Red Riding Hood (2011)
2 out of 5 stars
One of a crop of edgier dark fairy tales retold in recent years, Red Riding Hood bears a passing resemblance to the French ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ by Perrault; more so than Grimm’s ‘Little Red Cap.’ But plain old wolves weren’t good enough or scarier enough for director Catherine Hardwicke (perhaps she should have consulted Joe Carnahan or watched the Grey?). The villagers of Daggerhorn suffered a werewolf among them for years, or generations even.
The only acting performance of note not surprisingly came from veteran actress Julie Christie, whom I fondly remember as Lara. Even Gary Oldman couldn’t inspire the uninspired plot.
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Beagle continually surprised me with his unique prose. Descriptions and metaphors in odd juxtapositions that at first make no sense but then you blink and they make complete sense. His dialogue often rang with rhythm and rhyme, nudging me to re-read a snippet just to hear it roll off my tongue.
A quest adventure fairy tale fantasy flipped topsy-turvy. Instead of a child pulled unwillingly along by prophecy, an undying unicorn discovers she is the last of her kind and leaves to learn their fate. Rather than an all powerful wise wizard, she encounters a second-hand failed apprentice masquerading as a carnival magician. Witches, curses, obsessed kings, indifferent prince turned hero, complacent subjects, elemental forces, mystifying happenstance magic confuse and confound her until she nearly loses herself.
A timeless tale of love, beauty, regret and hope.
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