a new director for the new season.
As far as a fairy tale mixer that I think is worthwhile, check out The 10th Kingdom. It dos something similar with the modern day getting an unexpected visit from fantasy land. While both are original, at least 10th Kingdom doesn't fall flat.
Two stars for Mr. Gold.